Instant Activation

November 13, 2008 6:05 pm

Years ago, when Linode was still wet behind the ears, all new signups were activated instantly.  Everyone loved it, and life was good — until we realized that some people weren’t the most honest and liked to use stolen credit card information and rip people off and do nasty things with resources.  And so began the age of manually reviewing all signups.  At least one person, and likely many more, has looked at each and every signup among the many thousands we’ve received over the years.

We’ve turned it into a competition at the Linode office — who has the most activations, who has the shortest average activation delay (who do you think wins?) — but it’s still a drag when we lose out on an account because someone had an emergency need for a Linode, or when a legitimate signup has sat in the queue for hours waiting for review.

So, we’ve figured out a way to have those legitimate signups (based on our special secret-sauce criteria) receive their account activation instantly, whilst the more questionable signups go into our review queue.

Combine this with a completely reworked sign-up system, which is simpler and easier to use, and you have the makings of a happy Linode Team.

Check it out:

https://www.linode.com/signup/

14 Responses

  1. We all know mikegrb had the best time.

  2. That’s great to hear.

    Any word about what you might be cooking up as a Christmas gift to use current and potential customers.

    We haven’t seen a RAM increase in quite some time, that would be my vote or going to the new Six-Core Intel servers 🙂

  3. A typo on the signup form: CVV should be CVC (“Card Security Code”).

  4. @Cliff: CVV (Card Verification Value) I’m not sure which is the most used, but there seems to be several abbreviations for the same thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_Security_Code

  5. Big fan of the new form design and large input boxes. Well done.

  6. @tsaro: Ah — I didn’t know that. FWIW I’ve only seen it referred to as CVC during my too frequent credit card use on the web. Hence the “typo” comment.

  7. awesome!! 😀

  8. I’m not a linode customer; just saw the signup page, and I have to say I couldn’t find any anti-spam or anti-fraud detection method.

    black magic, eh…

  9. @heri: caker sends a team of ninjas to your house at night while you sleep to run a background check

  10. Must be working well, as I’m a brand new customer, and didn’t notice that the process wasn’t completely automated.

    http://billeater.com/ up and live on a linode as of yesterday!

  11. I don’t know what system you guys use to deny people service although it must be better than the rest cause other VPS providers have denied me service. I admit that my intent often is perceived to be nefarious. However- real hackers would wouldn’t ever think so. Having said that I respect Linode for not having denied me instant access or using IP address schemes as criteria for instant acceptance (or other absurd things you can easily work around). I’m glad to know Linode isn’t just another service provider. It clearly isn’t just another job/owner/corporation.

  12. Good sign-up system, big boxes, clear , easy to sign up in less than one minute. Nice work !

  13. Well I actually am still waiting to login now, received “receipt” 1.5 hours ago, and had to wait .5 hours from sign-up to get that, still cannot login.
    Called number listed on website (609) 593-7103 just now, no answer went to answering machine.
    Got to say this is not building my confidence in you guys, I am trying to move a bunch domains off slowdaddy, and was very excited to signup, spent a lot of time debating between you and slicehost, and now I am seriously having second thoughts.

    I’m in asia so it the begining of my day now.
    I’ll be waiting…

    Matthew Trachtenberg

  14. Hi Matthew,

    Just wanted to give you my vote of confidence for Linode. I’ve used SliceHost and Linode, and while they’re both good I much prefer Linode.

    My own activation was indeed instant, but I’m about the most “verifiable” person that ever lived – if you’re in Asia, they may be taking some additional verification steps. I work in web hosting and unfortunately about 95% of our fraud attempts come from Asia, so it’s probably similar for Linode.

    Cheers,
    –Chris

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