First off, WebHost4Life is the WORST hosting provider I have EVER used. (I am not going to link to them on this post because I don’t want their Google rating to go up.
Ok, I have had an experience that I want to share. The web hosting company I WAS using (WebHost4Life) caused me some serious grief over the weekend. It all started on Friday AM, when I came into work, I checked on my websites. I usually just browse to them to make sure they are all up and running. Well, the first one I went to gave me a permission denied error (like it would do if there were no FILES on the server). I then checked that other 17 domains I had hosted there, and all of them showed the same problem. UGGGHHHHHH, so I entered a support ticket with the compnay.
Here is the ticket I entered…
Ticket: 538279 10/2/2009 7:44:29 AM
ALL my websites are now giving a Forbidden ERROR message. Not a good thing,
All of them are down.I also just paid for three more years, so please get this
I was not getting a quick enough response, considering ALL my sites were currently down, so I tried to use the support chat feature. Here is the transcript that was said.
Friday, October 02, 2009 8:08:56 AM (10/2/2009 3:08:56 PM – GMT)
Powered by SightMax.
Welcome to sightmax3.webhost4life.com, joyw will be right with you.
joyw:Hello this is Joy, how can I help you please?
my websites are down. Are you guys experiencing server issues?
Mike Kieffer:When I go into the control panel, all of the files for all 17 of my domains are no longer there.
joyw:May I have your control panel username please?
joyw:ok, a moment please, let me check
joyw:Seems your websites caused our network issue.
joyw:Our senior technician verified that your website caused our network issue, so we moved your files to another place.
joyw:If you want to get the details, I can submit a ticket for you to our senior technician
Mike Kieffer:I am pissed…
Mike Kieffer:So all 17 of my domains have been removed from service because they caused an issue?
Mike Kieffer:I just payed for another 3 years of service.
Mike Kieffer:And why was I not notified of this before action was taken?
joyw:Your websites caused our network serious issue, so we need to turn off your sites imediately, I found [EMAIL ADDRESS] in your chat survey, may I use it as your contact email address to submit the ticket for you?
joyw:We can refund you the unused months fee if we can not restore your websites
Mike Kieffer:And what do I do to get my data back?
joyw:ok, our senior technician will check it and reply you as soon as possible, then you will get email notification once your ticket is replied
joyw:Our senior technician will give you the details
Mike Kieffer:This is a joke.
Mike Kieffer:So what you are saying is that you can’t do anything for me. My sites are offline because of a performace issue with your networ and server, and that currently I can’t access my own data so I can move it to a different server?
joyw:I am sorry for the inconvenience. Since your websites caused our network serious issue, I do not have access to restore your site, our senior technician will take care of it after I submit the ticket.
Mike Kieffer:Then get the ball rolling, I am losing google placment, and money because of this delay.
Mike Kieffer:I have also sent an email to the CEO. This issue needs to be resolved ASAP.
joyw:Your ticket id is 538285
Mike Kieffer:I also entered one earlier 538279.
Mike Kieffer:Thanks for doing what you could.
Mike Kieffer:Please escilate this ticket for me. I really don’t want to have to call on the phone and give someone an ear full.
joyw:I will forward your ticket to our senior technician to check it for you as soon as possible
joyw:You will get email notification once your ticket is replied, would you please check it later?
Mike Kieffer:I really don’t have a choice do I?
Mike Kieffer:So you guys know for sure, it was my site that caused it, and not a routing issue like you have been having for the last couple of weeks.
joyw:From the notice of our senior technician, your sites caused our network issue
Mike Kieffer:I am concerned that you guys can’t isolate the problem to a specific script or process. That you have to eliminate all 17 of my domains.
Mike Kieffer:Do you guys not have logging in place?
Mike Kieffer:Or some type of bandwidth restrictions?
joyw:I am sorry, for the details, would you please wait the ticket reply?
Mike Kieffer:Thanks for entering the ticket for me.
JoyW then opened a support ticket for me. This is what the support ticket said based on the chat converstation I had with her. YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND CORRECT SPELLING/GRAMMAR USED.
All my websites are down. When I go into the control panel, all of the files for all 17 of my domains are no longer there. Why my sites caused your network issue, please explain, My sites are offline because of a performace issue with your networ and server, and that currently I can’t access my own data so I can move it to a different server, and I have renewed my account for another 3 years, please check, thanks
Here is the response I got on the first ticket I entered (notice it has now taken them an hour for the staff to respond to the first ticket I entered):
Thomas (Staff) 10/2/2009 8:41:24 AM
Hi Mike,We discovered that your sites were causing the network issue. We have no choice to disable your account.
After that response, I added to the ticket.
Mike Kieffer 10/2/2009 8:43:56 AM
So, what options do I have now? Do you know which website was causing the issue? I don’t believe that ALL of them were the issue.
Mike Kieffer 10/2/2009 8:45:50 AM
I need to talk to someone about this issue. What is the phone number?
Thomas (Staff) 10/2/2009 8:51:58 AM
Hi Mike,You can call us by ‘888.306.3780’.According to the account logs, the error relates to the script of ‘www/s/bin/ulimit4.sh ‘. We cannot put your sites back since it may affect other customers. Thanks.
After seeing the ticket, I deceided I had better give them a phone call. So I called the 1-800 number (after asking support for it.) And that phone call was a FUN call to make. After calling the number (I suggest you call it so you can see what I am talking about next).
This very poorly done computer voice came on-line and then told me to press 1 for sales (notice option 1 is for sales), then it said if you want technical support, please use our on-line chat utility (which I had already done). It then told me to use their support ticketing system (which I had also already done). Then it told me that I could expect to wait another 25 minutes on hold for a support rep, and to press 1 if I wished to talk to support. So I pressed one (sounds like support and sales are the same person). I was suprised, the phone was answered within a minute. I gave them my case number, and was told he was going to look it up. I was then put on hold for 30 minutes. And during the hold time, I had to listen to a CA radio station that was not even tuned correctly. Half the time I heard static with music in the back ground.
Finally the support rep came back, and told me that I had violated their TOS, I would not be getting my data back, and I would not be getting a re-fund. (I had just paid for an additional 3 years of service, starting in December.)
I then gave the guy the riot act. Told him that the data was mine, the code was mine, and that a law suit would insuse if I did not have at least FTP access to my data. I was then put on hold again (another 15 minutes, with the same static to listen to). He came back telling me that I would be able to FTP my data from their servers but only had 6 hours to do it. Note: the combined data of my sites is over 3 GB, it would take at elast 3 hours to download it, and I had to be at home to do it. So after arguing with them again, the extended it over the weekend.
Now that I look back on it, hind sight is 20/20. There are some serious issues with their service.
1- They don’t allow you to use special characters in any of your passwords, including you Master password for your control panel, and also your database passwords, and in one place the password could only be 8 characters long.
2- They can’t even secure their own fourm. If you go to their support forum, you will see all sorts of SPAM and bad stuff in the forum. Want to buy antidepressant medication? Or maybe you want to find gay porn, you can find posts on that in their forum as well.
3- Their TOS (Terms-of-Service) are WAY to strict. I should of read it before I actually signed up. It actually says: “UMA reserves the right to terminate the account without notice and without refunds. Files that violate the user policy are subject to deletion without notice. Clients violating the user policy will be held responsible for damages to UMA, including but not limited to, UMA’s systems, servers, connectivity, reputation, business, service, network, operations, or equipment. Determining what constitutes a policy violation is the sole discretion of UMA, and includes, but is not limited to, the following” WOW, they have the right to delete you files without notice.
4- After looking into it, WebHost4Life is a marketing company that just re-sells hosting.