Monday, July 19, 2010

The Anger, it is MINE


Last month, my web hosting provider screwed up my billing on two of the TWENTY SIX accounts I have with them (I manage a bunch of web sites, domains, hosting accounts, mail hosting accounts etc...).

For some reason they were trying to bill to a very old credit card that expired in 2006. Now, they had been successfully billing me with the default method on file, for all my accounts, for over ten years now; and were still doing so for my 24 other accounts... I'm not exactly sure how or why this happened now, but OK, it did.

They called me up a few weeks ago, and over the phone we supposedly fixed it, so that ALL twenty six of my accounts, products, and services, were being billed in the same way.

That was the 8th of July.

Yesterday, the 18th of July, they deleted the accounts, AND THE CONTENTS OF THE SITES, without notifying me. I found out this morning when I got to a domain parking page instead of my personal web site (which up until yesterday, had been up continuously since 1993)

Apparently, they have been trying to re-bill the same old expired card, again and again, since our phone call.

It only took me over an hour on the phone for them to figure out this is what they had done. Against their own policy (which is 30 days past the first notice, which was 6/28), and somehow against the rules of the automated system.

I've been using this company for over ten years. I have spent, at this point, tens of thousands of dollars with them (both personally, and for all the websites I manage), for hundreds of different domains, hosting accounts, mail hosting accounts, certificate management, and related services.

This is NOT how you run a business. How you handle good customers, who spend lots of money with you. When someone has 24 accounts with you in good standing, and for some reason two of them are not, you find out why and you FIX IT.

After an hour on the phone with them, and their distinct lack of helpfulness, I informed them that I would be cancelling all my services with them, and that prior to the next domain renewal time for each of my 21 active domains, I would be changing registrars (it's a real pain to change registrars in the middle of the registration term, especially since I recently renewed a bunch of domains. 60 days on either side of the renewal can be considered a blackout period for a registrar change unless you want to deal with a bunch of extra crap).

So, now I need to find a new registrar and hosting company, find backups of everything, reformat everything how the new host needs it formatted, report... Then I need to change my mail hosting, and deal with the most likely several days of buggy mail transfer.

One of the sites has NO direct backup because it was built in a CMS. We'd have to rebuild the CMS elsewhere (presuming it was supported on that host) then reconfigure it to match, then import the old and incomplete exports... It just isn't going to happen, that site is lost for good.

Oh yes, this is going to be fun. Really.