Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Cheap Web Hosting is Often the More Expensive

When reading their “terms of Service”, they seem acceptable for they are nearly common to all host providers and they honour their “money refund policy”

On the 5th of November 2007, I purchased a Reseller Hosting account from at a ridiculous price of $6.99 monthly. To open an account every new client has to setup a quarterly subscription account in the amount of $20.97 through his PayPal account. Since it is a subscription payment, that same amount is automatically charged by PayPal and is credited to the host provider. When nearing the expiry date of my subscription I received a notice which read like this:

“…This is a notice that your invoice 210796 has been generated for services by on 2008/02/04.

Your payment type is: PayPal or Credit Card

Important Notice: Please pay this invoice with PayPal using credit card or paypal account within Due Date to avoid service suspension. For more information on paypal payment method visit page (link to his billing web site)

This treat is surprisingly very intimidating. Is it a cheap web hosting? Yes, but you are prepared to bow down under his arrogance! Normally as a serious host reseller, I do not wish to frustrate my precious customers to have their web sites disabled, so without any question, I clicked on their link to pay $20.97 with the idea in mind that I can arrange with my host provider to readjust the balance later, if there is really a billing mistake. Initially, I had a feeling that the first amount of $20.97 I paid to them was not properly set as a subscription payment, but simply as a “pay only once”.

When I received my hard copy statement from the bank, to my surprise, I noticed some anomaly of my credit card being charged. After further investigation, I discovered that my hosting account being debited in the amount of $20.97 MONTHLY, plus another $20.97 quarterly. When I log onto their online billing statement but they show only what I have paid quarterly. Then there were exchange of series of online tickets and disputes with the billing staff. They insisted that only the quarterly payment is paid to them and to whom the monthly payment is paid remain a mystery.

I then log to my PayPal account and open a case at the resolution center. Later PayPal replied to me that the monthly subscription payment was to and they do not interpret this instance as an “unauthorized account activity”. Here in this case, the one to be blamed is the one who has clicked on the link to pay monthly and not the one who has fraudulently sent a false reminder for his victim to click.

When finding no way to escape this accusation, they finally recognized that there was definitely a duplicate billing, yet they argue that the mistake was only by the automatic billing system and not human. Yes, I have cancelled my monthly subscription, but what about the money I have already paid for? After further discussion, when I asked them for a refund they told me that it will be debited to my quarterly subscription account and they refused to adjust my online statement to reflect what I have paid. I have then closed every subscription account with PaYPal paying to EhosPros and knowing that the validity of my hosting account will extend to the 5th of November 2008 due to my excess payment, yet at the end of the 5th August 2008 they suspended my account without sending me a formal deactivation notice.

And now the problem with a cheap hosting account, if I have lost few dollars as excess payment it is nearly nothing. What is the most critical is that I have to compensate my clients about $1000 for loss of business due to websites failure. I have to compensate them because we did not received a deactivation notice from the host and they did not even advise us to move our sites onto other host provider while our account is deactivated.

All those who choose a cheap hosting, for the sake of economy I would say yes, but be careful!


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