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Giving up on Webhost4life

After almost 6 years of running my site with Webhost4life where I didn't have a lot of complaints I was kind of forced to move away because they could no longer accomodate my hosting.

It all started in May of 2010 when suddenly I received an email that my account was moved to a new platform, and there shouldn't be any changes but I should check if everything is all right, just in case. And the journey began!

None of my sites were working and almost none of my email was migrated to the new platform. As a result I started to open tickets to their support, asking how to do stuff that it used to work in the old platform. Instead of the usual response time of a couple of hours, now they would not respond even for a few days. Asking their live chat about the status of my tickets usually I would get a "somebody will take care of this ticket as soon is possible". In the mean time, no email is flowing, no web site running. Apparently their new infrastructure does not support a lot of things, like a decent catch all, or changing permissions on the file system. A quick look on Bing showed that I was not alone. Actually there was community estabilished at http://webhost4lifecustomers.ning.com/ that shared the pain. Over there I found the suggestion of requesting imediate revert of the settings and be re-enabled on the old platform in order to perform a manual migration. A few days later my email and site was operational again. Great! Or so I thought!

After a few weeks while scrambling for a solution I receive an email again, stating that I was moved to the new platform! Oh, no, not again! Knowing the drill next day I was again in the business, on the old plaform!

Trying to assess the damage I realized that I cannot continue to host my site at Webhost4life because that would mean to work around too many limitations and I had to switch away to alternate solutions. As a result at the end of June I canceled my account and Webhost4life and I stopped recommending them because they are too unreliable.

After canceling my account I realized that I still had 3 months of hosting that I prepaid 3 years ago, and I would like to get the money back. I contacted their support team asking to get the prepaid money back. The answer came pretty quick (they know when to be quick) saying that since I had a discount for prepaying for 3 years they would recalculate the fees without discount and I will not get anything back because of that and I am very lucky that they don't ask for more money because after recalculating I would have owed them money. I answered back that under normal circumstanced I would understand this reasoning, however they basically forced me to move elsewhere because they no longer can accomodate my hosting needs. In the end I had to escalate my request to their SVP of sales and customer support, which agreed with me that I should be refunded the remainder of the prepaid hosting. And, this was end of July 2010.

After a quick exchange of emails I was transferred to somebody from customer support for processing the refund. We concluded that I would like to get a check for the amount and finish this saga. August 3rd 2010, I sent back my address where should I get the check and they acknowledged it and this was the last communication from them. No check, no nothing.

A month passed I asked them about the status of my check. No answer! Another month passed, another inquiry. Nothing! Mail to their SVP of sales and customer support. No answer! Middle of October I sent another mail saying that if I don't hear anything from them in 2 weeks I will report them to BBB. Of course, nothing, no email, no check!

Here it comes BBB. I reported them and a few days later I receive a call from them worried what happened with the check, maybe it was lost in the mail (yeah, right!) and if they can refund the money on the credit card. A few days later I had the money on my credit card. Finally I finished the business with Webhost4life.

Conclusion: My recommandation from Moving to a new home post is no longer valid. Since Webhost4life was acquired, they are no longer reliable. If you were thinking about switching to them, think again! I think there are a lot of other hosting providers that do a better job. I've heard that Arvixe (http://www.arvixe.com/) is a pretty good hoster. I don't get any financial incentive to recommend them, but they seem nice. Do you own due diligence and ask question about what you care at a hosting provider.

Published Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:41 PM by cchrism

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