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  #1  
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BE WARNED! If you are considering using AIT - Advanced Internet Technologies, in North Carolina, to host your web site, you may
want to look elsewhere. They are apathetic, incompetent, and may sabotage your business as they did mine. They look good on paper, but their testimonials are only from their satisfied customers. That certainly doesn't include me.

Here's my tale:

I switched to AIT in September or October of 1997 since my first host did not allow for reselling of space. AIT seemed to offer all that I was looking for and at reasonable rates. For awhile, I was satisfied with hosting with them (except for their screwy billing). I had a server 2 account. In July of 1998, I was supposed to be upgraded to a server 3. One of the new domains I was hosting expected to use a lot of space and the upgrade was necessary. I spoke with technical support and billing and they were in accord, they would be able to waive some overcharges since I was upgrading. I expected the upgrade was done, especially since my invoices from that point on were in an amount commensurate with server 3. Every month, the bill was in a higher amount and I sent them a money order to pay for it. The invoices were not detailed and I didn't look at them any more for other than the amount.
All was well for a few months, or so I thought.

Around March of 1999, I became aware of the fact that the upgrade to server 3 had never been done. After speaking with billing a few times, I asked Mary Fuller, the billing manager, for a detailed statement of charges
since July of 1998, when the upgrade was to have been made. I was told that this information was available online for January 1999 forward, and that the previous year's statements would be mailed to me in a few days.
They never were.

In May of 1999, I received a notice that permission had been changed on my cgi files because my site was using too many resources. I was not consulted with, advised of remedies, or treated with respect, as any ethical company would have done. AIT decided to sabotage my account and disabled several programs. So much for the unlimited hits and my own cgi-bin files that I contracted for.

I protested and asked that my programs be enabled. My next four responses were met with apathy. AIT did not respond at all.

The next protest met with a moronic response that did not address the issue. Their answer " we examined your account and did not find any problems". At this same time, I had problems with a cgi program and could not fix it since I had no access. I asked AIT for help, reminding them that they revoked my
permissions and I was unable to do it myself, and got none.

I knew I had to make a change. I can forgive mistakes, we all make them, but you can't fight apathy, incompetence, and low intelligence, not to mention a poor attitude. I began looking for another hosting
company. Since any change I made affected the business sites that I hosted, I had to be careful in my selection and could not make a hasty move. I found a suitable company in late June 1999 and opened an account. I
began transferring files to the new server. Because of the change and AIT, I incurred $350 in setup/ transfer fees moving to a new server, fees which I could not pass on to customers.

On July 15, I submitted a change to Internic, moving all the domains I host to the new host. I did not transfer my own as I had to have an important cgi program working on the new site first. On Friday, July 17, several things happened. The other domains I host were now on the new server. I got that cgi program working, and I submitted a testimonial to AIT that I challenged them to add to their site.

I finally got a response from AIT, and you can read it below. When I responded to it, they disabled my account completely, making my domain inactive, cutting off access to my e-mail (which I received and sent through my server with them). It was their parting shot at me, their last evidence of a poor attitude.

You might not ever have problems with them, but with so many companies to choose from, why would you want to do business with a company that treats any of its customers so badly? If they did it to me, they could do
it to you!

-----Original Message-----
From: {me} [mailto:myaddress]
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 1999 11:14 PM
To: success@aitcom.net
Subject: Testimonial

Here's a testimonial I challenge you to add:

When I decided to change hosts so that I could offer web sites at less than usual for my customers, I shopped around a bit on the Internet. Someone told me about AIT and it looked promising. I signed a customer up and then became one myself, transferring several domains I host. For a while, I enjoyed the greater options afforded by AIT.

Then the problems began. Billing has always been a problem. Charges are not clearly explained and invoices arrive days apart from each other, even when there are no new domains added. An upgrade to server 3 was never done, yet the invoices that followed were in amounts of the higher priced server 3. When this was discovered months later,
AIT said they had no record of the request of upgrade despite me having spoken with some
support managers on the issue. A promised review and mailing of detailed invoices
never happened.

Then, in what I consider a deliberate act of sabotage, AIT changed permissions on my cgi files and directories located beneath them. They claimed my account was using too many
resources. A reputable and ethical company would have consulted with me first, explained the situation, and advised remedies (such as upgrades). AIT took none of these actions. It crippled my account and rendered several programs inoperative. My messages and protests were met with silence - no response, except for once. I got a moronic response -"we have examined your account and found that there are no files missing" which is not what I had said.

I had to endure the apathy, indifference, and moronic reply while searching for a new host. Since I host several domains, anything I did affected them so I could not make a hasty move. I was forced to absorb several hundred dollars in transfer costs in moving to another server, after I found a suitable company. My days at AIT are near an end as I write this. I doubt they will add it to their testimonial section as it reveals their worst traits, things they don't want you to know.
Their offerings look good on paper, and fortunately, there are many other companies to choose from, companies that don't sabotage their customers and cripple their accounts. I suggest you look for one of them.

Subject: RE: Testimonial
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 09:03:18 -0400
From: "Beau Garcia" <bgarcia@aitcom.net>
To: <me>

X,
is there something we can assist you with? You seem a bit frustrated about both billing issues and our shutdown policy for excessive cgi usage. We strive to constantly improve our total customer service daily.
I have read over your letter in depth and investigated the matters on your behalf. I have learned the following:
the upgrade to a server 3 was never completed due to the contract not being filled out completely
the disk space issue has been ongoing with you for at least 4 months your huge logs have caused problems on the shared solution machine you occupy
the billing department manager (Mary Fuller) has spoken to you personally and given you access to your online billing area so that you could look up your charges, item by item if you like.
With all of this said, I would suggest that you upgrade to a server 4(dedicated machine) for the following reasons:
1. You will not be charged further for high disk space usage ever again.
2. You will not have your cgi-bin chowned to root because the resources are yours alone to use as you see fit.
3. You can upgrade the machine whenever you need for a one time price ( we do not charge higher monthly fees for higher RAM or Hard drive sizes)
4. You have a 10megabi



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  #2  
Old
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Post

I assume this is a awful host ... I can see AIT is almost same as iServer becuase the hosting feature almost matched them or maybe they are a reseller.

  #3  
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Unhappy

After reading with interest the problems Duster had with AIT (I had considered using them), I can guarantee that I will never use AIT! And, in all frankness, not so much because of what Duster said (although that in and of itself is enough), ... but because of the response from Beau Garcia ... everything he said was accusitory, ... "YOU did this wrong" and "YOU did that wrong" to Duster, ... definitely NOT what I would call good customer service!! Thanks Beau, you saved me a lot of heartache and frustation!!!!!

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  #4  
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Post

I included the unedited e-mails between us so anyone can see their poor service and attitude without reying on my word alone. Had I not have already transferred the domains I host to another server when AIT shut me down, I would have sued them in a class action suit as they would have financially impacted on my customers (and probably me if they left me as a result).

They are an awful host. Beau Garcia should change his title to Customer Disservice Manager or Customer Lack of Support Manager.

There are a lot of other awful hosts out there, and your odds of getting a decent one are just a little better by skipping this one.

  #5  
Old
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1
Long term experiences

Just an update of what AIT is up to currently...

I've been using them for several years now
(Yes. I am a very patient person...), but
my recent experiences with them finally got me
shopping for another host.

Here's a list of my experiences with them:

SQL Server
Tried to use their SQL Server. Was told several times via email that all I had to do is to select the 'Start SQL Server' option in the control panel. Well, problem was, there was no such option! It took them about 6 emails and several weeks to confirm and fix this problem.

Perl Libraries
I needed to use several Perl libraries (CGI, LWP, etc.).
Even after supplying tech support with error logs and test scripts, they still kept claiming that those libraries are installed and functional, whereas that was obviously not true. Again, it took them several WEEKS to actually test the Perl installation on my host and to correctly re-install the libraries.

Domain Change
In order to use a secure certificate we needed one of our sub-domains to become the main domain. I smelled trouble, but was assured (by the support supervisor) that this will be a straightforward procedure. Well - the 'straightforward' procedure took about a week, with extensive downtimes for both domains involved, plenty of lost emails, hours on the phone, and some very unhappy clients...

'The last drop'
A couple of weeks ago we had a situation happening twice within one week where, when accessing the main site, you were greeted with an error message 'Payment Required'.
(And yes, our accounts are paid by credit card, and were current.)This went on for about half a day each time; with calls and emails having no effect whatsoever. Tech support claimed they couldn't reproduce the error, and basically told us to sit and wait. I (and my clients) can deal with a server that's just plain down. But seeing a 'Payment Required' message when visiting the site, that's beyond embarassing. (Especially if it's inappropriate.)
In both cases AIT admitted that it was their fault later.
(A phone support supervisor actually had the nerve to claim this was an ISP problem; even though I told her that this error appears from several ISPs throughout the country...)

Well, that's my experience, and I hope it might be a warning to someone else considering AIT...

  #6  
Old
Founder - Jaguarpc
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 2,247
Question Duster...guest ??

What happened Duster? Why are you no longer registered?

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  #7  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 917
Check the date! I think this was one of Dusters first posts.

  #8  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 80,000 feet under the sur
Posts: 2,736
Yes, this would be one of Duster's first posts (if not the very first - correct me Duster ) about his poor experiences with AITCom. I believe it still rings true, 8 months after his initial posts.

  #9  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Not here
Posts: 1,437
It was indeed my very first post here. AIT has not changed for the better. I have read other, more recent, complaints about them. Billing is a perennial problem with them. A friend of mine, who dumped them a while back, was billed for the month before he signed up with them. It took months to get them to take it off his bill.

In response to his questions about why his accounts were so slow and often inaccessible, their response (when he finally got one) was "the Internet always slows down in the afternoon."

AIT must have a list of stupid excuses to tell their customers. They sure don't believe in the truth.

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  #10  
Old
Web Hosting Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 328
AIT (Advanced Internet Technologies, http://aitcom.net/index.html ) is also a spam haven. Check http://spamhaus.org/ for a list of spamming hosts you should avoid. If you check their list against the headers of spam you receive, you'll see that the list is dead accurate. It'll also show you how much time you're wasting reporting spam to those hosts...

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  #11  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6
Arrow AIT Hosting

You know what's funny - After reading all these messages about AIT and also other message boards regarding web hosts and customer reviews it seems no one has anything good to say about any of these "great" hosting companies.

[Edited by matthew on 10-10-2000 at 09:23 AM]

  #12  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 80,000 feet under the sur
Posts: 2,736
Which 'great' companies in particular Matthew? (apart from AITcom)

  #13  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Not here
Posts: 1,437
matthew,

There's nothing the least bit funny about a hosting company throwing a temper tantrum like a bratty child and disabling your account (and crippling your business) because you aren't happy with their poor service and idiot answers. There are a few good companies out there and there are comments on this forum.

However, out of the over 16,000 hosting companies, there are a lot of bad ones with deceptive, even fraudulent practices, and we do warn about them. In fact, out of the 16,000+, I suspect there's a 13,000 way tie for last as regards service.

If you see more criticism than compliments, it's because of the many charlatans out there.

  #14  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6
Thats right. Its an industry that needs alot of attention. And I know what you are talking about Duster. Last year I was involved with Interland with co-located servers and they practically put me out of business with no customer service, no knowledgable technical support, and the slowest and network that is about as good a 2 cups connected by a string. But they are rated nymber # by NT magazine. So you get decieved and you think they are good. The best thing is a forum like this to get the word out about these companies so people can make an informed decision.

  #15  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 6
AIT cautions

I just discovered WebHostingTalk, and was checking out DialToneInternet as a possible new hosting company: there was lots of helpful info; so much so, that I figured I ought to return the favor, by sharing a little of what I know about AIT.

I'll wait till later to post some additional info, since my sites are still at AIT. It would be imprudent to say too much until I've successfully moved them away from AIT.

But, I'll offer a couple of observations.

Many of AIT's techs try hard, but virtually all of them are undertrained for their jobs, and some of them seem to be barely more knowledgeable than the typical AOL users . . . and NO, I am NOT exaggerating. I saw Beau Garcia's name mentioned above: my experience has actually been that he's one of the two people there I've corresponded with who actually know something. He's given me straight (if unsatisfying) answers, when I was getting meaningless gobbledegook from the junior techs.

Regarding hosting, I should say that my sites have been up better than 99.5% of the time, and that STATIC pages are usually served quickly, but . . . don't plan on anything depending on Perl or PHP, or any type of dynamic page being served properly, and don't plan on any customer support. I suppose, if you have a bunch of small static sites, with few or no scripts and no dynamic pages . . . and are willing to put up with an ignorant and powerless tech support department, they are a cheap option.

But, as noted above, AIT constantly announces all sorts of new features: plan on them actually WORKING a year or so after they are announced. Do not count on ANY CPU intensive feature ever working properly!

Their billing is interesting. Some months, they send me no bills and just charge my card. On other occasions they have sent 3 or 4 copies of a single invoice. On one occasion, when I called to complain, the billing person told me the problem must be with my email service. I confess: I flamed on, and pointed out to her in impolite language that AIT WAS my email service, with respect to that address! She admitted no errors.

When your card expires, they do not send a notification email, requesting an update expiration date: they just send out a notice of cancellation to take effect in 5 days. They will not accept an over the phone: you must submit online. But, when you do, there will be no confirmation . . . and they may lose the update! You'll find this out when your sites go dead.

This happened to me recently, and was the proverbial last straw. If it happens to you, plan on hours of phone calls and faxing to resolve the problem. The billing person I spoke to told me that it was my responsibility to call in and verify that they'd updated my record . . . although their site discourages phone calls.

In both their billing and tech support departments, they discourage phone calls, and emphasize their 'state of the art' trouble ticket system. My own experience suggests that 1 of 3 tickets go straight to /dev/null. The remaining ones are read by techs who can't understand the question.

Their standard response is a request for a trace route, to verify that the problem is not outside their network. They serve this up on all occasions, such as when I asked why PHP did not appear to be installed.

There's more, but I'd better hold off.

Meanwhile, a final warning based not on my experience (yet!), but on that of posters at other sites. When you DO finally cancel your AIT account, be sure to do so by Registered Mail, AND by fax, and be sure to mail and fax copies to your card company at the same time. If they do not immediately cancel the accounts, follow up with another set of mail/fax cancellations, but this time add the local BBB to the cc list. It's taken some folks months to get the billing stopped, and several of them had not recovered the overcharges.

In my case, I'll also send emails to Beau Garcia, since he's at least been fairly honest and knowledgeable in his replies, though mostly they've been simply an admission that such-and-such a feature was broken at their end, with no definite timetable for a fix.

PoolDoc

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