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  #1  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6

Fluid Hosting: I should have reviewed them my first year


But, how often does one take the time to review a service when it's working well? It's unfortunate, but the best hosts are probably the ones you won't hear about. Fluidhosting was one of those hosts for me during my first and second years. I remember they were really quick for shared hosting, offered sufficient space (but didn't overadvertise) and had a cool control panel. They may have even offered complimentary shell access at the time, but I don't remember; this was some time ago.

They eventually became pretty slow and forced upgrades to benefit from new services, so I stopped using them, and I thought I'd cancelled. Still, I wouldn't have complained about them. Unfortunately, they just sent me to collections, so I'll oblige them with a review now.

The good:
They have an 800 number and someone who answers it!

The bad:
No matter how long you speak with that person; he insists an error related to cancellation is not Fluid's and refuses to pull a submission to collections back no matter how small the amount. He also likes to reiterate that your current point of contact should be collections.

I spoke with Andrew, who was a pretty nice guy. He insisted that he would be as helpful he could be given whatever limitations he had to abide by (think: neutered dog). Basically, I thought I cancelled this account and was done with it. Once I'm at that point, I try not to waste my time with emails (or email addresses) associated with that account; I log in sparingly. I just happened to log in shortly after being sent off to collections, so I called.

Now, the only way to cancel is by logging into your control panel. Given my belief the account was cancelled, I had no idea how I would have done this. Even if you call them, they would direct you to log into the control panel. They also insist that you must cancel your service by and within 30 days of renewal (which would be really uncomfortable for someone on a monthly plan). Since I thought I cancelled, none of this mattered to me until I checked an email account that first indicated my account had been renewed (perhaps to bill me again?) and then another email shortly afterwards that indicated it was cancelled again and I was being sent to collections. I was renewed for less than a day, and I didn't even know I was cancelled!

After I realized there was no way that Andrew would be able to help me, I asked if I could speak with *his* supervisor. Of course, he let me know that he is a supervisor, and there was no one above him at the office. How convenient. He also reiterated that I should be having our discussion with collections. I'll forward collections a link to my review.

I asked him if they had a method to pull submissions back from collections. I mean, he couldn't give me their number, so I couldn't call them anyways. Besides, I really didn't want to go through another call over this little account; I also don't want it to hit my credit. He said there's a way to pull submissions back from collections, but Fluid Hosting had to be in error. He then told me about the number of times they forwarded emails to me about the account...because web developers use the same email address for all their accounts, right? Again, I thought I was done with it. Since they did not receive a response or notice me logging in, they could have called, especially if they could spend the time to process my account through collections. I verified my account with my phone number after all.

The problem with stuff like this is how scammy it is. You have cancel 30 days before the end of your service, and you have to be able to log into that same service to cancel after being verified by any number of questions. The verification process was out of control. This dude could practically steal my identity with the information I had to give him!

All I can do is tell you that his name is Andrew and he's a supervisor of the highest level at the FluidHosting office he works at.

I really just wanted to get rid of this service. I probably would have paid them if they called before sending me to collections.

So now, my credit takes a potential hit because this company automates everything to the point of collections, and they get a crappy review. I wish I could say at least their service was still good, but there's a reason I stopped using it. I'm struggling a bit because Andrew told me that I can't log into the control panel anymore, so I don't even know if they just reactivated my account to bill me again then send me to collections. Shady practice.

All I have now is a forthcoming bill from a company Andrew described as Cedar Financial. They sound green.



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  #2  
Old
Security Ninja
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 8,750
How much did they send you to collections for?

  #3  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Just $150, but that should be enough for a courtesy call or something.

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  #4  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 5,122
Mr D,

What a privilege it is for us to see customer review, positive or negative, even when that requires customers to signup on this forum just to give us the review. It is indeed unfortunate that customers often take things for granted when everything is working aright. If we had always received our deserved reviews, I am sure there would be much more positive reviews one can see on this forum.

In any case, I see few distortions of facts in your review here to make this a fair review. So please allow me to address some of your written statements. In so doing, I hope I may provide the right context for the community here.

First of all, contrary to what you claim, we have been improving our services, both in redundancy and performance. Thus, I will have to beg to differ that our services become slower. Have you ever reported this? I checked all the 13 tickets you had opened since 2004 and I do not even find any ticket created to report of any performance issue you had. In fact, from all of your tickets since 2004, there was not even a single ticket created in the year 2010 and 2011. Thirteen tickets over 7 years of service, and not a single ticket on the year 2010 and 2011. If any, this seems to indicate that our service to you was quite well?

Second, can you inform me when we forced you to upgrade? Over 12 years of offering services, we have never once forced customer to upgrade unless if customers start to use more resources than allocated (specially in the context of shared hosting environment). Even in this case, we advice customer to upgrade (usually to VPS, etc) and when the abuse keeps going on, we simply disable the domain/subdomains to prevent further abuse. We never force customer to upgrade simply for monetary gain. In fact, as part of our business integrity, on multiple occasions we advice potential customers to go with our smaller plans than what they initially planned to sign up simply because we think that the smaller plan is sufficient for them. Checking your tickets history again, I do not see any ticket/communications where we request you to upgrade. If any, you created two tickets over the past 7 years requesting us to upgrade your account to another hosting plan. So I will be interested to see any reference when we forced you to upgrade.

Third, I am not sure what you mean by our verification process being out of control. To cancel an account is simple. All you need to do was open a ticket from your control panel (or if you email blling@ or contact us we will give the instruction) and submit your cancellation request. We do this to verify that the account owner is the rightful person to request the account cancellation. The only verification process we do is to ensure that the cancellation request comes from the ticket opened from your control panel. There are no verification questions. We could certainly make the cancellation process more difficult, but certainly this process is far from being complicated and difficult and I am not sure why you would think any other way.

Fourth, please keep in mind that there is no error with our cancellation procedure. The fact is, you never submitted your cancellation notice. Our billing system keeps sending you multiple notification: overdue balance notification (first day of account overdue), suspension warning notifications (11th and 21st day the account is overdue), account suspension notification (31st day the account is overdue), and then account termination notifications with warning about sending the overdue balance to collection (46th and 61st day the account is overdue). Your account was overdue since November 17th, and despite all the messages sent to you, unfortunately you have chosen to ignore them. Finally, our staff (Mr. Andrew) opened a ticket from you on March 22nd notifying you about the overdue balance one last time. Unfortunately, you have again ignored this ticket. It is to my understanding that Mr. Andrew has called you in person in an attempt to settle the overdue account. You were offered to pay for juts $15 (one month of hosting), despite the fact that the whole year of hosting was due ($150). And since we never received any response from you, your account was finally forwarded to collection. Thus, I am not sure why this surprises to you. You were given plenty of opportunity to resolve this, and we even have tried to work this out for your favor by offering you to settle for just 1/10 of the amount due. Yet, you have dismissed everything that we tried to do for you.

Fifth, once the account is forwarded to collection, all debts need to be settled with the collection. This is the reason that Mr. Andrew told you that your account was no longer under our control. Your account, however, was still in suspended state. And despite it being suspended, you still have access to the control panel. You do not need to guess about this as a simple attempt to login will show that you still have access to the control panel. I have just tested this and it worked just fine, as expected.

Last, please note that despite the fact that your account had been forwarded to collection, you were notified this morning in ticket #LGU-989394 that we had removed your account from collection. This was done per my instruction to Mr. Andrew since you have promised to make the $15 payment. Please note that once an account is forwarded to collection, we would still be responsible for the collection fee of 30% out of the $150 original debt. Thus, it is most likely we will pay the $45 to them to get rid of your have your account dropped. A loss, but something that we would do as a favor for you. And despite all that we have done for you, I am just surprised that you would still come forward with this review. Perhaps it would have been better if we simply let your account stay in collection, which I am seriously considering doing now. Do let me know if you would prefer us to put your account back into collection.

I believe we have done everything that we can do to make things work in your favor.

Best wishes with your new host. I am pretty certain all of us here would look forward to your frequent reviews of your new host. Fair reviews are always for the benefit of this beloved community.

__________________
Fluid Hosting, LLC - HSphere Shared and Reseller hosting - Now with HIGH AVAILABILITY
Fluid VPS - Linux and Windows Virtuozzo VPS - Enterprise VPS with up to 2 GB guaranteed memory!
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  #5  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Mr F,

I'm impressed with your committed response and truly appreciate that you took the time to write this up.

I was frustrated because my conversation with your rep left me with the understanding that I had to go through collections and that I could not log into my control panel to review changes in my services. I did not know that any changes had been made since our conversation. I certainly didn't receive an email saying as much at the address where I receieved notice about being sent to collections.

I'd like to reiterate that I didn't just ignore your notifications; rather, I believed that I was done with this account, so most of your suggestions are difficult to apply. I will reset my password to log into your control panel and resolve any billing obligations before I terminate my service.

I'm glad that you've made improvements too. Honestly, I didn't struggle much with your service, but I noticed increased latency, so I just switched to another server. It wasn't a big deal to me though. I don't think that the site I initially maintained remained on your server past 2007/2008 (possibly earlier; I mean, I don't rememeber every site hosted on whatever server). I then used it for minor testing purposes...I didn't even know I still had service with you for much longer than that. I thought I cancelled.

My main point in the write up--and I did create a name specifically to make this criticism--was the difficulty with resolving my issue with your rep, who I did mention is actually a nice guy. I recognize his hands were tied (to a degree), but I also couldn't get him to take me to someone with more authority. I'm sure you have plenty of developers who use your services and may relegate related communications to a specific account. You had plenty of information about me, and I verified my name, street address (at that time), phone number, account number, method of payment (actually, I couldn't remember that, so I provided something else)...

I mentioned several times that I would write this review during our conversation due to the difficulty I had negotiating this with your rep. I understand that you feel you're not mistaken, but there is something to the fact that everytime you tried to communicate with me, you used the same method: one that I was clearly not responsive to, and before attempting another method, my account was thrust into collections. I'm not a big client of yours--not with the services I subsribe to on your servers--but since I could not resolve my issue with your rep, the only opportunity that I had to hedge my dissatisfaction was here...and I made clear that I would beforehand. Accounts sent to collections damage one's credit like these reviews can damage companies' reputations, and I tend not to idly allow an entity that couldn't have someone make a phone call before sending me to collections damage my credit without retaliation, which involves informing others what they could potentially experience. Given my warning, I knew the other party, who expressly indicated that I no longer had access to my control panel, had received my communication.

Finally, it is true that you never forced me to upgrade anything. I didn't say that though. To be fair, I didn't say it very clearly either. When I said, "forced upgrades to benefit from new services," I was referring to upgrading to a newer serviceplan to benefit from a higher cap on bandwidth, and whatever additional services may have been associated with the new plan. It wasn't easily transferrable. To be fairer, I'm not certain that's your policy, but I think it is. I'm sure you'll set the record straight though.

Look, if it's any help, the whole time I had service (or thought I had service) with fluid hosting, I felt confident that I was with a company far superior to any host you could find at somewhere like webhostingsearch. So, fluidhosting, imo, is WAY better than: ipage, fatcow, inmotion, hostmonster, etc.

That said, I was enormously dissatisfied with the result of a discussion with someone who seemed reasonable, indicating that he would do whatever he could to help me while really just trying to pass me off to a third party agency to deal with it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that was his fault at all; that could just be how he's trained to deal with customers who have been placed in collections, but I wasn't ready to stand for it today. Again, I thought he was a nice guy. He was polite and generally patient, and if I was still with your company, I would feel comfortable knowing that he could pick up a call if had an issue (so long as it wasn't collections related).

I'll log into the control panel this weekend and resolve whatever issues I can on my side. Thanks for your time.

Regards,
Mr D.

  #6  
Old
Just a Customer, Not a Host.
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Smade's Inn
Posts: 1,021
A vary narrowly polite discourse between client and host. Can we ever hope for more? I appreciate Mr. D's problem with email addresses, as I myself have some odd 2000 in total but two that get checked and the rest are burn addresses. I can see as well Fluid's side.

Handled with manners. People take note.

  #7  
Old
Dependable Web Services
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Modesto, Ca. - USA
Posts: 5,417
Correct me if I am wrong, but did your web hosting company essentially send you to collections for services not rendered?

  #8  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Still trying to figure this out. Dave, I can't log into the control panel, and when I reset my password, I do not receive an email--at least not at the account where I received the collections notification--not in spam or otherwise. Would you be able to send me a new password at the email address where the collections notice was sent?
po....e@gmail.com

Also, collections at Cedar Financial is calling me.

  #9  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
I just paid the $45 service fee to Cedar Financial. Thanks for the favors...

  #10  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Are you kidding me? I just received this message this morning. I already paid collections for this account!

BTW, it looks like you're about to send me to collections for a negative balance. I paid $45 to Cedar financial, not $150. Just wanted to cover the collections expense you mentioned. I'd take the extra for all the hassle, but really, I'll just be happy if you expunge me from your database and leave me alone.

I mentioned, I can't log into your control panel. When I've tried to reset my password in the past, it doesn't email me at the same address where I receive the message below. If I could log into your control panel, I would, but I don't have a password, and I'm not anonymous.

Dave, I get that you can respond to a thread to defend your company, but if you have like half a minute, for goodness sake, fix this so I stop getting these collections notices. I never even used the service for the time you're billing me, and this has become the second time that I thought I was done with this account.

___________________
PS: This is a computer generated message. Please do not reply to this email directly since your reply may not be attended to. Please send your reply to the appropriate contact listed below.

Dear ___________,

Despite our numerous attempts to contact you regarding your overdue account, your account is still left delinquent as of today, Apr 12, 2012. This email is our final attempt to resolve this delinquent account.

Even though your account has been suspended at this time, in accordance to our Terms Of Service (http://www.fluidhosting.com/tos.php), you are still responsible to pay all overdue balance. A delinquent account needs to be settled within 30 days after it is overdue. Failure to do so will cause your account to be permanently terminated/deleted. We will neither be responsible for any data loss nor be obligated to provide any backup archival once an account is terminated/deleted.

Furthermore, as our final attempt to collect the overdue balance, your delinquent account will be forwarded to a collection agency. Please note that this will severely impact your credit history. Please also note that the collections agency, at their own discretion may add an additional fee of 30% to 40% to your outstanding balance to cover all collecting costs, legal costs and expenses.

Payment for this account can be made through your account control panel. Your account control panel can be accesses through https://cp.fluidhosting.com/. Below are your account details:

___________
___________
___________
Balance: - $150.00

Select 'Billing Profile' under 'Billing' and choose a payment method for full details. If you set your billing payment using credit card, once you updated your billing info, the system will charge your credit card for the outstanding balance.

If you have created a credit card profile in the past, please make sure that the credit card information (expiration date, billing address, and et cetera) are updated as attempts to charge your credit card have been declined. You may also enter a new credit card. Paypal payment can also be made directly from your control panel.

If you require an invoice to process before you can make a payment, you can obtain a printed copy of your account statement by logging into the control panel and clicking 'Billing' Tab > 'Billing Statements'. Select the appropriate invoice and click 'Print'.

If you believe this is a billing mistake, feel free to contact us by opening a ticket should you have further questions and concerns. To open a ticket please login to your control panel at https://cp.fluidhosting.com/ and click "New Trouble Ticket."

This will be the last and final communication you receive from us. The next communication may come from a collections agency. Thank you for your attention and your prompt resolution into this matter.

Sincerely,
Billing Department
Fluid Hosting, LLC

  #11  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
I'm sure you did try and cancel. I've tried twice and they are now trying to get me to pay them money. They sent me to collections over a grande total of 15 bucks (and are now tacking on 5 bucks a month in collection agency fees). I find it fascinating that people seem to have such trouble canceling with such an easy system. I mean I've managed to cancel other accounts for other things easily enough I guess I'm just too stupid. Fun fact Cedar Financial the company they use isn't licensed in Connecticut, the state where Fluidhosting is based.

I'd link to where you can find the list but I can't since this is a new account.

  #12  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2,828
If you tried to cancel and they sent it to collections, tell the collections company you dispute the debt and they will refer it back to the client. Just because it's been sent to collections doesn't mean you have to pay it.

I think the big issue here is as previously mentioned, it sounds like these collections notices as for services that are suspended during the billing period being collected and if that is the case, that is a very very shady practise and definately not something a reputable company should be doing. I would dispute it based on the host not providing services promised, so they broke the contract as well.

  #13  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 5,122
If somebody has cancelled prior to the account renewal date, we will cancel the account. Nobody is sent to collection if they have cancelled the account, properly. All of the people who we sent to collections are those who did not send any cancellation notice, sent the cancellation notice after the account was renewed and, in either case, refused to work with us to settle the debt. Some other customers are sent to collection because they disputed the charges despite the fact service was already delivered. Once customer is sent to collection, we stopped allowing customer access to the control panel. All debts must be settled with collection agent.

For what it is worth, we always try to work with customers before we sent the debts to collection reasonably. In fact, collection is our last effort. When customers refuses to work, abusive to our staffs, make legal threats then we will simply let the collection handle it. It is unfortunate since debtors never realize that it much easier and much cheaper to settle--and we often settle as low as one month, even if you are under long term contract and even if you sent your collection after your renewal date--than after the account is forwarded to collection.

The fact that an account is forwarded to collection means customers have refused to work with us.

@devpoetic: I actually replied to you in error. I had thought you another customer of us, but in fact it was for a different account. In any case, if you already settle with the collection, you can ignore other billing notification emails you received from us. We simply have not closed your account. Once we receive confirmation from the collection, we will close the account.

@Duck and Cover: I am pretty sure who you are. Not using your account does not constitute, expressly or not, of your intention to cancel the account. In fact, we do not have any cancellation ticket from you. Unfortunately you have refused to work with us. After receiving legal threats from you I have instructed our staff to stop making any further correspondence with you in private or in public. This will be our last correspondence with you in public as well. Please continue working with the collection agent. Thank you.

__________________
Fluid Hosting, LLC - HSphere Shared and Reseller hosting - Now with HIGH AVAILABILITY
Fluid VPS - Linux and Windows Virtuozzo VPS - Enterprise VPS with up to 2 GB guaranteed memory!
Get your N+1 High Availability Enterprise Cloud
Equinix Secaucus NY2 and NY4 (NYC Metro)


Last edited by FHDave; 04-14-2012 at 04:04 PM.
  #14  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 5,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wullie View Post
I think the big issue here is as previously mentioned, it sounds like these collections notices as for services that are suspended during the billing period being collected and if that is the case, that is a very very shady practise and definately not something a reputable company should be doing. I would dispute it based on the host not providing services promised, so they broke the contract as well.
We are not the only company, even the only hosting company, that sent debtors to collection.

We give grace period for 30 days before the account was suspended. During this grace period, service was already rendered to customer, whether or not customer is actually using the account. For customer under monthly contract, we simply forward the one month debt to the collection (again, this is after debtors refuse to work with us). For customer under longer contract, we will try to work with debtors to settle for as little as one month. When debtors refuse to work with us, we will simply forward the whole contract amount to collection. The collection itself may impose their fees (which we also stated on our TOS).

When debtors under longer contract paid the full or partial debt, per their own choice, we may resume service and let debtors to continue using the account up to the amount of payment made (minus the first month when the account was still active and minus any activation fee).

Thus, we never break our contract. It is usually customers who break their contractual obligation.

Thank you.

__________________
Fluid Hosting, LLC - HSphere Shared and Reseller hosting - Now with HIGH AVAILABILITY
Fluid VPS - Linux and Windows Virtuozzo VPS - Enterprise VPS with up to 2 GB guaranteed memory!
Get your N+1 High Availability Enterprise Cloud
Equinix Secaucus NY2 and NY4 (NYC Metro)

  #15  
Old
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wullie View Post
If you tried to cancel and they sent it to collections, tell the collections company you dispute the debt and they will refer it back to the client. Just because it's been sent to collections doesn't mean you have to pay it.

I think the big issue here is as previously mentioned, it sounds like these collections notices as for services that are suspended during the billing period being collected and if that is the case, that is a very very shady practise and definately not something a reputable company should be doing. I would dispute it based on the host not providing services promised, so they broke the contract as well.
Oh yeah they aren't getting a dime from me. I rather bring it to small claims if I have to based on there illegal collection practices. I posted here more as a warning for anyone even thinking about this company. Odd that two people who are probably both reasonably tech savy have such a difficult time canceling.


I like how I'm blamed for apparently not being smart enough to "properly" cancel. You seem more interested in protecting your image without actually being a respectable company. Pretty sad really. I'd go with another company perhaps one who won't send you to collections over 15 bucks and has a system in which you can actually cancel. Also they won't send you a bill to your mail address before they bring in collection, it's really disrespectful.


Last edited by Duck and Cover; 04-14-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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