I have been a customer in PhoenixVPS for about 10 months now. I have had some troubles with them during this while but nothing too serious to get me pissed. Until recently. Their billing system stopped recognizing payments from my PayPal subscription, and got my invoices overdue for non-payment even though money kept flowing their way. They have suspended my fully-paid-for account. This got me to look into my PayPal subscriptions and I also found out that they didn't cancel my subscription upon service termination when I terminated it 3 months ago. So I paid them $21 more than I should have.
On top of that, the person assigned to my ticket, Marc M, has some funny ideas about the way PayPal works. Below you can see the content of the ticket I had with Marc M:
"I have been paying you $6.95/mo for a terminated service, for which my account was not credited.
PayPal Transaction ID: -omitted-
last payment at 1st of November.
I expect to get credited for the money you got for all those months since my service was terminated.
-- (another reply of mine)
Invoice -omitted- was paid by PayPal
Automatic payment ID: -omitted-
Transaction ID: -omitted-
At the 15th of November.
This is the same issue that was described in ticket -omitted-
Please -fix- this and my VPS back up.
I also expect some kind of compensation for this, It's the second time you are denying my service even though I'm paying for my services on time every time.
My workday is over and I still haven't got a response even though I set priority as high.
This is very unpleasing."
Marc: (5 hours later)
"I am sorry, however it was Sunday here, and Sunday is coding/development day so we reply to tickets slower unless there is a network/hardware emergency.
PayPal is broken, I mean the IPN system which is supposed to notify merchants doesn't work most of the time, so even if you made a payment PayPal failed to notify our billing system. I have now unsuspended your VPS.
In regards to your $6.95 payments, keep in mind that we can't control PayPal accounts. It means that we can't charge a customers' PayPal account, we can't get money from a customer. You have to manually cancel your payment profile. Please let me know when you cancelled your service and I will see what I can do for you.
"I have been doing development work with the PayPal API extensively, I have never had PayPal fail to notify me. And the least you can do for the integrity of your system is have an automated check before suspending a service. Additionally, my preapproved payments contract is made with you, and you are a party that is able to terminate it just as well as I can. I expect that you terminate preapproved payments for services that should no longer be paid for automatically. You can do it and you can find out how in their API reference, see "CancelPreapproval" in this address
Not to talk about that you should -never- ever take on astonishing automated action with your user services while you're not there to fix it. Don't suspend services on a Sunday when you can't take responsibility for the mistakes that are so disruptive to your customers.
Your use of the API is broken. It's a real shame that I have to read such falsehood and blame shrugging from you.
Does this reply mean that my monthly $6.95 that went towards your company because you failed to implement PayPal's preapproved payments API correctly that I am not going to even -get credited- for it? I still am not seeing it in my balance. This is minimal decency.
You are most certainly in the wrong here, and I am really starting to get annoyed with the whole thing.
That preapproval should have been terminated at the 1st of August. That is $20."
Marc: (17 minutes later)
"I apologize, but I think that you don't understand how PayPal works. You need to terminate a subscription from your end. It's not a pre-aproval, it's a subscription. The difference is that a subscription pushes the money to us, we are not asking for it. This has happened to me before as well when I subscribed somewhere for something and forgot to cancel my subscription. Most companies specify in their TOS that they won't even deal with such issues, so most of the time I just lost the money.
That being said, I'll take your word for it. I have credited your account with $20.00.
You can cancel subscriptions too. You can cancel anything. You can even suspend it and re-enable it.
Just because companies you've done business with are ignorant about those things doesn't mean that's the way it should be.
And to the other issue, so what now, every month I'm going to have to keep an eye on this VPS I have with you to make sure you don't suspend it? With all due respect, putting aside my personal experience, PayPal is a tested service that is being used by a significant share of the market. You're now going to tell me that subscriptions are a hit-or-miss thing? That's ridiculous.
Also, please change invoice -omitted- status to paid."
Marc: (9 minutes later)
""PayPal is a tested service that is being used by a significant share of the market."
And that's exactly the problem with it, they are so big that their infrastructure can't keep up anymore and they aren't expanding it.
No company, including us, will go through every subscription every month to check if it's cancelled, and that's including us. That's why everyone, including us, leave this up to the customer.
The way to check if PayPal IPN worked is to see if the invoice is marked paid when you paid it. If it's not, then simply open a ticket with the transaction number.
I am sorry that you have so much faith in PayPal, we don't That's why we also offer Credit Card payments via Stripe.com. The system is tokenized, we don't store the cards, but instead send a token to Stripe.com when a Invoice is due and when someone cancels the token is destroyed. And it works perfectly well, every time.
"Marc, I have to say you keep lowering my expectations and then you manage to astonish me even more by going below that bar.
This is the most fallacious, wrong, ignorant, and ridiculous thing I have ever -ever- had someone say to me in a support ticket in my entire time in the industry.
I am allowing you to forward this ticket to someone of higher authority in the business that may help stopping me from publishing this ticket in a review."
It has been over 3 hours now, still haven't gotten a response. As far as their hosting service, I can't complain. But then again, I never needed anything. They have managed to keep my server up and running 98% of the time, and that's where my evaluation is concluded. I was a satisfied customer until Marc started saying all of those things, it's just completely false and he didn't address the painful matters I was talking about in the ticket at all, he was just trying to run away from the failure.
I can't keep checking if my payment was successful, and I'm not going test them with Stripe.com, the only option I have left is to let go of their services and tell everyone who thinks PhoenixVPS support PayPal that it's not actually the case.
Well, really, he is telling the truth. PayPal's IPN systems do occasionally fail to successfully post the transaction notification. Also common, is that the IPN verification fails because not all servers in their database cluster are in sync.
I see it once in a while (less than 1% of transactions). So saying "it is completely false" is not really fair.
As for cancelling a subscription, yes, it is possible, but the industry-leading software (WHMCS, Blesta, HostBill) do not integrate with PayPal on that level really. It's pretty much a IPN POST verification affair, so even there, he is telling the truth when he says they don't have the capability to cancel it on their end. The software they are using simply doesn't support it.
The only bit of -possibly- true is that PayPal failed to IPN. It could also be their script failing or their server being unresponsive.
The rest of the stuff is complete brain****. He says PayPal doesn't support while clearly it's them who don't support.
I don't care if they use the Biller 3000 or some other system, it still means you may get your service suspended while fully paying for it. They suspended my service while support is unavailable to put it back on. That should be illegal or something.
To update this review, Marc has refunded me for the invoices that the system failed to recognize and we are now working to resolve this issue permanently by working on a WHCM module that would properly integrate to PayPal's API.
I was credited for the money that was sent to them by mistake;
I was (overly) compensated for the errors that were done in regards to my service;
Marc is willing to invest towards improving his service so that such error does not happen again.
So all in all, I feel that PhoenixVPS took full responsibility and got me as a happy customer again.
One of the best VPS server that I tried is phoenixvps. At the moment I have with them "SSD Cached KVM VPS Servers" VPS is very, very fast and stable.
In my life I've tried about 30/40 VPS servers at various different hosting companies but I can tell you that that is located between the first three.
The only negative things that I have been experimenting with phoenixvps when they crossed on datacenter Bufallo NY. Then we were 3-4 hours offline but they sent us email it will be about 3-4 hours offline and specify the exact time when.
In any case, everyone warmly recommend phoenixvps.