I've been helping somebody out with their site hosted here, and while they offer a good deal they have terrible support and stole my money.
Basically they site had exceeded it's bandwidth, so I went to buy some more bandwidth to bring the site up for the end of the month, so that it could be re-launched in June. I paid for 1GB at a ridiculous price (£4.11) and waited for the site to come back online. I then noticed the bandwidth meter and the site had used 9GB of bandwidth before it went down. The limit is 6GB, and this was now extended to 7GB. But because the limit was still under the amount used the site didn't come back. I contacted Live Support and was severely patronised and treated like a small child and told that it was 'just a simple calculation' as though they thought I couldn't add up. They also spoke really bad English.
So then I sent an e-mail to support and got a reply telling me pretty much the same thing. I asked about how bandwidth was being exceeded and got the following reply:
the data transfer is added to the data transfer page once a day, around 1am, In one day it would be possible for you to go over 6GB of data transfer as the as it will not get added to the data transfer page till 1am.
Surely it's not my problem if they don't update bandwidth usage enough? It's their responsibility to cut me off. Apparently we 'got the bandwidth free' and only have to pay for it if we want to get the site back online. My £4.11 has done absolutely nothing and I know I won't get it back now.
They should state this clearly when you buy more bandwidth that there is a minimum required before topping up. So beware. The last e-mail I received had appalling spelling and terrible grammar. Hardly what you would expect from a supposedly 'professional' company is it?
Pre-paid bandwidth is normally priced competetively, but £4.11 is not expensive for overage bandwidth. The industry going rate is around £5 but even the big names are still charging 5p per MB for overage (£50 per GB).
If you think there is going to have a surge in traffic, pre-pay for additional bandwidth (or even better, upgrade to a higher plan) which will work out a lot better than paying for overage.
If I was an end user, I'd not stick a rubbishy control panel. I'd rather pay the extra £ / $
As an end user myself, I agree. A control panel gives the end user a very nice feeling of independence and control over things. (hence the "control panel" term) Not many of us like things to be out of our control. Sending emails for every little thing is not pleasant. Waiting for the changes to be made by someone else is not very nice either, no matter how fast they react to the request.
Also, a good control panel frees the support staff from dealing with petty requests and thus lets them concentrate on more important things.