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  1. #1

    Can client sue me?

    Hi,
    Few days ago i had problems with my hosting due to Burst errors.
    Can my hosting clients sue me for 4-5 hours downtime?

    Thank you,
    Alexdio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    east coast
    Posts
    64
    That depends, I guess.

    I can't imagine that you could be in trouble there, but I don't know what your SLA/Terms of service states.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
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    You came here for legal advise? Go ask your lawyer. If you are located in United States you can get sued for almost anything.
    All My Data From small shared web hosting accounts to powerful dedicated servers.
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  4. #4
    so all depends on my SLA/TOS?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Kalamazoo
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    32,968
    Could be.

    If you're just worried about the possibility; don't. Because, as has been mentioned, you can be sued for anything. Doesn't mean the other party would win. But, you can be sued.

    So, to answer your question; yes. The client can sue you.

    Can they prevail? Ask your attorney.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  6. #6
    nowadays, anything is possible. They can probably create a case.
    Will they be victoriious? I don't know.
    Last edited by datums; 10-15-2004 at 01:46 PM.
    Datums Internet Solutions, LLC
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Ottawa
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    I can't seem to find any terms of service on your site. It all comes down to whether or not you've covered yourself in your terms, which appears to be non-existant.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Montana USA
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    Anyone can sue anyone for anything in America.

    Whether their suit is thrown out of court is another matter, and you'll still need to expend resources to defend against it.

    But you definitely need a TOS/SLA that protects you!
    John Masterson
    Former Hosting Company Owner

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities Area
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    5,651
    a TOS/SLA which does not stand up legally will not protect you at all.

    big myth floating around here is that you can make up any terms you want and they will be enforceable in a court of law.

    actually quite the opposite is true.
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  10. #10
    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    big myth floating around here is that you can make up any terms you want and they will be enforceable in a court of law.
    i know in many states (like here in NC) it will be accepted as your legally binding agreement with the customer about the service you provide. and it is not important how it is written or by whom.

    alexdio, yes you can be sued. i doubt that would happen though. not for 4-5 hours of downtime.

  11. #11
    TOS/AUP/SLA are important. Having customers accept the terms outlined in those documents is very important.

    That is all I have to say here.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Texas
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    First of all, you should really get yourself a TOS/AUP type of document. As far as the client is conserned, just tell them you will give them credit towards next month. If that fails, kindly remind them that it can cost hundreds to thousands to go to court, and they are better off taking the refund.

    Things like this happen all the time to ecommerce businesses. It usually turns out to be a hothead behind his computer just typing, and he will never go past that.
    MetricHost :: High Quality Affordable Web Hosting Solutions
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    AU
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    690
    So many americians sue people in america, its unfair. I am with Josh Stein, if you don't have those documents, you can be sued.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,579
    Originally posted by Stacie
    If you are located in United States you can get sued for almost anything.
    He does have a point there.
    Golden Globe Hosting | It's Time To Get Online.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    76
    Out of interest, how much does he want to sue you for 4-5 hours downtime? surely it wouldn't be worth his time

  16. #16
    >>alexdio, yes you can be sued. i doubt that would happen though. not for 4-5 hours of downtime.

    Good. Anyway i'll sue Burst.net/noscster if some one will try to sue me.

  17. #17
    Originally posted by alexdio
    >>alexdio, yes you can be sued. i doubt that would happen though. not for 4-5 hours of downtime.

    Good. Anyway i'll sue Burst.net/noscster if some one will try to sue me.
    You've got to be kidding me. Do you even know what Burst.net/nocster's SLA is? I would sure hope you investigated this information if you are providing hosting services.

    Anyways, a few hours of downtime on the plan that the person has with this guy probably equates to less than $20. Therefore not even a small claims court would take the case for pure monetary damages. The only way the person could get anything is if they sue for other damages such as lost business or pain and suffering, etc.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Bluesquare dc, Uk
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    1,591
    Ok,

    Get yourself some water tight terms written IMMEDIATELY. Do not delay. It is extremely important that you:

    a) Protect you and your company
    b) Limit your liability by covering consequential loss and compensation terms.

    You should have covered yourself in your TOS, by stating the following (in psdeuo talk):

    We (host) accept no responsibility for loss arising as the use of our services.

    Compensation is at the discretion of (host) and shall not exceed what you (client) pay per month.

    Compensation is limited to the maximum value of the hosting account. I.e. if they are paying $20 a month, the maximum you will compensate them a of maximum $20.

    Compensation may take the form of extension of a defective service (i.e. you give them a month free), or equivalent cash value (which would equate to $20).


    I'm no lawyer, so do not act upon this advice. I'd recommend you have your lawyer go write you some water-tight terms.

    My final recommendation is to avoid legal-speak. Put it in real life terms, so the customer understands what they are agreeing to.

    Good luck.
    Olly | INX-Gaming
    Call of Duty 4 hosting

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
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    372

    Thumbs down

    Originally posted by alexdio
    >>alexdio, yes you can be sued. i doubt that would happen though. not for 4-5 hours of downtime.

    Good. Anyway i'll sue Burst.net/noscster if some one will try to sue me.
    All My Data From small shared web hosting accounts to powerful dedicated servers.
    Now offering Affordable UNIX shells and IRCd hosting!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Ottawa
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    Originally posted by alexdio
    Good. Anyway i'll sue Burst.net/noscster if some one will try to sue me.
    You do realize that by making such a moronic statement in a public forum, they could just pull the plug on you for the legal threat?

    You don't have any form of liability contracts with your clients, none that I can see on your site anyways. Nocster however does. If I were you I'd hope they don't come across this thread.
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Bluesquare dc, Uk
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    1,591
    Indeed. Most companies will cease any service once any legal threat is made.

    I'd suggest for the sake of you and your company, you try to be careful what you say- particularly in an open and public forum.
    Olly | INX-Gaming
    Call of Duty 4 hosting

  22. #22
    Originally posted by [inx]Olly
    Indeed. Most companies will cease any service once any legal threat is made.

    I'd suggest for the sake of you and your company, you try to be careful what you say- particularly in an open and public forum.
    Ditto. If I ever had a customer threatening me with legal action, bye-bye they go. I don't have to do anything for them once the threat is made. They can take it to the next level (court) if they so please, but they won't get too far on a matter of this sort. I have never had a problem though. My TOS/AUP/SLA have been available from day one and all customers must accept the terms listed.

  23. #23
    The idea of getting sued for 4-5 hours of downtime seems so strange. My old host was regularly down for 12 hours a day. Usually they don't even apologize, but I never thought for a second to sue them, my own fault for using a sucky host. (I see they are still advertising here... LOL.)

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,032
    Suing a host for 4 to 5 hours of downtime sounds a little strange. Lets see.. $10 a month $0.35 a day and $0.014 per hour... which makes it less than $0.10 for 5 hours....

    Would be better off choosing another host if it were me.
    Get your TOS out and make them accept it before they can sign up would be a good choice.
    And for your existing customers email them the new generated TOS and state that if they accept and don't cancel their monthly subscription would mean that they fully accept the TOS.
    -=- GQ Hong -=-
    GalacNet WebMaster

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,461
    It does depend on your country whether it depends all on the TOS. Here in Germany if you have an SLA of 50% that would not be legally valid and because of that you would be reliable for any damages caused if you do not provide 100% uptime. Therefore it is important to contact a lawyer and ask them how much you can limit your SLA.

    EDIT: @galacnet: Yes, uptime
    Last edited by thomas.smith; 10-18-2004 at 03:33 AM.

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