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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    36

    Angry review: fluid hosting WINDOWS (1+ year customer)

    in a continued effort to contribute to this board, i thought i'd review a company i've had an account with for over a year now, as the relationship is about to come to an end.

    i've found that good small-scale shared windows hosting is somewhat difficult to find, but when i signed on with fluid i was overall impressed with their features & reviews. i signed up more than a year ago and it has been a rocky ride, culminating in a flame-out ending.

    features & pricing:
    these guys are a little on the spendy side for the feature set they offer. the lowest package that includes ms-sql is $27/month. this level includes a pretty competitive 'average' set of specs: 800MB disk, 15GB transfer, 8 domains. not too expensive, but probably too much for bargain hunters.

    reliability:
    i had more than a couple instances of downtime over the past year-plus. nothing too earth-shattering and troubling, but definitely enough to be an annoyance and make me wary of future occurences. i'd also speculate (i don't know for sure) that they have their machines loaded pretty full with customers to the point of performance degradation due to overload. again, just speculation on my (and some fellow developers) part.

    support:
    as i've said in other posts, these guys are very much on top of being there and responding to support tickets that get opened. note i'm saying responding, not necessarily resolving. they are very resourceful and *try* to get the problem fixed, but my gut feel is that this company does NOT have a lot of in-house windows expertise. a few of my support tickets ended up 'waiting for a windows admin' to investigate or something similar.

    service & honesty:
    this is where i think fluid is lacking. through multiple technical issues and down-time that were all resolved (some quicker than others), i asked for a credit just once and was turned down despite the fact that my application/site had not been working off and on for quite some time. the gist was that their server was not actually down, but it was a software issue. understandable, although it would have gone a long way to get a credit for the problems.

    the most recent and final issue though was that they decided to do a significant server migration and gave just 48 hours notice to their customers. this falls within their guidelines of when they have to notify users. they had been planning this migration for months according to the email, yet gave no advance notice other than this 48 hour email warning. that's hardly enough time for anyone running a site, large or small, to let *their* users know that the site will experience some down-time because of the ip changes, etc... the fact of the matter is that the sites i host with them are small, so i'm not checking that email every day. in fact, i didn't realize there was an outage until a user emailed me thinking that the site had been hacked because the default hosting page was showing up as the home page. only then did i check my mail to find out the details of this server migration.

    well, not only did we go through the intial downtime for the web host, but they decided that their sql machines should be migrated at a completely separate time, resulting in *more* down time for a web site that uses both ui & database machines (some of which mine do). i opened up a support ticket to voice my displeasure at all of this and asked for a credit. after some back and forth, i got a message saying that they were giving me a formal 14 day termination notice of service.

    this in itself COMPLETELY baffled me. deal with an unhappy and upset customer by dropping them? nice. i'll admit that it's not the most convenient time (being the holidays and such) to migrate sites over to another host (i have accounts with a few other services), but they are free to do as they please. apparently, i was the only one of their customers to complain about the outages. i can't believe that to be true, but if that's the case, then so be it. i didn't think their handling of such a big move was acceptable at all and let it be known.

    maybe i'm a pain in the *** customer as they've made me feel. i really don't think so as i barely use their service for anything significant and don't require much at all. even so, a bad customer pays the same amount as a good customer and deserves the same level of service.

    for full disclosure, they *did* credit me for a month's service as their going-away gift of sorts, but that was not even an important thing for me. i just wanted a better hosting experience and better messaging.


    conclusion
    as you can tell, my experience with fluid hosting was not an ideal one. while they certainly were always available and willing to help, that doesn't necessarily make for a great host. expertise is just as important, and when it comes to windows hosting (note the 'windows' qualifier as i didn't use any of their unix hosting)... i never got the impression that they had it down pat. i won't say they are completely horrible because by and large they did a satisfactory job, as i'm sure they do for many others. mostly my gripes with them (outside of the final blow-up) were minor, but there were enough of them to add up and be reason for concern.

    consider this a negative review of their windows hosting and a buyer beware (due to how they handled my complaints) on their service in general. i hope this helps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under Your Skin
    Posts
    5,875
    Quote Originally Posted by greybalance
    i opened up a support ticket to voice my displeasure at all of this and asked for a credit. after some back and forth, i got a message saying that they were giving me a formal 14 day termination notice of service.
    You pushed a little too hard at the wrong time. Going back and forth during or right after a major migration would not be wise... they are human. Given the outburst in the forums lately, I'm not surprised you got the termination email. It is unfortunate though since you have been there over a year.

    I think a lot already voiced that 48 hours was not good... it was not, but dave did provide a rather detailed reply on the reason why... I think it boiled down to them putting all the players in place and making it work. I am not defending the short time, but hey, FH is not a large company by any means.

    They fixed my issues within 15 minutes, I was surprised. Please let us know which new windows host you find... I had he77 trying to find one... glad when I got to FH. Now we wait to see how everything goes since the migration...
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by hekwu
    You pushed a little too hard at the wrong time. Going back and forth during or right after a major migration would not be wise... they are human. Given the outburst in the forums lately, I'm not surprised you got the termination email. It is unfortunate though since you have been there over a year.

    I think a lot already voiced that 48 hours was not good... it was not, but dave did provide a rather detailed reply on the reason why... I think it boiled down to them putting all the players in place and making it work. I am not defending the short time, but hey, FH is not a large company by any means.

    They fixed my issues within 15 minutes, I was surprised. Please let us know which new windows host you find... I had he77 trying to find one... glad when I got to FH. Now we wait to see how everything goes since the migration...
    i take it you also have an account with them?

    i don't really peruse their forums so i'm not sure what has gone on there- are they terminating people left and right? heh. ...i will say that my complaint could / would have been avoided had they just communicated better and given more advance notice. the cancellation was downright odd. in general i'm a pretty loyal customer and give quite a few chances for a company to redeem themselves. i was more than willing to stay on with fluid, but they were the ones who decided to cancel my account. as a small company, i'd think that every customer was that much more important to them, but i digress...

    as an aside, it seems to me that their new servers / location are performing very nicely- faster & better than the old. too bad i've only got about 10 more days to enjoy the increased quality. heh. oh well.

    best of luck with them going forward...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    PA, USA
    Posts
    5,137
    greybalance,

    There is a clear distinction between expressing displeasure (few customers did, and they all didi it professionally) and just plain hostile towards us. You are being terminating due to your hostility, your mocking us, and so on. More than 96% of our customers were already settled on the new data center just in less than 2-3 hours (from the anticipated 8 hours) after the web servers migration. The database server migration took less than a total of 20-30 minutes of downtime (from the anticipated 1 hour). And despite all that we have done to ensure downtime to be as minimum as possible for the project as large as moving customers from one data center to another, 250 miles apart, I am not quite sure why you would try to be hostile towards us. And yes, you are the only customer trying to be hostile throughout this whole ordeal, although your downtime/service interruption had actually been kept to a minimum, much better then the estimated we gave you.

    All of our staffs have gone beyond their call of duty to assist customers. After the long hours that everybody is working to ensure each and all reported problems are resolved as soon as possible, for our staffs benefits, I find it necessary to terminate your service after receiving multiple hostile tickets. Please understand $27/month does not give you any right to be hostile any of us, or any providers you choose for that matter.

    I am sure you will find a better home for you. I thank you for your business in the last 1+ year. Please accept our sincerest apology if our service has not been up to the par to your standard especially for this whole migration procedure.

    I wish you all the best with your online venture and your new host.
    Last edited by FHDave; 12-13-2005 at 03:21 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by FHDave
    greybalance,

    There is a clear distinction between expressing displeasure (few customers did, and they all didi it professionally) and just plain hostile towards us. You are being terminating due to your hostility, your mocking us, and so on. More than 96% of our customers were already settled on the new data center just in less than 2-3 hours (from the anticipated 8 hours) after the web servers migration. The database server migration took less than a total of 20-30 minutes of downtime (from the anticipated 1 hour). And despite all that we have done to ensure downtime to be as minimum as possible for the project as large as moving customers from one data center to another, 250 miles apart, I am not quite sure why you would try to be hostile towards us. And yes, you are the only customer trying to be hostile throughout this whole ordeal, although your downtime/service interruption had actually been kept to a minimum, much better then the estimated we gave you.

    All of our staffs have gone beyond their call of duty to assist customers. After the long hours that everybody is working to ensure each and all reported problems are resolved as soon as possible, for our staffs benefits, I find it necessary to terminate your service after receiving multiple hostile tickets. Please understand $27/month does not give you any right to be hostile any of us, or any providers you choose for that matter.

    I am sure you will find a better home for you. I thank you for your business in the last 1+ year. Please accept our sincerest apology if our service has not been up to the par to your standard especially for this whole migration procedure.

    I wish you all the best with your online venture and your new host.

    i appreciate the response, and i think we'll just have to agree to disagree on our viewpoints.

    my issue was not with the downtime itself- it was the fact that i wasn't notified well in advance (ie more than 48 hours) so i could set the expectations with *my* users and put in additional site messaging, especially since this was apparently being planned for months. i can only go by what users tell me, and i was getting questions for the better part of 2 days that a site was not working properly. how would *you* feel if you got an email from a user asking 'did you sell my site? or was it hacked?' because a default hosting page was showing up as their homepage? that reflects poorly on ME. so of course it was an 'oh sh!t' moment which had me checking my email and then discovering the server move.

    so yes, i was upset, and i think justifiably so. i won't apologize for being upset, and if you thought my comments were hostile, that is some *very* thin skin because i had some restraint and could have been A LOT worse. my intentions were not and never have been directed at any individual on your staff. my comments were all very general- directed at the decisions of the company with regards to the migration while also describing the errors showing up as reported by my users.

    again, i'm not questioning your staff's hard work or willingness to help- i've never even implied anything of the sort.

    ...but part of customer service in ANY industry is handling upset and unhappy customers, and i was just baffled by how you handled me as an upset customer. i do, however, respect your decision to terminate my service. if you feel it's a benefit to your staff to remove me, that's your call to make. ...just remember that you HAVE a staff *because* you have customers, not the other way around.

    like i said, i'm sure you do have many happy customers, and i am truly disappointed things ended this way. i wish you and your company luck going forward.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under Your Skin
    Posts
    5,875
    Quote Originally Posted by greybalance
    i take it you also have an account with them?

    i don't really peruse their forums so i'm not sure what has gone on there- are they terminating people left and right? heh. ...i will say that my complaint could / would have been avoided had they just communicated better and given more advance notice. the cancellation was downright odd. in general i'm a pretty loyal customer and give quite a few chances for a company to redeem themselves. i was more than willing to stay on with fluid, but they were the ones who decided to cancel my account. as a small company, i'd think that every customer was that much more important to them, but i digress...

    as an aside, it seems to me that their new servers / location are performing very nicely- faster & better than the old. too bad i've only got about 10 more days to enjoy the increased quality. heh. oh well.

    best of luck with them going forward...
    Yes, I do have an account with FH, 2.5 years and going. No, I don't think they are terminating people left and right, you can read the outburst on the forums... nothing major, people wanting the new plans (which were released today).

    Good luck to you... I hope you are able to find an equal or better windows hosting provider, I would not want to be looking for another.
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  7. #7
    I have over 20 domains hosted with Fluid and am continually disappointed by the decline in stability of Fluid's email servers over the past year.

    The email outage that lasted almost 48 hours last week forced me to move 2 of my critical domains over to Real Web Host (that is the company's name, not intended as an insult to Fluid.)

    As of today, email sent from those 2 domains now hosted by RWH to all but 2 of my domains still hosted on Fluid are never delivered. RWH has been working with me to troubleshoot, but does not see any problems on their end.The fact that I can successfully email 2 Fluid domains, but not 19 others leads me to believe that Fluid is somehow filtering emails sent from the 2 RWH domains to the 19 Fluid domains. I am not suggesting that this was done intentionally - only that something on Fluid's end is causing the problem.

    I submitted a ticket to Fluid which was promptly answered by John, but very little assistance was offered. He indicated that he checked some logs and directed me back to RWH. With the recent service issues Fluid has experienced, I expected a little more effort on their part - possibly offering to do some more troubleshooting & working with RWH directly to resolve my problem. I guess the 21 domains I still have hosted with Fluid don't warrant that kind of attention.

    Dave & all of Fluid's techs have been very nice, but I don't need nice - I need a proactive host who has redundancy planned into the company's infrastructure and technical support capable & willing to do more than look at logs and point fingers when I have an issue.
    Last edited by SecurityFirst; 01-05-2006 at 03:09 AM.

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