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  1. #1

    Angry ECSPortal & ServerOrigin *STOLE* my money

    I'll start with some background for this story, I still can't believe it's been over 2
    weeks and no response from either company (several e-mails sent) - it's beyond
    ridiculous at this point.

    Around September 15th, I have signed up for a VPS offer with ECSPortal. I
    located the offer here, through, but signed up directly with
    the merchant if memory serves.

    Kevin Hatfield, who was apparently the owner and one of the main tech
    employees in the company, had communicated with me along the way. Overall,
    he was very pleasant and everything went smoothly in setting up my VPS.

    4 days or so after setting it up, I went on a trip. After discussing my options with
    Kevin via e-mail, I decided to deposit a $78 sum, which should suffice in the case
    I need an upgrade to a dedicated server (my sites were growing daily back then)
    during my holiday. Kevin gladly agreed, and said he would be monitoring my
    server, and if the load is too high, will get me upgraded.

    Payment Details

    Amount: $78.00 USD

    Transaction ID: 75M97281UT1756227

    Subject: Hosting fees

    This is in case I need a dedicated server for the month. If not, this will roll
    forward to towards next month's VPS fees.
    On September 27th, I come back and surprisingly enough - find that my sites are
    down, and apparently have been down for several days. Needless to say, I have
    lost quite a bit of money right there.

    I contact their support, requesting a quick reboot, and receive a reply 6 hours
    later (not too great for a simple reboot request...), stating they noticed the
    problem, but didn't have my root password so they could not reboot the

    I supplied the password, server was rebooted, a few minor problems - and it
    was all over, everything is back in action.

    Days go by, and I keep receiving screaming notes from (uptime
    monitoring service) about my site being down, up again, down, up again etc.

    I decide to upgrade to a dedicated box without waiting for Kevin to do that for
    me, and I contact him. In return, he asks on October 12th, how much am I
    looking to upgrade to.

    I respond requesting their existing offers, and waiting for input. In return, I
    receive a message 12 hours later from Kevin, stating he is on the road, and will
    be back in the evening, and will send me a list of the existing offers, so I can

    3 days pass, my VPS constantly going up or down, and then I receive this lovely
    announcement from Kevin (after repeatedly e-mailing him):

    I have been working to try and get everything fixed for you but I have been
    unable to contact the tech person with ECSPortal the last couple of days.
    ECSPortal was recently purchased from us 2 weeks ago and we have been
    handling some of the excess support but unable to access the VPS servers. How
    much longer is on your plan at ECSPortal? If this keeps happening the simplest
    thing would be for us to move you to ServerOrigin and our servers with more
    high end servers. We could offer you:


    If this is of interest to you, please let us know. We can get you moved and
    hopefully get these problems resolved.

    Apparently, Kevin "forgot" to mention the company had been purchased, and
    that he would not be providing me with their range of dedicated servers for me
    to choose. That's for 3 whole days. He is also trying to convince me to move to
    his new company, which is not too ethical for a business owner who just sold his
    business, but we'll leave that aside - not my business. However, that's not the
    fun part, just yet

    I send Kevin a rather worried e-mail asking why wasn't I informed, what can I do
    to actually move on etc. - and receive an e-mail apologizing, stating he can no
    longer support me, as he no longer owns a part of my account...

    Instead, I receive the contact details for Mark Lily, the new owner of - and of course I contact him soon enough.

    Meanwhile, I requested that whoever is responsible for my $78 balance, to have
    it paid back to my paypal account - I specifically said I don't know if that money is
    under his responsibility, or under the new owner's responsibility, but I'd like it
    refunded (that's the amount I paid that was never used up, in case I would need
    to upgrade).

    I receive a very delightful response form Kevin:

    (he says "once again" - but I was never told the balance is not in his hands,
    that's the first time - anyhow...).

    Back to Mark Lily - he politely requested for the paypal transaction ID for this
    specific transaction. I have provided the requested ID, and kept waiting...
    meanwhile, I also required a refund for this past month of hosting, as the
    downtime was simply intolerable (admittedly, most of it - at least in the
    beginning - was caused by the heavy load from my sites, but the time it took to
    resolve issues was simply intolerable, not to mention the below - read on).

    Around that point in time, my VPS service was shut down completely (it's now
    around 20 days since it's been shut down, and I have no access to it, and no
    contact from the hosting company). Don't think for a second I've been notified of
    that or anything, that's still just a guess -

    Since around October 15th or so, I have no access to my hosting, my sites are
    down, and nothing is accessible. I contacted ECSPortal's support, and around 24
    hours later was assured that my ticket was "the first in the queue".

    Mark Lily then responded stating:

    the IP addresses for those two servers are:

    Those are not our nameservers. They appear to be part of the
    domain range.

    Please send me more information and i'll keep working on this for you.
    Apparently, someone had forgot to let me know I need to change IP addresses
    for my DNS. Either way, you would at least expect the new company owner to be
    able to at least locate my account on his existing servers, right?

    Well, that hasn't happened.

    Since that point, none of these two lovely gentlemen have been responding to
    my e-mails. At some point, I started threatening to go public with the story, since
    they won't refund my money, or admit their mistake.

    I've lost the following:

    1) At least 1 website I have had no backup for, which I recently purchased for
    around $225.

    2) A $250 advertising campaign I purchased led to a dead website for at least 7
    days or so. The site was generating around $10 per day before my server was
    killed, and after I got it back up, it's now at around $0.5-$1 per day, so you could
    say I've lost another site which averaged around $10 a day.

    3) All my other sites were down for at least a few days, causing revenue & traffic

    4) $78 in deposited balance (in good faith...), plus a $41 or so payment for 1
    month of VPS service, which I can hardly say was worth the price.

    To be honest - I don't really care who's to blame here. Both company owners
    have been completely unprofessional in handling this, and have left me hanging
    in mid air. Then, they decided to just ignore me hoping I'm going to disappear.


    Adi Friedman, Partner.
    Two Believers Web Holdings.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Merville BC
    Wouldnt Kevin Hatfield is the person to pay back the money via paypal?
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  3. #3
    "At least 1 website I have had no backup for"

    I know that you have enough problems to deal with now, but perhaps this can be a lesson for others. Don't get yourself in a situation where you have data on a server that's not backed up. Anything can go wrong. Don't let the lack of a backup make a bad situation worse.

    Hope you work things out, Adi!

  4. #4
    Send the two parties an email advising them of this thread. I would love to hear how they handle this mess.

    Hope you resolve this Ados, but it doesn't look good.

    Interested in how you chose this host. Was it from reading comments on Forums?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    ServerOrigin ran a 50% off VPS sale a few weeks ago that was pretty popular in the advertising section. Now their domain is hosted by DreamHost, and all they have up is a support page. You can try opening a ticket, but the ticket I opened was deleted with no response. They have an email server configured to be "localhost.localdomain" that keeps trying to send me e-mail.
    Eric Spaeth
    Enterprise Network Engineer :: Hosting Hobbyist :: Master of Procrastination
    "The really cool thing about facts is they remain true regardless of who states them."

  6. #6
    You know if you use an actual credit card or checking account to pay for things there are Federal laws and bank policies that make dealing with situations like this a non-issue. It's certainly an unfortunate situation and you have my sympathies for all the technical problems this is doubtlessly going to cause, but you sound like you're old enough to know better than to use PayPal.

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