No..not that I'm aware of. Sadly..there are too many directory sites that just sell advertising..have no real objective comparisions..and you must do all the work yourself..like I do. It's a heck of a lot of work...but..there is no alternative.
1) I don't buy from resellers
2) They must have a real phone number..none of this skype stuff. Cellies are iffy..so if that's all they have...the answer is probably no. Yes..it used to be easy to find out if it's a cell or not..not so these days with that number transfer thing.
3) I can tolerate delays...because I can do 99.9% things myself. Email only support has been odd..I really prefer a helpdesk...even a freebie one...vs none at all. I like knowing about delays before I order servers..but that's not always possible.
4) I like paper trails..soo...I used to avoid phone pre-sales conversations..but not anymore. All phone conversations are recorded..so there's none of this "did *I* say that? crap later on..I prefer most pre-sales either PM here on the board or email. I print all of it..and save copies on different hard drives. It's just good business.
5) Contracts-After the lesson taught to me by a certain questionable dedicated host..I actually *prefer* a lengthly contract..all nice and legally signed..and countersigned...by me and them. I know that's not the norm these days..but..let's be honest, folks...courts don't care about oral agreements..if it ain't written down...well...it's just not as solid. Of course..this does not prevent scammers at all. A complete, well-written TOS/AUP and SLA will hold water in court I am told..I hope I never have to test that. Oh..I insist on *mailing* that contract...that way you have even more assurance that they are real. I didn't know it at the time...but this questionable host cut me off completely when I said I was going to mail that contract. It turned out to be a prudent move..because there is question even if they really are at that address at all.
6) Gut feeling-I don't know how accurate this is..but..my personal experience has been 100% right. Deep down..is this deal *too* good to be true? If it is..what are the possible downsides?
7) Do the homework-Email them. Call them. Chat with them. See if they lie about that posted 24/7 chat support. Submit a ticket..see how fast they respond. Are they really a business? All corporations have to be registered..but not necessarily in the state they are in. Many corporations seem to be registered in Delaware..I just figure it's because of lax laws. I have not seen it recently...so maybe that has changed.
If the person is claiming to be a CEO...by all means...pull the records. The normal way to go about this is to go through the attorney general's office in the state they are in. They have a form you can fill out...and they respond with the info in a couple of days. The BBB may also have this information as well.
Bryon L Harvey
Soil Relocation Engineer