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  1. #1

    Post My H-Sphere Reseller List

    After 4 years being on a Shared H-Sphere plan, it is time for me to move.

    I want to upgrade to a Reseller plan, and consolidate all my domains. I want a reseller plan because for any of my sites that are ASP driven, I can create a plan on Windows for it, and the rest will mostly be on Linux.

    This is my list I have compiled with my criteria too. I have also formated it so if others are doing research, it'll be easy to read.


    jodohost.com
    Datacenter: NAP Of The Americas, in Miami Florida.
    Years in Business: launch in December 2002 = 5 years
    TOS: http://www.jodohost.com/tos.asp
    Reseller Plans: http://www.jodohost.com/reseller.asp
    Smallest plan: LiteHost 3gb/60GB/7 accounts
    Yearly payment: Yes
    Yearly discount: 5%

    Notes:
    Can create VPS under reseller
    One account cannot utilize all resources, bummer.

    http://www.jodohost.com/faq.asp#resellershared
    Why are the Reseller Plans cheaper than the Shared Plans?
    ...You can host an unlimited number of smaller accounts but cannot create a single large account that is larger than 33% of the given Disk Space or Monthly Transfer. This rule ensures that your accounts get evenly spread over multiple servers, allowing us to sell you bulk resources cheaper...

    Why should I chose Shared Account over Reseller when I get more resources for less?
    ...We do not allow Reseller to use more than 33% of resources for one single account or domain. If you are looking for large resource, we suggest you chose customized shared hosting or semi-dedicated server.

    fluidhosting.com
    Datacenter: InterNAP's Boston data center
    Years in Business: Formed in 2001 = 6 years
    TOS: http://fluidhosting.com/resell/hsphere/tos.php
    Reseller Plans: http://fluidhosting.com/resell/hsphere/index.php
    Smallest plan: Compact 3gb/50GB/10 accounts
    Yearly payment: Yes
    Yearly discount: 20%

    Notes:
    Nice Promotional discounts, expires 01/15/2007

    steadfast.net
    Datacenter: Steadfast Networks operates out of its own state of the art data center located in downtown Chicago, Illinois located in the Lakeside Technology Center, Suite 240, the same building in which Equinix is located.
    Years in Business: founded in August of 1998 by Karl Zimmerman and incorporated in the state of Wisconsin on October 18, 2000 = 7 years
    TOS: http://steadfast.net/corporate/legal.aup.php
    Reseller Plans: http://steadfast.net/services/reseller.php
    Smallest plan: Basic Reseller 10gb/200GB/50 accounts
    Yearly payment: unknown
    Yearly discount: unknown

    Notes:
    no Windows hosting

    relio.com
    Datacenter: Relio Servers are housed at a private operations center in Portland, Oregon in the USA, and on Dublin, Ireland for the UK
    Years in Business: no info on website, WHOIS Creation date: 09 May 2002 19:07:02 = 5 years
    TOS: http://www.relio.com/tos.html
    Reseller Plans: http://www.relio.com/reseller.html
    Smallest plan: Reseller1 4gb/40GB/15 accounts
    Yearly payment: unknown
    Yearly discount: unknown

    Notes:
    WHT user CRego3D

    successfulhosting.com
    Datacenter: The Successful Hosting Data Center is located in Baltimore, Maryland, part of the greater Washington-Baltimore technology corridor and near the I-95 highway and Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
    Years in Business: Successful Hosting was founded in 1999 = 8 years
    TOS: http://www.successfulhosting.com/about/terms.php
    Reseller Plans: http://www.successfulhosting.com/resellers/plans.php
    Smallest plan: Value 8gb/100GB/20 accounts
    Yearly payment: Yes
    Yearly discount: Yes

    Notes:
    not familiar with company on WHT

    vortechhosting.com
    Datacenter: Vortech's Network Operations is located in Orlando, Florida. We utilize bandwidth, power and connectivity from the new, ultra-modern Data Center located at 100 W. Lake Lucerne in Orlando.
    Years in Business: no info on website, WHOIS Record created on 06-Sep-2000 = 7 years
    TOS: http://www.vortechhosting.com/tos/index.php
    Reseller Plans: http://vortechhosting.com/reseller/starter-reseller.php
    Smallest plan: Niobe 3gb/60GB/10 accounts *see notes
    Yearly payment: Yes
    Yearly discount: Yes

    Notes:
    Windows OS not included, must go to higher plan*
    Urchin 5 free
    TOS difficult to find, had to "sign up" to find a link

    weberz.com
    Datacenter: Weberz Servers are housed at a private operations center in Portland, Oregon USA.
    Years in Business: no info on website, WHOIS Creation date: 10 Mar 2002 18:48:06 = 5 years
    TOS: http://www.weberz.com/tos.php
    Reseller Plans: http://www.weberz.com/reseller-plans.php
    Smallest plan: Reseller Lite 4gb/60GB/10 accounts
    Yearly payment: unknown
    Yearly discount: unknown

    Notes:
    site was very easy to navigate

    hybridreseller.com
    Datacenter: HybridReseller Uses The Planet, The Planet currently owns and operates three state-of-the-art data centers in Dallas, Texas
    Years in Business: no info on website, WHOIS Creation Date: 29-Dec-2004 = ~2 years
    TOS: http://www.hybridreseller.com/about_us/TOS.html
    Reseller Plans: http://www.hybridreseller.com/
    Smallest plan: HybridReseller 25 5gb/50GB/25 accounts
    Yearly payment: Yes
    Yearly discount: 13%

    Notes:
    110% Price Match Program
    MS SQL 2005

    cartikahosting.com
    Datacenter: CartikaHosting is colocated at the colo4dallas.com facility in Dallas, Texas.
    Years in Business: Founded in Toronto, Canada in May of 2002 = 5 years
    TOS: http://www.cartikahosting.com/Cartik...ms-of-Service/
    Reseller Plans: http://www.cartikahosting.com/cluste...Hosting-Plans/
    Smallest plan: UR1 2.5gb/60GB/15 accounts
    Yearly payment: unknown
    Yearly discount: unknown

    Notes:
    Canadian
    1.00 CAD = 0.849627 USD as of 01/09/2007
    Resell MS Exchange Accounts
    Urchin available add-on

    So, if you haven't noticed I like to pre-pay yearly for hosting, and when I put 'unknown' it just means it wasn't explicitly stated on their website. I know most hosts would probably accept yearly payments.

    I was set on going with jodohost.com until I found the 33% resource limit. Also, no host has a plan that fits my needs so I will be contacting all the different hosts sales dept. to see if they can create a custom plan for me; I tend to need more space than bandwidth. Also I don't need a lot of accounts, maybe 5 would do since I will be the only one using the reseller account.

    Anyway, if anyone has any other hosts I should research let me know! I hope to make my decision by next week.

    P.S. For doing research I highly recommend http://google.com/notebook with FireFox plugin, it makes it so easy to highlight and save stuff on webpages as you surf. It is way better than copying and pasting to Excel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
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    10,574
    FluidHosting is no longer in Internap's Boston data center. They are now in Equinix Secaucus and have their own ASN as well. They use a mix of Internap, Mzima, and NAC bandwidth.

    I would personally recommend Cartika out of the listed hosts. They are just in a different league.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Waco, TX
    Posts
    5,292
    smiley, the 33% limit applies to one end user account. So you have 6 accounts, you can use it all over these account without issue the rule is to prevent abuse by someone getting a reseller plan and for example making a 6GB MSSQL DB(or 3GB in case of litehost) that is using the whole server cpu and bandwidth.

    It does not mean you can only use 33% of your allocation, just a 33% per ACCOUNT limit, so with litehost 1GB is the largest single account you could have, just for an example. If you have further questions feel free to ask us on sales chat, email, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,241
    smiley,

    JodoHost, FluidHosting, Steadfast, and CartikaHosting all seem to have pretty strong representation on WHT. My personal interaction with the above-mentioned companies (and their representatives) here on WHT has been very positive. Their representatives all present this community with a wealth of invaluable knowledge and their companies happen to be big “favorites” in the WHT H-Sphere hosting market.

    I happen to know one of the staff members over at CartikaHosting (albeit, not exceedingly well), but from our dealings I have gained a lot of respect for his work/knowledge and from what I have learned about their operation. I would feel comfortable recommending them. I have also heard very good things about Weberz, and Relio (although they both seem to be less involved in this community – if at all).

    The various companies that you have listed all offer either vastly or slightly different services and levels of customer support - take time to contact each company individually and voice any/all of your concerns to their sales staff; try to get a better feel for each company individually in order to determine which company seems like the best fit and new home for your websites.

    Whoever you end up with, I wish you the very best of luck!
    Thanks,

    Brendan Diaz
    Connect: linkedin.com/in/brendandiaz

  5. #5
    Hello smiley,

    that is one well thought out and researched shopping list

    To address a couple of your points:

    Yearly payment: unknown
    Yearly discount: unknown
    We do accept monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual payments - the options are available during the checkout process, and as with any other hsphere provider, you can change your billing period once you are a customer at any time simply by logging into your administrative control panel and changing your billing term.

    Having said this, we do not offer any discounts for a longer commitment. This is done for many reasons.

    1) we expect our customers to stay with us forever and our packages are really priced with yearly commits or longer in mind
    2) we want to further separate ourselves from the providers (none of which are listed in your options between) that rely on marketing gimmicks and large front end commits to obtain (and even force maintain) your business.
    4) most importantly - we prefer monthly based terms as it creates an environment and an attitude within our company and with our staff where we need to earn your business each and every month

    Finally, from a personal perspective, I think you have a solid list there. I have some secondary experience and personal relationships on various levels with jodohost, relio and vortechhosting and feel they are strong candidates for anyone searching for reseller hosting solutions and obviously specifically hsphere reseller hosting. This is not to take anything away from the other providers you listed, I just have zero experience with them on any level and as such cannot comment negatively or positvely towards them.

    Hope this helps and thanks for your consideration....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    505
    Of those we use Jodo and Fluid. Both have been extremely stable indeed, with excellent responsive support.
    My Reviews of 30+ Hosts
    Can Also Be Seen On My Page at TekSalon


    The Meatrix: Welcome to the real world

  7. #7
    @layer0
    Thanks, I guess they need to update their website.

    @(Stephen)
    I completely understand how it works, and I agree that it is a good way to prevent abuse. But for me being the only one using it, what if I wanted one of my domains to use more than 33%? I just like flexibility to divvy up space how I see fit.

    @Brendan Diaz
    Thanks, I have now narrowed my host list to 3 hosts! It is getting hard to decide. I think it will come down to what I can afford to pay.

    @CartikaHosting
    Yes, I like to be very thorough and still researching. In fact, as you can see I have links to everyone's Terms of Service. I am the type of person that will print out the TOS and take a highlighter to the important parts. I wish I could stay with a host 'forever' . I'm a good customer, I pay on time and am quiet most of the year except for the occasional requests to get something configured or if manuals + google doesn't help me find an answer, I'll ask support for help in the end.

    @JenniH
    Thanks for the input!

  8. #8
    If I can add one thing too

    Years in Business: no info on website, WHOIS Creation date: 09 May 2002 19:07:02 = 5 years
    It's been in business actually since 1999 .. we used to be known as "WizardsHosting" but had a rename to "Relio" in 2002 (for a shorter, more streamlined name) .. and allways been a big part of this community ..

    Carlos
    Relio

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,905
    Quote Originally Posted by smiley
    I completely understand how it works, and I agree that it is a good way to prevent abuse. But for me being the only one using it, what if I wanted one of my domains to use more than 33%? I just like flexibility to divvy up space how I see fit.
    You can always upgrade. Also, as long as your domain doesn't isn't abusive on the system (i.e. using alot of CPU/RAM) we would be happy to consider any request for a domain/end-user account to use more than 33% of actual space.

    Also please note this is actual usage. If you are on ValueHost, actual usage should not exceed 2GB (33% of 6GB) of space for a single end-user account/domain. That doesn't mean you can't sell say 6GB of disk space... we are not concerned with how much you actually sell but rather how much is actually being used. And trends show customers use well below their disk space allocations.

    2GB is ALLLOOOOT of space for a single domain/account. I have really see only a couple of cases (of the tens of thousands of end-user accounts we host) where there is 1GB+ of actual disk space usage...

    The policy is in place to ensure your accounts are drivided across many servers, ensuring better reliability and performance
    init.me - Build, Share & Embed

    JodoHost.com - Windows VPS Hosting, ASP.NET and SQL Server Hosting
    8th year in Business, 200+ Servers. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner

  10. #10
    Hey all,

    I've just about settled on my pick.

    First pick, was cartikahosting.com, they are running a tight ship over there, business grade if you ask me. For little 'ole me, they are out of my budget though. But I highly recommend them if they fit your budget.

    So on to my second pick, is a tie between successfulhosting.com and relio.com.

    Alex, owner of successfulhosting.com seems to care about his customers and hosting biz

    Carlos, owner of relio.com seems to have a great team and looks to be improving his company as well

    Anyway, I am leaning toward relio.com since I can find more reviews on them, though talking to both companies has been positive.

    Also, thanks to those who PM'd me about their experiences and those who are researching too said this was a good list for them. Hope you guys find a good host too. Thanks everyone!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Swellyville
    Posts
    2,340
    Quote Originally Posted by smiley

    @CartikaHosting
    Yes, I like to be very thorough and still researching. In fact, as you can see I have links to everyone's Terms of Service. I am the type of person that will print out the TOS and take a highlighter to the important parts. I
    Excellent quality in a customer. Not too many consumers even read TOS, which in return gives the host a bad name when it's not followed and posted as a review in negative reflect on the provider.
    <<< Please see Forum Guidelines for signature setup. >>>

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Posts
    3,219
    It would take quite a bit for a single account to use up 33% of a server's resources. That resource limitation might actually be a good reason to go with them; you know that their servers won't get overloaded easily.
    ‹‹SHAW NETWORKS›› Simple. Professional. Reliable. Web Hosting Done Right.
    Low Cost & Award-Winning: cPanel Reseller Plans ›› 24/7/365 Live Technical Support ‹‹
    Website: www.shawnetworks.com Fast Response E-mail: sales @ shawnetworks.com
    Sick of downtime? Fed up with excuses? Drop your host! Switch to Shaw Networks.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by smiley
    So on to my second pick, is a tie between successfulhosting.com and relio.com.

    Alex, owner of successfulhosting.com seems to care about his customers and hosting biz!
    I can say you are correct about Alex he is a owner that is very involved and dedicated to providing great service to clients. He never get complacent and shows a honest concern for clients needs and address them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Florence, KY
    Posts
    604
    relio relio relio They are pretty good I hope they made your final cut.

    Justin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    127.0.0.1
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    3,640
    Quote Originally Posted by jwm112
    I can say you are correct about Alex he is a owner that is very involved and dedicated to providing great service to clients. He never get complacent and shows a honest concern for clients needs and address them.
    Well, Alex did own Dinix.com, which was later sold to the crooked/mafia-based operation of WebHostPlus (anyone remember reading about them lately? ). So, I don't know if I can say that he is "dedicated to providing great service to clients", given the events that transpired and what appears to be lack of due dilligence on Alex/pre-sale Dinixes part and/or lazy/carelessness.
    Last edited by mripguru; 01-18-2007 at 11:31 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    129
    I cannot recommend Weberz. I'm a longtime customer but they have had issues up the wazoo for months now with outages, most recently a huge SQL db outage, and wow--they're even down right now.

    In fact, if you want to email anyone who has an AOL account (who hasn't read the memo), good luck--they are on AOL's blocked ISP list. Also not great for my clients, like it or not they use it...

    I've actually been trying to give them tons of chances to fix their growing pains, they are very nice guys, but it's costing me and my clients way too much money.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    I also use my reseller account just for myself and friends. I've been considering the potential to move to a windows/linux host since a few friends would need a windows host. Cartika Hosting is at the top of my list, and since I'm in the US the price is a bit more reasonable (under $35/mo for basic reseller) but still higher then I normally like to spend (I try to stay at $25/mo).

  18. #18
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    Huh... where am I again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nnyan
    Cartika Hosting is at the top of my list, and since I'm in the US the price is a bit more reasonable (under $35/mo for basic reseller) but still higher then I normally like to spend (I try to stay at $25/mo).
    Well, remember you get access to sell not only linux, but FreeBSD, Windows, ColdFusion, MS Exchange, dedicated servers as well. Your clients also get their clustered services. You also get the hsphere billing and support options which alone would cost at least that extra $10 a month. With all those features as well as their reputation in mind, I'd think $10 more is worth it, don't you?

    Note, I'm not an employee of Cartika (though I wish I was), but I am a customer
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  19. #19
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    Jul 2001
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    Colorado
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    Cartika does have a strange TOS regarding email, though. It's so incredibly vague (any time someone says "at our discretion", it makes me nervous) about what constitutes 'defaming' someone. Guess I can't call a client a dickhead on Cartika for fear they'd unplug me.

    I also don't care for their privacy rules, which basically look like it says 'we can sell your credit information' to a third party if I'm not mistaken. I prefer to stay with a US-based company so I don't have to figure out if Canada's laws in certain areas are stronger or not or leave me exposed. Granted Canada is likely a lot further along than much in the US as they've proven to be in many ways, so no offense Canadians.

    Otherwise, I've heard great things about this Company. But I won't be moving to them unless I get some better clarity in an otherwise vague and sketchy TOS.

  20. #20
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    Huh... where am I again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bully28
    But I won't be moving to them unless I get some better clarity in an otherwise vague and sketchy TOS.
    Have you talked to them directly? I'm sure Andrew can put at ease any concerns that you have.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  21. #21
    Join Date
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    Sheffield, South Yorks
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    Quote Originally Posted by portalplanet
    relio relio relio They are pretty good I hope they made your final cut.

    Justin
    Having done business with Carlos in the distant past, I couldn't agree more. Always willing to go out of his way to help you if he can.
    Karl Austin :: KDA Web Services Ltd.
    UK Business Hosting and Managed Servers - Hosting for Business Users :: 0800 5429 764
    Call us today and ask about our hosting solutions.

  22. #22
    Cartika does have a strange TOS regarding email, though. It's so incredibly vague (any time someone says "at our discretion", it makes me nervous) about what constitutes 'defaming' someone. Guess I can't call a client a dickhead on Cartika for fear they'd unplug me.

    I also don't care for their privacy rules, which basically look like it says 'we can sell your credit information' to a third party if I'm not mistaken. I prefer to stay with a US-based company so I don't have to figure out if Canada's laws in certain areas are stronger or not or leave me exposed. Granted Canada is likely a lot further along than much in the US as they've proven to be in many ways, so no offense Canadians.

    Otherwise, I've heard great things about this Company. But I won't be moving to them unless I get some better clarity in an otherwise vague and sketchy TOS.
    Hi Bully,

    I must say, I was a little shocked when reading this post - however, I certainly understand where your concerns lie. I guess in this day and age where companies are hammering their clients over the head with their TOS, it can be expected for clients to be a little jaded.

    In 5 years of providing service, we have maybe mentioned TOS to a client a handfull of times at most. It is general and vague on purpose, as we do not limit things like mysql connections, number of emails sent, etc... Everything is termed as "reasonable" use, etc - as we are trying to provide our clients with us much flexibility as possible. If you ever hear the word TOS from us, then something very serious has happened...

    to address a couple of your concerns:

    - you would not get disconnected for calling someone a "dick head" - seriously now - however, if you are using email to harrass or cause willfull harm to a person/company and we became aware of it - we would probably need to take some sort of action
    - we never say we can or will sell your credit card information (this would be 100% illegal in Canada). we do say that we can check your background for credit worthiness and we also say that we can use your personal information, as long as you are a client to further market our services to you (ie send you a newsletter or a special offer) - and for the record, we dont even do this
    -our privacy rules are extensive and governed by Canadian and US regulations (and you are correct - Canadian legislation is some of the most stringent with respect to privacy )

    Hopefully this clears things up for you. Again, I am a little shocked that you would interpret things in this manner - though, I certainly do understand that this is the age of the TOS designed to protect marketing promises which cannot be met - and as a result - clients seem to have developed an inherent fear of a TOS and look for any wording which could limit/affect them -

  23. #23
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    Jul 2001
    Location
    Colorado
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    Cartika,

    Thanks for the reply. However, while I appreciate you spelling out your terms, the lines I am concerned with are about *credit*, not credit cards. If you re-read my original post, I didn't make mention of the latter, as I wouldn't expect any upstanding company (and one with your reputation) to ever sell credit card information. But your TOS states as follows:

    You authorise us and our agents to supply and disclose personal information as to your credit-worthiness. Personal information about you may be used to enable us, our agents and third parties selected by us to access, maintain, investigate or market products or services.


    This is what troubles me, regardless if you do it or not. This statement allows you a wide latitude of disclosure of information and marketing to anyone. There is no opt-out provision I can find that would prevent you legally from choosing to release such records to anyone at a later date. In my opinion, that is not good.

    Secondly, the issue about email is simply quite vague. It states as follows:

    Generally, you agree to obey the developing rules of Netiquette. These are the general rules of good and considerate behaviour on the Internet as a world wide and open community. Any failure to obey these rules will result in a warning. If we consider the breach sufficiently serious (at our discretion) you agree that we may terminate your service without liability to you.

    Email enables a rapid, immediate and wide-spread response. You must not use the email service for communication that is defamatory or contrary to generally accepted community standards of behaviour or good taste. While we do not intend to be a censor, we have the right, at our discretion, to decide what those standards are and to review your use of our services at any time and to terminate you if we consider that you have breached these standards. If you defame anyone through your use of the email service and we are sued, you agree that we have the right to recover all costs and losses incurred by us as a result of your action from you directly upon demand.


    I certainly agree that defamation that exposes you would be problematic, but this could not only be solved by other terms and actions on any host's part. In my opinion, this email provision, though, goes beyond any AUP or TOS I've seen anywhere in that it's quite vague in what you define as 'netiquette', or if you might actually monitor your customers email traffic. And you state that 'netiquette' is a developing rule. That's bothersome to me. Who is defining netiquette and when do you decide it's developed enough to define it? What defines 'good taste'?

    Perhaps I'm one of those privacy-obsessed people, and you are probably right. I don't like to do business under vague terms, but this is your choice and I respect it. Most people don't read TOS, but this odd email provision is the first in line of your terms. (I mean no offense by calling it odd--it simply is atypical of TOS out there).

    I don't doubt your reputation is not earned, and I am sure if you crossed into people's privacy or started reviewing for 'good taste' in their email content, you'd certainly be called on the carpet here. I just wanted to explain my concerns and why they probably shouldn't shock you.

    Thanks again for replying.

  24. #24
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    Huh... where am I again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bully28
    In my opinion, this email provision, though, goes beyond any AUP or TOS I've seen anywhere in that it's quite vague in what you define as 'netiquette'[...]
    I'm not sure if this is what Cartika means, but to me netiquette usually is the same as etiquette-- you respect me and I respect you and we're all happy and friends. As opposed to the opposite of defaming/harassment/being unprofessional.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven99
    I'm not sure if this is what Cartika means, but to me netiquette usually is the same as etiquette-- you respect me and I respect you and we're all happy and friends. As opposed to the opposite of defaming/harassment/being unprofessional.
    I don't disagree with your assumption, but things left to assumptions IMHO do not belong in a TOS, and vague, subjective definitions are usually HUGE red flags in the contract world.

    This is merely my opinion and companies are free to define how they want to do business and with whom. Many clearly have decided it's not as important as I do or don't worry that something shouldn't be in a TOS if they say they 'never do it' (e.g. selling my info to 3rd parties).

    But again I don't feel it's something someone should be 'shocked' over, that's why I pointed it all out and took some time to clarify.

  26. #26
    I just wanted to explain my concerns and why they probably shouldn't shock you.
    Hello Bully - well, after reading your concerns and seeing some of the clauses in our TOS - I think I am only "half shocked" now

    This is what troubles me, regardless if you do it or not. This statement allows you a wide latitude of disclosure of information and marketing to anyone. There is no opt-out provision I can find that would prevent you legally from choosing to release such records to anyone at a later date. In my opinion, that is not good.
    Agreed - that extra part about allowing us to provide your information to a 3rd party has been removed. It really should not be there (not too mention that it is illegal to do so in Canada without express consent - and I do not believe a clause in a TOS will cover the definition of consent)

    I'm not sure if this is what Cartika means, but to me netiquette usually is the same as etiquette-- you respect me and I respect you and we're all happy and friends. As opposed to the opposite of defaming/harassment/being unprofessional.
    Exactly - thanks Steven!

    or if you might actually monitor your customers email traffic.
    This is the part that still "shocks" me a little

    Certainly we do not meddle in peoples privacy nor monitor/read emails. However, that clause simply means that if we are made aware of something (often times things cross our abuse desk). This clause allows us to cancel services if something is going on using our email services that is illegal or is distasteful enough that we simply do not want any part of it. Sure, its a little subjective - but, I cannot think of too many things that are legal and still distasteful, but, I assure you some exist. Eitherway, I am not certain why this would be of concern. Every host has a clause in the TOS that they can terminate service at any time and for any reason - so, whether or not they have a clause like ours or not - you are still facing the same subjective judgement of what you are actually using your services for.

    Thanks again for replying.
    Not a problem at all - and thanks for pointing out that clause referring to 3rd party marketing. Honestly, I havent read our TOS in quite awhile and had no idea that was in there - I am certain that clause has concerned others as well, and simply never mentioned anything to us.

    Hopefully I have addressed all of your concerns...

  27. #27
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    Cartika,

    I really appreciate the nature of your customer contact. Even if it's not a customer (the only reason I'd bother to read a TOS honestly is because someone is on my short list).

    Also, I'm glad you guys removed that line about the marketing stuff.

    And while I agree that hosts should and do have discretion as to what constitutes abuse of their system and can choose when it's time to pull the plug on someone, and that also leaves some degree of subjectivity, I disagree that this email paragraph is common.

    And if Steven is right, then why not clarify this instead of subjective terms like 'good taste'? Honestly, you might be a Christian-focused organization and define 'bad taste' when someone uses Jesus' name in vain or sends their freinds a picture of a beardless Jesus that says "Jesus shaves" (that's a t-shirt at tshirthell.com)? I'd not want you to pull my service but you would be inclined to, after all I would spend hours putting all my domains on your servers.

    This is why to me this is simply just not very smart or customer-friendly. Again, I don't disagree that there are definitely discretionary statements out there in AUPs or TOS, and there have to be in some fashion. But to go to the level of sounding nearly parental, for email, worries me that I cannot get into a blistering argument with a political opponent for fear that 'uh-oh, I just told him he's a mildly retarded pedophile born from apes, I'm wondering if that is going to get me in trouble'.

    Things like Porn, etc, are much easier to define, as are legal or illegal activities that are defined in US or Canadian code. Those to me are very clear bright lines.

    While I have you, the other thing that did shock me was this:
    We will take reasonable commercial efforts to protect your confidentiality. However, you should assume that your use of our services is not confidential. If we consider in our discretion that your use of our services is defamatory, contrary to accepted community standards or illegal you acknowledge that we have the right to disclose those activities to any person including the news media and the police.

    News media? Really? That to me doesn't seem legal at all, either.

    Sorry, I really didn't mean to pick on one of the most solid reputations on the boards.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bully28
    But to go to the level of sounding nearly parental, for email, worries me that I cannot get into a blistering argument with a political opponent for fear that 'uh-oh, I just told him he's a mildly retarded pedophile born from apes, I'm wondering if that is going to get me in trouble'.
    Well, in my opinion that crosses the line, unless of course that person is indeed that and there is proof, otherwise that's libel/defamation and can be sued upon. (Especially with politicians in the mix.)

    Also, though perhaps better to be defined straight out, the word netiquette is defined in Merriam-Webster, http://m-w.com/dictionary/netiquette , and so probably wasn't defined in their TOS as it's defined in a well known dictionary. Though I do understand your thinking on that.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bully28
    We will take reasonable commercial efforts to protect your confidentiality. However, you should assume that your use of our services is not confidential. If we consider in our discretion that your use of our services is defamatory, contrary to accepted community standards or illegal you acknowledge that we have the right to disclose those activities to any person including the news media and the police.

    News media? Really? That to me doesn't seem legal at all, either.
    I'll let Andrew (CartikaHosting) respond to this as well - however, to me, it simply states that if we are contacted by the news media regarding an ongoing story (within the parameters described above) that they have independently obtained information on - we have the latitude to comment on it. This is just my personal $0.02.
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  30. #30
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    Latitude to comment on it is quite different than 'disclose activities' as stated in the TOS.

    The mention of 'news media' sounds like a serious legal hurdle to me, for example should one of your customers be accused falsely of something illegal (or something you didn't like, at your discretion) and you decided to 'disclose' their activities to the media, and it turns out it was not illegal or what have you, guess who will be legally exposed?

    Privacy is one of the most active fields in law, as is libel. I'd not want the news media in my TOS, as the 'press' is not law enforcement, judge, or jury (someone send a memo to the New York Times).

    If you read some other TOS that are tighter, merely stating that you will cooperate with law enforcement to the full extent allowed is quite sufficient for a confidentiality statement exception.

    But I'll let Andrew talk about that, if he wants. Although at this point, I don't want to start a pissing match over words and I'm sure we could all pick apart TOS of many providers, so I apologize in advance of sounding like I'm after Cartika here.

    Merely I'm hopeful the posts have helped both me and other prospective customers understand the importance of scrutinizing a TOS before engaging in a business relationship with a provider, and ask hard questions. And help a provider make sure they have a legal team review their TOS to make sure it gives them protection without opening up cans of worms.

    I've been with my host for five years and have a lot of expense, time and effort invested in them, which is why I've been reluctant to end the relationship even though our needs and their service offerings have taken different paths. This is expensive, serious stuff, and hard questions have to be asked while researching new providers.

    I definitely appreciate the respectful engagement.

  31. #31
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    bully28, if a host wants to find a reason to close/suspend your website, unfortunately they can do so these days with little or no legal consequences. This is how the hosting industry has evolved, giving alot of power to web hosting companies to decide matters at their own discretion. The best you can do is look up the host and check their reputation.

    Andrew & Cartika do uphold high standards of operation, and I wouldn't question how professional they are. I'd be more than happy to host anything sensitive with them knowing it would remain confidential.

    We will take reasonable commercial efforts to protect your confidentiality. However, you should assume that your use of our services is not confidential. If we consider in our discretion that your use of our services is defamatory, contrary to accepted community standards or illegal you acknowledge that we have the right to disclose those activities to any person including the news media and the police.
    However, with regards to that clause, I would side with bully28 and maybe look to add more clarification to that statement. Unless the customer is doing something illegal by law, his/her privacy should be protected. Even if the customer is spamming, his/her privacy shouldn't be violated. At least that is how I interpret privacy, but I'm sure alot of hosts would differ with me.
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  32. #32
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    Yash,

    It's definitely true about the ability to choose, at host's discretion, with whom you do business and want on your servers. I think that's a good thing for hosts AND customers. I mentioned that earlier that I respect Cartika's or any other host's desire to pick and choose, be they satan worshipers or Quakers, and anything in between. That's different than my issues here as you pointed out.

    My original post was, as a potential customer looking for a new hosting partner, commenting on a TOS that, in my opinion, warranted mention and concern. But I can't speak for everyone

  33. #33
    The mention of 'news media' sounds like a serious legal hurdle to me, for example should one of your customers be accused falsely of something illegal (or something you didn't like, at your discretion) and you decided to 'disclose' their activities to the media, and it turns out it was not illegal or what have you, guess who will be legally exposed?
    Hi Bully - I completely agree with you - we would be legally exposed - regardless of what is in our TOS - which is why I am uncertain why these clauses concern you.

    End of the day, we will not put our business at risk - we have a long history and it doesnt include items like illegally exposing our clients personal information - otherwise, we would already be out of business.

    I just sat down and read our entire TOS - must be honest with you, I dont think I have actually read it in 5 years. It is obviously outdated and again, I must agree with you - it does need re-writing. Honestly though, its not high on my priority list - our business model simply does not require us to utilize a TOS to restrict our customers usage - as such, I have always been comfortable with a very generic and open TOS. We are an easy company to deal with and even when served with legal documents, we have protected our clients to the best of our ability (unless legally we are entitled to do otherwise)

    I guess what I am saying is that we will eventually get around to reworking our TOS - but, in the interim, I do not think there is anything in there thats any more or less restrictive that what any other host offers - and end of the day, we are still governed by the Canadian Privacy Laws - which are pretty extensive and comprehensive.

    I do appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with us - I love hearing concerns/comments/suggestions from customers and prospective customers - without such feedback, we have no opportunity to improve.

    Please feel free to email me directly with any additional questions you may have:

    andrew[at]cartikahosting.com

  34. #34
    However, with regards to that clause, I would side with bully28 and maybe look to add more clarification to that statement. Unless the customer is doing something illegal by law, his/her privacy should be protected. Even if the customer is spamming, his/her privacy shouldn't be violated. At least that is how I interpret privacy, but I'm sure alot of hosts would differ with me.
    Thanks Yash - I do agree with that statement. Canadian Privacy laws are pretty specific - regardless of out our TOS states - we are bound by a set of legislation - which is why I never really worried about our TOS. Obviously I need to address this as it is apparently causing at least some people to be uncomfortable.

  35. #35
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    bully28, as a host that recently lost a host to the concerns you bring up here, I have to ask this... Sorry for the continued off topic discussion -- perhaps the TOS discussion can be moved out to it's own topic?

    Anyhow, what would make you happy in terms of a TOS? One that is generic but doesn't say "at our discretion"? One that says, "at our discretion" for some items? Or one that lists everything possible that is allowed, not allowed, and anything in between -- but without the "at our discretion" bit? The way I see your concerns, the "at our discretion" is 50% of your concern and the rest other ambiguous/undefined items. So, I'd really to see an example of a TOS that fits with your concerns, but also protects the host against unforeseen events.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  36. #36
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    Hi Steven,

    I apologize for my tardy delay due to a few days of 'net-free' vacation.

    Thanks for emailing, though. Some points I can think of (apologies for length).

    1. A TOS should state very clearly that a provider can pick and choose who they want to do business with. That's discretionary.

    2. A TOS should spell out what kind of actions are taken should they decide they no longer want to do business with a certain client, etc

    3. Vague terms like 'netiquette' are not only nanny-ish but also dangerous in the legal world. If you say you are going to do something in your TOS, such as monitor email for good behavior, and you don't, you are legally exposed, period.

    4. A TOS shouldn't be a casual thing that if someone calls you on it you either say 'well we never do it' or 'we'll change it'. If you say you never do it, then remove whatever it is that you 'never do' from the TOS and find other things that are more commonplace 'done' and do them, such as reserving the right to discontinue service if someone gets abuse complaints, etc., or to follow the law in terms of confidentiality or data.

    5. Reviews of a TOS should be done annually to make sure they jibe with the law, including privacy laws. It's not habit for clients or prospective clients to read through TOS other than to see if they can send bulk email or host porn (I avoid any host that allows either, period), and probably, as Andrew points out, skip past the other stuff.

    6. Spell out policies about content, such as porn (sorry, I know it's more PC to call it 'adult content' and spamming) as clear as possible, and include ability to be discretionary about what constitutes such content, as again if it's a gray term then it should be discretionary to a point that defines it.

    7. In terms of email content, I think other providers do it the best: If someone sends complaints to our abuse department, we reserve the right to investigate it, address it, including terminating your service. No comments about 'netiquette' necessary. Harassment is quite clearly defined in law, and a TOS should map to it. If I call a former business associate an asshat, well I personally don't think that's any providers rational course of action to call it 'abuse' or 'bad behavior' if the recipient sends a complaint to [email protected]'. If I email them 50 times a day to tell them they are an asshat, that's another story. Discretionary action can be taken including mapping to the legal definitions of harassment.

    8. Lastly, a TOS should be protective of the provider, his or her business, his or her resources, inventions, employees, etc in any instance, but it's a balance you strike on what might scare off a customer or leave you at odds with the law. That's why a TOS should always be reviewed by a lawyer.

  37. #37
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    Very good points.

    I do have a question (more to clarify for others as I believe I know the answer), however, for TOS/AUP what type of lawyer do you go to too have such things written up/reviewed?
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  38. #38
    3. Vague terms like 'netiquette' are not only nanny-ish but also dangerous in the legal world. If you say you are going to do something in your TOS, such as monitor email for good behavior, and you don't, you are legally exposed, period.
    Completely disagree with this statement. I have taken some time and reveiwed this with our attourney. We did not say we would monitor all email - that was your interpretation. The clause permitted us to monitor email if warranted for items like harrassment, abuse, etc.... Additionally, "netiquette" is a defined term - and even though it allows some latitude for interpretation - a TOS by definition, especially with clauses similar to "we reserve the right to refuse/terminate services for any reason" leaves alot more discretionary room then the defined term "netiquette" - especially when combined with existing privacy laws (which cannot be overidden by a clause in a TOS)

    Having said all of this - the power of WHT is what it is and we have heard some grief over this thread (funny since we have never had a negative review here nor have we ever had any real service issues - nor have we ever hammered a client over the head with our TOS) we have merged our TOS with our AUP into a single document that should be more in line with what you are used to seeing from the hosting industry. There are several types of TOS - and even though the "good faith" TOS are not as widely used anymore, it doesnt mean they are illegitimate or illegal.

    Steven, to answer your question, any good contracts lawyer would suffice. However, an attourney with experience in this industry (or similar industries) in particular would be beneficial.

  39. #39
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    sorry...I do not understand a list without pricing

    mercedes
    rolls royce
    yugo
    chevy
    bmw

    makes no sense...

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by bully28
    ...Merely I'm hopeful the posts have helped both me and other prospective customers understand the importance of scrutinizing a TOS before engaging in a business relationship with a provider, and ask hard questions. And help a provider make sure they have a legal team review their TOS to make sure it gives them protection without opening up cans of worms...
    I don't know how any customer who is serious about hosting not read the TOS of company. I put links in my post to make it easy and encourage people that is an important thing to read. So thanks bully28 for re-enforcing that even further.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoobie
    sorry...I do not understand a list without pricing
    Since it was my list, my first criteria was reliability. When I narrowed it down to the final round of companies based on features, that would be when I would consider pricing. So depending how strongly I felt about a company's reputation and offerings, my budget was flexible. I also figured that my list could be useful to others who are researching and would hope that they would visit each company's site for the most up to date information. Besides, prices change all the time and I thought it would be outdated quickly. Though, I totally understand that people may go by price first, then features etc. But for me, I knew I would be willing to pay a little more for reliability first.

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