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  1. #1

    Servstra vs. Server4sale (personal review)

    I know a lot of you looking for budget dedicated hosting will find offers from these two resellers the most comparable. I had the luck (or unluck) of dealing with both within the month so I thought I'd do a little review based on my experiences.
    Warning: These reviews are based on ultra-short-term experiences so I can't comment on their longterm reliability. Also, it is very subjective.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Servstra

    Pre-sales: 7/10
    I give them less-than-perfect in this category simply because it's not up to par with Server4sale's livehelp. However, they do have a section in their forums for pre-sales questions where some of their best customer reps post diligently.

    Activation: 8/10
    No real complaints here. It was done within the 72 hour timeframe they list in their FAQ. The only problem is the lack of notification: people that are new to dedicated hosting would feel rather antsy if they're not given even a 'Welcome' email after ordering their server.

    Billing: 5/10
    You MIGHT think it's a nice idea to put the onus on the customer to pay their bills (within 5 days, apparently, but this isn't listed in their FAQ it's in the fineprint in their ToS) as opposed to autobilling them like everyone else, but it really isn't. Their CMS site through which you have to pay is pretty confusing, first of all, and 5 days is ridiculously short. What if I was on vacation for 5 days and didn't realize I was billed? You heard me right - on one occasion I was nicely surprised with a new invoice (for a server reload that was done because of errors on their part) that I explicitly said I would not agreed to. This was waived later after talking to their Sales department but it had already soured my mood.

    Support: 6/10
    I'd say this low rating is partly due to bad luck, but I already warned you in the beginning that this review is completely subjective. I think perhaps Layeredtech gave them a server from hell to provide me because hell is exactly what it felt like dealing with the damned thing. Shortly after we received the sever we found that it had faulty hardware (WE found this out because their people couldn't figure out why the server was freezing up). Hardware was exchanged.. few hours later it crashed again. This time it took 2 whole days to figure out what was up. We were forced to do a reload which they charged me for (see Billing) because apparently I was supposed to make sure their reload team knows of the history of the issue.
    This is my biggest pet peeve with this company: their sales team is in Australia (meaning their hours are completely at odds with North America), their support team is in India, and I have no idea where their reloading/activating/other people are, but none of them seem to communicate to each other in any way. When there's a issue that involves more than one of these departments be ready to repeat yourself over and over. Apparently it's your job to make sure their one hand knows what their other hand is doing.
    To give them credit, their support tickets were always answered quite promptly. If you're getting really pissed, contact Chris the CTO. He's nice.

    Overall: 6/10
    The main guys behind this company (the guys in Australia, I presume) mean well and they work hard. But the way their system itself is structured makes it a nightmare when you have a large issue like a server from hell. Their support people are clearly less experienced than they are and often make little customer serivce burps that you have to go crying back to their sales team about.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Server4Sale


    Pre-sales: 8/10
    I booted up their livechat 3 times before I even filled out their order form. Each time I received a quick response, and each time my questions were answered to satisfaction. One of the helpers even gave me a coupon code I didn't know about. -2 is for the some-what blotchy English and the fact that my chatmate made the mistake of telling me to contact another department for a simple question (I detest being told to repeat myself to other departments of the same company, if you couldn't tell already).

    Activation: 9/10
    No real complaints. Upon ordering I received an email reassuring me my server will be up in 72 hours, but their billing department is (mostly) closed on weekends so it wasn't as fast as I'd liked it to be. (Be careful if you're using Gmail. My Gmail filtered it to my junkmail box and it took me a while before I realized.) Within a day the server was up and running. I even got a free processor upgrade for some reason I'm still not sure about. Perhaps there was some coupon deal I didn't know about that they decided to give me anyway.

    Billing: 9/10
    Again, no complaints. One thing I loved right away is the fact that they prorate their billing to the first of every month. So if you get onboard later, you get charged a little less upfront. If you get offboard earlier, you'd also get some money back. Either way, it's win-win for you. Only issue: their billing department doesn't open on weekends, so if you're like me and have little patience in your bones, it could be difficult.

    Support: 8/10
    To be fair, I haven't had the kind of problems I had when I was at Servstra so obviously I didn't get to test their support system as thoroughly. Support tickets were always responded within 30 minutes as they say. Their English is shaky so you really do have to get pretty specific in what you want, but overall I am very pleased with their support so far.

    Overall: 9/10
    Maybe it's because I came out of a bad ordeal with Servstra just before, but I found my experience with Server4sale a true pleasure. Everything went smoothly. No headaches and a minimum number of emails.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I hope this helps some of you come to a better-informed decision. Please keep in mind again that this is based on personal experience and meant to be read as such.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Seoul, Korea (London, UK)
    Posts
    1,672
    Well, I think to be fair if you had unfortunate issues or mistakes at host, I'd try to discount them in a review, every host is prone to the odd mistakes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    214
    I have a dedi with Servstra and I can honestly say that they have been outstanding. Their support tickets are always answered within 15 minutes....The initial sale process (which is managed by the team in Australia) did take a while but this was due to the timezone difference...however, the server was brought online within three days as outlined.

    We have now been with them for 3 months and have contacted them on a number of occassions to install scripts etc (which most companies will shy away from!) and they have completed our requests same day (usually within two hours)

    Truly excellent....keep up the good work Servstra

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    24
    I would prefer the glowing review of Server4sale to come from someone who hasn't registered on the same month of the post, because in searching for real reviews of server4sale I found that it is usually newly registered members who are in love with them. Curiously enough, I find these same newly registered people tend to post comparisons between server4sale and their competitors, like Servstra, and typically Servstra does not fare well at all. If the poster complains about Servstra being in Australia, it's only fair to say that Server4sale hails from Karachi, Pakistan.

    Another curious thing I noticed when researching Server4Sale is that many times, too many in my view, there appears a newly registered member who seemingly complains about Server4sale's service but then the thread resolves in an extremely favorable manner for Server4sale... scripted, completely scripted.

    I have to concede that both the "honest comparison" and the "unreasonable complainer" covert spam techniques are a vast improvement over the plain "glowing review" style, and of course there are less suspicious. So if the support department is half as good as the covert advertising, then they'd be greatly recommended.
    Last edited by maxweb; 01-20-2007 at 04:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Searching for Home!!!!!
    Posts
    133
    Server4Sale is Really Best

    i have couple of server with S4S and quite happy with them
    Keep it up s4s
    From
    Kamran iqbal
    404_Error, Signature Not Found

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    214

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by maxweb
    I would prefer the glowing review of Server4sale to come from someone who hasn't registered on the same month of the post, because in searching for real reviews of server4sale I found that it is usually newly registered members who are in love with them. Curiously enough, I find these same newly registered people tend to post comparisons between server4sale and their competitors, like Servstra, and typically Servstra does not fare well at all. If the poster complains about Servstra being in Australia, it's only fair to say that Server4sale hails from Karachi, Pakistan.

    Another curious thing I noticed when researching Server4Sale is that many times, too many in my view, there appears a newly registered member who seemingly complains about Server4sale's service but then the thread resolves in an extremely favorable manner for Server4sale... scripted, completely scripted.

    I have to concede that both the "honest comparison" and the "unreasonable complainer" covert spam techniques are a vast improvement over the plain "glowing review" style, and of course there are less suspicious. So if the support department is half as good as the covert advertising, then they'd be greatly recommended.
    I understand where you are coming from...However, I feel you are being very cynical....It would be too transparent to use WHT as a global advertising platform by making S4S the main subject....

    Personally, I prefer Servstra. I have never used S4S but have read many "reviews" in the past....whether they are true reviews is another question....

    Good debateable slant on this thread Maxweb....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    62
    I only have (little) experience with S4S, I had no problem at all, just used the automated system.

    I don't know about you but I'm more used to the professional billing/ticket systems every one uses. I don't like the confusion of home-made billing/ticket systems, not that they don't work, but you need to learn how they work and that kind of system just don't feel professional.

    I don't like the prorate billing. It forces you to stay with them at least one month plus the number of days to the end of the month, or you'll lose your "credit" money. I would prefer if the billing systems calculated the right amount on the first time, and didn't need to give credits afterwards.

    If you know how to configure your server I don't think the discounts resellers give worth it, I feel safer to directly have contact with the company. If their specs is what looks better just buy some one-time-fee upgrade and you're done. I don't like resellers at all.
    Last edited by TuxBr; 01-20-2007 at 05:20 PM.

  8. #8

    Woeful Server4Sale

    Absolutely woeful. I've had quite a few servers over the years and I've never experienced anything like Server4Sale.

    Truly woeful.

    No emails on confirmation - they claim that the emails were sent and my email wasn't working. It's my business email so it was working since I've received emails from my clients with no problems.

    Then lo and behold their emails arrived dated 16 January when it was the 20th January. Even then the information was sketchy.

    The server wasn't set up properly - somehow I got someone elses IP or something I'm still not really sure about.

    I would give S4S 1/10 for this experience. The 1 is for their sales department.

    I would warn anyone in not going with this company - cheap rates but you get what you pay for.

    That's my review.

    ToggleOn

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by maxweb
    I would prefer the glowing review of Server4sale to come from someone who hasn't registered on the same month of the post, because in searching for real reviews of server4sale I found that it is usually newly registered members who are in love with them. Curiously enough, I find these same newly registered people tend to post comparisons between server4sale and their competitors, like Servstra, and typically Servstra does not fare well at all. If the poster complains about Servstra being in Australia, it's only fair to say that Server4sale hails from Karachi, Pakistan.

    Another curious thing I noticed when researching Server4Sale is that many times, too many in my view, there appears a newly registered member who seemingly complains about Server4sale's service but then the thread resolves in an extremely favorable manner for Server4sale... scripted, completely scripted.

    I have to concede that both the "honest comparison" and the "unreasonable complainer" covert spam techniques are a vast improvement over the plain "glowing review" style, and of course there are less suspicious. So if the support department is half as good as the covert advertising, then they'd be greatly recommended.
    Yes Server4sale is from Pakistan, but atleast their sales people and support people are in the same place, unlike Servstra where their sales are in Australia and support is in India.

    It's fine if you want to believe I have alterior motives. I signed up to these forums only after I started buying dedicated hosting which is less than a month ago, because I had no need to participate in a forum like this before. Like I said, I wrote this based on my short-term experiences, and as long as Billing/Pre-sales/Activation is concerned I think my review is completely fair.

    As for the support section, ofcourse no review can't be completely unbiased. This is just a random sample out of many. There are people that feel great about Servstra and that's one view. My view is valid as any other. I wrote this out of my belief that any information is good information and it shows the kind of things new buyers should brace themselves for.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Posts
    4,974
    Quote Originally Posted by maxweb
    I would prefer the glowing review of Server4sale to come from someone who hasn't registered on the same month of the post, because in searching for real reviews of server4sale I found that it is usually newly registered members who are in love with them. Curiously enough, I find these same newly registered people tend to post comparisons between server4sale and their competitors, like Servstra, and typically Servstra does not fare well at all. If the poster complains about Servstra being in Australia, it's only fair to say that Server4sale hails from Karachi, Pakistan.

    Another curious thing I noticed when researching Server4Sale is that many times, too many in my view, there appears a newly registered member who seemingly complains about Server4sale's service but then the thread resolves in an extremely favorable manner for Server4sale... scripted, completely scripted.

    I have to concede that both the "honest comparison" and the "unreasonable complainer" covert spam techniques are a vast improvement over the plain "glowing review" style, and of course there are less suspicious. So if the support department is half as good as the covert advertising, then they'd be greatly recommended.
    You have made your point and I like it a lot

    You will do better with Da Vinci Code 2

  11. #11
    I was too considering Servstra and S4S a few months ago when I was looking for a new server.

    Incidentally, I had read earlier that Servstra do not autobill which was something I was worried about just in case I wasn't available to make payment be it because I was on holiday or in hospital for an incurable disease (sounds nice doesn't it). The thing that worried me about S4S was the fact that the Paypal payment to them is to some shop selling DVDs in Pakistan (if I remember rightly). Just seemed a little unprofessional to me considering webhosting is now a business.

    In the end I went with DedicatedPlace and they have been absolutely wonderful. They managed to move my entire server contents from my old server to the new one (some 120GB of content) without any problems. This has always been a problem in the past due to the fact that I run three busy forums and I always lose registered members or posts or the forum fails completeley. However, with DedicatedPlace they made sure everything worked correctly and gave me progression reports every day as to how the move was going.

    Charles and the team at DedicatedPlace are a pleasure to work with. They do go the extra mile to make sure the server is running and they answer support tickets within minutes at all times of the day which proves they have someone on board at the Support Desk 24/7 (which is something a managed company should have).

    Cheers - Dav
    Gotta check out this superb site...
    http://www.thecelebritydatabase.com/forum/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    441
    Server4Sale is no doubt the best dedicated server provider I have ever chosen.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    669
    Thanks everyone for your comments.
    Esorlleh: I am sure it was just a luck that you had so many issues with servstra. They are one of a few good companies who have kept there excellent reputation and low price at same time. . May be after few months you will give them more positive feedback. I just like to clear some facts here that Server4Sale is a registered US company however Primary BASE operation is from Pakistan. Sales queries are handle Primarily from UK and Canada. And secondary from Pakistan. Billing from Canada + Pakistan. For support Primary support is from Pakistan + India however most of the Level 3 Engineers are located in USA UK ROMANIA. (Just wanted to clear the location perspective).
    Thanks
    Server4Sale
    Dirt CHEAP Servers coming soon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    1,392
    Esorlleh - I've finally managed to track down who you are. I see you are the person who demanded a refund from Peter in the sales dept and when he said we do not provide refunds as per our TOS, you said, and I quote, "fine, but you can bet that the online community will hear of my experience with your company."

    So I see you are the type of person who follows through with their threats when they don't get their own way.

    Looking at your tickets, for the 4 days you had the server with us, no doubt you went through a rough patch with the bad hard drive and kernel. For that I do apologize.

    Just a few comments on your review:

    1. Our Activations team sent you an email approx 4 hours after you placed your order informing you that your payment had been verified and your order was proceeding to the next stage. So I apologize that you felt "antsy" during that 4 hour period.

    2. Support team is split between Australia, India & England while the Sales, Activations & Billing teams are in Australia.

    3. Out of the many hundreds of customers we have, 99% don't have an issue and are responsible enough to pay their invoice each month (those that don't want to pay it manually simply pay it automatically via a PayPal subscription). As stated previously, the invoice is emailed 5 days before the renewal date and if payment is not made within 5 days after the renewal date, the server is disconnected. Pretty simple and fair if you ask me and many other providers give much less timeframes for their invoices to be paid.

    4. OS reloads are charged a fee unless the cause of the OS reload is hardware failure. You stated in your first OS reload request that you needed an OS reload due to a bad hard drive. The OS was reloaded and you weren't charged the OS reload fee. You then submitted a second OS reload request but did not state why you needed the OS reloaded. So you were invoiced the OS reload fee while the OS reload was being performed. After complaining to Peter in Sales, the OS reload fee was removed. If you expect every single staff member in our company to know the current status of every customer's server, you are wrong and I'd like you to find a company with as many servers as we have who could do it. If you are too lazy to include the reason for the OS reload, then you'll be invoiced the OS reload fee. It's that simple.

    Anyhow, I am glad to see you've found a new home with S4S and I do wish you the best with whatever you and your project mates are working on.
    SERVSTRA | THE HIGH BANDWIDTH SERVER SPECIALISTS
    Lowest prices on 2Gbps, 5Gbps & 10Gbps DEDICATED unmetered servers!!!
    █ Custom 10Gbps unmetered clustered server solutions! Email us for more info!
    Over 24 world wide locations to choose from!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    1,392
    Quote Originally Posted by deltrumweb
    I have a dedi with Servstra and I can honestly say that they have been outstanding. Their support tickets are always answered within 15 minutes....The initial sale process (which is managed by the team in Australia) did take a while but this was due to the timezone difference...however, the server was brought online within three days as outlined.

    We have now been with them for 3 months and have contacted them on a number of occassions to install scripts etc (which most companies will shy away from!) and they have completed our requests same day (usually within two hours)

    Truly excellent....keep up the good work Servstra
    Thanks for the kind words deltrumweb.
    SERVSTRA | THE HIGH BANDWIDTH SERVER SPECIALISTS
    Lowest prices on 2Gbps, 5Gbps & 10Gbps DEDICATED unmetered servers!!!
    █ Custom 10Gbps unmetered clustered server solutions! Email us for more info!
    Over 24 world wide locations to choose from!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    1,392
    Quote Originally Posted by dav

    Incidentally, I had read earlier that Servstra do not autobill which was something I was worried about just in case I wasn't available to make payment be it because I was on holiday or in hospital for an incurable disease (sounds nice doesn't it).
    I guess you wouldn't be able to pay your water, electricity or phone bills too then?

    Seriously, we've had customers who have gone on long holidays and have made arrangements with us before their trip. We also had one unlucky customer who was badly affected by Katrina and lost eveything (I mean everything apart from the clothes they were wearing at the time Katrina hit). This customer was relocated to another state and obviously had issues paying their invoice. But they somehow managed to contact us, told us what the situation was so we worked with them through the difficult period they were going through and not once was their server disconnected.

    It all comes down to communicating with your provider and if you are with a decent provider, they'll work with you when have an issue paying a bill. We do it all the time with our customers.
    SERVSTRA | THE HIGH BANDWIDTH SERVER SPECIALISTS
    Lowest prices on 2Gbps, 5Gbps & 10Gbps DEDICATED unmetered servers!!!
    █ Custom 10Gbps unmetered clustered server solutions! Email us for more info!
    Over 24 world wide locations to choose from!

  17. #17
    I've been with serversta for a year as of jan 31 and never had a complete outage (knocks wood) and have never had a support ticket go unanswered for more than 60 minutes. (not including the auto reply)

    Honestly after being with at least a dozen hosts both dedicated, shared, and reseller, servstra is by far the best that I have delt with in both support and reliability.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at all times

    phpbb forums without hosting fees

  18. #18
    I've been with both servers4sale ad ServStra
    Both are great companies! You cant compare
    Saad

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