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  1. #1

    New Project: ScamHosts

    Hello Folks,

    I was tired of seeing all the posts about how "X Host screwed me over". I've decided to do something about the hosting frauds in our industry.

    As I said in another post, this upcoming site aims to benefit all ethical and honest hosts by warning customers about the truly bad ones.

    The original concept I had for ScamHosts was a central repository for supposed bad hosts. Customers would lodge a complaint and a record would be created. The host would have a chance to respond, as would other customers with good or bad experiences. I think it's a good idea, but quite honestly, I don't have the resources or the time to complete a *proper* site with this concept.

    However, I'm still going forward with ScamHosts. I see a need for something like this. Much in the vein of WHT, I plan on starting ScamHosts as a forum-based site. Details on posting guidelines and rules need to be worked out, so that good hosts aren't given a bad name. But the concept is simple, and if successful, ScamHosts functionality can be upgraded to something more complex.

    So...

    Unless there are some PHP programers willing to contribute some serious design, the project will likely go forward starting as a forum.

    I'm looking for suggestions from you on what you would like to see on a site like this. I'd love to hear any ideas you have, or what you think might make reasonable posting guidelines for someone complaining about a host. I was thinking about breaking the forum up into categories, like a place for general complaints, and another for hosts that are outright scams.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Brian

  2. #2
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    We had the same idea but something else PM me and maybe we can do it together.

  3. #3
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    Brian, I'd recommend you talk with a lawyer knowledgeable about slander and libel issues, and in particular with the internet application of that area of law, before putting a site like that online.
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

  4. #4
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    Hosting Assured accomplishes what you suggest in an even handed manner.

  5. #5
    you could get into trouble for doing it, a lot of false accusations could come up too. afterall, every established hosting company has at least one customer thats willing to bitch at em

  6. #6
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    I guess it all depends how it's setup right?...

    There's nothing illegal about giving opinions and experiences are there? I mean, as long as he gives the host a chance to explain each negative comment...


  7. #7
    Good idea but what stops someone from hostingcompanyA.com from saying something bad about hostingcompanyB.com

    You would need some type of proof that they were ever even hosted by that company. I mean I could get 100 friends to say something bad about a company just to give them a bad rap. Well that is IF I had any friends ..

    But really how can you be sure that they are real or not? Sure the host can come back and say :what? I never hosted these people or that never happened" but they will always look like they are in the defense and even if it was untrue they might lose a customer because of a false claim.. I am sure we have all lost a customer whether in hosting or whatever because of a mis-understanding or over nothing at all and a customer could say something bad and we start losing more customers because of one person being rude or down right mean.

    If there was a honest and fair way to do it I would support it 100% but how can it be done? IP addresses? My IP changes almost everytime I log in

    I would like to discuss this more.. One thing I do know whoever does it should not be part of a hosting company since there could be some bias (not sure if that is spelled right)
    Hostingassured does a good job as stated above I have talked to them.. I think his name is Andrew or something, it has been a while and he has some good safeguards in place but still these things can be fooled also.

    My 2 1/2 cents

    CodeGuy

  8. #8
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    This would most likly run into leagal issues and fradulent posts by people. Its a great idea but people would take it way differently then what you would like it to be.
    DeathLorD
    Aimlayer6918
    Icq:77978393

  9. #9
    Originally posted by deathlord
    This would most likly run into leagal issues and fradulent posts by people. Its a great idea but people would take it way differently then what you would like it to be.

    Yeah that is what I meant.. My post just took 10X the words

    CodeGuy

  10. #10
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    Well it's kind of like any site that lets you give reviews on products right?

    If i'm developing product A and my competitor product B, i and 50 of my closest friends can go to CNET and give product B a thumbs down and give mine a thumbs up.

    Same with epionions.com and any other customer review site...

    I don't actually have to "prove" I ever bought the product either.

    I think as long as you have a "back door" section for hosts to give replies and you require users to ... say use non-yahoo email address... your idea can work.

  11. #11
    Hosting assured makes you use your domain name email address either way so I think it cuts down on the fake posts.

    There are some companies that really need have their practices made public I agreee 100%.

    I saw a "hosting company" yesterday that was offering 50 gigs of BW for $4.95/month I read the fine print and it said "if we feel you are using more than your fair share of system resources, bandwidth or drive space we reserve the right to cancel your account" I understand the system resources but bandwidth? I mean if you give 50 gigs you should get 50 gigs?? Anyway that type of Information should be shown so people buy good quality service. If someone wants to buy from them, great but the average person is not going to understand why one company is iving 50 gigs of BW and the other is giving 5 gigs for the same price.. well they will once they get started.

    uniband.com does something like this and I doubt it has made a big impact either way.

    My 2 1/2 cents (I'm going broke)

    CodeGuy

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by CodeGuy


    uniband.com does something like this and I doubt it has made a big impact either way.

    My 2 1/2 cents (I'm going broke)

    CodeGuy
    uniband is some novell site... ?

  13. #13
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    He probably meant "unlimband.com"
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  14. #14
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    Hmmm... Instead of saying they are scams you may want to use the phrase (Questionable business practices) then you can explain why said practices are unreasonable, if you were to go to court you then would have a leg to stand on.

    Just my 2c.

    The reason I mention this is we have run a scam watch website for a couple of years and were threatened by some of the larger MLM empires out there with lawsuits. The above advice came from our Lawyer.


    Mj.

  15. #15
    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    He probably meant "unlimband.com"

    ooops yes.. sorry.. Glad I did not mis-spell and send everyone to a porn site

  16. #16
    Hey Folks,

    Thanks for the response.

    As aragon mentioned, I don't see it being any different than a site like like Epinions, or even WHT. Those with an agenda are typically revealed pretty quickly by those with good experiences.

    I still see this experience as grossly positive for every ethical host. If you run an honest business, you have nothing to fear.

    The idea for the "Scam" part of ScamHosts was that it originally meant the site would uncover fradulent hosting companies, not so much those with just bad service. Should the site comprise both?

    I received offers from a couple people who say they are willing to program the PHP part of the site. So the idea to have a more comprehensive reporting system is not dead yet.

    A lot of you have posted fears about potential downsides to hosting a site like ScamHosts. I understand the concerns. But let me ask: What do you think it would take to ensure the site remains honest and doesn't unintentionly "screw over" honest hosts? What sorts of features would you like to see? How would you go about designing a site like this? I also suggest that you step on the other side and take the view of the customer. If you were looking for hosting, what types of things would you look for in a site like ScamHosts?

    I'm really looking for YOUR suggestions, because this service, in addition to serving to inform customers, is aimed to improve the image of those of us who are honest.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  17. #17
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    I think you should look at hostingassured and the way they are doing it also, there is a forum already out called yourhostsucks I think is the name.
    The problem is that you will get post from an angry customer, how are you going to prove it one way or the other? Are you going to notify the host they have been placed on the list? You could see legal problems otherwise.

    Who is going to be the one to judge if it is legit compliant? Or a unreasonable customer pissed becasue he misread his TOS or something and now he can't host his warz site?

  18. #18
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    How is it illegal to post your opinion for the world to see?

    http://www.resellerratings.com (online computer retailers ratings - helped me a LOT in deciding who to buy from on pricewatch.com)
    http://www.aptratings.com (apartment ratings, also helped us a lot)
    http://www.epinions.com (helped me pick to buy a Sony P5 camera)

    The list goes on and on. As far as people posting "false" opinions (or whatever, meaning posting when they haven't used the service), I don't know. I mean, what if they didn't actually USE the service, but considered it and their pre-sales questions were answered rudely by staff or something? Or not answered at all? There isn't a whole lot that can be done as far as that is concerned, but I still think it might be a good idea. Although scamhosts.com is already taken by someone else (unless you already registered it)

  19. #19
    ScamHosts.com would be mine.

    Brian

  20. #20
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    How is it illegal to post your opinion for the world to see?
    Posting your opinion is not illelal, but Slander can become a lawsuit, there is a fine line between the two.

    For example if you were to make a statement that somehost.com is a fraud, steals from their clients and bites the heads off of rabbits you would be slandering their name and alleging they are guilty of animal abuse.

    If you were to say "In my opinion" somehost.com is a fraud, steals from their clients and allegedly bites the heads off of rabbits you would be stating your opinion..

    If you have your visitors submit somehost.com for the above it would behove you to contact the host to hear their side before
    Making any false allegations, or at least let them post an explanation.

    Regaurdless whether its an opinion or slander somehost.com can sue if they want.
    (it seams that anybody can sue for any reason nowdays.)

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by DefiantPc


    Posting your opinion is not illelal, but Slander can become a lawsuit, there is a fine line between the two.

    For example if you were to make a statement that somehost.com is a fraud, steals from their clients and bites the heads off of rabbits you would be slandering their name and alleging they are guilty of animal abuse.

    If you were to say "In my opinion" somehost.com is a fraud, steals from their clients and allegedly bites the heads off of rabbits you would be stating your opinion..

    If you have your visitors submit somehost.com for the above it would behove you to contact the host to hear their side before
    Making any false allegations, or at least let them post an explanation.

    Regaurdless whether its an opinion or slander somehost.com can sue if they want.
    (it seams that anybody can sue for any reason nowdays.)
    It would not be considered slander. Slander is VERBAL statements. If anything at all, it would be considered libel, which is the publication of defamatory remarks through written/printed means.

    Even aside from this, it wouldn't likely happen. In order for either of these to exist legally, they have to be FALSE statements. If someone posts, "HostingCompany.com is horrible. Their technical support is very slow to respond and does not provide the help I need, their prices are too high, and I was constantly having problems with downtime." This is what that person experienced. So it is NOT false. If someone decides against using HostingCompany.com because of reading this, there is no way to prove that HostingCompany.com actually lost revenue because of it. Maybe they didn't gain revenue because of the post on scamhosts.com, but they also did not LOSE anything. I am pretty sure that you have to prove loss of revenue, but not 100% sure.

    However, since Brian is calling it "SCAM Hosts," it might cause more problems than if the name were changed. Just because a host is crappy doesn't mean they are scamming people, so calling them a scam would most certainly be defamation.

  22. #22
    The likelyhood of ScamHosts being sued would be no greater than you or I being sued. ScamHosts serves as a service provider. As such, each person who posts is responsible for his or her own words, not ScamHosts. Could someone still sue ScamHosts on a whim? Sure. But I'm not going to cower in a hole in the ground because I might get sued, or hit by a car, or fall from a building.

    You can take the pessimistic view in life, or you can take the realistic view. I find much more gets accomplished by being realistic.

    With that, I know some of you seem consumed with the fact that I will surely get sued. However, could you perhaps step back from that for a moment and offer some suggestions for the site as if it wasn't going to get sued?

    Thanks so much,

    Brian

  23. #23
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    The problem with flame boards like YHS or any others that are out there is that you often only get kids posting on them that have no rational thoughts running through their minds. You also have hosts trying to cut down other hosts by posting as customers and trying to flame and tell lies.

    make up your own opinions.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by goodness0001
    . . . . . . . . .
    make up your own opinions.
    You have to do that on any board.

    If you believe everything you read, you shouldn't be surfing to forums.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  25. #25
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    you shouldnt believe about 90% of anything outside of the tech board.

  26. #26
    Oh goody, the thread's taken a new direction. Maybe no one will notice I never had the time to develop the site.

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