I need emergency advice with a nightmare reseller hosting situation
Hi, I am in a quandary and am turning to the hosting community for advice. I sell reseller hosting and way back in the beginning I was using a company to manage it for me for a fee for every reseller I signed up. I won't give any names until this is all over. They had promised backups on 2 separate hard drives." Whatever.
Anyway, after a few years of horrendous customer support, which I will elaborate later on, all of the clients still on his servers (at The Planet) went kaput. When I asked when it would be live again, he was rude, short, annoyed by my asking. I've been paying him every month for two years for them. Then he tells me that anything on home is gone and the sites on home2 are still there - my clients need to recreate them in their WHMs.
How am I supposed to ask them to do this? Where are the backups he promised when I signed up? Nonexistent. I have one client who I know has lost over 60 websites, and in all, probably 300 websites have been lost because when I try to recreate them they are either neither there or their mysql databases are gone - which I'm guessing are on his home1 drive.
The last time I complained about sites being down, he promised to cancel all of my resellers so I didn't complain and 1/3 of my resellers canceled on me because they were down so long.
We have since gotten our own managed data center, which has run like a well oiled machine, but I have a handful of resellers still on his co-located Planet servers. I'm actually afraid to contact him. He is the nastiest human being I've ever dealt with and the word professionalism is a joke to him. He is vengeful and lies voraciously. He will lie about people who complain about him - I have learned after googling him. He finds some sadistic power in the ability to turn off his customers' websites, which I have experienced personally and read about others elsewhere.
I know it's my own fault for not moving the resellers over sooner, but it's been busy, his server actually stayed live for a while, and I just let it go. Now I'm paying for it.
I am contacting my attorney tomorrow to see what I can do. If I lose resellers' websites, I want a refund of every monthly payment I paid him (via paypal), because I'm sure my customers will ask me for that. And I don't blame them - 2 years of work disappearing is not what we are about, nor is it acceptable.
We've never had a "hard drive failure" even once in the years we stopped working with him and got our own servers. It's been heaven since. But I'm worried about these early resellers of mine and what retribution I can take.
I will probably sue him but I was wondering if anyone has had issues of this nature before? Please advise and Happy Holidays.
First of all, I'm sorry you've had to deal with that. It's those people that give the hosting industry a bad name. If this person / company is still trading then it might be an idea to name and shame as to help other people not make the same mistake.
In regard to suing them, I think it might be a little harder than it might seem. They did provide the service for 2 years and although it isn't nice, hard drives can and do fail. However they did advertise that they backed up the data on 2 other drives, if they didn't then it was false advertising at the least. The problem is, they host your data but that is what it is, data. It's not the same as leaving your car with them for repair and them loosing it as data is non-tangible and so it's more difficult to prosecute for cases like this.
This is the reason why, no matter how many backups the host does, you should always make your own backups.
Again, this is horrible that it has happened to you and I wish you the best of luck in the way you choose to pursue this.
Thanks for the advice Tom. I will do a shock-and-awe shame fest when I'm finished with this, so be on the lookout for serious details: IM chats that were threatening, just evil stuff, emails with details, etc. I save everything.
In any case, when I run my company, I run it like it's our commitment that our resellers are real, it doesn't matter to us that they are not brick-and-mortar businesses - it's their livelihood and the mere possibility of losing their data is traumatic for us. I could never tell them, "We hosted you for the time you paid us, so buh-bye now. We had a hard-drive failure so tough luck on the thousands you've spent optimizing, promoting and earning a living from it."
I mean, it may as well be a car they left with us. It's a business and we take that very seriously. This guy is evil and I can't believe the moral bankruptcy in his attitude towards his client (me) and those hosting on his ****** server (my clients).
id be interested to see who that is, they definitely dont need to be in this business. being rude, lying, and apathy about your situation is unacceptable. Id definitely seek legal action if all possible if i was you. I hope you are successful.
You will get people probably reply to this thread like "you should have kept backups" but that appears to be what you was trying to do in the first place, there is a lot of couldve, shouldve, would've but definitely an unfortunate situation.
Although you did know how this guy was and needed to get off there earlier but that don't help now.
I never did understand people like that who could be rude and nasty to the same people who pay them. Its beyond me, but when you get this resolved post who this is so others will know and stay away.
Good luck, sounds like a nightmarish situation. I dont know what anyone can really tell you though besides the usual should haves
Actually its disaster, you should work with lawyer to teach some thing to people like this. "Backup" will save your business always , so always try to ask or keep offshore backup from the host. its worth than losing money and people you dealing with.