Results 1 to 40 of 40
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    17

    Thumbs down Avoid AIT webhosting at all costs!

    Long story short: They (AIT or "Advanced Internet Technologies") want nothing more than to take your money in any way possible -- legally or otherwise. They do NOT care about customer support or customer service. They do not care about happy customers or referrals. Last year, I battled them over a $210 charge for disk space usage caused by an error log that resulted from an error *on their part* regarding a script.

    Now, I cancelled my account after moving to a new host (sometimes it takes a while to find a new *reputable* host).

    I got a call from their customer service rep. (Ernie Gomez) who claimed to want to see what he could do to win me back. When I pointed out they had already ticked me off and I'd just like to part ways amicably, he told me that I signed up in July of 2001 and thus, according to some fine print in terms. Now, I signed up over the phone, so I never checked a box agreeing to any terms.

    He claims that by receiving an email with a LINK to a page with Terms and Conditions containing fine print about a contract and then proceeding to use the service, I agreed to auto-renewing 6 month contracts which must be cancelled at least 30 days before the end of the 6-month period. Therefore, he says, since my new 6 month "contract" started this month, I will be charged $19.95 X 5 ($99.75) to fulfil my "obligation".

    I maintain that since I did not verbally agree nor sign a contract agreeing to this, and because the agreement is on a page on their server which could be updated anytime to pretend to show I or anyone else agreed to whatever they want at any time, it cannot be legally binding.

    Mr. Gomez begs to differ and ensures me that he doesn't care if I initiate a chargeback with my credit card; he believes they will win. (Read as: He just wants my money any way he can get it.)

    He also said he did not mind if I posted this experience to every webhosting related message board and newsletter I know. So I am doing just that. And I will initiate a chargeback when the charge is posted. More importantly, as I am president of a web design/marketing company, I can guarantee some clients that will never be referred to AIT And of course the BBB is next on my email list. I tried to let them make things right... and they declined.

    Remember, use AIT at your own risk! Even if you are with them and have yet to have a problem... call and find out when your imaginary contract expires and, more than 30 days before it ends, cancel it, save a copy of your cancellation, and never look back!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    31
    Hi Dave.

    I truly feel your pain. I have a site dedicated to exposing AIT. It has links to the BBB, FTC, Attorney General, etc. Please feel free to make use of it: http://www.aitsucks.net

    Together, we can expose AIT for their shoddy billing department and complete lack of customer service!

    Dayton
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    78

    been there, got done by them

    When we were niave, we thought ait looked allright, then they started do all sorts of things wrong. Eventually, when we had moved most of our sites away the final straw came. They doubled their prices per virtual host with 2 weeks to go till Xmas. Perfect timing for no-one to be able to do anything about it. Holiday rush and all.

    So we moved away from their service asap.
    Thing is they billed us for the next 4 months and we kept asking them why and they kept saying it was an error and they would fix it.

    We had something like 30 support tickets saying yes we had closed all the accounts, had even faxed them and confirmed they received the faxes...Next month same drill. We would get a refund then they would charge us again. The last time they tried it for >USD$700. We noticed the large hole in our account instantly.

    We went through the BBB to no avail. AIT didn't respond to them.

    We have since received nearly all our money back. We are still out ~USD$50.

    Certainly was a learning experience on what not to ever do to a customer. Recently we have started to receive spam from them "trying to win us back". All I can say is that it will be a cold day in hell before we ever point anyone to AIT.

    </my 2 pacific pesos, AUD$>
    http://www.boinghosting.com.au
    put the boing back into your site
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    2,978
    This is usually the gotcha for most companies that claim you owe them money and try to charge your card.

    "a. Option 1. Term of six (6) months shall begin on the date of application. Customer pays for the six months of Services in six monthly installments, or one initial prepay installment, each individual installment being nonrefundable, at Company's sole discretion. Renewal terms of the same duration shall be automatic unless one of the parties cancels IAW the BP within 30 calendar days of the end of the term."

    So what? Even if you agreed to pay them money and incurred a debt, it did not include the important terms that authorize them to charge your credit card for that debt. You may owe them the money, but they can not get it from your credit card.

    They will have to go through the normal collection means that every one else goes through.

    You should totally reverse any charges on your credit card if you didn't authorize them.
    -Mark Adams
    www.bitserve.com - Secure Michigan web hosting for your business.
    Only host still offering a full money back uptime guarantee and prorated refunds.
    Offering advanced server management and security incident response!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    17

    and I can go one further...

    Up late looking for loopholes last night (the total is only $99.75, but the principle is worth sooo much more), I discovered this:

    In the wording bitserve quoted, note the words "Renewal terms of the same duration shall be automatic unless one of the parties cancels IAW the BP within 30 calendar days of the end of the term."

    Key words: "within 30 days"

    They may mean 30 days before the end, but what it *legally* means is a 30 day window before or after the end of the term. Since I signed up July 23rd 2001 and FAXed the cancellation August 13th, 2002, it was within 30 days of the end of the 2nd 6th month term they claim I agreed to.

    So if somehow they can get the credit card company to believe that I am bound by a contract they linked to in an email, I still don't owe them anything (legally) according to the terms in their contract.

    BTW, just for fun, read this part of their "agreement":


    17. INTERPRETATION: The format, words, and phrases used herein shall have the meanings generally understood thereby in the Computer/Software/Internet Industries. This Agreement shall be construed according to its plain meaning. In the event any ambiguity shall be found herein, interpretation shall be based on the intent of the parties, rather than a construction automatically against the interests of the drafting party.


    FYI, you *cannot* have that in a contract, so a court would throw this out. You can't say "If we weren't clear, you can't hold it against us". The law puts the burden of clarity on the person/comapny that writes the document. And a clause in said contract cannot reverse that.

    And yes, I spoke with a contract lawyer about this
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Winter Wonder Land
    Posts
    98

    Credit Card Company

    Just send your credit card company a overview of your experience and reason for cancelling. State the service provided was no suitable for its intended purpose and AIT intentially makes it bad so they can claim the 6 months. The credit card companies have a pretty good idea of how these rascals (not the actual word I had in mind) work.
    Fish_Saver - Mike

    "Water is the driver of nature"
    - Leonardo da Vinci
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  7. #7

    * AIT's still in business?

    Hey, nobody on this board for almost 2 weeks...did AIT skip town yet and go to the Caymans where their bank accounts are hidden?

    What's that? Cayamans - the asset hiding and tax evasion haven of the Caribbean? Yes, that's right - these guys have paid beacoup bucks to have a company address in the Caymans - hmmmmm...why would AIT do that? Because they have plenty to hide, that's why!

    APATHETIC INTERNOT THIEVES!---AIT!

    Any more victims, lets hear from ya!
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    INDIA
    Posts
    2

    ait

    look at their testimonials page

    http://aitdomains.com/testimonials.htm

    you will enjoy those "Anonymous Credentials" about this company
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    125

    Re: ait

    Originally posted by hostinguru
    look at their testimonials page

    http://aitdomains.com/testimonials.htm

    you will enjoy those "Anonymous Credentials" about this company
    Are you sure they aren't real? These dates look totally genuine to me

    I guess they haven't received any "testimonials" for over 2 years now
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  10. #10

    * Testi-money-ials

    Hey guys, you are right, these testimonials are fabricated!

    They even sell their long-term contract concept to the unsuspecting newbie suckers out there...check ou these "pschological operations" they try to get us to believe:

    I just spoke at some length with one of your supervisors and they were definately a hard working customer oriented individual. They have spent more than enough time on several occasions making me feel like I was a valued customer. Everything was "no problem -- I'll check that out and get back to you". They were very knowledgeable and didn't pretend to know something when he didn't. They would kindly say that they needed to check with the appropriate technical resources and he always got back to me. A real asset to your company and one of the reasons I chose to sign up and prepay for two years. I look forward to a great business relationship.

    WHAT BS. No customer names, they will not post because of "confidentiality"....hey boneheads at AIT, what if we do an IP netblock search? then we come up with some great clients domain names dont we? how bout that?

    PLease email me privately if you want to get in on the class-action suit - the victim list is getting bigger everyday!


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  11. #11
    Hi, I was just totally taken aback by their call upon cancelling, that I'm just at the beginning of a new 6 month window! What a joke, I never heard of that before, I find it very deceptive to hide something like this in the small print.

    Was anybody successful in fighting this? Any pointers?

    I'd appreciate anything that points me in the right direction to go.
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  12. #12
    Charge them back?
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    17

    Chargeback

    Keep in mind that they will fight a chargeback as hard as they can. If they prove they have cause to charge you, your credit card company may reverse the chargeback. This happened to me with AIT months ago for an issue unrelated to this cancellation one.

    However, I've done a charge back for the cancellation one as well, sending copies of the cancellation, all corespondence, and the supposed online agreement.

    If your new 6 month alleged agreement is not more than 30 days old, see what I wrote above...

    <snip>
    In the wording bitserve quoted, note the words "Renewal terms of the same duration shall be automatic unless one of the parties cancels IAW the BP within 30 calendar days of the end of the term."

    Key words: "within 30 days"

    They may mean 30 days before the end, but what it *legally* means is a 30 day window before or after the end of the term.
    </snip>

    Don't let them win. Even if it's not that much money, don't let the scum win...... It's principle. And it's personal!

    PS: I should point out I just sent in the chargeback paperwork, so it could be up to three months until I know whether they will reinstate the charges or not. I'll be sure to post the outcome!
    DG Interactive, LLC
    http://www.dg-interactive.com/
    Digital marketing communications
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New Orleans, LA "Nawlins"
    Posts
    1,131

    Re: ait

    Originally posted by hostinguru
    look at their testimonials page

    http://aitdomains.com/testimonials.htm

    you will enjoy those "Anonymous Credentials" about this company
    Try to stay away from Web Host with testimonial pages. Just think about it, why do they need people to tell you how good they are at their website. Usually, word is out on the company that indicates the opposite. These pages tend to be biased and don't reflect the real world.
    intellec
    ....you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get....
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  15. #15
    The thing is, potential customers love the idea of reading those testimonials. It helps give them a peace of mind with the host.

    I guess it's all just a marketing gimmick.
    YourCheapHost.com - Low cost multi domain hosting solutions. [Legal adult content friendly]
    Reliable web site hosting is our motto. We have Alertra stats to back that up.
    Proven provider of high quality shared and reseller accounts since 2002.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    57
    Seems like AIT have not changed one little bit. I was with them 3 years ago and they were easily one of the worst webhosts I have been with!!
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    17
    Update: My credit card company sent me a letter saying I do not owe the money. Score one for the little guy! Of course, AIT could still provide "evidence" within 90 days and it could be overturned, but for now the credit card company is on my side
    DG Interactive, LLC
    http://www.dg-interactive.com/
    Digital marketing communications
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  18. #18
    Just be careful, in their legal(?) statement they also say that they can and will take your URL away from you, if you don't pay what they think is theirs! I hope you don't have your name(s) registered with them too.

    I got them to downgrade me to 'starter site' at 7.95/month, and since my contract runs out soon I simply gave up and consider those couple bucks an investment in education. Anyways, all the back and forth via phone and mail with them already cost them way more in admin cost than what they'll get in the end.

    By the way, also know that you HAVE to cancel within those 30 days before the end of contract, plus 5 days after. Supposedly they are not able to keep track of a cancellation that comes in earlier!!! They'll just throw it out, according to the customer "service" manager I talked to.

    Also, drill them on providing you with the exact cancel dates that apply to your account, making sure to tell them that you'll keep that info and will forward it again with your cancel fax. I got no less than FIVE different dates from them, ranging from November to October next year! I kept all those (plus ALL other e-mails that went back and forth) and kept notes with date, time, and name of person talked to, when I had the pleasure to talk to them on the phone.

    Oh, interesting too: They know about their reputation, they read this board (as I was told in person), they know aitsucks.com, the bad rating on the BBB, they just don't care! I was also told that their employees are asked to host with OTHER services! Supposedly to 'test' those. Hmmm, yeah, right....

    I was also told earlier that their feature list for the different accounts - which has a checkmark next to several items that will later COST money - is frequently misleading, and the lady I talked to said she had mentioned that many times to management with no result!

    Well, I also run a web/mkt company, and sure can't send any of my clients their way. Which I would have done, had they had any sense of customer service. Instead they seem to be on a 'trap them and milk them' trip.

    Beware and be warned-----
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7
    I too was bitten by the AIT bug.

    I had also had it with them and wanted to make a switch. I knew from reading here about the 6 month contract. I made a point of calling them to find out when my contract would be up to plan my move. I worked like a dog to get my 25 sites moved by the renewal date that they had given me.

    I cancelled my account and they still billed me for an additional month! When I called they told me that the person I has previously spoke to gave me incorrect information!! It didn't matter to them that it was their employee that told me the wrong date, I even had their name.

    I just paid it and walked away!!
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    17
    Which is exactly what they seem to be counting on........

    I can see this adding up over thousands of customers, but wouldn't you think that good referrals and happy customers would be better for their bottom line than running a big scam operation?

    I know that's the philosophy by which I run my own business.....
    DG Interactive, LLC
    http://www.dg-interactive.com/
    Digital marketing communications
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  21. #21
    Originally posted by DaveG
    but wouldn't you think that good referrals and happy customers would be better for their bottom line than running a big scam operation?
    from the conversations I had with them, by e-mail and by phone, they don't seem to give a damn. And hey, if they really have those hundreds of thousands of customers they claim to have, the owners can retire rich and happy anytime, so why not milk that cow....

    I get the feeling that they are one of the worst companies on the net, besides some fly by night garage operations. Heck, I'm just waiting for an e-mail about several hundred million $ trapped in some African country and AIT looking for my help in getting them here! LOL

    What ever you do, don't host with them unless they change their deceiving business practices...

    Just my 2ct~~
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  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    52
    Hey, those testemonials could be true. I for one always efused compliments when questioned about support by AIT 'cause I knew if I didn't they would screw me more than they had already.

    Currently it just took me two weeks to prove to AIT that I had paid my bill so they wouldn't shut down my few remaining sites. Isn't that sad?!

    And to think we used to pay over a thousand bucks a month and now are down to under a hundred and soon will be at zero.
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  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Contract, SmonTrack

    I was reading this forum post about AIT, and I have been with them over a year. We took over MSDesign.com hosting account because they couldn't afford to pay for it! Go figure.

    So, I noticed someone said there is a six month contract. I called AIT and asked them, they said there is. I wanted to rip that guys head off. I had NO Clue there was. We have been in the stage of switching to a new hosting company and I though I would totally be finished by the end of this week, until I found out about the contract.

    I didn't read the terms, and my Uncle didn't read the terms, so we cannot be held to it. We will fight all of the way, we are held in until January 1, 2003!

    And we are paying $150.00/MO! for 700MB of space and 30GB of data transfer.

    I mentioned to them we are switching hosts many times, they didn't bother to tell me about the contract.

    Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. PM me, I don't keep track of this thread very well.

    Thanks for your help and everyones comments!
    David Garza
    CCF Web Hosting - Where Customers Come First!
    Phone: 1.630.885.9009 | Email: david(a)ccfhosting.com
    MSN: dgarza(a)ccfhosting.com | AIM: CCF DGarza | ICQ: 51140109
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  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    52
    Ha! Hey, I'll host 700mb for 60.00 per month. You in?
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  25. #25

    Re: Contract, SmonTrack

    Originally posted by Mind-Field
    I
    I didn't read the terms, and my Uncle didn't read the terms, so we cannot be held to it. We will fight all of the way, we are held in until January 1, 2003!

    well, not reading the terms doesn't really help you, they've pretty much got you. But you can still move your site somewhere else and downgrade to the lowest package they offer, costs around $8. You won't be able to use that most likely, as you probably have your domain name as main acct with them. But you can point your URL anywhere else. That's what I did, and I'll make sure to cancel as soon as possible.

    NOTE: Get in writing from them, what the period is for you to cancel! They gave me 4 different ones, until I finally got a supposedly final one. Once you cancel you have to send them a fax, tell them up front that you'll include their response to your question as of when to cancel with that e-mail.

    Be careful with not paying, they might take your URL away from you. And do read the rest of this thread....

    good luck!
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  26. #26
    OK, so the credit card company reverses the chargeback? So what? You didnt lose anything, you just wasted about 10 minutes of your time.

    Come at them from a different angle.
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  27. #27
    The scam that AIT played on me was the ole "let the sucker's log files get so big that they take up more space than he is paying for, and instead of bringing this overuseage to the sucker's attention, charge him a buck for every extra MB" scam. By the time that this sucker learned about the overusage (which I immediately corrected) I had incurred over $1,100 in excess charges in a two-month period. I attemped to do a chargeback through my credit card company, the bank formerly known as Chase, but they decided that I had paid for services rendered, and therefore, they couldn't help me. I'm not sure whether they tried to contact AIT or not. As for AIT, when I protested about the disk usage charge, their response was that I should be happy that my log files are so big, because it means that my site is popular.

    I meant to join this web forum much earlier. My AIT-hellride lasted only six months, and ended with a struggle about a year ago. I tried to recover my loss through many avenues, to no avail. The bright side is that I'm glad to be rid of them. The experience was like cyber-extortion.

    Just to show that there are no bad feelings, here is a picture of AIT's top mobster emerging from the bowels of hell.
    http://www.toiletmuseum.com/satan.jpg
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  28. #28
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    52

    Wink

    Been there. Sounds like my story. AIT tortured us with their $1.00/MB then six month later your control panel showed your disk usage. We ended up setting a chron to rotate logs on a monthly basis.

    Damn those popular sites, eh?
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  29. #29
    I took a look at AIT and I have a few suggestions...

    To the ones charged for excess disc usage:
    From AIT
    If you require more disk space than the service plan you have chosen, additional disk space may be purchased in 5MB increments at the rate of $0.49 per MB.
    Yet what I see here says they charge 1.00 per MB? This act of punitive overbilling from AIT could be construed as credit card theft.

    Canceling Your Account-In the interest of security, AIT provides a toll free number (877-209-5185 x1702 M-F 10AM-7PM ET) so that you may speak with the Quality Assurance department. To properly close your hosting account, our online cancellation form MUST be filled out and submitted. You will be provided with the link to the online form by the Quality Assurance manager who will guide you through the process. The signed cancellation request must be completed and faxed to close your account.
    There is absolutely no mention of a 30 day requirement for account termination. There is also no mention here that other terms and conditions take precedence over the statements from AIT that I quoted.

    I would say that those being charged for accounts because of this 30 day clause have a perfectly plausible out for a chargeback. I also think that those that were overcharged for disc space have a legal recourse. Credit card theft is not just a civil matter but a criminal one. This could easily be pursued by contacting the State Police in the State where they are located.

    The above information was obtained HERE
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  30. #30
    I just think it's sad that a "company" tries to charge someone when they don't want their service. If a customer ever told me he didn't want my service anymore I'd say fine and that would be the end of it.
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  31. #31
    Sounds like a great business model to me. Why go and invest in hardware, and software, and knowledgable staff and good customer service.

    Let's amass a large number of credit cards, and charge them for service they have not used. We might be able to get 80% of the suckers.

    P.S: Yes this is exageration :-)
    Walter Landman
    Simplicato - Email Hosting
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  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    59
    You got me all worried for a sec
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  33. #33
    When I first started working, my boss sent me an e-mail that said the something like the following:

    "Acquiring new customers costs hundreds of dollars. NEVER ever lose a customer. You should do everything in your power to fix his problem, and if he is still upset offer him X months of free service or some other form of compensation."


    This is obviously not an exact quotation since that was more then 3 or 4 years ago. But basically our companys real philosophy has been that it is difficult to acquire new customers, we must do everything in our power to avoid losing customers.

    Also a large number of new customers is from existing satisfied customers.
    Walter Landman
    Simplicato - Email Hosting
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  34. #34
    Originally posted by Watcher_TVI
    [B]I took a look at AIT and I have a few suggestions...

    To the ones charged for excess disc usage:
    From AIT
    Yet what I see here says they charge 1.00 per MB? This act of punitive overbilling from AIT could be construed as credit card theft.
    Charges for disk usage were dropped at AIT several months back. Most of the people posting on this forum had problems with AIT's policies from last year, not the changes within the last 6-12 months.


    There is absolutely no mention of a 30 day requirement for account termination. There is also no mention here that other terms and conditions take precedence over the statements from AIT that I quoted.
    This has also changed. AIT no longer has a recurring 6 month contract. There is an initial 6 month contract, but no longer a recurring one. This has been the case for more than 6 months I believe.
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  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,385
    Past business practices should be considered when chosing any hosting provider.
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  36. #36
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,693
    Do they still have the clause in the tiny print that says if you don't pay them they get to take your domain name and sell it?
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  37. #37
    I agree Curtis. AIT may no longer be running this scam, but I don't see them getting in touch with former clients like me to pay back the money they stole from us. Until they repay every client that they ripped off, they should be considered criminals. Do not do business with them.
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  38. #38
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    52
    Crooks crooks crooks. I just signed up a new reseller account. They contacted me after AIT screwed them. Interestingly thier biggest complaint was how slow and unreliable their server was.

    —Flash
    Who - Larry 'Flash' Alexander
    Personal - http://flashalexander.com/
    Work - http://hqsecure.com
    Specialty - WordPress Development & Theme Customization
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  39. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    353

    Re: Re: ait

    Originally posted by intellec
    Try to stay away from Web Host with testimonial pages. Just think about it, why do they need people to tell you how good they are at their website.
    Don't lump us all in with people like AIT.

    We have testimonials on our site, they are all absolutely genuine and unsolicited - the customers are named and there's a link to their sites.

    We've put around 10 up total in the new site design - and could easily put up 3 times as many.

    Any hosting company that's been in business for a while and DOESN'T have satisfied customers to quote is the one you should avoid . . .
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  40. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,385
    Testimonial pages are fine but only when they are linked to a site that IS currently hosted by the provider. Not some nameless or fictitious statements.
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