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  1. #1

    Dealing with fraudulent and lowly hosts in this community.

    I didn't see a suggestions forum, so I'll post this here. I would like to suggest to the owner and moderators, a policy of dealing with fraudulent and lowly hosts in this community.

    I speak of such companies that are exposed for being criminals, committing fraud, abuse, any activity that is immoral and illegal. I see too many threads lately about hosts that people are being literally screwed out of their money, web site or both, for both shared and dedicated server hosting plans, and their only resort is to resort to charge backs (which affects your credit rating) and reporting them to the BBB.

    Perhaps one voice can be loud in a community like this, but seeing these legal or ethical crimes go by and have the company/host still participate here and sell their poison to other unsuspecting people, well, it sickens me. I'm not saying people have to be perfect or problems don't happen, nor am I ignoring the fact that some complaints are common or even conjured up out of spite or from a competitor. However, indisputable acts that lack business ethics or fail to abide by the laws, shouldn't be allowed here in my opinion.

    There is not always a fine line or a gray area, and these sorts do damage to the entire community of people here. I suggest some type of quality control. I hate the idea of people voting someone out, and I'm not sure entirely what to suggest for a reasonable method to deal with it or pass any judgments, but some of these events are atrocious and I think it would be wise to remedy the problem by removing access to companies that are deemed to be a negative element of this community.

    Could there not be a policy where any web host that is acting scrupulously or commits fraud to be banned? I realize you can't police the WWW and take issue with things that didn't occur here, but allowing a business (alleged) entity continue to be a member of this community, when they aren't a legal company or commit acts that are more than questionable and are downright despicable, wrong or illegal, can reflect poorly on this community and the value and trust of the members in whole. Do we want to associate with these types?

    Granted, it's not as common as it is uncommon, and I don't mean to suggest anything out of line or unfair, but certain members, not unlike the other recent kid that was banned, have no business here (and I'm not speaking specifically in regards to kids, of course). I just think this would be a better place if such people like this had their access removed. I can't imagine how people get involved with these companies though, but to just sit there and watch it happen, seems wrong -- and this sort of thing happens all too frequent lately by the looks of it.

    I realize people argue, have issues, problems happen, miscommunications, people can be unreasonable or exaggerate, but when a host responds to what seems to be a valid complaint, acknowledges the existence of it as being real and then refuses to refund someone's money, pay them a debt they owe them, mock them or taunt them about money owed, services they won't actually render that were promised in their contract, when they have no reason to refuse it and a client suffers unfairly, why are these people allowed here to peddle their poison until they actually break a rule by their actions here? I'd think it would be reasonable to everyone, and supported, if such a policy were implemented to rid this community of such people/companies.

    Could this be possible? I'm not suggesting a witch hunt/lynch mob, but simply once the community sees such ethical violations transpire, that have the community vote to exile these offenders with fairness and using the facts and events. A recent (infamous) banned member was allowed to participate here far too long and gained many more victims due to this. I don't like seeing people get burned, and I know those people certainly don't wish to be. It is right and within the power of the moderators and community to rid themselves of such offenders, and it's happened in the past and recently, but I feel that the recent events show that quicker action might need to be taken. What are people's thoughts on this?
    Last edited by 2host.com; 10-01-2002 at 04:52 AM.
    Robert McGregor
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    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  2. #2
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    I agree. If new people come to the forum looking for information and help, the last thing they want to see is flame after flame, which is mostly brought on by the scammers. It also gives the impression that legitimate businesses here are scams as well. I for one would be interested if anyone could come up with any equitable solutions to this problem.
    Learn survival/prepper information from a combat veteran at Graywolf Survival

  3. #3
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    Re: Dealing with fraudulent and lowly hosts in this community.

    Originally posted by 2host.com
    I didn't see a suggestions forum. . . . . . . . . .
    Then you didn't look at the forum right under this one.

    <<MOD NOTE: Moved>>


    Sorry. Just had to do that first. Now I'll read your post.
    Last edited by Chicken; 10-01-2002 at 10:24 PM.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  4. #4
    Precisely the problem. Many people post questions for the fear of not knowing. How can people discern who is reputable or perhaps even extremely criminal or unethical scammers, when we, as the community turn our heads or don't take some course of reasonable action to deal with it, and rid the community of such vile elements. I can't imagine anyone would oppose supporting such a thing, as long as it's fair and impartial.

    An immediate suggestion is, if we can trust the moderators to edit or remove threads or posts to keep the community clean, we should be able to have a vote, express our concerns (take it to the people) and then take it to them (the moderators) to ultimately decide if that is the appropriate action. Whatever that may be. I don't assume this should be too difficult, given the problem posters make nothing they do hidden (scam or other type of violations).
    Robert McGregor
    URL: http://www.2host.com
    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  5. #5

    Re: Re: Dealing with fraudulent and lowly hosts in this community.

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Then you didn't look at the forum right under this one.


    Sorry. Just had to do that first. Now I'll read your post. :)
    Oh, I'm a little slow. :)

    I see it now "WebHostingTalk Suggestions and Feedback". I looked twice and passed right by it. Thanks.
    Robert McGregor
    URL: http://www.2host.com
    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  6. #6
    I feel the moderators already do a decent job and this forum shouldn't be policed and "educated" by other hosts since competetors cannot be impartial. It's the customers responsibility to research hosts from multiple resources.

    Moreover, when a select few always want a good product or service for little or nothing, it increases their chances of getting scammed. It's common 'buyer beware' sense and these types of people will continue to get screwed over and over again no matter what you tell them.
    Last edited by localhost; 10-01-2002 at 05:40 AM.

  7. #7
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    The problem is how do you ban someone that keeps coming back as someone else using a different IP?

    Maybe it is up to memebers to police them ourselves, no flames but if you see the rats posting an offer, simply post links to their fraud threads without extra comments and let the buyer beware.

  8. #8
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    Good start, Monte. I think what this forum is a little more control from what sometimes seems to be the minority of adults here. If the adults and responsible kids here would immediately start politely asking people not to flame, things would be a lot more civil. Civilized groups do not allow scams as much as uncivilized ones do. Posting referential threads is a great way to get the point across without sounding like you'r directly attacking someone.

    What this forum needs is a shift in philosophy and culture. The moderators can't do this alone. It's going to take a group effort. The more we legitimize this place, the more people will join and stay, and the more opportunities we will have to be successful.
    Learn survival/prepper information from a combat veteran at Graywolf Survival

  9. #9
    We can always blame the consumer for not investigating it, but at the same time it's not right to sit by and watch it happen. What's the line anyway? Would you allow someone to scam an elderly person out of their life savings, because the elderly person should have been more wise about it? Of course not. Although we're not talking about elderly people and life savings, we can't just blame the victim.

    The moderators might be doing their job, but just in another thread in the dedicated forum, I see a provider that is refusing to refund a client's money, claiming they never promised a refund -- even though their TOS say unconditional refunds. The host even mocked them and taunted them about it and just arrogantly says "No, the decision has been made". That host wasn't dealt with, because what rules did it break? Should we be attentive to jump into any thread about a host and post that URL? You don't think that would be determined to be unreasonable bashing and you will be told to stop? You would, believe it.

    Also, not everyone asks, most people don't. Some people don't think they need to, given it's a community and wouldn't likely expect those sorts to be members of (or for long). You can research all you think is enough, but if you get 500 matches, you can't read them all. The stuff that might sway your decision might be buried. It's not as easy as you can make it out to be in a debate to discern.

    There is such a thing and a reason for consumer alerts and warnings. If someone or some people know, they report it, it's in some format that's easily found and available. Clear reports, no digging or taking two days per company and still not knowing. I'm simply trying to suggest a solution, because even if you should never jump into anything, it's not always due to neglect or lack of research that have people end up being scammed. In this market anyway. I'm just asking if anyone has any suggestions to remedy it. Yes we can debate about competitors, but that's obvious and would be ignored or the person making bogus complaints could be dealt with.

    About the people coming back. Under their own company name? No way. So their purpose is greatly diminished. They can't advertise or slap their URL on a signature or in a post. That would help. Not all of these scams or problems are related to the cheap providers either, so we can debate that, but that's not the issue either. If implemented properly, I don't see how anyone would get away with making false claims and I'm more speaking in terms of the company's own responses that support the person complaining and are deemed as an inappropriate or deceitful person or company and if it's that bad, to that degree, that maybe it's time they are dealt with. Or, we can sit here and blame the victim and just let people wonder who's a reputable host or just claims to be.
    Robert McGregor
    URL: http://www.2host.com
    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  10. #10
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    It's too bad there weren't a way to have a rating system set up for either members or url's like they do for ebay buyers/sellers. Don't know how it could be implemented or kept fair, but it would be at least some indication to a new lurker that someone may not be what they seem.
    Learn survival/prepper information from a combat veteran at Graywolf Survival

  11. #11
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    The problem is the very person you are refering to has been banned MANY MANY times but closes down and starts another hosting company and comes back under a different name.
    The true frauds do not care about closing one scam and opening another. All the banning in the world is not going to stop them.

    The only cure I see is to let the buyer know the person they are dealing with has a past then they can decide to go ahead and buy other than that there is little we can do.

    I want to see the scams go as much as anyone but if we start commenting on them it becomes a flame, how many times since Tim has been banned have you seen someone comment on him and newbies see it as just a flame since they do not know the history.

    I think the best we can do is inform and get out of the way.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by skelley1
    It's too bad there weren't a way to have a rating system set up for either members or url's like they do for ebay buyers/sellers. Don't know how it could be implemented or kept fair, but it would be at least some indication to a new lurker that someone may not be what they seem.
    To bad someones age is not included as part of their handle.

  13. #13
    I see what you mean. However before he came back as other names, and less successfully each time not getting near as many victims, he was getting a lot. It just seems to be wrong, even if they will come back with another company, to just assume they are unstoppable, so just let them continue with their ways as that one same company. I know it's not an easy thing to decide on or deal with. I guess I don't have the answers either.

    I think skelley1's suggestion about the rating system is excellent though! That is truly a great idea. People can rate a host based on their experience with them, as a member here, about their reputation, experience or knowledge or skills in different areas and how much they can be trusted. Maybe that would be a failed idea too, but I think it's actually a very good one. People could rate the person very low if that system can be made to not be abused or tricked, and people don't have to search. The concern though is, could it be implemented and not be abused.
    Robert McGregor
    URL: http://www.2host.com
    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  14. #14
    Originally posted by Monte


    To bad someones age is not included as part of their handle.
    I don't know. I assume anyone that will lie and scam would just claim to be older than they are. Me, I'd probably pretend to be younger, since I feel my 27th birthday coming on in a little over a month. :-) (I'm joking of course).
    Robert McGregor
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    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  15. #15
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    Aye, there's the rub! it would take a lot of honest people to counteract any toying with the ratings from scammers who would manipulate the system.
    Learn survival/prepper information from a combat veteran at Graywolf Survival

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by 2host.com
    . . . . . concern though is, could it be implemented and not be abused.
    No.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  17. #17
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    About all we can do is like Monte suggests. Help out where we can with what we 'know'.

    I have some pretty strong views on this subject. But, as already has been discussed, there is no easy fix. More likely, there is no real solution.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  18. #18
    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    No.
    Well, my suggestion, as unfair as it would seem to certain people, would perhaps only allow people with 500 or more posts, whom have been here long enough to say, could vote. I realize it could still be played with and I'm certainly of the impression that as good as idea, it's probably not practical for the very concern I posed as a reason. I guess we all agree on that and also perhaps my post suggesting these people be dealt with is just a pipe dream. I felt a bit agitated by seeing that post and a client being treated that way by their provider, but obviously there's nothing I can do about it. I suppose it all comes down to us responsible people just going on by offering real plans and giving honest deals and not waste time trying to worry about all the scams that happen which we can't stop.

    Perhaps some affiliated site or link from this site to an impartial site that can be specifically geared towards this subject might be a final suggestion then. Otherwise I'll end on that note, because I'm sure we can all see many points of debate that would just result in nothing being suggested anyway, since everything is too open to abuse or failure and are therefore impractical... and while it's nice to dream you can make some difference, the world is the way it is. Well, damn. I think I've got to agree. I really can't think of a viable solution to this. Thank you all for your thoughtful input.
    Robert McGregor
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    Email: robertm@(nospam)2host.com

  19. #19
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    2host.com, I think that is a good idea of a way to weed out scammers from getting into the ratings. They'd never last long enough. Plus it gives people another incentive to post more.
    Learn survival/prepper information from a combat veteran at Graywolf Survival

  20. #20
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    I agree in principle with what Robert is saying. But the mods already do this. TimPD, EarHost just to name a few. There are many dozens who have been *****ed out too. I'm not sure about legal action from WHT.

    I think we all know that TimPD is back on the forum under a new username and a new business. My theory is that TimPD is now ChickenSteak from rackeasy. That's my theory. I don't have evidence to support it. I just have a gut feeling.

    I think we as a .COMmunity should ve vigilant in stamping out the scammers and liers from within our midst.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
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  21. #21
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    I have to disagree Bob if you do a search on Brandon and Larron Armstead you will see they are pretty infamous around here, not Tim, but cut from the same cloth.

  22. #22
    Well I was contacted by the User name "Bowman" , when I took this deal , which is another name they contact people by here on WHT. I should have done a deeper search but I didn't and this allowed me to get caught up in a deal to what it is now.

    Now after reading all these post about them and realizing who they are and how willing and far they are go to de fraud someone , I agree they defintely need to be snuff outta the community as they have had many chances to redeem thereseleves and failed numerous times.

    These type of situations really cause alot of tension in a community and I see why alot of people are not so trustful anymore.
    phantasyworkshosting.com

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Monte
    I have to disagree Bob if you do a search on Brandon and Larron Armstead you will see they are pretty infamous around here, not Tim, but cut from the same cloth.
    I did say it was a theory. Just needs some work.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
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  24. #24
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    Something I've noticed a bit of but not sure whether related:

    I've seen quite a few requests (and even offers for that matter) where the poster has said something like "PM/Instant message me if interested" and given no URL or email address.

    Now to my cynical mind this translates to:

    "My business name is banned on here so my URL and email will be ***'d out."

    I haven't really got the time to go through counting the posts like this so don't know for sure how often it goes on (I don't get in the ad forums very often) but maybe a rule should be introduced whereby anyone offering services (whether it be starting a thread or replying) should at least post their business URL/email address?
    Clook Internet - www.clook.net
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  25. #25
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    I've been scammed a couple times by WHT members. every time except once that person has been recommended by other users. I don't know if I'd trust a rating system.

    Aaron
    Aaron Wendel
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  26. #26
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    I can't remember all the points raised, so it is hard to address them all. I will say that this is a discussion forum. The purpose is to discuss things (both good and bad). That's the power.

    We take care of people who violate the forum guidelines. We will attempt to protect members by banning those who scam other members, *if* it can be determined that they were indeed scammed. However, this cannot always be determined, and we're not going to be put in a position of, "he said, she said."

    Regarding the offers made with only a, "PM me to sign up," I'd be extremely cautious of these offers. Not to say they aren't legitimate, but that I'd be cautious. Get a URL, get contact info, ask about the user on the forum, search for info elsewhere.

    To be honest, I didn't handle the Tim issue (I was on vacation), however if he didn't violate the forum guidelines, I wouldn't have banned him. Off-board disputes aren't automatically justification to ban people. As another member said, Tim is most likely on the forum with a username that no one knows, a new URL ($7-$10 a pop), and someone has most likely signed up for his services.

    We do what we can, but I am opposed to any type of unified member 'banning club', and a review area is fine, however it would need to be moderated, and this is difficult. This is why many current host rating sites are, more or less, useless.

    If you have a concern, we'd love to hear from you, preferably via email.
    HostHideout.com - Where professionals discuss web hosting.

    Chicken

  27. #27

    Fraud forum

    Can you have a fraud forum? Instead of a recommendation forum. Which can still mislead people.

    Can you have a forum that lists the scams. The people, the urls involved and the prices that were charged etc.

    The offers or services that were offered.

    Sometimes you can't stop it. But at least being aware of what's gone on before would be helpful, and having a forum dedicated to scams that have happened would allows users at this forum to read the scam section before investing, or pm someone.

    Example. People are always saying. Well that offer reminds me of company X. (But you have no quick way of knowing what company X did. Specific scam details, this like that.)

    Having a section dedicated to the scams and the companies or individual involved might help. (It does not have to be about flaming them.) Just cold hard facts.

    I think I see that happening around here, but it's sort of scattered a little, and you still have to do quite a bit of research to find things out.

  28. #28
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    Well, before using a service I'd serach the forum here, search elsewhere, and after that, post asking for any comments (good and bad) about the company/person.
    HostHideout.com - Where professionals discuss web hosting.

    Chicken

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