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  1. #1

    Angry IPOWERWEB Experience

    On July 31, 2002 I placed an order for basic hosting and transferring my domain to Ipowerweb to reduce costs. All is fine with setup and billing and I was happy. I was being spammed by a jerk that was using some random address generator to send me a message for an international drivers license. I would get thousands of emails addressed to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] .com. Mind you I am just a freelancer who only needs several email addresses so I saw in their setup that I could modify where my un-routed email would go, my main account by default. Included were two options :fail and :blackhole. I sent an email to their support people relating my problem and whether either of the two rejection methods, :fail or :blackhole were best to handle the problem. In the meantime I just set it to :fail. I never received an email response from their support. Actually, when I first was modifying the unrouted option I tried calling them just to get a quicker response but after being on hold for over 15 minutes, and the call being a NY to CA call since they do not have a 800 number, I gave up and waited for an e-mail response. Well, after no e-mail response and the system working well, no more spam addressed to random addresses, I continued on with my life. Last week, the week of September 16, I get a call about a job using html forms, which I have never done before. It is to be a multi screen form that would require CGI and Javascript probably. I started getting into learning about that stuff, and was going to use the weekend to get up to speed on how to go about this project, what it would take, whether I would do it, and how should I price it for a meeting this week. Well, that Saturday I go to check my email and I can’t get my email. Thinking that the system is probably down for a bit on went about doing other things. I come back and still the same. I go to check my website and instead of my site showing up I get a page that says THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED please contact billing/support ASAP…..WHAT!….I immediately pick up the phone and called….I’m on hold….I’m on hold…..I’m on hold…45 minutes later I get a tech support guy and he goes to check on the problem….. I’m on hold…..I’m on hold…He gets back and tells me that the reason for the suspension is that the account had 28,000 emails in its queue…..Well I surely didn’t send them so this is a mistake, can you get my site back up at least…..The answer was no, I would need to contact the sysadmin, who would not be in until Monday, nothing could be done until then. So much for playing with CGI, etc. that weekend. I penned an email to the sysadmin, and sat wondering what this was all about. I called, first thing in the morning, California time, however I couldn’t talk to the sysadmin, I would have to wait for his response. Finally, at 2:00 on Monday, the sysadmin replies, mentioning that there were 28K emails he deleted, that constitutes spamming, I am suspended, I am ineligible for a refund since I broke their spam policy even though I had paid for a year of service and only a month has passed, and I was told I should consider my self lucky that I wasn’t charge $500-$5000 for the time he spent on the problem. Quite a range of costs for just deleting files I thought. Obviously from the tone of the email I had been convicted for spamming without any real evidence. I made more calls to them, tried to talk to the sysadmin, but just had to leave a message. I also left a message to their customer service supervisor. I send a reply e-mail to the sysadmin, asking about the e-mail, were they outgoing, or ingoing. Where were they heading, coming from? Is this a situation resulting from the spamming I discussed above? No reply. I figured they considered me a spammer and they could not deign me with a response. I penned another email explaining once again about the previous spamming situation, including in the email the email that went unanswered on August 1. I just wanted to know what I could do. Was this not a problem that could be fixed? No answer. The day goes by and no answer. At this point I am irate. What to do. I need to get a site up ASAP. I don’t want to use my old one so that I run into the same problem, so I register a new domain, sign up with a new provider, pay a setup fee, took a month by month contract, and waited for the new site to be registered and propagated so that I can get online. I guess I would have to send everyone a change of address email. But I also have had my other domain for years, so that email, that is used by a bunch of systems over the years, software registrations, old friends, listings, everything would make it seem as if I had disappeared. That would be really annoying. Also my company, same name as my domain, deals with computers. My clients, getting all their e-mails bounced back to them, seeing my site down, would think I don’t know what I am doing. If I can’t keep an email address and site up, what does that say about my computer skills, can I be trusted to give them good advice. All very problematic. Further, are these guys advertising my site and name as a spammer? Am I going to be blacklisted?

    Finally, since I couldn’t sleep that night with all this frustration, I did a little more research on this company. I do a newsgroup search on ipowerweb and notice a bunch of threads about it in It seems ipowerweb has been notorious for allowing spammers to operate, as well as being accused of spamming. I also found a number of messages on the group by the sysadmin who accused me and suspended my account. It seems he took on the job in April of 2002, and by his messages it is obvious he was not a seasoned pro. He was asking how to go about clearing the spammers from his system, and what to do about them. To his credit, after reading his threads, it seems he is making a concerted effort to clear his system of spammers. And by the looks of it he is succeeding. However, at what cost. By assuming everyone is a spammer without doing the proper research into it. Anyway, the responses started coming in immediately. And this was at 2:00 am est. The general consensus was that there was NO evidence that mydomain has been sited as a spammer in the past or recently. The sysadmin, in the opinion of a number of posters, was clueless and I should never do business with these guys anyway because of their spammer rep. They also said I should relate my story to whoever is interested in the spirit of providing them with info about the service. After I got a number of responses from my posting I included them into another e-mail, and off they went to the sysadmin. I figured, if he wouldn’t listen to me maybe he would listen to his peers, people he has seeked advice from in the past. Well on Tuesday, when I go home from a meeting, I finally received an answer from the sysadmin, he read the threads, he agreed someone was spamming me and I got busted for it. What did he want me to do? Well, after correcting him about being busted, since that assumes that I committed or abetted a crime, that the proper term was being unjustifiably accused because of his lack of diligence in dealing with a problem, I told him I want him to tell his people that I did not violate their policies, deserve a refund, need to get my site files, and understandably cannot continue doing business with them. He apologized, allowed me to get my files and told me that a refund was coming. All in very quick time I must admit. I received a refund later in the week, minus $16. Anyway, here is a story about Ipowerweb. Take it as you wish. Things are getting back to normal on my end, but not after wasting several days, and causing a lot of anguish on my part.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Orlando Florida
    Wow Long!! Illl read this later tongiht and comment on it lol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Green Bay, WI
    Hmm, it looks like it's a little your fault, but mostly the isp.

    The main problem I see is they never responded to you in the first place to help you figure out how to deter the spam. So, one could reason if they had given you the proper answer, you would still be hosting there and none of this would have ever happend.

    However, you did know going into it that you were having a spam problem and moved to a new provider to run away from it. So I guess, you should have asked prior to signing up if this company even had the ability to reject certain addresses/ips. I know our software allows you to reject every mail coming to your non-existent email addresses AND block particular domains, ips or addys.

    Anyhow, I'm glad it all worked out in the end, it's really too bad their support wasn't fast enough to help you out before all this took place. It would have saved both sides a lot of heartache.


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