First thing to do is to learn is to always have backups. After you had the first suspension and price hike, that should have been your highest priority.
What you can do now is to choose from 3 evils:
1. pay up the ~$500 they're asking for your files, and change hosts
2. sue them (and the mean time you'll have to also rebuild your site etc.). ICANN and BBB can't really help you. ICANN may be of some help if you have trouble with your domains.
3. tell them to go to hell, rebuild your site, find another host, and jot it all down as "live and learn".
I think I would go for #1, but that is for you to decide.
Really, a terrible situation to be in, and I'm sorry to hear about it.
These guys are incredible. Pay them whatever they're asking for, and chargeback on them. You'll win, and the more chargebacks they receive the closer they'll be to losing their merchant account. Apparently that's the only way they're going to get shut down.
I'm sorry to read about your situation. I faced a similar situation this one day they called me to upgrade my account. They said I should do that because I had purchased another account with the same card and, according to the terms of service, that would automatically upgrade my account to merge both of then in a single one, making me pay two years in advance at 49.95/mo. But the problem (for them) was that my credit card on file was an american express, and they said they needed a mastercard or a visa (probably too many chargebacks from american express customers?). I didn't give them any aditional credit card information and they suspended both accounts. I didn't lost too much, since I had a backup of my website, but they keept my domain name.
Anyway, I'd never go back, they have an unethical way of doing bussines.
I didn't lost too much, since I had a backup of my website, but they keept my domain name.
Did the domain come "free" with the hosting, or did you pay outright for it? As a way to verify your review, maybe you can share the name of the domain with us? You can send it to the moderating team via http://www.webhostingtalk.com/report.php?p=6355708 if you don't want to make it public.
Perhaps 90% of the hosts present on WHT weren't even out of school at that time. In that sense, Gisol has already more than proved that it is around to stay, which is more than we can say about a whole lot of other on-line businesses.