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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    290

    False advertising bad for web hosts?

    As web host you obviously already know that it's hard work and that there is no such thing as unlimited because there is ALWAYS a balance beween price, cost, quality and services.

    With that in mind would you not think that something as below are extremely damaging for the web hosting INDUSTRY in general?

    $12.95 pm
    Unlimited Disk Space
    Unlimited Bandwidth
    Unlimited Domains
    Unlimited Addon/ Parked domains
    Unlimited FTP Accounts
    Unlimited Mysql databases
    Unlimited POP3 accounts

    Even the biggest datacenter in the world cannot offer above but then comes a "BIG" web host and outright LIE to clients and let them believe this crap.

    My concern as a sensible web host is that it's very damaging for the web hosting industry in general because.

    * Due to their huge marketing budget a large portion of the public start to believe such impossible marketing rubbish and in the end it's the WHOLE web hosting industry that have to deal and struggle with total unrealistic expectations. (created by irresponsible web hosts themselves)

    * In at least OUR country it's in fact illegal to mislead the public with false and hugely inflated advertising and while it may per individual client be true, just a small portion of clients that take them up on this offer will shutdown their whole operation.

    * The whole web hosting industry is extremely competitive and that influence us ALL because very often we are forced to mark prices far below NORMAL profit margins just in order to stay price-wise competitive.

    In my view you can almost say the web hosting industry is it's own biggest enemy and web hosts should really start to do something about that.

    After all we ALL can benefit because the datacenters, supper big to smaller hosts and everybody can eventually rise their prices a little bit to be more REALISTIC and common sense instead than to reduce prices even more and just make up for that with even more false advertising.

    Any suggestions?
    Frank Coetzee
    SA Internet News Group cc


    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    * In at least OUR country it's in fact illegal to mislead the public with false and hugely inflated advertising and while it may per individual client be true, just a small portion of clients that take them up on this offer will shutdown their whole operation
    Hosts which advertise "unlimited space" usually have clauses in their terms of service which users must agree to before hosting such as no using the hosting for storage purposes, only html, small images, etc.

    Obviously you're not going to push large amount of bandwidth with small html based websites/static content .

    They are also not claiming to give unlimited CPU cycles / ionodes usually either. They may claim unlimited space, and some what live up to it. By the time someone is using 50GB of space however, chances are they are using a substantial amount of inodes or a heavy amount of CPU usage, thus causing for termination of their account for breaching the providers terms of service. Yes, unlimited space/bandwidth is impossible to provide. It's also impossible to achieve because you're going to hit another one of the providers limits before probably hitting any "space" or "bandwidth" limit.

    I'm not saying I agree with hosting providers who choose to go the unlimited route. I think it is being deceitful to advertise unlimited space and bandwidth, however not make the customer plainly aware of other such limits such as inodes/CPU/memory, etc. It's just another form of marketing. Offer a good enough service, and once people get burned by the "unlimited space" and "unlimited bandwidth" providers, they will come to us providers who provide realistic limits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    290
    Thanks for the useful info.

    (Another requirement of our Advertising Standards Authority is that advertisements must clearly state if such advertisement is conditional and what is that conditions)

    I for one believe in being pro-active and already registered a domain with the sole purpose to use if to INFORMATIONAL issues related to web hosting and once done will invite other hosts to contribute.

    My intention is to use that domain and website to provide VALUABLE and accurate information to the public in such way and in the hope that good and honest hosts link to this website as informational piece.

    (It would have more credibility if a potential client can read on an external website about for example the "misleading" use of the word Unlimited etc)
    Frank Coetzee
    SA Internet News Group cc


    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    The PitLane
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    I hear what everybody says, and do think it's counter productive for the hosting industry, but the 'buyers' need to engage there brains a little.
    IF you buy a car with an 'Unlimited milage' 3 year warrantie, you don't expect it to include milage on water or in the air.

    Personaly I'd prefer to see the termonology changed to 'unristricted', and sign ups only possible after confirmation that the TOS have been read & understood.

    But life does still teach us in all aspects of life:
    1. Buyer Beware
    2. Read the Small Print

    I fail to see any reason why the 'hosting industry' should be exempt from these simple rules.
    _____________________________________________________________
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    290
    Unlimited milage' 3 year warrantie
    Unlimited milage become sort of irrelevant with the focus on 3 YEAR and related to the hosting industry the following is more correct.

    Unlimited usage, maximum 5% CPU usage at any given time.

    Another thing to consider is that MANY, perhaps even the majority of people, don't know or understand the server and hosting terminology and it is almost the same as writing the TOS partly in Latin.

    I can just repeat that I feel the web hosting industry shot itself in the feet with such things the same way as fly-by-night operators and scam artists do because in the end it works negatively on the whole industry.

    (The idea what I have above is thus to use information and co-operation to INFORM the public of these issues to counter the negative aspects with something positive)
    Frank Coetzee
    SA Internet News Group cc


    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    and sign ups only possible after confirmation that the TOS have been read & understood.
    That would be great in theory, but how would the "understood" part be verified? Have a quiz that must be passed?

    I don't see such becoming common anytime soon. The ordering process must be as fast as possible. Anything else would be a competitive disadvantage.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    Singapore
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    That would be great in theory, but how would the "understood" part be verified? Have a quiz that must be passed?

    I don't see such becoming common anytime soon. The ordering process must be as fast as possible. Anything else would be a competitive disadvantage.
    Good in theory, but in real life it's not practical. This may turn away potential clients.

    Anyway, to the OP: What's the reason that WHT disallows unmetered/unlimited offers on their hosting offers section? My guess that it is because it is false advertising.

    I don't agree with the hosts who choose to "offer" unlimited space and bandwidth. (note the "). These hosts cannot live up to what they offer. If you use 20000GB of space, they aren't going to buy 20 1TB hard drives just for you. If you use 100,000GB of bandwidth they aren't going to pay the thousands of dollars in bandwidth overage. It's simply impractical. What they do is they will suspend your account eventually. So much for unlimited.

    These hosts have the potential to cause damage to the entire hosting industry. We hosts are forced to keep prices low and oversell in order to remmain competitive. Newbies to the hosting industry see unlimited space and bandwidth and they go for these offers enthusiastically. They disregard honest hosts which choose to say NO to the Unlimited "promise".

    However, veterans in this industry will know that unlimited is impossible. But then again, said newbies form an integral part of the industry and don't understand that unlimited is impossible.

    It's the way the industry works. Sadly, we have to deal with it.
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  8. #8
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    Sep 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikster View Post
    These hosts have the potential to cause damage to the entire hosting industry. We hosts are forced to keep prices low and oversell in order to remmain competitive. Newbies to the hosting industry see unlimited space and bandwidth and they go for these offers enthusiastically. They disregard honest hosts which choose to say NO to the Unlimited "promise".
    I look it at a different way. I see the bigger hosts offering unlimited space/bandwidth to newbies doing the hard work for the rest of us.

    A newbie signs up with an unlimited host, asks a bunch of questions, learns the ropes, and then realise they can get a faster & more reliable service for a few dollars more.

    They switch, ask less questions since they know the basics..You save money in both support costs and the advertising needed to get a newbie to sign up with you amongst hundreds of others doing the same thing..
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  9. #9
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    Nov 2007
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    However, regardless of what people are told it is still going to happen.

    If you try to tell someone to keep away from them they will still go there until they have problems and realised they should of listened to others.

    It is like you go to a "all you can eat" and if you do eat too much you WILL get thrown out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    maximum 5% CPU usage at any given time.
    CPUs do not work that way; at any given time, a process is either using 100% of a CPU core or 0%.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by coeplicltd View Post
    It is like you go to a "all you can eat" and if you do eat too much you WILL get thrown out.
    or: Throw Up
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