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  1. #1
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    Is this a standard cancellation policy for the hosting industry?

    Hi everyone,

    I have been with my host for years and have been generally satisfied with their hosting overall. Recently I began to see a need to get a better hosting plan somewhere else primarily because of missing features under my current plan that I wanted. Such as being able to host more domains than my plan at my present host allowed for example (without paying extra).

    So I asked about cancelling and whether I would get a pro-rated refund for charges paid so far (I am on a 3 month pay up-front hosting fee schedule).

    Lo and behold I found out to my consternation that not only do I have to give them 30 days notice but worse still that if I give them notice today (effectively cancelling within 30 days) that they will walk away with hosting fees I paid for the following two months of the 3 months of hosting I just paid for!

    Now this is all assuming I understand their cancellation policy and that it is as written on their web site (a policy that I should have paid more attention to when I first started hosting with them).

    If my understanding is correct...is this standard in the hosting industry now? Where hosters draw people in with decreased hosting fees for longer term payment and then prevent people from getting a pro-rated refund if they cancel early?

    I am just curious since in all likelihood I will start looking for another host this week.

    Anybody?

    Carlos

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Most providers will require their clients to submit their cancellation requests ahead of time, 30 days seems to be pretty standard to me. Unfortunately such things should also be looked over carefully before going with any hosting company.

  4. #4
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    30 days notice is quite long for a shared hosting plan; but depending on the service you bought this could be normal; also not giving a pro-rated refund is quite normal in this business (not that i agree with it). This is why most of us here will advise you to go only for a month-to-month service unless you know the host better and have a good understanding with them.

    I'm afraid the host you had this experience with is like many other hosts out there, next time you know what to check/ask before signing up.

  5. #5
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    I will certainly be more careful in the future with respect to reading the fine print.

    I just got confirmation from my hosting company that it is as written.

    So here is a hosting company that entices customers to pay for longer and longer terms by offering a discount. Nothing wrong with that.

    But unbeknown to many of their customers I think is the fact that once they get you to pay for a longer and longer term of hosting that you are then locked in. Completely. You cannot back out. You are stuck.

    On their end they consider it a contractual obligation you enter into by signing up for their longer term just as they consider it a contractual obligation to provide you with hosting for the terms of your contract.

    But the fact is that it takes them no more actual expense to cancel you early than to cancel you at the end of a contract. They must do the same thing on the server. It's no skin off their back to cancel early.

    But to the customer they are stuck and must pay for hosting to the end of the contract even if they have legitimate reason to leave early.

    That is neither good for the reputation of said company or good with respect to having long term customers who have signed up for long terms to walk away happy.

    Quite frankly it comes across as a thinly veiled attempt to force money out of people who want to leave all in the name of a contract whose cancellation doesn't cost the company anything other than the lost money they could have had if the customer had stuck with them.

    Not good. Not good at all.

    For me personally...this has soured whatever good service I received from them over the years and left me in a state of never recommending them to anyone ever again. Goodwill has been lost by them...all in the name of the almighty dollar. A dollar that I see as being forced out of my pocket against my will where the company is not willing to be reasonable and do anything about it other than point to the contract terms. Terms which are entirely in their favor and none to mine.

    Carlos

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    30 days notice is quite long for a shared hosting plan; but depending on the service you bought this could be normal; also not giving a pro-rated refund is quite normal in this business (not that i agree with it). This is why most of us here will advise you to go only for a month-to-month service unless you know the host better and have a good understanding with them.

    I'm afraid the host you had this experience with is like many other hosts out there, next time you know what to check/ask before signing up.
    The service I have had with them is just plain shared hosting. Two domains hosted there. Standard PHP, MySQL stuff. Nothing special other than access to the shell (but that is something that should be offered for those who ask and have legitimate reason to have it without charging extra for it).

    This reminds me of the way some big name phone companies have tried to lock their customers into long terms contracts. It used to be that this is all their was. But now...competition is starting to put a dent in that with respect to other companies now offering the same service with no contract obligations.

    What ever happened to companies keeping customers on the basis of offering better service than the next guy?? Without resorting to these thinly veiled and seemingly justifiable contracts that force customers to stay with companies that have ceased to offer products they are happy with?

    In the case of large phone companies at least their reasons for forcing customers to abide by long contracts they sign up for is somewhat justifiable in that they do incur some real expense. But in the case of hosting companies it seems to me that locking customers in this way is completely unjustified.

    From the standpoint that there are no additional expenses incurred by hosting companies to let customers out of long term contracts early than to cancel their account on the tail end of their contracts.

    Competition may be the only way to drive these contract shenanigens out of the hosting industry...if they are indeed an industry practice.

    Carlos

  7. #7
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    Carlos,

    You want me to get my mom to call them? She can be a mean 'ol bitty on the phone

    I don't know what to say. If it was me, it would be one of those "F you, bring me to court" situations. Any host doing this type of thing doesn't deserve to host your website.

    Also, what company is this?

  8. #8
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    Carlos,

    Although i understand your frustration, and don't understand why a company does this, it is where you (the customer) did agree upon when signing up with them. I find it hard to believe they did not make you check a box which said you did fully comply with all the blablabla they showed you

    That a company keeps you to the contract you signed with them is perfectly normal as they probably build their business in such a way they can give you discount on the normal prices but need to be sure you stay with them for those 3 months; in fact it then does matter if you leave earlier and wish your money back.

    If they delivered you good services for the time you where customer with them; they kept their part of the contract; you have little to complain about. Except that you should read the terms and conditions the next time you sign up for anything.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mekhu View Post
    Also, what company is this?
    The particular company really doesn't matter. I may mention them in the future but there is no need for that at this point in time.

    Carlos

  10. #10
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    Hello Carlos,

    We require a 3 day notice, as 30 days seems a bit long. However, if this was listed in their TOS, unfortunately its what you signed up for.

    I think it is a bit harsh not giving you a refund for the time after the 30 days. We don't give refunds either, once the server has been setup but we usually have just month-to-month plans.

    I wish you the best of luck with a new host and maybe you might be able to recover some of your money.
    Stephanie Ostheimer
    Director of Account Management
    SingleHop Dedicated Servers

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    Carlos,

    Although i understand your frustration, and don't understand why a company does this, it is where you (the customer) did agree upon when signing up with them. I find it hard to believe they did not make you check a box which said you did fully comply with all the blablabla they showed you
    As far as I can remember, it's been a long time since I went through their account set up process, their was undoubtedly some sort of check box. And yes...I take full and complete responsibility for having entered their so-called contractual obligation of my own free will...though I did not realize at the time that this would involve my being stuck with them regardless of whether their hosting met my need or not for the duration of time I agreed to.

    Such a thing did not even cross my mind seeing as how forcing customers to stick with them no matter what is just a ridiculous business policy. Completely unjustified in my mind.

    That a company keeps you to the contract you signed with them is perfectly normal as they probably build their business in such a way they can give you discount on the normal prices but need to be sure you stay with them for those 3 months; in fact it then does matter if you leave earlier and wish your money back.
    Why would it matter to a hosting company?

    Let's say that I sign up for one year of hosting. And rather than charging me $10 per month they charge me $5. Total cost is $60 discounted for the year or $120 on a month to month basis.

    So I pay the $60.

    The cost to set me up for hosting is the same to the hosting company either way. It does not cost them one penny more to set up to host on a month to month than to set me up to host one year at a time. Both setup processes are pretty much automated and a month-to-month does not need any more or less setup involvement by an employee than the year to year setup.

    Why does a hosting company need to be sure that I stay with them for one year? As opposed to one month?

    I mean it's nice business wise but it's not neccesary.

    When I buy a hot dog at a hot dog stand does the hot dog stand owner need to know that I will be back once every month for a whole year to buy a hot dog? Of course not.

    Neither do hosting companies need to know that I will host with them for a whole year.

    If I chose to buy hot dogs en masse at a discount...a whole year's worth...and get a case of hot dogs that's one thing. But were talking about selling me today's hotdog at a discount based on my committment to buy 11 more over the rest of the year.

    If I cancel it would be perfectly fair for the hot dog vendor (or hosting company) to charge me the difference between the discounted yearly price and the normal month-to-month price for as many hot dogs as I might have bought so far (for as many months of hosting that I would have used so far). But to charge me anyway for a whole year's worth of hot dogs (or hosting) no matter what...is just plain ludicrous!

    What if I decide that eating hot dogs is no longer good for my health? Or what if find another company that is willing to serve me up a whole meal instead of just a hot dog for the same price I am now paying for a hot dog?

    Would any hot dog vendor in their right mind operate a business where they would force customers to keep buying their hot dogs on such a basis? NO WAY!

    So why should web hosting companies do it that way? Makes no sense at all to me.

    It would take no more for them to set up to charge the difference between the discount (for longer terms of hosting) than for month-to-month hosting. It's all done by computers anyway so no skin off their back to set it up that way.

    These ridiculous contracts need to go just as the long term phone company contracts are going!

    Companies need to get back to keeping their customers because they offer the best in customer service and products instead of relying on these contract shenanigens to force unhappy customers to stay longer than they would otherwise.

    Carlos

  12. #12
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    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by SingleHopSteph View Post
    We require a 3 day notice, as 30 days seems a bit long. However, if this was listed in their TOS, unfortunately its what you signed up for.
    Yes...I am quite stuck. But even 30 days would be somewhat acceptable to me if not entirely understandable as to why they would even need 30 days. But to force me to stay with them 3 months just because I paid...is ridiculous!

    3 days sounds very reasonable to me.

    I think it is a bit harsh not giving you a refund for the time after the 30 days. We don't give refunds either, once the server has been setup but we usually have just month-to-month plans.
    It's one thing if some hosting company actually goes through the hassle of setting up a dedicated web server Stephanie. But even then the no-refund bit should be reasonable and reflect the recooping of actual expense...not an attempt to force customers to stay longer than they might want.

    But in my case we are talking about shared hosting Stephanie. To force me to remain a shared hosting customer for the duration of time that I paid for, after I have been with this company for years, is absolutely ridiculous! No justification for that whatsoever.

    I wish you the best of luck with a new host and maybe you might be able to recover some of your money.
    [/quote]

    This isn't about the money Stephanie. 3 months of shared hosting is peanuts. That's not what has me upset. It's the unfairness of their cancellation policy. It's the unfairness of my having stuck with this company through thick and thin (and they had some problems) only to have them stick me for 2 months of hosting where I don't want to be with them anymore beyond my 30 days notice time just because it's in some fine print somewhere.

    Where there is absolutely no other reason that can be justified other than that they simply want my money.

    I'll get over it but you better believe that I will look much more carefully at hosting companies in the future. And you better believe that this particular company has lost whatever good will they had built up with me such that I will never recommend them again (as I had been doing). The lost goodwill and referral alone will cost them way more than 2 months of hosting fees. If they choose to be so shortsighted that they think it worthwhile to have me be forced to continue hosting with them no matter what until my term is up...they are being penny wise and pound foolish.

    I won't mention them by name now but that's not to say that I won't mention them by name in the future if someone asks me about hosting with them.

    Customer goodwill is a valuable thing. Worth a lot more than a measly $16 or whatever it is that I am being forced to pay.

    No company should stick to the terms of a contract that are seen to be unfair. No matter what little check box a customer checked when originally signing up.

    Carlos

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos123 View Post
    Customer goodwill is a valuable thing. Worth a lot more than a measly $16 or whatever it is that I am being forced to pay.

    No company should stick to the terms of a contract that are seen to be unfair. No matter what little check box a customer checked when originally signing up.

    Carlos
    I agree. I think as long as you are courteous and professional when you cancel most companies would work with you. I think policies are there as a guideline to protect the host from fraudsters and host-jumpers, but should remain flexible where possible.

    I must emphasize that being nice can really go a long way. As a host, I usually either pro-rate cancellations down to the day or give a credit towards future services, even though this is no where in the policy. I only do this, however, if the client follows the proper cancellation procedures and gives a reasonably -detailed explanation as to the reason for their cancellation. I have been known to go so far as to pay them extra for their constructive criticism (if they are moving to another host).

    On the other hand, if they are nasty and demanding for no apparent reason, or worse just stop paying without having the courtesy to cancel at all, then they will be liable for any unpaid balances that are technically due under the terms of service. (Sometimes those cases wind up in collections.)

    So, my advice would be to just contact your old host, explain the situation honestly, give them some constructive feedback, and tell them you would really appreciate if they could make an exception to their policy for you, especially since you have been a loyal customer for such a long time, but if they can not you will understand. Make sure they know that you will come back if they ever start to offer the features you need, and that you will recommend their services to others in the mean time.

    Any host that still refuses to meet you halfway after all that doesn't deserve to be in business.
    eVerity.com
    Celebrating 9 years of customer service. Domain names, shared/semi-dedicated/dedicated hosting, SSL certificates, merchant accounts, reseller options, and referral program, since July 2000.

  14. #14
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    They're not forcing you to stay, they're just not going to give you a pro-rata refund on the monies you've pre-paid.

    We ask our customers to give us 7 days notice to cancel a contract but if they've paid upfront for 3 months and cancel after 1 month we don't give them their money back. We make that quite clear in the contract and I don't think that's an unusual, unfair, or overbearing clause. After all, you can leave if you want - we're not holding anything to ransom - but we aren't going to provide a refund either. If we didn't meet our SLA then that would be a different matter.

    We sign 3-year contract with the datacentre. We only pay monthly but if we did cancel early there is a penalty of six-months payments. I see nothing wrong with that. Again, if they didn't fulfill their part of the contract (uptime, speed of response etc etc) then there is a contingency for that, but if we just change our mind we can't get out of it without paying the price.

    If you believe 3-days notice is "fair" then I'm not so sure you'd think it was fair if they reciprocated with 3-days notice - some clauses in a contract have to be reciprocated, or be in the clients favour, if the contract is with a consumer. Imagine how you would react if you had lots of sites, or were a reseller, and you were given notice on the 28th of the month that the company weren't going to renew your contract. Would you think it fair that you had to find alternative hosting and move all your sites in 3 days? I doubt it.

    We only require a client to give us 7 days notice, but our contract states that we need to give them 30 days notice unless they breach our terms of service. If we cancel a pre-paid contract we always refund the unused portion of their pre-payment based on the equivalent monthly charge for that service unless it's an immediate cancellation for breach of our policies on, say, Spam.

    It's true that it may not cost more to host a site for 3 months than it does for one month but companies do medium and long-term planning and part of this is based on existing guaranteed income streams. Your 3-month advance payment is not only "banked" but it is probably "spent" in terms of cash-flow planning. If they had 100 people paying for 3 months in advance then this money may be allocate against an expenditure e.g. a new server, since the money is now guaranteed and in their bank. If they had to refund all these people after 1 month in defiance of their contract, they may end up losing money because they've spent against an income that they no longer have. Ok, you're not 100 people, but the principal is the same. I'm not suggesting that businesses are micro-managed to this degree, but to say that it costs the company nothing to provide a pro-rata discount simply isn't true.

  15. #15
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    Maybe wait 8 weeks before looking to move ?

    or is that too simple ?
    _____________________________________________________________
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJamie View Post
    Your 3-month advance payment is not only "banked" but it is probably "spent" in terms of cash-flow planning. If they had 100 people paying for 3 months in advance then this money may be allocate against an expenditure e.g. a new server, since the money is now guaranteed and in their bank. If they had to refund all these people after 1 month in defiance of their contract, they may end up losing money because they've spent against an income that they no longer have. Ok, you're not 100 people, but the principal is the same. I'm not suggesting that businesses are micro-managed to this degree, but to say that it costs the company nothing to provide a pro-rata discount simply isn't true.
    This is a good point. I guess every hosting business has its own model, and this is undoubtedly true for most.
    eVerity.com
    Celebrating 9 years of customer service. Domain names, shared/semi-dedicated/dedicated hosting, SSL certificates, merchant accounts, reseller options, and referral program, since July 2000.

  17. #17
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    30 day notice....? thats brutal.....

    i have been with theplanet since jan 2007.I did change to different server a a few months back.They need just 48 hours notice before the next billing date.

    thats probably the best in the industry.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearbox View Post
    30 day notice....? thats brutal.....

    i have been with theplanet since jan 2007.I did change to different server a a few months back.They need just 48 hours notice before the next billing date.

    thats probably the best in the industry.

    This has not been my experience with The Planet. I have a few servers with them and have been a very good customer, I think. They changed the renewal date without any notification and then refused to refund not only the current month but the next month as well, so I really got hit hard on that one. The reason for the server being canceled is that it had some problems to begin with, which I believe were TP's fault. So it was just horrible service all around.

    Its OK, I expect TP will lose around $20,000 in the long run as a result of their greed over a few hundred bucks. I am not closing any other active servers with them for now, but it is doubtful I will add any more either.

    So again, it pays to be flexible, professional, and treat people with honesty and respect, no matter which side of the business transaction you are on. In the future I will deal more with smaller data centers that haven't forgotten those important values.
    eVerity.com
    Celebrating 9 years of customer service. Domain names, shared/semi-dedicated/dedicated hosting, SSL certificates, merchant accounts, reseller options, and referral program, since July 2000.

  19. #19
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    30 days is normal but I think they should refund the rest if you pre-paid unless you are under contract.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJamie View Post
    ...If they had to refund all these people after 1 month in defiance of their contract, they may end up losing money because they've spent against an income that they no longer have.
    That money should not be spent if it's not earned! On occasion I have collected ahead of time from clients of mine for this or that service but I don't spend the money I have not earned. I set it aside or otherwise make sure I have enough to cover it in the event the customer wants it back. I spend it freely only after it is earned.

    There is no excuse for spending money that is not earned. No matter how much a hosting company might want to do such a thing.

    And accounting excuses as to why a company must do that are...well...just that. Excuses.

    Furthermore if any hosting company has these types of contracts as a way to avoid a host of refunds...may I suggest that a company that hides behind such contracts should not be in business!

    A company should stand or fall on great service and great product offerings. Not on how many persons they can lock in to long term contracts that are primarily oriented around what is of benefit to them. Not the customer.

    Carlos

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by everity View Post
    So, my advice would be to just contact your old host, explain the situation honestly, give them some constructive feedback, and tell them you would really appreciate if they could make an exception to their policy for you, especially since you have been a loyal customer for such a long time, but if they can not you will understand. Make sure they know that you will come back if they ever start to offer the features you need, and that you will recommend their services to others in the mean time.

    Any host that still refuses to meet you halfway after all that doesn't deserve to be in business.
    What you propose that one do everity is not being met half way. That's the customer giving way to policies that benefit only the hosting company at the expense of the customer.

    That's the customer being entirely at the mercy of a hosting company and having no recourse if they simply decide not to act reasonably and stick to the letter of their policy as written (however unreasonable).

    Don't get me wrong everity. Your advice is basically sound and good I think respecting how I should react.

    Where I would differ is in telling a hosting company that has policies that only benefit them with respect to cancelling long term contracts...that I will gladly come back if they better their offerings and that I will recommend their service to others. That's going too far everity.

    I was nice but firm with my hosting company and did not let on the level of frustration that I felt to them as I have here to you all. But they won't budge. The law is the policy they have in place. My years with them mean...well...nothing I guess.

    That's fine if they want to be that way I guess. I mean there's nothing I can do about it. I gave them official notice of cancelling my account today. I will be with them till October 4th and after that I will never host with them again. Nor will I ever recommend them as a hosting company again.

    Like I said before...they lost my goodwill. I think the loss of that goodwill will cost them a whole heck of a lot more than $16 in the long run.

    Carlos

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    Maybe wait 8 weeks before looking to move ?

    or is that too simple ?
    It's twelve weeks. And no I can't wait twelve weeks to move. I will need to start hosting more than two domains within a month. So I will need to go with another host anyway while waiting for my twelve months to finish up with my host.

    Besides it's not a matter of the time or the amount of money. It's the principle of the thing. How any company can hide behind these long term contracts to wiggle extra money out of customers who no longer want to be with them (for whatever reason) is beyond me. I would NEVER do business that way. Never!

    I would give customers great service and a great product and leave it at that. Hoping to keep my customers through such things and not through some appeal to contractual shenanigens.

    At most I would charge the difference between the discounted rate for long term hosting pre-paid vs month to month if anyone cancelled early. I would never just walk away with their money or force them into continuing to host with me for the full term that they pre-paid.

    That's just ridiculous!

    That locks the customer in to being stuck with them no matter what. A company can lower their hosting plans, remove features, change features, drop some great tech support guys, sell themselves to the local mom and pop who've never been in the hosting business in their life...and those poor hosting customers are absolutely stuck. They must ride out any changes at their hosting company until their long term pre-paid hosting term expires. For that matter the hosting company can even go out of business and...you guessed it...the pre-paid money is ALL theirs no matter what.

    Like I said...ridiculous! Utterly and completely ridiculous.

    Carlos

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleHopSteph View Post
    Hello Carlos,

    We require a 3 day notice, as 30 days seems a bit long. However, if this was listed in their TOS, unfortunately its what you signed up for.

    I think it is a bit harsh not giving you a refund for the time after the 30 days. We don't give refunds either, once the server has been setup but we usually have just month-to-month plans.

    I wish you the best of luck with a new host and maybe you might be able to recover some of your money.
    Steph, it's because y'all are a dedicated server company and people would abuse the sh*t out of y'all and then request a refund.
    Jacob Wall - GetCloak.com

  24. #24
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    I just want to say that perhaps I have been too hard on my web host. I still won't recommend them in the future and I still think it's unfair that I should be forced to continue hosting with them (or walk away while letting them keep my money) just because they want it that way but I did agree to what I agreed to and the fault for that lies squarely on my own head.

    An agreement is an agreement even when it hurts and even when I don't read the fine print real carefully or think about the implications of what is in the agreement .

    They did give me years of great service and for that I am thankful. I hate shopping around for new hosting companies.

    What is really amazing is that I may have already found a real good hosting company from right off this very thread. It's a small company but that may actually prove beneficial in that the main person there seems very sincere in wanting to provide the best service possible and with integrity to boot. He didn't try and con me or make himself appear to be more than he was. He didn't try and fool me into thinking he knew more than he did. I like that.

    There are still a couple of things I need more info on but he will email me in the morning with more info on one of those things. And if it looks good I will most likely go with his company (though I will check around some to see if I can get some reviews or otherwise on this company first).

    The only thing I failed to ask him was how many domains I can have under an account there but I suspect that too is very reasonable.

    The only thing that is questionable really is that this new hosting company is very small. While that may be an advantage is some respects it's questionable in that it may not be able to provide the level of service a bigger company might have an easier time providing. But then again I am no spring chicken when it comes to knowing how to work with web sites and such so it might work out okay in that I won't have many newbie questions.

    Anyway thanks again to everyone's input and most of all for giving me freedom to express some of my frustration here. I shouldn't have allowed myself to get as frustrated as I did.

    Carlos

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos123 View Post
    It's twelve weeks.
    8 weeks then 30 days notice
    And no I can't wait twelve weeks to move.
    so why did you make the most recent payment ?
    I will need to start hosting more than two domains within a month.
    Splash out on another service and run them in parallel, i'd always recommend doing that anyway
    So I will need to go with another host anyway while waiting for my twelve months
    It's 12 weeks
    to finish up with my host.

    Besides it's not a matter of the time or the amount of money. It's the principle of the thing.
    Trust me 'principles' are often too expensive for most businesses to loose sleep over
    How any company can hide behind these long term contracts to wiggle extra money out of customers who no longer want to be with them (for whatever reason) is beyond me. I would NEVER do business that way. Never!
    Under what circumstances is it legitimate for either party of a contract to 'bend the rules' ?

    I would give customers great service and a great product and leave it at that.
    Good for you, that's what most of us aim to do
    Hoping to keep my customers through such things and not through some appeal to contractual shenanigens.
    Enforcing an agreed contract is hardly 'Shenanigens'

    At most I would charge the difference between the discounted rate for long term hosting pre-paid vs month to month if anyone cancelled early. I would never just walk away with their money or force them into continuing to host with me for the full term that they pre-paid.
    What you 'would do' has no bearing on what you have contracted to do

    That's just ridiculous!
    In your opinion

    That locks the customer in to being stuck with them no matter what. A company can lower their hosting plans, remove features, change features, drop some great tech support guys, sell themselves to the local mom and pop who've never been in the hosting business in their life...and those poor hosting customers are absolutely stuck. They must ride out any changes at their hosting company until their long term pre-paid hosting term expires. For that matter the hosting company can even go out of business and...you guessed it...the pre-paid money is ALL theirs no matter what.

    Like I said...ridiculous! Utterly and completely ridiculous.

    Carlos
    Yes I agree, that last paragraph of yours seems rediculous

    Anyways, if you have all that negative energy, I guess WHT posting is as good as any other way of dispersing it,
    certainly beats 'kicking the cat'
    _____________________________________________________________
    - There are many types of Marmalade -

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    95
    My twelve weeks consisted of the following (thanks for correcting my twelve months to twelve weeks...which is what it is).

    My web hosting company billed me July 30th for the next 3 months. I began asking to confirm whether I would get a pro-rated refund IF I should switch hosting due to my needing to host more web sites a few days later.

    They responded I would not. I communicated some more with them and when it became evident that I would not period...I came on webhostingtalk and expressed my frustration over my impression, which was mistaken, that I would be able to get a pro-rated refund (since it did not even dawn on me that my hosting company would unreasonably hold on to my money as a result of an unreasonable set in stone policy) and that I was being forced to stick with their hosting no matter what until the end of my agreed upon term (bear in mind that it was years since I read the cancellation policy).

    Aside from the fact that I obviously agreed to their terms at some point, which I did...the policy itself is not good with respect to both being fair to the customer and with respect to the hosting company earning the fees involved fully based on good service provide to a willing customer. Rather the fees now being "earned" by my hosting company is money that I have been forced to throw away on hosting that I no longer want or need from them.

    I would have gladly paid the difference between the discount received and month-to-month hosting fees for the duration of my 3 month term is it came down to it!

    Any way you look at it, all complaints to the contrary aside about me having all this incredible negative energy and so forth, such a hosting policy is entirely oriented around what the hosting company wants and has little of anything to do with what the customer wants, needs, or is of benefit to the customer.

    That's no way to do business...my personal opinion.

    Such a policy is not a good policy. Plain and simple. Unless someone can show me logically how such a policy looks out for BOTH the interests of the hoster AND the customer (and no...I do not consider it a logical argument in favor of this policy to say that this entitles the customer to have a host who is successful financially ).

    Carlos

    PS. All in all it worked out pretty well for me I think. My frustration with the one hosting company I have been with for years has been tempered by having another, even better hosting company it seems, offer me an absolutely free 3 month trial to try them out. And this new company has expressed a willingness to give back pro-rated refunds if one is switching away from them for valid reasons that have nothing to do with host hopping (that's being reasonable folks!). They didn't even have me give them a credit card for goodness sake. Just 3 months of free hosting just to try them. And in looking over the chat transcripts they emailed me it dawned on me that they had spent over an hour chatting with me BEFORE I even signed up for their offer of a free trial! Amazing. If their hosting turns out to be anything like what it seems to be and meets my needs I will be with them for years to come so in the long run it may work out good for the both of us and the 3 month free trial will have been well worth it for them and me.

    Oh...I have no cat LOL. Just my keyboard I guess...but even with that I should learn to temper my frustrations with things like unfair policies and not be so prone to express myself at least until I have calmed down some. My apologies if I insulted any hosting companies here in the process.
    Last edited by Carlos123; 08-06-2009 at 02:19 PM.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Above The Clouds
    Posts
    6,999
    Strange to see many hosts stating they require notice. For shared hosting we have never required any notice and sometimes a client will cancel their own billing (at WorldPay/PayPal) and then just inform us that they are leaving. That is also fine.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
    Featuring the atOmicSTACK ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    95
    Hmmm...strange indeed NextDog given that your company seems to be surviving just fine with no notice at all for cancellation of shared hosting.

    Kinda makes my point I think. That such notices are absolutely uneccessary to allow a hosting company to succeed or make ends meet financially. Stopping a shared hosting account when cancelling is a piece of cake under Apache. Takes all of maybe 15 minutes or even less if one has scripts to more or less automate the cancellation.

    And if the customer themselves can cancel themselves through an online interface even better.

    Attempts to wiggle money out of customers through these long notification times and the supposed need to go to the end of contracts (I am talking about shared hosting mind you) are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to get something for nothing from customers for the good of the hosting company or attempts to force them to stay in the hopes that they won't ulimately leave. It's not a win/win for all involved. Just for the hosting company.

    Carlos

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Above The Clouds
    Posts
    6,999
    I figure it's always best to leave on good terms as many clients often return in the future. Also it's wise to remember that no-one really reads a TOS that might mention the cancellation policy when signing up so hitting someone up for 7 days notice 2 when they cancel 2 days before a subscription renews is always going to make people angry.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
    Featuring the atOmicSTACK ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by NexDog View Post
    Strange to see many hosts stating they require notice. For shared hosting we have never required any notice and sometimes a client will cancel their own billing (at WorldPay/PayPal) and then just inform us that they are leaving. That is also fine.
    Out of curiosity Laurence, would you refund a customer who had purchased a 'nexusTHREE' package (since your site states that this plan is only available on a yearly billing cycle), if they were to cancel this plan 6 months into their term?

    If so, would that not be going against your own TOS?

    6.1. Setup fees (where applicable) are non-refundable. HostNexus does not issue refunds for fees paid in advance or for fees and/or payment made towards your account after the first 15 days of Service.
    Rob G.
    ShopManager - Sales & Repair Business Management Software

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Above The Clouds
    Posts
    6,999
    Seems I should I read our own TOS (that was written in 2001). We always give pro-rata refunds on quarterly and yearly billing if a client cancels mid-cycle.

    Thanks for the heads up. I'll remove it. And I guess a full review of the TOS is well overdue.
    Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD
    Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
    Fully Managed [Shared][Reseller][Cloud VPS] [Dedicated]
    Featuring the atOmicSTACK ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability

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