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  #1  
Old 04-27-2001, 04:41 AM
shocked shocked is offline
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Angry

Ok, this will detail my experience so far with serverhost (ie, plusweb). Yeah, its long, but its all true and I think most people would like to know and should be aware of such business practices.

Our company has its own data center and we were looking for somewhere to place some additional machines to provide some redundancy in case of a catastrophic disaster. After looking around (and reading here) we contacted Serverhost. Serverhost is owned and operated by Jeffrey Kehe. During our discussions, I learned that Serverhost/Plusweb keeps (kept) the majority of their machines at Trivergent (www.trivergent.com) in Greenville, SC. I had already contacted Trivergent in our search for a collocation facility and so I knew some about them.
We negotiated for quite a while on the contract with Serverhost and we came to terms and signed up on Feb 7, 2001 for his special “$599/mo for 1mbs and 1 rack”. This is a one year agreement. In the contract, it states that additional racks are $199 and additional 1mbs blocks are $399/mo. As you probably know, these are pretty good prices, actually quite a bit below what Trivergent quoted me. Now we needed IP’s because we obviously cannot send machines with no IP’s. We were told we needed to send justification. That is reasonable so we sent justification for 2 full class C’s. Now the wait was on. FINALLY on Feb 22nd after MANY promises we got 1 class c. A full two weeks later. I was told we would have the other soon. We then sent 3 servers. They were put online in a reasonable timeframe and seemed to work fine. So, as of March 2nd we had 3 machines working.
On March 16th in the middle of the day (approx 1pm PST) all the machines suddenly went offline. I tried calling all the numbers Jeffery gave me (His cell phone, his pager and a customer support number). The Cell phone and pager both went to voice mail and I left messages. The support number was answered by a man who said he was located in California and didn’t know anything about the collocation center and to call or email Jeffery. Downtime is very bad for us (especially so soon) and so we called Trivergent (we assumed they must be having some problem). We were told that Plusweb/Serverhost was not a client of Trivergent (now known as NUVOX) but that Plusweb/Serverhost was a client of Valuetech (http://www.valuetech.net/) who is a client of Trivergent. We were then told (by Trivergent) that they (Plusweb/Serverhost and/or Valuetech) had decided to move some machines out of the building during the middle of the day. At this time (a full hour down) we still had not heard anything from Jeffrey or anyone at Serverhost/Plusweb. Finally, after over an hour of downtime, we got a phone call from Jeffrey. He told me that everything was back up and working. I told him that no, it was not. He then went and looked and told me that my switch was not working. Somehow, according to Jeffrey, my Cisco switch that was working perfectly an hour ago, had quit working and now all the lights on the front were orange. I was obviously angry and he offered to plug me into his significantly lower end switch until mine could be fixed. I then asked him via email what he was going to do to fix my switch. He told me this: QUOTE: “We can send it back to you so you can send it back to Cisco to get fixed. It worked perfectly when it came back online for about 5 minutes, because we
were able to ping your machines. I seem to think that its failure was something totally unrelated.” UNQUOTE. I disgreed. We argued over this for a day or so and finally Jeffrey said he got the switch working again.
Just a few days later (3-17-01), we got a email from Jeffrey telling us that if we wanted to keep our equipment with him that we now needed to also abide by the Trivergent Acceptable Use Policy. That policy forbids pornography and one of the servers we had there was an adult hosting server. I explained to Jeffrey that we do not have a contract with Trivergent, we have one with him. Furthermore, his contract did not mention anything about pornography or any such restrictions. He told me that Trivergent had just informed him of the policy and that I had to abide by it anyway. I was very unhappy about this since now I had moved the server and many clients over to the Trivergent data center. I talked with Jeffrey on the phone about this and he said that I could have a “couple of weeks” to move my server. During that phone call Jeffrey also admitted to me that his line with Trivergent was a capped 2mbs line. In other words, he had a grand total of 2mbs for all clients and we could only “burst” to 2mbs. I also learned from him that you do not actually get your own rack, you get to use up to a rack of space. So my machines were sharing space with other people. I was a little upset that I was paying for a full rack of space, but I was only actually getting shared space.
That same week I got a call at 4:30pm on a Friday saying that we had to have the adult server out of their facility by 5pm or they would shut it off. I spoke with Jeffrey and he told me that Trivergent had told him to turn it off and he had to. I asked what happened to the “couple of weeks” and he told me that he thought that Trivergent would let it stay but he was wrong. So, Jeffrey told me that he could take it to another facility (I suspect Valuetech) and that the server could run there for the weekend. After waiting several hours (the server had been disconnected at 5pm), I talked again to Jeffrey and he told me that the other data center would not take the server like he thought. So, our server was down (with 30 min notice) for the weekend.
On Monday I had to give Jeffrey MY Fedex number to send the adult server back to my other facility. When the machine arrived (Tuesday after being down since Friday evening), it would not boot. I asked Jeffrey about a credit or something since I lost many clients due to the server being offline for the weekend and I was told that it was not his fault. He also stated that “sometime soon” he would be posting a revised contract online and the changes would pass down to me. Last time I checked, a signed contract for a year doesn’t just get changed by rewriting a webpage. Anyway, at this point I was very very unhappy with Jeffrey and serverhost/plusweb. I sent him an email telling him that I was considering canceling services because he could not seem to perform on what we agreed to in writing via the contract. I listed my concerns, two of which being that we could not get IP’s in any kind of timely manner, to which he replied “There is no guarantee of IP address availability in the contract.” 2) to the fact that he shut the server off on Friday night with ½ hr’s notice. Our contract specifically states that servers will not be shutoff without 48 hrs written notice specifically by fax. We did not receive any notice by fax.
So, at this point (3-27-01 or a full 25 days since our first server arrived), I wrote to Jeffrey and I told him that because of my problems (and I was still waiting for the second class C) that I was going to write a review of my experiences on webhostingtalk.com. Amazingly, I got a call from Jeffrey with the new class C less than 2 hours later. During this conversation, I explained to Jeffrey that I did not want to write a bad review of him because it would obviously hurt his business. All I wanted was decent service and for him to live up to his end of the contract. He was very apologetic on the phone and continued to tell me how it was all Trivergent’s fault and he was working very hard, but it was a small company and he was trying to hire more people but he was short handed, etc etc.. After the conversation, I felt a little better and told him that I would hold off on writing a review and see how things went. (I bet you can already guess.)

<CONTINUED>



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  #2  
Old 04-27-2001, 04:46 AM
shocked shocked is offline
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Angry BEWARE - My SERVERHOST/PLUSWEB <continued>

<continued>


At this point, things started to get a little better. However, ff you need a reboot after 5pm EST its very hard to get it. He told me it costs him $100 to Trivergent each time he has to go in after hrs and so he waits to only go in once. That’s nice, except if my server needs to be rebooted, the clients don’t like to wait for Jeffrey to build up a list of people before he heads down to the center. On Thursday 4-5-01, one of my employees told me that Jeffrey had called and told him that he (Jeffrey) was going out of town for the weekend and if we needed any reboots there would be a charge. I immediately called Jeffrey since we get 10 free reboots a month. He told me that he was going to be out of town and that he would have to pay someone else to do it if I needed reboots. I explained that I didn’t care. My contract was with him and I was told that I got 10 free. After 5 or so minutes of arguing, he told me that “as long as they are emergencies” I would not be charged. Luckily, I did not need any reboots over the weekend. On 4-24-01 I happened to be reading the Serverhost website and I saw that he said that he would be not using the Greenville (Trivergent) data center after Aug 1st 2001. Since my 1 yr contract is not up until 2002, I was a little concerned. We signed up based on the serverhost website that showed the actual pictures of the Trivergent NOC and I was assured on many occasions that that’s where my equipment was/would be. I sent Jeffrey an email on 4-24-01 asking if I needed to be concerned because my contract was not up until 2002 and we purchased colo based upon his website and statements that he used/was in the trivergent data center. He sent me this exact reply: “There is no need to worry at this point. You will be informed of any changes to your service.”
I was happy about that.
I then mentioned to Jeffrey that one of our dedicated clients was interested in hosting some adult sites. I asked for a quote to move the one server to Ohio so the user could have adult content. Jeffrey really got worried and told me that if the client had any adult content now “you risk cancelling my entire agreement with NuVox.” I told him not to worry, the client had approached me and the client was happy to wait to be moved to a different data center. Jeffrey then proceeded to really try to sell me on moving everything to the new data center. We haven’t even had everything running ok for 2 months so I was not in a real big hurry to make a big move, nevertheless have more service disruption. I asked Jeffrey if we would have to change IP’s and about any downtime. I also asked about the new data center. On 4-25-01 he told me that there would be approx 8 hrs of downtime while he drove the servers to Ohio and that yes, the IP’s would need to change. Jeffrey also told me “I've already advised them not to talk to you about pricing”. I emailed Jeffrey and I told him that we did not want to move and that I wanted to know about the data center’s connectivity. I also mentioned that it is illegal (anti trust) to try and use your influence to prevent me (or anyone) from doing business with anyone else. (I’m sure we all know about this.)
On 4-26-01, I got a message that Jeffrey had called my office. I returned his call. (*4-26-sub note* I mention this sub note only to give a total story, apparently our bank made a mistake and did not transfer funds properly and our $599 check was returned. I was VERY concerned about this since we have ample funds. I talked to my bank and they offered to pay me any late fees I incurred. I then talked to Jeffrey and offered to immediately wire the full payment plus returned check charge. He declined and said he just wanted to redeposit the check and that I should just send him a check for $25 to cover the return fee. End sub note*) During the call, Jeffrey told me that it would be a HUGE inconvenience if I did not allow him to move my servers to Ohio on 5-4-01. I told him that we have an important nameserver there at Trivergent and it’s a huge pain in the ass to change nameserver IPs. He told me he could leave the nameserver and move everything else. I told him I would think about it and let him know this weekend.
After the phone call I confirmed our conversation in an email. In Jeffrey’s email response he said “The servers will be moved on the night of Friday, May 4; if you need to leave your DNS server here until our next trip to Ohio (probably the night of Friday, May 25), that could be arranged.” That was not what I had agreed to. I then sent Jeffrey an email explaining that we signed up with him based upon the fact that he was in Greenville, SC (not Ohio) and that he was in the Trivergent facility (as the PICTURES on his website once showed) as well as his whole network description was the Trivergent network and the many conversations confirming that we were in the Trivergent facility. I told him that selling someone one product (servers/bandwidth in Trivergent) and then switching it (moving servers to another state, different connectivity, etc) is basically “bait-and-switch” and that it is illegal. I told him that we do not authorize any servers to be moved and that we have a 1yr signed agreement. At this point, we are LESS than 2 months into our agreement. Tonight (4-26-01), I got an email from Jeffrey that was very interesting.
Jeffrey now states that leaving the servers at Trivergent is not an option. He gives me these choices:

QUOTE: “If you'd like to move the servers to Ohio (continue service beyond April 30, 2001), you will need to forward $624.00 to us.

If you do not want to move your servers to the Ohio Facility, you have two options:

1) We are willing to let you out of your contract with a $1797 cancellation fee.

2) We are willing to let you continue your full rack and a 1.544Mbps
connection provided by Ethernet handoff here in Greenville at NuVox
Communications for our cost, $1250 per month. Again, a $1797 cancellation fee would apply.

If you choose either option, it must be exercised before 5PM EST on Monday, April 30, 2001. If you exercise Option 1, your equipment will be disconnected and removed from the data center until you arrange to either ship them back to you at your expense or you can come collect them from our office after funds have been received.”

END QUOTE.

From that I get the impression that, even though we have no outstanding balance, Jeffrey is going to try and hold our servers “hostage” if we decide not to move to Ohio.
So, that’s where things stand. We feel like we are being treated illegally. We signed up for a 1yr contract based upon the Trivergent(NUVOX) facility, now we are told that he is moving us, changing our IP’s with less than a week’s notice and if we don’t like it we are suppose to pay him those ridiculous fees. I would love to get some feedback on your thoughts.
In closing, Jeffrey agreed to keep all of our information confidential, such as our name, domain names, client names, etc. I assume that in any response he will do so.

Thank you!

  #3  
Old 04-27-2001, 04:52 AM
AlaskanWolf AlaskanWolf is offline
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I suggest contacting a laywer

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  #4  
Old 04-27-2001, 05:23 AM
cperciva cperciva is offline
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Wow, that all sounds rather wierd... and unlike the Jeffrey we all know and .

You may or may not have a legal case depending upon the exact wording of the contract. IANAL but it seems to me that your main complaint is that your adult hosting couldn't be run out of a data center which doesn't allow adult hosting, and various jurisdictions set different standards for what happens when someone contracts to do the impossible. Usually the answer is that "the best approximation to the [impossible] must be provided", which in this case would mean moving you to a different data center at no additional charge. (I assume since 624 = 599 + 25 that the $624 mentioned is just the payment for the next month and not anything special relating to moving the servers to Ohio).

Cancellation fees are normal practice I believe, and holding on to servers is a normal way of ensuring payment. You certainly won't score any points here... I imagine that any colocation company in the world would hold on to someone's servers pending receipt of cancellation fees if a 12 month contract was cancelled after two months.

  #5  
Old 04-27-2001, 05:29 AM
NMCB NMCB is offline
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shocked:

Hope you didn't resend the $599 check. Also, save yourself some headache and consult a lawyer.

  #6  
Old 04-27-2001, 05:37 AM
dektong dektong is offline
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OK that was a very long story/complaint! I haven't finished reading the second part, I want to point out something.

[finished reading them all now, though you have much more serious issues, let me still point/ask/wonder this out]

you said:

Quote:

During that phone call Jeffrey also admitted to me that his line with Trivergent was a capped 2mbs line. In other words, he had a grand total of 2mbs for all clients and we could only ?burst? to 2mbps
that's very strange and I can't believe it myself. Look at this thread here where one of his customer(_G_) burst to at least 4 Mbps (note: the test was done also at about the same time frame as your story).

http://webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=7681

I also know another of his customer who can burst up to 5 Mbps.

Now, 4 and 5 Mbps are not much higher than 2 Mbps, but they are certainly not 2 Mbps (gee... 2 Mbps is punny).

Anyway, I will keep reading the rest now... Wow... Jeff, what's up?

cheers,


Last edited by dektong; 04-27-2001 at 05:47 AM.
  #7  
Old 04-27-2001, 06:23 AM
shocked shocked is offline
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cperciva, I don't think you read my whole message. Our main complaint is that we signed up based on the fact that the servers would be in South Carolina (Greenville) and that they would be in the Trivergent facility as advertised. Now, less than 2 months later he wants to move the servers over 600 miles away to another state. I can't imagine that anyone here would want to sign up with a company based on one set of facts and then get this kind of switch.

As for dektong, Thats what Jeffrey and Trivergent told me. He told me later that he upgraded and had more than 2mbs, but I have never been able to burst over 2. I have emails from him where we discuss his lack of bandwidth.

Appreciate the feedback!

  #8  
Old 04-27-2001, 06:53 AM
JBIZ718 JBIZ718 is offline
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Lawyer

Well first since I read this thesis, I figured I had to say something.

This is clearly a breach of contract on his part.

You could sue him and recoop all of your funds but your business would suffer.

Though you also breached payment, which is also a breach of contract.

I guess in all you expected a service that was not given, you would win, but your company would suffer. Have a lawyer call him, and I can almost gaurentee that that contract will void.

This will kill a companies rep, and I know that I would tell my client whats up and not lie to them.

I say sue if you have to, if what you say is true.

Its companies like that who hurt this industry. If it isnt true well then other companies who do this hurt this industry. Its insulting to have dishonest people, but thats business.

Joe

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  #9  
Old 04-27-2001, 02:30 PM
Fiber Fiber is offline
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Contact Lawyer.

  #10  
Old 04-27-2001, 03:33 PM
Jag Jag is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by cperciva
Wow, that all sounds rather wierd... and unlike the Jeffrey we all know and .

You may or may not have a legal case depending upon the exact wording of the contract. IANAL but it seems to me that your main complaint is that your adult hosting couldn't be run out of a data center which doesn't allow adult hosting, and various jurisdictions set different standards for what happens when someone contracts to do the impossible. Usually the answer is that "the best approximation to the [impossible] must be provided", which in this case would mean moving you to a different data center at no additional charge. (I assume since 624 = 599 + 25 that the $624 mentioned is just the payment for the next month and not anything special relating to moving the servers to Ohio).

Cancellation fees are normal practice I believe, and holding on to servers is a normal way of ensuring payment. You certainly won't score any points here... I imagine that any colocation company in the world would hold on to someone's servers pending receipt of cancellation fees if a 12 month contract was cancelled after two months.
I would disagree a bit, since they obviously broke the contract by not upholding their end and are forcing him into something he doesnt want they can not keep his servers at all or even demand a cancellation fee. The contract is as good as cancelled but from Serverhosts' not the client . You can not impose a cancellation fee when you (the provider) cancels the client. Definitely seek legal council before your equipment is taken "hostage" or moved against your will.

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  #11  
Old 04-27-2001, 06:51 PM
qps qps is offline
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What a mess... I've been spending time working on customer service rather than posting to this board, sorry for the delayed response.

I'm not going to respond to this post point by point, as I really feel like I should, because I'm sure this customer would try and take my words out of context as he did above and use them to make me look bad.

This customer violated our Acceptable Usage Policy, and his one server was terminated. We were willing to give him more time, but unfortunately NuVox Communications, our current provider, forced us to remove the server with just 30 minutes notice. We then got an e-mail from him asking about adult content again, and because of NuVox's reaction last time, we asked this customer to move his equipment to our Ohio facility, where adult content is permitted. He agreed that this scenario would be ideal but was concerned about down time. He said he would need to leave his DNS server in the Greenville facility until later in the month. I said that was fine.

I sent him an e-mail spelling out exactly what we had discussed, and attached those other options at the end, because he had expressed previously that he might be looking to get service directly from NuVox, or possibly cancelling his service all together. I was not forcing him to choose either option, I was more than happy to move his equipment to our Columbus, Ohio facility at no charge, other than his normal monthly fee, plus the $25.00 returned check fee that we charge to cover the fee that the bank charges us (which is allowed per South Carolina state law).

After his comments earlier today on this board, violating the agreement that neither of us would disclose the details of our discussions, we sent him notification that his services with our company would be terminated at the end of his billing period. We are not planning to hold his servers hostage, as long as the current balance is satisified in full.

This was a bad situation from the beginning, because of a poor sales team at NuVox Communications, who decided to disclose every detail in regard to our operations to this customer, who called them asking for pricing information, trying to get NuVox to undercut our pricing. From the very beginning, this customer claimed that we had breached our agreement with him, which was absolutely not true. We have provided him with one rack and one megabit per second since he sent his first server to us.

I hope this clears the air for the members of this board. We've always been committed to customer service as a company. I hope that this post, which blew many of the happenings way out of proportion, or took things out of context to try and make us look bad, will not discourage our current and future customers.

[edit] As one final note, Serverhost is a division of Plusweb Communications, LLC, a Limited Liability Corporation of the State of South Carolina. Just thought I'd clear that up too. [/edit]

Thanks, and have a great weekend everyone!

Regards,

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Last edited by qps; 04-27-2001 at 08:01 PM.
  #12  
Old 04-27-2001, 07:21 PM
Jag Jag is offline
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That clears up a lot. just an all around nasty situation for the both of you. Well I wish you both the best of luck in reaching a mutual agreement.

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  #13  
Old 04-27-2001, 09:12 PM
shocked shocked is offline
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My replies to Jeffreys statements are as follows:

1) "This customer violated our Acceptable Usage Policy, and his one server was terminated. "

Jeffrey/Serverhost CHANGED the AUP after the contract was signed. We signed up on Feb 7th. On March 17th we were told that Plusweb/Serverhost was changing their AUP and that we now needed to abide by the new one. The new one totally changed our arrangement. If you sign up with a company that tells you it is ok to have adult content, and then a month into your 1yr contract tells you it is no longer ok, we feel that is a breech. Jeffrey did not agree. He didn't even have the new AUP posted online. When I told him that the Trivergent AUP that he wanted me to follow did not even mention pornography, he pasted some text in an email and said "From the revised contract they just made us sign to continue service:". To this day we have never been sent the full new AUP.
We made promises to our clients based on promises made to us. I am sorry that Trivergent changed their mind with Jeffrey, but he should have had a better contract with them before he offered services he could not provide.

2) We told jeffrey that ONE of the clients on ONE of our servers was thinking about adding adult content. I asked Jeffrey about pricing on moving the ONE server. He responded by telling us we had to move everything.

3) "I was not forcing him to choose either option, I was more than happy to move his equipment to our Columbus, Ohio facility at no charge" - AGAIN, we did not sign up for service in Ohio. I do not understand why this is so hard to get through. We purchased services in Greenville, SC. Thats the area/network we wanted to be on. Read the direct quote from him in my first post. His own words are that I had only those choices. Sounds like I was being forced to choose to me.

4) "After his comments earlier today on this board, violating the agreement that neither of us would disclose the details of our discussions," - This is totally false. We asked him not to discuss us or our clients. I have an email from Jeffrey telling me that he WELCOMED us posting a review of him and his services.

5) "we sent him notification that his services with our company would be terminated at the end of his billing period" - Yeah, this afternoon he told us he was turning everything off on Monday. Nice. The written contract says that it ends in Feb 2002, NOT next Monday. Additionally, the contract does NOT have any kind of cancellation policy for us writing a review or telling anything about him.

6) "This was a bad situation from the beginning, because of a poor sales team at NuVox Communications, who decided to disclose every detail in regard to our operations to this customer, who called them asking for pricing information, trying to get NuVox to undercut our pricing. From the very beginning, this customer claimed that we had breached our agreement with him, which was absolutely not true. We have provided him with one rack and one megabit per second since he sent his first server to us" - As I mentioned, we had been in contact with trivergent (nuvox) since before we ever emailed Jeffrey. I asked them why their prices were so much higher (which I think is a fair question) I was told that Jeffery only had one rack and 2mbs and that he (Serverhost/Plusweb) were not even clients of Trivergent, but resellers. NuVox explained to me that he (Jeffrey) was overselling much like people oversell bandwidth, if he was offering more than one person a full rack since he only had one himself. This is what I was told by them, I did not go prying for info, I simply asked why Jeffreys prices were hundreds of dollars less a month than theirs. I am sure everyone would wonder the same thing. In Jeffreys emails to me, he blamed all of his problems on poor service from Trivergent.. So I questioned Trivergent about it. Finally, once Jeffrey changed his AUP less than 3 weeks into our hosting, we did mention that we felt (and still do) that this was a breech. I personally called Trivergent that Friday to see why they just shut us off. I have the emails where they explain that Jeffrey/Plusweb had been notified on many occasions about his adult content (people other than us) and that since Trivergent did not even have a contract with Plusweb they notified their client (Valuetech) and turned off the server. This is NOT what we were told by Jeffrey. It would have been nice of him to share that with me.

In closing, if anyone actually believes that I am making any of this up or taking things out of context to make Serverhost/Plusweb look bad, please email me directly.
shockedtalk@yahoo.com
I will be happy to provide full emails with headers on any point I have mentioned. I doubt the moderators would like me to post them all here.

I did take everyones advice and contacted our corporate lawyers. I will keep you informed.

Thank you.

  #14  
Old 04-27-2001, 09:58 PM
JBIZ718 JBIZ718 is offline
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Involved

I think this whole situation is messed up and Im not getting anymore involved.

I would call a lawyer.

Joe

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"In the end you start thinking about the beginning"
"You shouldn't take life to seriously, you will never get out alive"
"Every Passing Minute is another chance to turn it all around"

  #15  
Old 04-28-2001, 03:34 PM
Mauro Mauro is offline
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Cool

Wowww!! Now i'm so happy that Jeff never returned my calls.

Mauro

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