Why CommuniTech.net Sucks
My Personal Horror Story
I was having trouble remembering the anniversary of my website however, I was rudely reminded when it disappeared from the Internet on 4/28/04. Dealing with CommuniTech (now owned by Interland) has everlasting consequences like genital herpes after a one-night stand. Two years ago CommuniTech assured me this would never happen again: "We'll send you an e-mail notifying you of your domain renewal." No notification ever came. My web site was down for two days. On the 28th, I called Interland's technical support for help..."just fill out your credit card info on our web site and your site will be up in a few hours." I woke up the next morning only to find out my web site was still down. I called technical support again. The technician seemed perplexed and transferred me to their billing department. My web site was up again that evening.
To make sure this never happens again I'm severing my ties with CommuniTech. I wished I had earlier but couldn't before. My current web host provider is taking over the job.
Imagine you check your web site's e-mail only to find out your "server cannot be found." After further checking you find your web site is no longer on the Internet! This is exactly what happened to me. On April 26, 2002, I lost my web site and all my e-mail accounts. I contacted my web site host provider (Hostway) to complain. Hostway's technical support wrote back stating I did not renew my domain name. But I did! Or at least I paid CommuniTech.net almost two months prior to do exactly that. On a Saturday morning, I called CommuniTech.net and tried to get some answers. Their technical support stated there was record of my payment to renew my domain name but for some reason it wasn't done. I would have to wait till Monday before I could speak to someone in CommuniTech.net's billing department since technical support was unable to resolve their billing department's mistake. In the meantime, anyone who tried to visit my site found nothing except a generic DNS error page. Plus, anyone that tried to send me e-mail would have it bounced back to them. To say the least, this did not make my web site popular with visitors.
For four days I had lost my web site and all it's e-mail accounts. There wasn't anything I could do to stop it from happening. I had no idea how long it would be before my web site would come back on the Internet. I thought to myself how devastating this situation would be to a company like Amazon.com. I can't even imagine how much money Amazon.com would lose in just one day's time.
My nightmare started on a Friday night and ended on a Tuesday afternoon. All because CommuniTech.net failed to renew my domain name. They really treated me as if my small web site didn't matter. For my inconvenience, CommuniTech.net sent me an e-mail:
Dear manuel villanueva,
Thank you for submitting this ticket. I apologize for the delay in responding to your ticket, phone and fax requests for a resolution of this issue. We had to investigate this issue with the assistance of the Development Department. The issue has been resolved and the Domain has been registered and is activate. The issue arose because we are unable to accept payment more than 45 days prior to the expiration date and have the Domain auto-renew. We in Billing were not aware of this at the time we accepted your payment on 3/7. I know this has been quite a shock to you and has caused much stress. I apologize for this error..
Well there was millions of hosting companies, big ones small ones and after days of searching and reading about each one, we decided on a company called communitech.net. What drew us to them was their control panel. The web space was a decent size, 350 megs, plus we got lots and lots of extras, stats, shopping carts, auto responders PHP, MYSQL, 100 email boxes. All for $17.95 per month...we thought it was Christmas. Sigh, if we only knew. We moved ACTWD.com first to see how it was before we moved our 7 others with us. Well we were there for about 2 weeks and bam, our site disappeared. Poof!
Gone!. I remember that Saturday so clearly. I sat on hold for 4 hours only to have someone hang up the phone. Then sat on hold for 2 hours for someone to tell me that they tried a new kind of server and it didn't work out so well and they didn't know how long it was going to be until they restored service. Well a week later, ACTWD.com made its reemergence.
It really didn't get any better around there. You couldn't call them for support. If you called them without a trouble ticket number they can't answer you. If you make a trouble ticket, don't expect for anyone to answer back in under a week. They seem to have alot of customers now. But our customer number is 1309 and they had the same issues when they were tiny. In case you haven't guessed I hate being put on hold and I hate voice mail and automated switchboards, thus why as president, I can say with conviction we won't every have them. But we liked their control panel and all the extras we got and even the price. But there was no support and no reliability.
Hello... here's my wonderful story.... Besides all the problems with PUZZLING customer service (i solved most of the adventure games on the market, but
couldn't figure out how to speak with Communitech assistance)... but you already spoke about that... Here's my issue... I have many websites with a newsletter service. Basically the client has an interface where he can send a centralized email to all visitors who left their address to be kept up to date... It
didn't work... why? why? why? INCREDIBLE! Every account, cannot send more than 100 emails per hour!!!! here it is... they save money on bandwidth... and we enjoy the limits...
OK... 100 pop mails... but in 1 hour they can only send 1 email!!!!!
Amazing.... It is not documented anywhere when you sign up with them... no faq... no comment... nothing... just a SURPRISE!
It seems their customer support policy has been written by Kafka....
hi, here's my experience with communitech. i posted it in the Usenet
yesterday. sorry, it's quite a long story and my english is poor ... regards, alex
this is a (cross)post to warn every webmaster around the world NOT to sign up with communitech.net. it doesn't matter which company you choose ... they can hardly be worse.
thanks to communitech i've lost 4 popular, non-commercial webprojects.
why? i tell you my story: i signed up with them in April 2000 and hosted over the years 4 different projects there on a virtual server. they promised unlimited traffic, full mysql access etc. in the last 3 years the closed down directories on my server 4(!) times without even bothering to tell me about it. closing down means set the rights to root, so neither you nor the server/the visitors can access it. all the visitor gets is an 'access denied' message. first time they told me (after i had to wait 36 hours for them to answer the support ticket), that i was causing too much traffic. ok, i had quite a lot of traffic (peak was 27 GB/month), but that's why i chose a 'unlimited traffic'-hoster in the first place! i reduced the traffic by removing video clips and stuff to an average of 8-9 GB/month after that.
next they closed down directories for 'high mysql load'. again, NOBODY did inform me, i had to wait till they answered the support ticket. i reprogrammed all 4 projects 2 month ago and took out every single sql-query, that wasn't absolutely necessary. all that's left is a few select-statements, that shouldn't cause any problem to any db-server (spoke to 3 other hosters and they agreed with me). last week, when i had more traffic than usual (normaly ~4.000 visitors/day, this day 12.000) they suddenly closed down the whole account. reason: "persistent and repeated instances of MySQL abuse".
not only, that they closed the web-access, they also closed email & telnet-access completly. now they are not willing to reopen it, they are not willing to give me telnet-access (so that i can do a mysql-dump and recover the data), they are not willing to do ANYTHING. i even told them, that i found a new hoster and they don't have to open web-access, i just want my data from the databases and then I'm gone. they refused / closed my support ticket without answering. by the way: they were NEVER able to tell me, which script or mysql-table was involved in the 'abuse', nor do they have any tools for the customers to watch the server load. they can tell me anything, if it's true or not. i would have been the first one to reprogramm stuff on my page, if i knew where to look (and i'm quite experienced with php/mysql). next: you have to pay in advance fot a year, there a still 51 days left, which i already paid. they refuse to return me the money (47 $) "due to TOS violation, which does not warrant a refund for unused portions".
reading the TOS is the next funny bit. 4.f. reads "Each account holder understands and acknowledges that Communitech.net has the right to terminate any account for any reason that communitech.net interprets as abuse ..." and at the end "communitech.net reserves the right to modify this policy at any time and from time to time" so, what does that mean? if they say, it's abuse, you have lost. they can do anything to you (like killing 4 websites). AND they can change the policy any time (even if you've signed something completly different). yesterday your site was perfectly normal, today it's abuse, you're blocked and don't get your money or data (or even your domain name) back. that's nice isn't it? ok, I'm sorry for the long and maybe boring posting, but i thought as many webmasters as possible should know. boy, am i pissed. 3 years hard work gone in a second, thank you communitech. a search on google-groups showed me, that i wasn't the only one.
thanks for your patience and better luck to you, alex
CommunitechSucks.com -- The URL says it all
If you have a web site please link to this page. Write me if you would like a link to your own Communitech sucks page. If we work together we can spread the word faster.
I don't look forward to doing any business with CommuniTech.net. I have had my share of grief on the Internet. If you have had a bad experience with CommuniTech.net write me. I will publish your ordeal with CommuniTech.net so everyone can know.