Hostmonster Sux

April 28th, 2009

I loved ever since I signed up with them in September 2007.  They are a dirt cheap web hosting with pretty much unlimited storage, lots of easy to install applications, and ssh access.  SSH is very important for developers like me – I can get in there and do my business cmd-line style, as all hardcore developers like to do it.

But then after 19 months the abuse department gets all up in my business.  Basically they suspended all my sites and removed ssh access without any notification whatsoever.  After several unanswered emails and form submissions, I call and finally get a hold of somebody.   Initially he was cool – he gave me back my ssh access so at least i could get to my files.  But when I tried to get out of him what I needed to do end my account suspension, he kept it vague, telling me I was not allowed to store stuff online.

  • First we ended up arguing for almost 20 minutes over the fact that I had 4 versions of my resume on there (all publicly addressable) .. he claimed that was storage.
  • Then it became an issue of any file not linked to by my website was storage – what, i can’t put stuff on my site and email a link to it to my friends? I have to publicly link to it from my blog or something?  what type of policy is that?
  • The last issue revolved around .tar, .tgz, and .zip files.  First he said they were allowed if it was “software release or something similar”, which makes sense.  But how does that really differ from having my resumes as a .tar file?  Ok, now that i question the policy changes – he refines his statement and says those files are never allowed.  sigh. Again, WTF?
  • Over and over I asked the same 2 questions – what do i have to do to remove suspension and what is hostmonster policy.  The answer was always the same subjective “no online storage allowed”.

Sure, they are legally allowed to do that – their Terms Of Service (TOS) state they are not to be used as online storage and can suspend users without notification for violating this rule.  Online storage is a pretty broad term, legally they could suspend any one of their users since its pretty hard NOT to store anything on your website.  But the way they handled me was incredibly rude and disrespectful.  In the back of my mind I wonder if they just wanted to get me to leave since I used so much storage – several GB’s of jpgs (all 35,000+ are now on flickr).

The guy I spoke to was the acting manager of the abuse department the day I called, April 8.  He was childish, immature, and seemed to be on a power trip.  I attempted to get a hold of anyone else in management thru various form submissions, emails, and phone calls, but 36 hours later (almost 3 days since initial suspension) I gave in and signed up with and started moving my domains over.  The next day I got a voicemail from the real manager of the abuse department, but by then I was behind in work and already moved to mediatemple, so why sink any more time in this?   This post is to just warn people – sux.

So if you noticed some hiccups a couple weeks ago, this is why.  For that I apologize.