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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old June 7th, 2004, 01:37 PM   #1
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Avoid IX Webhosting at all costs. Very unreliable!

If I may, I'd like to go off on a rant here. Partly to vent, and partly because I honestly feel that this company is bad news and should be avoided. Due to the many "what web hosting service should I use" question that appear on this board, I'd like to make sure that dvinfo.net users *avoid* IX Webhosting. Or at least hear from a very unsatisfied customer before they do business with IX.

It seems like a tempting deal: 2.5GB of disk space (albeit only 20GB of bandwidth), up to 3 domains, "trouble ticket" email tech support with a "no-excuses" one-hour response time, "Any Time Money Back Guarantee," and more for only $12.99/month. But from my experience, IX Webhosting can barely deliver the basics of webhosting.

I was with IX for less than two months. I had just switched from another host, whom I'd been with for over 3 years. Before the end of the first 30 days with IX, I was already having numerous email problems (mostly server based on their end) and could not get ahold of reliable tech support. Trouble Tickets were never responded to in the "guaranteed, no excuses" one-hour time frame; response time was anywhere from 8 hours to 36 hours(!). Email servers were down for up to 12 hours -- I actually lost a client because I could not reliably communicate with them via email. With numerous instances of email and site downtime, the promised "99.9% Uptime" was more than just a joke. It seemed like a scam.

Calls to the toll-free support number about this unreliability were met with an insolent demand that I fill out an online complaint form, because, "There's no one at this number who can help you with your problem." Guess what? After much BS back and forth with the online form and subsequent emails, I was told that the person who I needed to contact could be reached at... yes, the support number I had originally called.

I was offered a free month tacked on to the end of my service plan. I know this is common, but what sort of compensation is this, really? If you continually screw up, that month will do me no good, because I'll be long gone by then. It just seemed like a blatent slap in the face, at least coming from a habitual screw-up like IX Webhosting. I told them to keep their extra month; if they screwed up one more time, I'd be gone anyway.

Now, I know that sh*t happens. I've been involved with website design and upkeep in some form or another since I first taught myself HTML nearly 10 years ago. Computers crash, things go wrong -- I can sympathize. But this was too many problems in the first month alone; too many to be bad luck. And if it was just bad luck, nobody at IX seemed to care. I don't expect a company to kiss my rear -- they have a service that I want and I'm paying for it, a simple transaction -- but when a brand new customer is having numerous problems with reliability, if I were them I would take extra care to make sure that I'm not just brushing him or her off; I'd want to go that extra step so they don't split (and write ranting posts on webboards). Instead, the support staff at IX could barely be bothered to answer my questions (God forbid you ask more than one question in a Trouble Ticket or Complaint Form -- the support staff does not seem to have an attention span long enough to make it past the first few sentences. And no, my emails to IX were *not* as long as this post!).

The final straw was a recent power outtage they suffered. Again, this sort of thing happens to all companies, but when it's among this whole other slew of unreliability, one tends to start believing that IX Webhosting simply doesn't have their act together; one becomes more inclined to believe that this "massive" power outtage was instead something small that any other hosting service would have had the back-up juice to deal with. And when I called IX to see why my site had been down most of the day, the support rep hung up on me! Not an accidental disconnection, but a slimy "You have a nice day now" as I was repeatedly asking to talk to a supervisor. Again, I would chalk it up to "they're having a bad day," except for the fact that every day seemed to be like this.

So I figured, time to take advantage of that "no-risk" Any Time Money Back Guarantee. I cancelled the service and set up shop with another company. Well, now IX is retaining an extra $20 of that refund, for the "set up fee." Their reasoning, admittedly, is simple -- since I paid for a year's service in advance, the set-up fee was waived. Now that I have cancelled, they can charge me for it. That's fine, except that *nowhere* in their Terms of Service is this penalty mentioned -- I don't care how "common sensical" it sounds, if it's not in the contract that I agreed to, then it's simply not ethical nor legal. Feel free to put it in writing on the front end if you want to enforce it, but don't arbitrarily charge the fee without warning.

I know this is lengthy and whiney; I apologize for taking up so much self-involved space (although I'm kind of surprised if you made it this far!). But I've never dealt with a company that hit the ground running in such an unreliable and condescending manner -- especially one that is top rated by The Hosting Chart. Lord knows I'd like to be forgiving when problems arise, if only because of the hassle of switching to a new host, but IX Webhosting took the cake. Obviously, I feel it is very important for me to tell you that if you are looking for a webhost, avoid IX Webhosting at all costs.

And if it helps us all, feel free to share your own webhosting horror stories here. It helps to know who is good, but it's even better to know who is bad -- because some of those deals look too good to resist!
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Old June 24th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #2
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Follow-up: IX Webhosting, completely out of the blue, finally refunded the $20 "set-up fee." After continually saying "No," a new person from IX emailed me and said, "OK." It was apropos of nothing -- I had not contacted them since the last time they said no -- and I have no idea what prompted the change. They simply and suddenly admitted that the retroactive fee wasn't in their TOS (it still isn't) and they refunded it.

(This is also a reason why threads on topics such as this or, say... Fed Ex, should be kept open -- so the original poster can come back and give updates on *positive* progess with the company in question. Otherwise you just have a lot of negativity and no idea if anything good came of it, and having to post a new thread just to give the update means that some future readers of the original thread will never see the update)
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Old June 28th, 2004, 02:15 PM   #3
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*reliable* hosting

you might want to check out http://www.webhostingtalk.com for host discussions... I think your advice will be more effective there (as it is a place where people look for help on choosing a webhost).

-- Andre
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Old June 29th, 2004, 12:17 PM   #4
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Thank you for the link. As I said, I posted this thread because members here often ask about what webhosting service they should use. In addition, as a videographer, one reason I chose IX was because they offered so much disk space (2.5GB) -- giving me the room I need for my video files (and some to grow on as well), something which I think might sway other videographers, too.

Finally, dvinfo.net is also pretty much the only forum I consistently read and post at, which -- at least on a personal level -- makes it the most appropriate place for me to post my experiences.

But I will also gladly relay my experience with IX at the site you recommended. It looks like they are already not well-reviewed over there!
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