Zyma redeemed or up to the same old tricks?

Zyma.com’s Khuram requested I do another review. He also wanted to give the readers of this blog coupon codes.  Which in a way would mean I endorse zyma.com, right? Sorry to disappoint but there are no zyma.com coupon codes here.

Zyma.com, hostingsthatsuck.com, and hosting-reviews-exposed.com

For those unfamiliar with how Zyma.com got my attention it started last year when they sent me a request for doing a review for free hosting back in January 2011.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/unlimited-hosting/zyma.html

Like so many hosting companies, zyma.com was under the impression this is a review site. Regardless of this not being a hosting review site I have nothing I am willing to risk on an account that is at around $10/ £4.95 per year. Not to mention I have a feeling that I would not be placed on the same servers as the customers. If I was to actually do a review I would want to do it as a secret shopper. The review sites that I advise against trusting don’t feel the same way.

Hostingsthatsuck.com was one of the first hosting review sites to jump on Zyma.com’s free hosting offer, after all they offer a 40% commission. I doubt hostingsthat suck put anything of value on this hosting plan.  Hostingsthatsuck.com has an advantage over most so called top 10 sites, and that is they can write a post on any host that comes along. All of which done in a way that gets them to the top of search engine results based on “*X host* sucks” search engine results.  After you hit their site they don’t want you to look any further than their site. Take their word for it if you will (I suggest you don’t).

What Zyma.com did not realize is I had my eye on hostingsthatsuck.com because I think the whole methodology of using “*host name* sucks” and some random number that is not based on the actual results to prove a host does not suck.  Trust me on this when I can tell you cannot tell if a host is good or bad just based off search engine results.  The one detail hostignsthatsuck.com left out was that zyma.com has just started.  After finale reading what it was I had written they claimed to have killed hostingsthatsucks.com hosting and affiliate accounts. When it came to the subject of what exactly amounted to “normal usage” in to how much space a customer actually got I got some avoidance and then nothing at all.

By October 2011 Zyma.com suffered a serious outage as some of their customers came to comment on my blog about the down time. For which I had sent an email because I had customers contacting me asking what was up. I never got a response back.

By January 2012 I decided to do another review, as Zyma.com seemed to have gone through another outage. Not to mention based off the comments on my first post it seemed there had been at least three server migrations.  Zyma.com customers (a few I think were trolling my blog and not really customers) mentioned being moved to a panda server, then to the tiger server.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/hosts-that-use-exposed-reviews/zyma-com-a-year-later.html

It became pretty clear that since hostingsthatsuck.com had a hosting and an affiliate account after Khuram had told me he had removed it. How do I know? Because a full year after I was told they had been removed, hostingsthatsuck.com changed their approval to a rant against zyma.com.  Hostinsthatsucks.com waited till January 2012 to complain about the downtime from October 2011. Downtime that happened 9 months after I was told hostignsthatsuck.com no longer had an affiliate account or hosting plan. All because Zyma.com had canceled the free account with hostingsthatsucks.com and several other sites that got hosting for free because of a review. But in zyma.com defense there was no mention of how long this free hosting was for. Both parties were pretty devious in my opinion.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/review-sites-exposed/hostingsthatsuck-com-versus-benjamin-the-grumpy-blogger.html

Hostingsthatsuck.com’s last post they decided to tell everyone I was a grumpy blogger, and I hate new hosts. Grumpy when I don’t get my coffee, hating new hosts far from it.

Here is the latest email I got from Khuram of Zyma.com:

Hi Benjamin,

Firstly I would like to apologize for the late response as well as if I have annoyed you in anyway. That was not my intention at all. Over the past year we have made some significant changes to improve our hosting service and as a result we would be grateful if you could re-review our hosting service on your website.

I understand we did not start in the best of ways, but we would like to make amends by offering your visitors a coupon code with our new review post to show that we are not like other hosting companies, and that we do genuinely care about all our customers.

We believe in second chances and this is our way of showing yourself and your visitors that we have changed and we are here to stay. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have and I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Khuram

To start with I am not annoyed about not getting a response on the down time, It really is not my job to report on how zyma.com is going to handle an outage to their customers.

What bother me were all the contests for free hosting that are still going on.  I am annoyed by hostingsthatsucks.com keeping their affiliate and hosting accounts. There is no telling if zyma.com removed hostingsthatsuck.com’s affiliate access.  Because hostingsthatsucks.com still keeps an affiliate link up for a site even when they don’t approve of a host any more:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/hosting-reviews/hostingsthatsuck.html

Zyma.com making amends to me by offering coupons for cheap hosting for my readers is more so to Khuram’s advantage than it is to anyone who reads my blog and wants hosting.  A second chance must be earned.

Zyma.com will not be endorsed because:

  1. Any product that gets my endorsement has to be a product I will use.
  2. I will not use any so called unlimited hosting because I know there are limits (see the chat from the first discussion I had with Khuram). http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/unlimited-hosting/zyma.html
  3. I do not see any significant changes with zyma.com. The only change I see is the price. Maybe now zyma.com offers 24/7 tech support?
  4. I have seen tons of contests for free hosting with zyma.com, just do a search on Google for “zyma.com contest”.
  5. You have awards from review sites that are on par with hostingsthatsuck.com.  Which is why I wrote my first post on zyma.com. Seriously this is an anti-review-JUST-for-a-commission website.
  6. I was lied to when I was told that zyma.com had removed hostingsthatsuck.com’s hosting and affiliate account.
  7. No serious hosting alternative is being offered. Should a customer go beyond “normal usage” their account is shutdown.

I realize on points 4 and 5 you are trying to grow your business. But seriously contests for free accounts, when you are offering 40% commissions equals a headache at less than $10/ £4.95, or as hosting-review.com ( a site I have been meaning to write a post on) puts it less than 50 pennies a month. You literally need hundreds of customers to bust even and make a profit.  The less money going to service, the lower quality service will be. That is not even taking into consideration the support headache as I am pretty sure most of zyma.com cliental are new to hosting.

As for the review sites, I am not even going to mention three of them because I don’t want to help them out on traffic their stats are so poor seo wise that a simple mention here would help them out.  But I can assure you hosting-review.com is going to regret doing business with you because there is no way you won an editor’s pick based on merits.  As for the reviews, one of which is from a site that shows a date of January 9, 2011 back when Zyma.com was handing out free hosting for reviews. The other site can easily be faked. For all I know zyma.com is offering free hosting for positive reviews.  I see nothing from any of these reviews that prove you are a good host. Only that zyma.com is willing to try the same unethical tricks that this blog is about exposing.

Zyma.com is not worthy of a second chance, but then again a lot of crappy hosts continue to thrive.

Brainhost.com – Due Diligence

Less than 24 hours after my post on brainhost.com, someone posted a comment that pointed to what I had not looked at, and that was the reviews about this host. The focus of my post was what was the benefit that flippa.com got while promoting Brainhost.com. Another reason I choose to write about this host was due to the possibility that I may very well see brainhost.com on so called review sites ($175 or more payouts). I had not bothered to look at the review sites, what came up in search engines, or what sites like Alexa and archive.org had to say about brainhost.com. A simple glance at the search engine results tells me that Flippa.com did not bother to vet brainhost.com.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2980

My initial impression was this host would appear in the so called top host sites. I now think my first impression was wrong, and perhaps the review sites have seen what I failed to look into. There are a lot of reviews out there, and other then those sites that promote brainhost.com there are no positive feedback.  For that matter sites like webhostingstuff.com just started monitoring brainhost.com November 2011.

The only directory / review site I can find on the main page of search engine results is:

http://www.web-hosting-top.com/review/brainhost.com

Flippa tells me to be diligent; perhaps I should use their advice on Brainhost.com?

http://flippa.com/blog/how-old-is-your-site-new-guidelines-on-claiming-site-age/

In short they talk about aged domains, and how some sites used the creation date as the start date.  Something I try to point to when someone says there site is older than it actually is.  In some cases it was a case of site started before their domain was created like mindshark.ca, somehow a web services company is older than the creation date.  Then there is the case of where the domain was aged, like zyma.com who prior to being a British hosting company was a company out of Spain that dealt with construction.

There are a lot of other details that Flippa left out in the way of due diligence. Such as Alexa.com. Which if you read my blog enough you will know that the lower your score the better your company is.  Amazon has a 5, Google 1, Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is around 172,000, and brainhost.com is at 10,154.

Then there are more details you can get from Alexa if the score is below 100,000.

Alexa.com shows some very interesting results.  It seems up until February/March 2011 Brainhost.com was extremely limited in traffic.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/brainhost.com#

Then we come to a recommendation that flippa.com gives for due diligence, arcive.org. A site I use often when looking at a site.

http://web.archive.org/web/20100918115557/http://brainhost.com/

From there I can see that brainhost.com ran PPC pages and was for sale for the bulk of the time.

Now there are few telling details here, especially when you look at their BBB record

http://www.bbb.org/akron/business-reviews/internet-web-hosting/brainhostcom-in-akron-oh-90005710

Here are the details I find interesting about what the BBB lists:

  • 28 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 28 closed in last 12 months
  • BBB file opened: 03/03/2011
  • Business started: 08/20/2010
  • The address for this company 3660 Center Rd, Suite 363 Brunswick, OH 44212-3620 is UPS Store.
  • This business is in the process of responding to complaint(s) previously closed with no response. (cause of no rating)

As I have stated in the past I am no fan of the BBB, because they don’t validate any information and second their system is awkward. Never mind this is a system that asks for money from those it is supposed to keep an eye on.  No conflict of interest there (yes I am being sarcastic).  It’s been my personal experience that BBB asks the individual for the start date, they don’t look at the actual business license for a company. Because of the file date with the BBB, the Alexa Traffic, and what Archive.org show I think its safe to say the company started in Early 2011.

Brainhost.com and the review sites

But I think the most telling thing is looking up “brainhost.com review” on any search engine.

There are a lot of negative reviews out there.  The ones that have nothing negative are those trying to sell you onto brainhost.com.  Some of which appear on the gurus that promoted brainhost.com in the beginning.  The funny thing is if they allow comments they are negative, one particular so called guru with a site that looks like crap on shingle also wants to promote hostthanprofit.com  (MLM crap).  The only place I can find any comments about liking the service are at brainhost.com, there are no dates of when they got the kind words or what site is hosted with them.

Contact with Brainhost.com

My reason for contacting brainhosting.com is their 4 awards. 4 awards that I cannot tell where they came from, nor can anyone that I have contacted by phone or by chat. I also wanted some clarity on the hosting packages.  After why should I buy the $7.95 plan as its listed as a better value, should I not choose the $9.95 package?

http://www.brainhost.com/web-hosting-plans/

Brain Host offers a variety of Hosting Plan Options – choose below for the plan that best fits your needs!

From the looks of it there is only one package at three different prices.

The awards that brainhost.com has I find most interesting are the two for the year 2012. When I first looked at this site back on January 10, 2012 the awards were there. Now perhaps its just me, but in order to be the best host of 2012, you would have to be a good host for at least most or the full year in order to get an award for this year. It seems really premature to get a 2012 award.

Brainhost.com chat

Andrew: Welcome to Live Chat support, how may I help you?

Benjamin: Hello Andrew

Benjamin: Can you point me to the sites where your company got it’s awards from?

Andrew: May i know where you wish to point the website?

Benjamin: Point the website?

Andrew: I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand. Would you mind explaining it again, please?

Benjamin: Your company has 4 awards on the main page. Who was it that gave your company those awards?

Andrew: I will suggest you to call us at 1-800-311-9418 number so that they will assist you further in this regards.

Andrew: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Benjamin: can you tell me the difference in your hosting plans? They all have the same exact points.

Andrew: There are no difference just the tenure are different.

Benjamin: that is not what it looks like from the package page.

Benjamin: you only have one plan?

Andrew: Are you referred by any other company to sign up with us?

Benjamin: flippa

Andrew: We provide following hosting packages:

Andrew: • Month to Month: $9.95 per month. First month hosting + $20 one time setup fee + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $44.90

Andrew: • Every 6 Months: $53.70, which breaks down to $8.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $68.65

Andrew: • Every 12 Months: $95.40, which breaks down to $7.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $110.35

Andrew: • Every 24 Months: $166.80, which breaks down to $6.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $181.75

Andrew: • Every 36 Months: $214.20, which breaks down to $5.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $229.15

Andrew: • Every 48 Months: $237.60, which breaks down to $4.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $252.55

Andrew: All the payments are upfront.

Andrew: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Benjamin: but the site says free for one year.

Benjamin:http://www.brainhost.com/special-offer/flippa.php

Andrew: I will suggest you to call us at 1-800-311-9418 number so that they will assist you further in this regards.

Andrew: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Benjamin: are you sales or do you do customer service?

Andrew: We are technical support.

Andrew: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Andrew: I have not received a response from you for some time and will need to end this session. If you need further assistance please log back in to Live Chat. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you.

Chat session has been terminated by the site operator

The chat session with brainhost.com was confusing, not to mention the chat operator was in a hurry to get off chat with me.  A call to brainhost.com sales department could not give me the answer to who it was they got those awards from.  If anyone should know where a company got an award from it would be the sales department.  I happen to leave the chat session alone for a minute and the chat operator ended the chat session.  Never mind I gave the chat operator more than a minute to respond to me.

One thing is certain and that is the Brainhost,com is a mess.  They only have one package, and multiple ways to pay you can pay more for the same thing.

The one question I forgot to ask was how much under the Flippa offer would I pay and when after my free year expired.

I usually do not have a problem with hosts being new.  But there are things that bother me like an insane affiliate program. $175 uses a lot of what a customer pays to give an affiliate a commission. Sure it’s a tax deduction for the company, but so are things that provide a customer good service. Its far easier to keep existing customers then it is to bring in new ones.

On top of that Brainhost.com’s packages make no sense. I could not get a straight answer, payment terms for a package became different packages on their own.

I will be keeping an eye on Brainhost, mostly to see how long they are a trusted partner of Flippa.

Zyma.com and hostingsthatsuck.com both Suck

Hostingsthatsucks wants you to think that Zyma.com does not suck.

http://www.hostingsthatsuck.com/zyma-sucks/

The whole methodology of they don’t suck if they have no results when you search  “zyma sucks” on search engine.  The problem is Zyma.com is an aged domain.  An aged domain is usually one that was purchased  a few years or more that was never used or abandoned.  There is a lot of value in this domain since its 4 letters.  Despite the low Alexa score (low is good, high is bad), Alexa shows that this site has not had much of a traffic increase until a couple months ago.

You don’t need another zyma review or Zyma critique to decide. You can read as many critical review, comments, Zyma Technologies issues, Zyma Technologies problems, limitations or criticism about them that you can find. Here is a challenge to find a better hosting than what we just recommended. Go search for some other web hosting with no “X sucks” pages on Google, and post them down here in the comment box.

First of all reviews on Zyma as a host are rare if any.  There is a reason why their challenge is pointless,  before it was a British webhost they were a Spanish company that offered:

Zyma commercial. SA is a company dedicated to the world of commercial and industrial pejase, offering the best products Mobba Bizerba and Sorrentino, of which we are exclusive distributors and service we own.

Within the world of industrial weighing, platforms FREE investigation of all types including weighbridges, also have scales and counting scales for inventory, company.

This seemed to be the case up til 2006.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/zyma.com

Despite that hostingsthatsuck has to ask:

Did you hear zyma customers had problems? Some said Zyma scams? Read some zyma issues and bad experiences? Did you hear about Zyma horror stories and their limitations?

Didn’t they say before that “zyma is almost perfect! With no or little complaint whatsoever.“?

Why does Zyma have my attention?

Despite a cost that seems too good to be true, and it probable is because I am sure thats either a limited time price or there will be some hidden bills.   This host contacted me on January 15, 2011 and January 17, 2011:

From:
Khuram
marketing@zyma.com

 

Message:
We have recently launched a new hosting company based in the UK
(www.zyma.com) & we would be grateful if you would give us a review on
your website.

Of course in return we can give you free hosting account for any one
of your websites completely free of charge.

Let me know if you are interested in our proposal, and I can set-up
the account for you today.

Regards

 

Khuram
Marketing Director
Zyma Technologies

Frankly I don’t think I have any site that I am willing to trust on an account that costs less then $10 a year.  Even if I did they would gain far more from me doing a review of their site, unless of coarse I signed up for their affiliate program.  I am willing to bet that Hostingsthatsuck.com started using this new host around the same time that I got this email.  The date on their post was January 19, 2011.   I find other people that did as well:

http://www.terbooz.com/16798-zyma-com-%E2%80%93-cheap-webhost-review/

A Zyma.com employee approached us to review their service. For this we received a hosting account from them free of charge for which we used to evaluate the service. If you would like me to review your webhost on Pingable, get in touch using the contact form.

Hostingsthatsuck’s affilate id with Zyma.com is aff_id15007

“You have seen the number analysis above. Numbers don’t lie.

To validate their argument they post cropped pics of the control panel.  They don’t show numbers such as uptime, how much space they used, number of days hosted, and other details that a consumer could use to determine if this is a valid host.  The only numbers they use are the amount of “host sucks” search engine results (though “almost none” is not a number) and “£4.95/YEAR (normally £1.79 / MONTH).”  The site post is riddled with afilliate links.

http://www.zyma.com/affiliates/

Earn a massive 40% per sale when you sell our hosting package and with no limits on how much you can earn, our affiliate program is one of the most attractive schemes around.

 

Joining our affiliate scheme is completely FREEand you can be up and running in minutes.

Don’t delay, start earning today!

This is a host I think I need to keep an eye on.

Its safe to say that Hostingsthatsuck’s review about Zyma is not to be trusted.

Siteground.com – Will they surprise bill you?

Siteground.com is my third host review of 4 hosts for November 2010 webhostingstuff.com’s top 25.  To be honest on the surface there is not a lot that I can tell you. This has been a bit of a stumbling block and the reason I have not posted in a while, as this was a host that was not going to take my usual 2 hours of research.   It may very well be a site that deserves to be in a top list.  But I have to ask why are they on webhostingstuff.com?   I could go on about their affiliate program, but it seems a fair program.  The design seems bulky.  Not to mention I really hate the little pop up window the terms of service are in.

So what is wrong with Siteground.com?

Even though siteground.com links to a site that has no negative reviews about them, they are out there.

http://www.besthostsdirectory.com/siteground-reviews.htm

One complaint I see is in regards to reoccurring billing.  In the hosting industry this is not exactly uncommon.  But the problem I find is where they are billing 15 days in advance of the due date.  Then there is their latest special where they offer 5 free gifts.  The problem is they are only free for a certain amount of time, and not all of them are for a year.  Its unclear that after the free period is up that you may get billed for those services, and if so what terms will you be billed for Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, or longer?

http://www.web-hosting-top.com/web-hosting/web-hosting-top.siteground.com/type/add-review

For that matter you can find alot of anti-Siteground sites under a search of Siteground sucks.

Siteground.com / Besthostdirectory.com connection?

It should be no surprise that I look at the whois for any domain some how linked to a domain I am reviewing.

Here is what I get when I do a whois on besthostdirectory.com

Registrant:
 Contactprivacy.com
 96 Mowat Ave
 Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
 CA

 Domain name: BESTHOSTSDIRECTORY.COM

No surprise there.  I tend to think that if your a company that you should not get domain privacy and that should be for indivduals only.  You might say on one hand that this is good they have Siteground.com on the number 1 spot, and if you look at there network info they are indeed hosted with Siteground.com.

So what about their previous history?  When I look at the wayback machine guess which host is number 1 every time:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/besthostsdirectory.com

Siteground is number 1 and LunarPages is number 2 in every snap shot.

Ever hear of the company called featuredpricehosting?   This was a hosting company that ran there own top 10, they ended up getting busted over this.  Granted I don’t know the full story but its on my to do list.  But I suspect that Siteground.com is the owner of besthostdirectory.com.   Even if they do not own it, it oddly has no negative reviews about siteground.com.

What about the free Siteground.com stuff I told you about earlier?

Being its now January 7th I find it odd that there still using Santa, but then again when I ran 4 hosting companies I had a New Years graphic up.

Now what is not clear is when you will be billed and how much for.

Standard SSL Certificate

This is the only thing that I can say with some certainty that this will be billed under no less then annual terms.  However I can tell you that you can get SSL certficates for as low as $20.   I can only assume it costs them $10, which is why they offer it for free the first year.  Just as I can believe that it only costs them $5 for a domain.  So if you do choose to go with Siteground.com for a ssl use it for the first year, but go else where to get a cheaper one after you exhausted your free time.

Spam and Email Virus Protection

At $5.50 a month that is $33.00 for 6 months, despite having 6 free months that only costs $24.

Website Wizard

If it was billed monthly it would be $3.50

Premium Support

There is no clear mention of how much more time you would have to wait if you did not pay $5.95 a month for priority support.

Daily Backup

I don’t what the maximum is of back up, this after all is a unlimited package.

Trying to go back to the main page of Siteground.com I get this popup window:

I figure the best thing to do to get my questions answered is to get on  their chat support to find out what they bill for.

The SiteGround.com chat session

Martin: Hello Benjamin
Martin: Welcome to SiteGround.com Hosting Services!
Benjamin: Hello Martin,
Benjamin: I am interested in your current offering
Benjamin: I see that the “gifts” are only free for a certain time and I would like to know if they are subject to auto billing?
Martin: Glad to hear about your interest, allow me a quick moment please
Benjamin: sure
Martin: I will now transfer you to a specialist in the field of current promotion and he will be happy to help you further
Benjamin: Thank you

This chat session has been transfered to Levan [sales]

Levan: Hello Benjamin
Benjamin: Hello Levan
Levan: The “gifts” are indeed for a certain pre defined period.
Levan: Sort of a trial for the extra services
Levan: And yes, as any other service we offer they would also be renewed automatically, if of course you do not choose to cancel them first.
Levan: Of course you will get quite a lot of notification before that, to make sure you remember.
Benjamin: Can you tell me when they would be rebill and for how much and under what terms (i.e. monthly, quarterly, semi-annual…….)
Benjamin: I suspect the ssl is once a year
Levan: which one would be interested in, or all of them?
Benjamin: all of them
Levan: Fair enough.
Levan: The SSL is indeed on a yearly basis
Levan: $82 per year.
Levan: Premium Support is $71.40/yr
Levan: Daily Backups are $71.40/yr
Levan: Spam Killer is $42/yr
Levan: Website wizard $42.00/year
Benjamin: This is not pro-rated to match the account?
Levan: If you could elaborate, please.
Benjamin: Example I buy today
Benjamin: 2 months from now you bill me for the back up
Benjamin: but only at 10 months
Benjamin: so that I am billed the same time as my hosting package
Levan: No the services would be rewed at different times, when the trial for the specific service has lapsed.
Benjamin: ok
Benjamin: do you offer a 30 day guarantee?
Levan: Yes, indeed a 30 day refund policy does come with the package.
Benjamin: In regards to the free domain, is that for the life of the account?
Levan: Yes, as long as you are hosted with us
Levan: the domain name will remain free
Benjamin: ok
Benjamin: how much would it cost to retain the domain if I decide not to keep my hosting account?
Levan: the standard domain registration fee with us is $14.95
Benjamin: cool
Benjamin: ok one last question
Levan: So that would be the it , yup
Levan: As many as you need.
Benjamin: its in regards to the premium support
Levan: ok
Benjamin: what is the difference in the premium and non-premium support
Levan: There are 2 main differences, one would be the average response time
Levan: Standard is around 15
Levan: Premium lowers it to 5 min
Levan: the second one is the ease with which you can post general issues.
Levan: Let me elaborate.
Levan: Basically the normal ticketing system is divided into categories.
Levan: So you need to navigate to the category at hand, and post the issue there, and it goes to the specialist in the field.
Levan: Example
Levan: Domain problems
Levan: Into the domain/DNS category
Levan: With premium you get a direct drop down meny
Levan: With a quick option post the matter immediately.
Levan: So it makes it a little harded for us
Levan: But easier for you.
Levan: That’s about it.
Levan: Of course with the trial
Levan: You get to experience that first hand.
Levan: Given that you do not have many requests
Levan: As mostly service runs smoothly.
Levan: No actual need for premium to be honest.
Benjamin: too many requests?
Levan: Simply for more dynamic users, in need of constant info
Levan: It’s better to go for premium
Levan: kind of beginner vs experienced user
Benjamin: Ok I think that will do it for me I will chew on this for the next hour and then decide if I will sign up. Thanks for the info.
Levan: Most welcome, glad I could assist you.
Benjamin: Have a good day
Levan: And if you need anything else , just come by. We are here at all times.
Levan: Thank you, have a great one as well!

In sum what this siteground.com chat boils down to:

Over 6 months if you choose all 5 so called “freebies” you will be billed $262.20 with 4 billings over the coarse of 6 months.  After the first year you will be billed $344.20 4 times over the coarse of 6 months.  The sales operative told me that they send notices to remind you before you are billed

Also the support service seems a bit wonk, after all why should someone that does not pay for premium service not get this pull down menu support?

Either way if you choose Siteground you better be prepared to watch your email for what may be a surprise bill.

Aquariusstorage.com – Will they share your information with a 3rd party?

Aquariusstorage.com is my second host review of 4 hosts for November 2010 webhostingstuff.com’s top 25. When I saw this site and hostinglocker.com, I had to wonder if these were webhosts or data storage sites.  Its safe to say despite their names they are indeed webhosts.  This is a site that while only 2 years old, I can say has accomplished more in traffic rank then most hosts I have seen do in 2 years.  After all their Alexa ranking is around 500,000.  Most that I have seen that are 2 years old are in the  millions.  I can say the design impresses me, though I guess it gets the job done.

For that matter there is not a lot to dig up on this host.  Yes Aquariusstorage.com offers unlimited plans.  Of coarse that is something I against as no host can truly offer you unlimited, and there fore are overselling.    I suspose I could complain about them having a post office box, which is where they want you to  send your DMCA complaints.  Frankly I would prefer to send them via email.  Not to mention if I had to mail it I would probable use FedEx, for which you can’t send to po boxes.

Then there is this part:

http://www.aquariusstorage.com/privacy.php

Use of Non-Personally Identifiable Information

We may share aggregate statistical data about our customers with third parties, such as advertisers or suppliers. This aggregate statistical data will not identify you personally.

I have never been comfortable sharing my customers information even if it does not identify them personally.  As long as my customers did nothing illegal I would not provide their information to anyone.

So when was Aquariusstorage.com formed?

According to the whois, its creation was on November 29, 2008.

What about Aquariusstorage.com’s review?

I am not sure how a site that has not had a review in almost 2 years gets a top spot in the t

The intresting thing is as I review this November Top 25 site, my timing seems perfect.  It appears that Quantawebdesign.com changed their dns today.

 Updated Date: 20-dec-2010

While Aquarusstorage is with Softlayer, Quantawebdesign.com is now with PWEBTECH.COM.

I can’t really say why they left.  After all this is the only review I can find.  I have to say I am a bit suprised to not find more

I was about to go to the terms of service  for Aquariusstorage when I found this:

John Smith who is not the owner of randomdomain.com is not hosting with AquaruisStorage.  I tend to wonder if this was a design error.  Clicking on the link in the testimonial takes you to the same page you are on, and not to where you would expect to be taken to more testimonials.  After all this is something that the designers did with my companies, they used generic names and such when drawing up the site.  However that was for heads of the company to see.  So while I got to see names of people on the initial draw up, customers and would be customers would not.

Personally I do not think Aquariusstorage should put up testimonials until they get some from current customers that are still with them.

Yaspe.com – Do they have 20,000 customers?

Yaspe.com is my Last  host review of 8 hosts for October 2010 webhostingstuff.com’s top 25.  On the surface they are 10 years old, yet they only have 1 review with webhostingstuff.  Other then that I can find no other reviews.  Perhaps that might be because they are from Spain, and appear to from the Way Back  Machine to have been a Spanish site.  What little I know of the Spanish Language is not enough to help me in looking up results in Spanish.   But here is the thing that strikes me, they claim to have 20,000 customers.  Yet their Alexa rank is 1,812,782.  Even with 300 customers on the last host I created the score was below seven hundred thousand.   Thats also considering even though the domain was 13 years old, it was only being actively used for less then 1 year.    I have several domains that are 10 years or older then have ten million or higher on their Alexa rating because they have been doing nothing.

You would think that Spain would show up in the Traffic Rank, especially when they have 20,000 customers.  But I suspect they are counting sites not customers.

Despite my lack of search engine optimaztion skills, I have gotten hosting-reviews-exposed.com to around 250,000 on Alexa.  Keep in mind before I had a blog my score was above three million.  That only took me 6 months.

What about the video on YASPE’s home page?

Its strange there is only one website on the video, and its not yaspe, but lightvocalgroup.com.

YASPE’s website is located in the United Kingdom, however the lightvocalgroup.com is located in Bulgaria.

I suspect that YASPE is not the only host using this video, and going through the domain whois and the terms of service my suspicion is proven correct.

It appears they belong to a network that belongs to:

LiquidNet Ltd.
OrgId: LIQUI-20
Address: 1040 SE 7th Court, Apt 307
City: Dania Beach
StateProv: FL
PostalCode: 33004
Country: US

Then there is this from their terms of service

http://www.yaspe.com/?lang=en&action=terms

The Service that is subject to the following agreement is provided by YASPE in association with LiquidNet Ltd., a company registered in the United Kingdom, registration No. 4654498. YASPE and LiquidNet Ltd. will be referred to as YASPE for the sake of brevity in this document.

Off to the whois once again.

Queried whois.internic.net with “dom liquidnetltd.net”…

   Domain Name: LIQUIDNETLTD.NET
   Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
   Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
   Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
   Name Server: DNS1.SUPREMECENTER.COM
   Name Server: DNS2.SUPREMECENTER.COM
   Status: clientDeleteProhibited
   Status: clientRenewProhibited
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Status: clientUpdateProhibited
   Updated Date: 06-jul-2010
   Creation Date: 19-aug-2006
   Expiration Date: 19-aug-2011

And what does webhostingstuff have to say about liquidnetltd.net

With its more than 22 500 customers, fast and reliable client support team, necessary know-how and superb technical equipment, the LiquidNet Ltd brand is fast becoming a household name in today’s hosting industry.

Interestingly LIQUIDNETLTD.NET claims to have 2500 more customers then YASPE,  yet has a lower traffic popularity then it:

Site Established: Unknown

Traffic Popularity: #8,860 of 12,007 companies

When I did my snap shot YASPE was 3,955 out of 12,789 hosts.

Its appears that webhostingstuff is clearing house, more on that in a later post (one where I say good bye to i7net).

Its also my opinion that this may be a reseller on a program similar to Wild West Domains (the Godaddy reseller program).   Though there is not enough there to confirm that its a reseller.

YASPE the host that makes you read

Going through yaspe, I find a lot of quirky English.  Granted I don’t really like pointing out a host for having bad grammar.  As I am not exactly perfect in my own English, especially before I have my morning coffee.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS

To open a trouble ticket and receive a solution to your problem from our technical support in less than an hour, you have to read the instructions in the YASPE Ticketing System.

I am willing to bet that yaspe is not the only company thats a part of LIQUIDNETLTD, if they have 22,500 – 20,000 customers.

But with no brainer lines like “Having a website of your own would be unthinkable without a web hosting account at hand.“, you have to wonder why anyone that reads would buy from yaspe.

GigaPros.com – Ratepoint and Limited Unlimited

GigaPros.com is my seventh host review of 8 hosts for October 2010 webhostingstuff.com’s top 25.  This is another host that uses Ratepoint.com to show case reviews.  In the back of my mind I tend to wonder about what the angle is with Ratepoint.com.  In the last post I did about a host that used them(http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/site5-sucks.html), I had a rather quirky conversation.  On the phone they told me I could delete the negative feed back as long as I made some effort to appease the customer.  But my email told me an entirely different story that it would not be deleted.  Gigapros.com has an amazing amount of reviews, and per usual no negative reviews.  My first thought was to look for negative reviews on other sites.   They are out there, suprisingly only a few negative reviews, yet a surprisingly large number of positive reviews.  Yet unlike webhostingstuff that has only 4 reviews, they do not have the domains of the sites like webhostingstuff.com.  There is nothing to validate these as real reviews on the sites where there is a huge number of reviews.

I have to say that this has only made me more curious about ratepoint.com.  Rumor wise here is what I have to wonder if its true.

  • The terms of service listed on the site is not the same as the one they impose.
  • During the trial negative reviews are deleted
  • Ratepoint customers can choose rather negative reviews show up or not.

So how old is GigaPros.com?

Honestly I would have thought that the site would be older then what I had suspected based on what Alexa tells me and the amount of reviews.  A whois tells me its only 2 years old.

   Domain Name: GIGAPROS.COM
   Registrar: DIRECTI INTERNET SOLUTIONS PVT. LTD. D/B/A PUBLICDOMAINREGISTRY.COM
   Whois Server: whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com
   Referral URL: http://www.PublicDomainRegistry.com
   Name Server: DNS1.GIGAPROS.COM
   Name Server: DNS2.GIGAPROS.COM
   Status: ok
   Updated Date: 14-mar-2010
   Creation Date: 05-mar-2008
   Expiration Date: 05-mar-2012

What I find strange is that a company that is only 2 years old has a ton of feed back on 2 sites their own paid for Ratepoint account, but only 4 on webhostingstuff.com which they are one of the top 25 hosts for October 2010.

Interesting tidbit there about GigaPros being slow.

GigaPros.com promises no overselling……..

Absolutely No Overselling

At GigaPros, we enforce ZERO Overselling Policy. So, you get 100% guaranteed server resource allocation at all times. No overloaded server means high reliability & more uptime for your website.

So if you decided to use 20 trigs of space it will not over load GigaPros server all for a whopping $3.99.

How is GigaPros Different?

Honesty is the key to any successful business. We do not hide any tricky limitations in our Terms and Conditions page. Instead, we show you the exact resources that you are buying from us. And that’s the base of our Zero Overselling Policy. You fully get what you pay for! No excuses, no gimmicks, no lies

http://www.gigapros.com/portal/index.php/products-a-services/linux-web-hosting-comparison.html

Honesty is not always the key to a successful business, after all this is the same company that is using webhostingstuff for “advertising”, could someone please point me to their advertising?

Here is what Wikipedia says about Overselling:

Overselling refers to selling of a volatile good or service in excess of actual capacity. In the travel industry, the term overbooking is used instead. In telecommunications, sometimes the term oversubscription is preferred. The practice occurs intentionally where sellers expect that some buyers will not consume all of the resources they are entitled to, or that some buyers will cancel.

Which means that “Honesty is the key to any successful business” is not what Gigapros is practicing.  Here is what Wikipedia says about the term in relation to hosting:

In the web hosting industry, the term is used to describe a situation in which a company provides hosting plans that are unsustainable if every one of its customers uses the full extent of services advertised. The term is usually referred to the web space and bandwidth transfer allowance. A hosting company may offer unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth, however, they put other restrictions in place such as CPU usage or inode limit. They may have onerous restrictions and one-sided contracts that lets them cancel the hosting of anybody that puts a strain on their system or fully uses their claimed allotments.

This practice usually incurs little ill-effect since most customers do not use any significant portion of their allocated share. If a customer has a small, low-traffic site serving static HTMLpages, few resources will be used. If a customer wishes to run a high-traffic, professional, or business website an oversold hosting account can be detrimental. In these cases, a shared hosting provider that does not oversell, a virtual private server or dedicated server is a preferred option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overselling

I don’t agree completly agree with the hosting description for overselling on Wikipedia.  But in essence if a hosting package says that its unlimited then yes it is being oversold.

The funny thing is that in my review of site5.com they not only used ratepoint.com just like Gigapros.com they think you can offer a unlimited plan without overselling:

It is important to remember that “unlimited” does not always indicate “oversold”, so do not let anyone tell you otherwise! We monitor our servers constantly to ensure optimal operating performance.

I will tell you that unlimited access is clearly overselling.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/site5-sucks.html

I have to wonder based on the tons of postive reviews, ratepoint.com, and the belief that unlimited hosting does not mean overselling if there is not a connection between these two companies

This GigaPros post could be longer, especially the part where they compare themselves to other hosts.

Hostgator.com – Black Friday Spam

The week after Thanksgiving I found tons of spam in relation to hostgator and Black Friday.   It was everywhere email, this blog, my personal twitter account and my YouTube videos.  I suppose its not all Hostgators fault.  They did say not to spam forums and email.  Though I did get spam by email, and so far my forum seems to have been ignored.  Yet they offer a super cheap package which is hard to resist when you don’t understand the ramifications of overselling.  After all a three year unlimited account for roughly $36 a year, and yet still get $50 – $125 per sale.  Even some one as bad as marketing as myself should be able to manage a few sales with that kind of a deal.

The pre-Black Friday Hostgator Promotion

Be ready to see a huge amount of activity and unbelievable sales numbers that will only come around once a year!

Here’s what we want you to do:

Post about the promotion on your blog
Post on Twitter and Facebook
Post about it on forums (follow all forum rules and don’t spam)
Tell your E-mail lists (Again, no Spam!)
Refer friends and family
Push all of your hosting related traffic to HostGator and EARN BIG!
Tell everyone you know!

Which leads to hostgator spam

Spamming a blog is ok, because Hostgator did not say you couldn’t right?

I suppose hostgator can use the argument that their terms of service and their mail outs stated not to send spam via email and forums.  But this line motivates people to get a high payout “Any commissions earned during our Black Friday special will receive a FULL commission!“.  Top that off with Shared hosting” $4.95/month AS LOW AS $0.99/month.  How hard is it to resist doing spam for an offering that is super cheap when there is a chance for a big pay out. It may be questionable if Hostgator intended for there to be spam, but its clear what happen.

Hostek – is Hostek.com just more hype then substance

Hostek is my forth host out of  7 of webhostingstuff.com September 2010 list.  My first impression is that they are not as old as they claim, just another aged domain.  But the further I investigate my initial impression is not justified.    That does not mean that just because they have been around since the late 90’s that they are a valid webhost, for that matter some hosts that have been around along time do not adapt.  Its pretty visible when they have not adapted, for one their design is a big give away.  The site looks pretty up-to-date.  Its the unlimited space that made me suspect they were working off a aged domain.   In this case its a host that could not adapt what they were doing before so they went for what I call a last ditched effort to keep clients and go the unlimited space route.

The one thing I find missing is the terms of service.

Where is Hostek’s terms of service?

Below at the bottom of any page where you would expect to find links to about, contact and most importantly the terms of service (tos) I find:

Specializing in ColdFusion web hosting. This includes ColdFusion 9 hosting, ColdFusion 8 hosting, ColdFusion reseller hosting. Additionally we offer ColdFusion dedicated hosting and ColdFusion dedicated server hosting. We also offer ColdFusion PHP hosting. We currently do not offer ColdFusion linux hosting. As you will see from any ColdFusion hosting reviews, we are a leader in ColdFusion hosting.

But when I search for “ColdFusion hosting reviews”, Hostek is not on the first page of results.

I have to wonder why boast about something that you can not prove, granted its a boast thats really small and tucked away at the bottom of the screen.  But my problem is that there is no clear link to the terms of the service on the home pages and most of the pages that you might go to, to try and find out more about this host.  I have no idea what merchant provider allows this.  I can only speculate that they either remove it after they are screened or they are with a merchant provider that charges so much they really could care less if a site is in order or not.  Frankly I would love to know who has what merchant it would defiantly aid in determining the quality of a host.  Either way they have earned my distrust by not having an up front terms of service.

I found the hostek terms of service while going through their order process

Its been my experience when there is not a direct link on every page of webhosting site that I could find it by going through the order form.  My assumption was correct.

http://hostek.com/tos.asp

Its the Service level agreement (referred to as the sla) that I find interesting.

http://hostek.com/docs/hostek-SLA.pdf

The terms of serivce have me leery of the company esspecially when you look at what it takes to get credit for a down time.  The way its worded pretty much nothing is their fault, and almost any down time falls under not their responsibility.

Who is Advanced Online Solutions (AOS) and how are they related to Hostek?

They are mentioned at the very top of the terms of service.

THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered between ADVANCED ONLINE SOLUTIONS, INC., 1648 Taylor Road #355, Port Orange, Florida 32128-6753, hereinafter referred to as “the Company” (“the Company” also includes any and all domain names owned by “the Company”) and the Customer, who wishes to use the services of the Company in accordance with this Terms of Service Agreement.

Which seems to me they found a template of a terms of service and were too lazy to use search and replace to put the name of their company in their.   Well thats my opinion, even though I have been told its pretty standard.  But I thought this was Hostek and not “the Company” i.e. AOS, i.e. Adanced Online Solutions, its almost like another version Endurance International Group.

Considering Hostek is webhostingstuff and not direct with there terms of service they are another company I recommend avoiding.