Fatcow Sucks? Beware – Read this Fatcow Review first before Buying!!!

Jun 14

Fatcow Sucks? Beware – Read this Fatcow Review first before Buying!!!
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So next one, number 3 on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 is sort of a revisit of another company, iPage. However this is what webhostingstuff.com’s page for fatcow says “Site Established: 29 Sep 1997 (12 years and 262 days ago) – Traffic Popularity: #46 of 10,293 companies. Some how its number three and in the forty sixth spot. If you read my previous post you will know that webhostingstuff.com was blocking me, which I will write a post later demonstrating how I did it. At this point thanks to my isp, I have a new ip and the site is working again.

This time around instead of jumping into a trace route, as I am sure it will be the same as iPage. I am going to go through the affiliate program which works three different ways from their home grown program. I did not look to see if iPage had their own affiliate program, as I did not think at the time a company would want more then one system. But I should have looked at the partnership link at the bottom of the page. For which you get paid three different ways.

http://www.fatcow.com/referral/programs.bml

At Commission Junction The affiliate program is the same as iPage.com, $100 – $125 payout per sale.

Speaking of affiliates, it appears there are a lot of complaints in regards to payments in a lot of the complaints I have found online. Another complaint I see is down time. Due to the complaints of affiliate payments that are rampant in search engine results, I would not recommend using fatcow’s affiliate program directly.

I almost have to wonder if fatcow has busy work for the web designers, or just a really busy auto blogger program:

http://www.fatcowreview.org/

Amazingly a organization that used the same graphics as Fatcow. I can’t say I find it surprising that they are hosting the site at Fatcow.com. Perhaps the same person that did the design for fatcow was paid to start a blog. Its not out of the realm of possibility, after all there are tons of people on elance.com that are willing to perform that sort of service.

Then there is aboutfatcow.com,

I love how these sites all have an “unbiased” opinion, and they also have coupons for a special price. I always wonder why site that’s doing a review about a webhost also has coupon for you to click on to save. Perhaps the whole I have a coupon, I must be your friend theme. You listen to your friends right? I like to think of the coupon as more of a Trojan Horse.

Then there is this post:

http://winkris.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-am-now-fatcow-customer.html

They failed to mention their website hosted with fatcow, and I am more then certain blogspot.com is not hosting with fatcow.com. I don’t see any affiliate links. But I question why someone thinks its ok to pay $20 for a domain when there are tons of fine companies out there you can find without doing much research for cheaper. After all the whole focus is on dirt cheap hosting, yet some how the domain costs $20 to buy. How the heck does a company that is doing so well and selling hosting with free domain, not capable of buying domains for $7 or less? Never mind the fees they pay Commission Junction, affiliates, Google, webhostingstuff.com, and whomever else is promoting them.

Truth be told I don’t know of many customers in my 11 years that are going to spend as much time trying to tell you why they liked my hosting. After all they are generally busy with their own sites. I am happy with what few kind words they could offer out there that are found via search engine results. But the reviews / sites are bit long for a “real” happy customer. Fatcowreview.org is the worst as it reflects on every aspect of their site. Every post / page has a fatcow.com banner to click on. Its not so much a review page as it is a brag page. You would almost have to believe that they were little to fanatic, and almost along the lines of a stalker. Though the truth is its nothing more the automated script that goes through fatcow pulling out material. The lazy method of making money.

Instead of doing a search on “fat cow sucks”, I did one on “fat cow coupon”, based on the amount of people paying for that search engine result I see a new trend.

The iPage and ipower connection

Last time I when I chatted with one of out sourced sales people in India, I was pointed to a connection between fatcow and iPage. Only because the person on the other side asked what link I was referring to, when I told him the main page he still persisted on asking for the link. Clearly a tech that only works with one company is going to know where the link to the main page is. Then there was also the ipowweb.net in the trace route. I believed at the time there were more then two parties involved with this organization. Today I found when doing search with “fatcow bbb”. I am not saying I am fan of the Better Business Bureau, I have a great many complaints about this organization that has not adapted with the times. But this link confirmed my suspicions and raises another.

http://www.bbb.org/boston/business-reviews/internet-services/the-endurance-international-group-inc-in-burlington-ma-76863/

So iPage and Fatcow with 32 other sites are apart of:

Endurance International Group, Inc.

AccountSupport
ApolloHosting
BizLand
BlueDomino
DomainHost
Dot5Hosting
Easy CGI
EasyCGI
eHost
EntryHost
FatCow
FreeYellow
Globat
HostCentric
HostYourSite
HyperMart
IMOutdoorsHosting
Ipower
IPowerWeb
Networkshosting
PowWeb
PureHost
ReadyHosting
Spry
StartLogic
The Endurance International Group, Inc.
USANetHosting
VirtualAvenue
VPSLink
WebHost4Life
Webstrikesolutions
Xeran
YourWebHosting

I don’t see iPage on the list of sites, so I tend to wonder if there are more then what this company lists. But I see Ipowweb on the list thus verifying the connection I was looking for.

But webhostingstuff.com has two interesting reviews in regards to what appears fatcow’s business status:

http://www.webhostingstuff.com/comments/FatCowWebHosting-1156.html

and

http://www.webhostingstuff.com/comments/FatCowWebHosting-23103.html

Both of which at different times 3 years a part had to do with a change in the companies handling.

The Chat Session and the ipower chat

I decided to try the same line of questions I had with iPage. Domains are more costly then iPage.com if you want to keep them $15, iPage was $10.95. But then again the phone call to iPage stated that it was $15.00.

Vanessa Morris: Hi Benjamin. My name is Vanessa, how are you today?
Benjamin: Hello Vanessa
Benjamin: Fine, and yourself?
Vanessa Morris: I’m great, thank you. How can I help you today?
Benjamin: I can not find any information out about the corbanite service
Benjamin: I was wondering if you could tell me about it or provide me with a link with more information
Vanessa Morris: Sure.
Vanessa Morris: Could you please provide me the exact URL where you have clicked this LiveChat icon in our website?
Benjamin: its on the main page of your site?
Vanessa Morris: I would like to see the link.
Benjamin: you website only has one main page, you should be able to see that
Benjamin: fatcow.com
Vanessa Morris: Thank you!
Benjamin: are you supporting other companies?
Vanessa Morris: May I place you on hold for 4 or 5 minutes, while I check this for you?
Benjamin: ok
Vanessa Morris: No, Benjamin. I need link for confirmation.
Vanessa Morris: Did you receive my last message?
Benjamin: I am still waiting on the carbonite info you said would take 4 – 5 minutes
Vanessa Morris: May I place you on hold for 4 or 5 minutes, while I check this for you?
Benjamin: I said “ok”
Vanessa Morris: Thank you for holding.
Vanessa Morris: Please refer:
Vanessa Morris: http://www.fatcow.com/knowledgebase/category.bml?c=565
Benjamin: I am also not sure what you need confirmation for. If you did not work for other companies you would not need a link to know what the main page of a website is.
Benjamin: I will look at that in a sec, I have a few other questions
Vanessa Morris: I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. But we need your co-operation as we are in the process of enhancing the Chat icons on our website and during this period we want identify the exact page from where you have contacted us. This will help us to determine the list of pages from where we usually get the chats and organize the Chat icons in a better way.
Benjamin: that does not make any sense
Vanessa Morris: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Benjamin: as you would only have one main page and its fatcow.com, not sure what these enhanced chat icons are about.
Benjamin: anyway
Benjamin: If I decided I do not want to keep my hosting account, how much will it cost for me to keep my domain?
Vanessa Morris: If you cancel the account within 30 days and register free domain name, then we will deduct $15 from your refund for domain registration. You can transfer the domain to another registrar.
Benjamin: Your domain fee sounds a bit high, I think I will go with Directnic instead for a domain name. I don’t see the option to get dns sent to me on the order form, only transfer and register a new domain. Do you send me dns information?
Vanessa Morris: Yes, we will send information.
Vanessa Morris: If you wish, I will signup without any issue from our end.
Benjamin: I still need review your terms of service first
Benjamin: and I have only 2 more questions
Benjamin: Where are you located?
Vanessa Morris: Burlington, MA.
Benjamin: the servers as well?
Vanessa Morris: No, it is located in Boston.
Benjamin: Thanks Vanessa, the only thing that troubles me is the whole not knowing what your main page is, it really does not have me to confident that your not working for other companies.
Benjamin: anyway, I will look over the link for carbonite and should sign up if I like what I see
Vanessa Morris: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.
Vanessa Morris: If you wish to signup, please contact me.
Vanessa Morris: I will do it for you.
Vanessa Morris: Ask my name in chat.
Benjamin: ok have a good day
Vanessa Morris: Thank you for chatting. Take care and have a good day!

Vanessa, or whomever is playing as Vanessa in Mangalore, India. Was not willing to give me as much details as the guy in my chat with iPage.com. But like last time I was asked for the page I was asking for. Also there was that long pause (6 minutes) where I was waiting for information on one of their features. Which was beyond the 4 -5 minutes it took to Google their site for where the info might be.

Just for giggles I decided to chat with them again, since they were asking me for the webpage I though I would give them one different then ipage.com or fatcow.com:

Jerold King: Hi Benjamin. My name is Jerold King, how are you today?
Benjamin: Hello Jerold, I am fine how are you?
Benjamin: I can not find any information out about the corbanite service.
Jerold King: I’m great, thank you.
Jerold King: Can you please provide me with the website link where exactly you have clicked the Live Chat icon?
Benjamin: ipower
Jerold King: You can check for the Corbanite service at:
Jerold King: http://www.ipower.com/product/carbonite.bml
Benjamin: thanks
Jerold King: Thank you for chatting with us. Please feel free to contact us at any time. We are available 24×7.

Jerold (or whomever he claims to be), decided to end our chat session rather quickly after giving me a link to ipower.com. Not giving me a chance to get more details or ask other questions. So there is defiantly more then one company involved in their support system. Perhaps why the chat system asked for an account id, as well as ticket number. I might try and get an account with them later to test the system out.

The Phone Call: Searching for Vanessa Morris of Fatcow.com

The phone call was more interesting, because I asked to speak to Vanessa. Did I think I would get her (or is it he)? No, not at all. I did however expect fumbling around excuse after excuse as to why I could not. I was not disappointed, and now believe I need to start recording these phone calls. The phone operator I spoke to was in Phoenix Arizona, so within driving distance of myself. Not on the north eastern part of the country like Vanessa (who probable was not a Vanessa, and was probable on the opposite side of the planet from me). Perhaps this call center is actually http://bobcares.com/ an outsourcing company.

Clearly another company I can not recommend based on complaints of downtime, refund issues, over the top affiliate payments, and promises of unlimited space.



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19 comments

  1. I have actually been using Fatcow for some of my low-traffic PHP sites. I like them. Don’t get me wrong, I have complaints. The biggest being that I am unable to have a dedicated SSL. But all in all, I like Fatcow.

    Then again, I only use them for low traffic, small sites.

  2. admin /

    Hello Wade,

    As long as you are below their “profit lose point”, you should be okay. But then again you could probable find a better host thats not spending more on affiliates then they spend on your service to ensure you stay a customer. Even for a few more bucks with a small mom and pop webhosting company I think you would be better off, and defiantly able to have a dedicated ssl giving your company more validity in the world wide web.

    What are your other complaints if I might ask?

    Regards,

    Benjamin

  3. Brian /

    When I first started using fat cow about a year ago things went great. Then I started seeing host side errors – all consistent with the fact that they have overloaded their capacity. Today we suffer through many outages – at least a major one every two weeks. We are now moving on from fat cow and would encourage others from falling into this trap.

  4. Well to answer your question, i did do some research but according to your statement, not much.

    With so many Webhosting review sites online, it’s hard to differentiate those who are telling the truth and those who are not.

    My only defence was that i thought i was going to stick with Fatcow for the long run and therefore figured the $20 as a one-off payment for not having registered a domain was not a big deal.

    Had i known i was being ripped off, i wouldn’t have signed up with them to begin with.

    Maybe i was just naive into thinking i was getting a good deal.

    And just so you and your readers know, Fatcow DOES suck and that it has already been months since i’ve cancelled my membership.

  5. Daniel treated like dirt /

    I am soooo glad I found this site. Almost went with iPage. Been searching for a host as mine expires with Globat. Always had problems, but was paid up until this month. 6 months ago, on a complaint, a supervisor transferred me to sales to give me free 6 months. The sales guy told me he could make me a renewal deal if I would pay for a discounted year it would extend my time. Instead, they deleted my account and charged me for the 1 year, deleted my sites and my e-mail accounts too. When I called the guy, he told me their computer records showed I didn’t have 6 months… remember, this is the same guy who said my 1 year would be added to the 6 months. Then they made me prove I had an account before that date, digging up e-mails, which I had kept. When I told the sales guy I was going with Fatcow, he sort of laughed and said they were the same company, and that if I contacted support I’d get the same people, same service, same thing. Now I know why. Globat is the worst. Thanks Benjamin for a great site.

  6. admin /

    Hi Daniel,

    I am sorry to hear about this. Also this is the first time I have heard of a company offering retention credit when you sign up for an extra year. Its dubious at best for a company to ask for extra payments after being in the wrong. I hope that you received my email.

    Regards,

    Benjamin

  7. Jason /

    FatCow is the worst ever. Be aware of their hidden fees before you chose it!!!

  8. ChandraSF /

    I just wasted $35 on Fatcow. Was looking for a place to run my PHP based autoresponder program. Was given wrong information that automated batch scripting is supported. Between signing up for a hosting plan and cancellation, fatcow charged me $15 cancellation fee. Then a year later they charged me $11 for the domain name renewal, even though I had cancelled the domain and the hosting plan. They also loaded in $8.99 privacy plan. Now my account is finally closed down, and I am hoping their grubby hands stay off my credit card. Please beware of using a credit card with these folks, their greedy conniving hearts will harm you.

  9. Donna Stroud /

    I have had numerous problems with Fat Cow and hidden charges. I have attempted 3 times to cancel the website and get a refund. Each time, I have been promised that the refund will come and each time it never does. There are numerous charges attached which someone conveniently forgot to mention when I initially set up the account. I have had a very bad experience with this company and my problem is still not resolved. I would not recommend them to anyone.

  10. hi benjamin
    thanks for sharing this info….its an eye opener.
    i enjoyed reading the chat sessions you had.
    please guide me where should i go for hosting as i was planning to go with i-page or fat cow.you can email me if you like

  11. Hello Sunny,

    I wish I could recommend a host, but at this point I can only tell you who I use. I am not willing to put my name behind any host at this time.

    Current hosting solutions I use are Godaddy (I only recommend for beginners, mediatemple, theplanet, and rackspace.

    I do plan to implement something soon that will allow people to better judge hosts.

    Regards,

    Benjamin

  12. Daniel treated much better /

    Great experience with Godaddy after last August I posted my issues here with Globat and Fatcow. I switched my host to Godaddy. EVERY time I send support a help request I receive a real answer, usually problem resolved, like someone actually read my question and thought about how to help. Nothing like Globat/Fatcow that sent useless cut and paste crap nonsense replies for 5+ tries until I WAS SCREAMING MAD!! Just the peace of mind is worth it. It’s soooo difficult looking for honest reviews and wading through the BS to find a good host. Good luck everybody. Daniel

  13. I’m on Ipage and talking to Vanessa as we speak. We got nothing done i’m just trying to transfer a domain.

  14. Yes fatcow does suck, I’ve been a victim of Fatcow’s poor customer service, lousy outdated user interface and skyrocketing pricing on second year web hosting renewal!

  15. Benjamin /

    Hello Bruce,

    I hope you read my comment on your post, and yes I removed your links. Partly because the domain you listed appears to be on Single hop, which if memory serves me correctly is a Burstnet netowork. Not justhost as listed in your post, which also belongs to EIG just like fatcow. If you have a site that is actually hosted with Justhost.com I will happily restore your links. If you look at the link I sent you, you will find some ex-stooge for EIG defending while mocking a previous customer of another EIG operation that was unhappy with their support with one EIG, and yet happy with another EIG company.

    Regards,

    Benjamin

  16. THESE REVIEWS WASTE SO MUCH OF MY TIME!!!!!— BUT MUST BE DONE—
    MAYBE I CAN SAVE SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE SOME MONEY AND STRESS!!

    —12/2/12—
    BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE… STAY VERY FAR AWAY FROM FAT COW…TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT…

    Signed up with Fat Cow on 24 January 2012… resigned 3February 2012
    MY OPINION…BASED ON EXPERIENCE…FATCOW DO NOT KNOW HOW TO LIASE WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS
    ………………………………………………………………………….
    Feb 4 (8 days ago)

    Thank you for your reply.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. I have
    asked a member of our team who specializes in Billing to review your
    account. You should be hearing from this specialist within 24-48 hours.

    Thank You!

    Sincerely,

    Reed Safford
    Customer Support

    HAVE NOT HEARD A PEEP OUT OF THEM!!…
    IT’S NOW 192 HOURS…SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEIR MATHS
    BUT WHY SHOULD THEY HURRY?… THEY’VE GOT MY MONEY!…
    DON’T EVER PAY ANYBODY IN ADVANCE…
    …………………………………………………………………………

    Feb 9 (3 days ago)
    Well well well,
    it seems I made a verrrrry good decision here…
    it’s now many days since I told you people to close this
    account from which I was getting very unprofessional service,
    customer feedback and everything to make me unhappy…
    Now you refuse to answer my questions… again… and you
    just leave me in limbo as far as my finances are concerned…

    I think this is a very good reason to post a review which should
    be refreshed daily for as long as you keep me in the dark…
    Fat Cow really seems to have no concern for customer satisfaction
    and customer retention… my opinion from my experience with Fat Cow…

    Well you people must have a tremendously lovely day…

    yours truly unsatisfied…

    John Barnard

    NO MONIES RETURNED… NO COMUNNICATION FROM FAT COW…

  17. BEWARE! FatCow seemed like a good deal when I first signed up with them over a year ago, but then they slammed me with a bill for nearly $150 to pay for my second year’s hosting. Their trick seems to be to lure you in with a very cheap price for the first year, then make it back and more in the second year. When I called to complain I was told the price is there in the small print (still can’t find it) and that I entered the contract freely so they have no reason to refund my money. Really disgusted with their lack of customer service and will switch to another host as soon as this year is up.

  18. Fernie Romans /

    I have hosted a few websites with fatcow and within one year of services I will never go back. There customer service is the worst of any company I have ever experienced! Not only did they down-grade my account due to no fault of mine, they accidentally deleted all the files from the account. In other words, they took my website down. Then they refused to pay out the earnings i received from my affiliate program that was associated with the account. I talked to at least 5 customer service reps to try to correct the problem that they caused, but the impression i got from all of them was that I was simply “out of luck!”

  19. I ran a small personal site on Fatcow for one year (got a special $ 35/yr offer, didn’t renew because of a too high renewal fee), based on the most basic PHP Includes.
    Their MySQL was rubbish – I had to discard a very simple new publishing tool requiring one MySQL database because it was a non-stop error – but aside from that, Fatcow has been one of the best hosts I’ve ever used and I would have no problem to go back there if I needed hosting again.

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