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

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.


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:


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:


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.


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

Endurance International Group, Inc.

Easy CGI
The Endurance International Group, Inc.

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:




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.

Justhost Just Sucks? Warning – Read this Justhost review first …

Second on the list is JustHost.com, I first mentioned this host when I brought up hostingsthatsuck.com.

Forgive me while I figure and fine tune the format. At the same time I had originally thought that I could spend part of my free time in a day and do a single review on each hosting company. There is a lot of information out there on just iPage.com and JustHost,com. Spending an hour to sum up as much information as I find is not really all that feasible. So I will try to get what I can get out, and revisit these hosts when I review other webhosting review websites to expose. But here is what I dug up:

Looking at the trace route for this site I get the following information:

Traceroute to justhost.com []


I see liquidweb.com, who appears to be on theplanet.com’s servers. Its starting to seem that all webhosts are on theplanet.com’s servers.  Not a lot I can take from the trace route, but I like to look at where a hosts physical location might be.

A Rabid Advertising Campaign:

The bulk of my look at Justhost.com is that they seem to be on a rather aggressive advertising campaign. They seem to appear every where over night back in 2009. Which brings me to hostingsthatsuck.com. Hostingsthatsuck.com wants you to believe that there a great company with almost no negative feedback, despite the fact they did not suck. Atleast that is how it was at first, but later they changed it to they did suck so they had to recommend another host, but you had to scroll past the glowing review and affiliate link to see the disclaimer. But finale they changed the page and put this up:

Firstly, maybe we can take the negative feedbacks about any web hosting with a pinch of salt. According to a study conducted by America’s premier customer services research firm, TARP, customers are more likely to speak about a company when things go wrong rather than when they go right. On average, customers are twice as likely to talk about a bad experience as they are to share a positive one. So we can safely say that for every negative comment about Justhost, there are two more good Justhost reviews we did not hear about.”

However their original review as well as their policy to say something sucks, but not really while applying what they call an “unbiased” seems to have a copy cat site where the original post was later re-posted:


The problem is suck is not the only negative meaning that would turn someone from buying (fraud, downtime, up-time, terrible, bad, incoherent, poor, nasty, lame, evil, stupid, cheat …………….) I figured while looking, why not see what I get when I search for “just host sucks”, and to the left of google is 2 sites that are using those terms for their adwords: 10-cheapwebhosting.com & webhostingdeals.org. Most of the sites on the first page of search engine results are affiliates. Hostingsthatsuck.com (that has no actual hosts that suck on it that I can see now), used complaints that did not seem valid to validate their “not” sucking.  But I have found a lot of complaints in regards to orders not being set up, and issues with getting it up or getting a refund. Multiple complaints of downtime and deleted content. In some cases people were told that they deleted their own content. I supposed you can trust these affiliates that choose to market on the word sucks with just host. All of which try (or not) to sound like some unbiased site that want to convince you that justhost.com is the host for you. So where are they hosting?

Name Server: NS2153.HOSTGATOR.COM
Name Server: NS2154.HOSTGATOR.COM
How about the sites that are using suck to determine if a host sucks (or really just trying to get you to buy Justhost hosting)?
Websitewelcome.com is Hostgator.com
Domain Name: AZHAN.COM
Name Server: NS1.NAME.COM
Name Server: NS2.NAME.COM

None of the 4 sites that I have looked at, and for that matter no site that promotes justhost.com as the host to use, are hosting on justhost.com. After all if they are so good, why are they not using them?

So why are they everywhere in the search engines?  JustHost.com seems to have two affilate programs.  Both of which have rather heavy pay outs, enough to encourage anyone and their dog to do what ever it takes to get their site in the top of search engine results.  Their own personally ran affiliate program can be found at:


Also they use Commission Junction, their policy is:

We are a first class web hosting provider that offer free domains, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts and the ability to host unlimited domains. We are committed to making web hosting simple and understandable for every user. We have ensured our sign up process is as straightforward as possible to ensure customers have no problems setting up their account. Customers will usually receive their login details within 10 minutes of subscribing, making the process swift and efficient for both the customer and the affiliate.

Just Host’s affiliate program gives you the ability to make up to $200 per sale and an additional $100 if you convert over 10 sales in a month. We offer two plans each available for 6, 12, 24 and 36 months, a sale qualifies as a subscription to any of these plans. Please see our commission structure below:

  • Just Plan & Premium Semi-Annual sign-up – $100
  • Just Plan 12, 24 and 36 month sign-up – $100
  • Just Premium 12, 24 and 36 month sign-up – $120
  • Just Reseller sign-up – $200!

We also offer an incentive of $100 if an affiliate sends us over 10 sales in 1 month. Our cookie referral period is 30 days. Just Host has a variety of banners, skyscapers and buttons to suit all sites along with text and content links.

We are heavily promoting Just Host online and in print. This exposure will greatly increase our customer base and our conversion rate which is one of the highest in our industry will continue to grow with our customers.

The Just Host team has over 10 years experience in web hosting and are dedicated to providing customers with the most reliable web hosting service possible. We guarantee affordable price plans, secure servers, first class 24/7 tech support and a wide range of features.

Looking at both it seems clear the one to go with if you want a big payout, its commission junction and not JustHosts.com own affilate program. Both of which have rather insane payouts like iPage.com.

At the same time while they claim being 10 years old to their affiliates on commission junction, their domain registration says the domain was bought in 2002.


They claim on the BBB site that they were founded in 2002. But I have serious doubts, as the oldest piece of information that I have seen is no latter then 2008. I suspect that justhost.com was just unused aged domain. I have many that I have never used some that are over 10 years old. I suspect this is the same case with justhost.com and they are blatantly lying about their start date.

I admit they are a fast growing operation, but I imagine this is nothing more then another arm of another hosting operation. Much like what iPage.com is to fatcow.com. Its not my concern what they tell their affiliates, but that’s going to be what the affiliates tell people when they try to refer people.

Onto the chat and phone call with Justhost.com

I thought I would chat and call them since I had read a lot of complaints about English problems. I can tell you that there was a lot of copying and pasting going on. I actually stumped the person on chat for a whole three minutes on how much it would cost to keep my domain. $20 is a bit much. From the chat I could not see a lot of problems with English use, but this was just sales and clearly a lot of copy and past to my answers, due to cases where text was pasted and sent soon after one another.

Chat start time Jun 13, 2010 5:23:09 PM EST

Chat end time Jun 13, 2010 5:30:55 PM EST

Duration (actual chatting time) 00:07:46

Operator Andrew

Chat Transcript

info: All our operators are currently assisting others customers. You are currently in position 1 Thank you for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.

info: You are now chatting with ‘Andrew’

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

Benjamin: Hello Andrew, I just found your site had a few questions

Benjamin: If I change my mind how and decided to cancel, how much will my domain cost to keep?

Andrew: If you cancel your account we will provide you with a full refund for the remainder of your term, excluding any setup fees that were charged when you signed up, and excluding domain registration fees. (Even if you received your domain for free through one of our promotional plans)

Andrew: The domain registration fee we incur on each domain registration is $20.00. So all refunds are subject to a $20.00 registration fee charge, but you will own the domain name afterwards.

Benjamin: Your cost seems a bit high on the domain, I think I will go to another domain register for my domain. On the order form it only indicates buy new domain or transfer. Do you give me dns so I can change it with my domain register?

Andrew: So you want to signup hosting with your existing domain, right ?

Benjamin: a domain I am buying from godaddy

Benjamin: $20 is a bit much if I decided I do not like your company

Andrew: Ok… For this select the option ‘I already own my domain name’. In this case your domain will stay with your registrar and you can host it with us. Also, please note that we initiate the transfer of domain only if you place a request with us for the same.

Andrew: Our name servers are as below

Andrew: ns1.pipedns.com:

Andrew: ns2.pipedns.com:

Andrew: ns3.pipedns.com:

Benjamin: that will not try to transfer my domain?

Andrew: Right

Benjamin: ok

Benjamin: where are your servers located?

Andrew: Our Data Center is in Chicago US

Benjamin: are you located at that center?

Andrew: Yes

Benjamin: nice, many hosts don’t seem to staff their centers.

Benjamin: thanks I will order sometime tonight.

Andrew: You are most Welcome !!

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

Benjamin: nope have a good day

Andrew: Thank you for visiting Hosting Support. Should you have any queries or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Andrew: We are pleased to bring to your attention the following offer.

Andrew: Let us take away any worries of accidental deletion or modification of your website or files by backing up your site on a daily basis. If you ever need a previous days backup, just let us know and we will happily restore or upload backups for you – $19.95 per year.

Andrew: Have a nice day!! Good Bye.


After I said “nope have a good day”, I got a barrage of sales copy and pastes, and the operator left before I could ask about the back up service. I figured I would try covering that with a phone call. After the automated system transferred me to sales I was stuck for 3 minutes of ringing. I hung up before trying to see if I could make it 4 minutes. You would figure they would have a answering machine to tell me that they are not open and when to call…… if they were not open.

Onto the JustHost.com complaints:

The BBB has 169 complaints at present, though not all are viewable, here is what the BBB states about those complaints:

Complainants allege a variety of billing and refund related problems. Customers complain that previously undisclosed fees are added to billings, or that advertisements for service at $3.95 per month failed to disclose that in order to get the discounted rate, customers must agree to be billed two years in advance. Other complainants allege they were unable to send emails or were advised that they must upgrade their service in order for basic services to function properly. Many customers complain they are unable to communicate with the company to resolve problems due to the company’s email only policy, or that tech support does not resolve problems. Some complainants allege the services are not as represented, or that the company falsely advertises a 90% uptime rate. The company responds to complaints by issuing refunds or partial refunds and agreeing to close accounts along with apologies for any inconveniences. One or more complaints are unresolved meaning the company failed to properly address the complaint allegations or their response was inadequate.”

This is not the only organization that has multiple complaints:



There are many more non-affiliated sites that are reporting multiple issues with Justhost.com.

The reasons I give to not buy from Justhost.com are as follows:

  1. Probable no more then a 2 year old company at best, and they are using an aged domain name. I can not find much information that shows they were in business prior to 2009. The BBB states they signed up with them in 2009. However I know BBB asks when you start, and don’t actually look for business licenses. Most complaints are in 2009, and I am having a hard time finding anything from 2008 or before then.
  2. Keeping your domain with them is a $20 charge, they claim that’s what it costs them. But there are tons of domain registration programs that cost most hosting companies $8 or less.
  3. Multiple complaints of accounts not being set up when ordered.
  4. Multiple complaints on getting a refund.
  5. Complaints of content being deleted
  6. Complaints of poor tech support, in many cases musical chairs between departments.
  7. Complaints of constant down time
  8. Heavy affiliate commission payouts that encourage false advertising just to make a sale.

Don’t Buy From iPage.Com Until You Read My Review — Save Time And Money!!

Its simply not enough to go after phony baloney webhosting review sites, you have to go after the companies that put money in their coffers. The money is coming from webhosting companies. Because of this practice we are swamped with tons of crap while trying to search for real info on a webhosting. There are 25 webhosts on webhostingstuff.com’s top list since iPage is at the top of webhostingstuff.com they are the first on my list. Going by rating then number of reviews they would be number 9, but by webhostingstuff.com’s own ranking on the page for iPage.com its 60. I will start with them. In July I will go after another hosting review site and their customers.

There is a lot of info to sort out on iPage. The puzzling thing is they were supposed to be hosting since 1998, but according to this link (http://www.findmyhosts.com/hostmonster-vs-iPage-vs-fatcow/) they just re-launched after years of inactivity back in October 2009. iPage.com claims to have more then 1,000,000 websites. It does not say domains or customers. Are they counting add-on domains like what geocities did? Keep in mind customer can have one plus domains, and I have seen a lot of customers with a thousands of domains for the sheer purpose of increasing their site rankings. A gimmick that hosting companies and hosting review sites also employee.

Looking at their dns records I see this:


Another webhosting company on theplanet.com servers.

Strangely while trying to see where webhostingstuff.com ranks ipowerweb, I get the following message:

We apologize for any inconvenience you are currently facing.

To allow us to diagnose the error(s) you’re facing, please fill your email address below
and press the “Diagnose My Connection” button.

Our Webmaster Team are then able to diagnose error(s) you’re facing and contact you when
they are fixed.

Once again, thank you for your patience! 🙂

Your Email Address:

I am not going to give them my email address. But the problem seemed to happen after I went to the advertise with us link. A friend on the same network has confirmed that they do not have the same problem and can clearly see the top 10 on webhostingstuff.com’s main page. But I tend to wonder the relationship between iPage and ipowweb. The lay out of both sites has a similar feel.  Perhaps the collective of companies have over 1,000,000 websites on their “Platform”.

One of the ways iPage is promoting their company is an insane affiliate program with commission junction that I don’t quite understand. They offer $100 – $125 per annual account, and what appears $25 per blog. I had to look at it several times because it does not make a lot of sense, especially since they are talking about their $3.50 a month plans (which is their only plan). A full year is $42.00. However this only counts if the person ordering does not decided to cancel their order and get suckered into the last chance offer when trying to get away from the shopping cart. In which case there is no commission made by the referrer. Granted there is nothing in regards to renewal fees so I suppose they can start making a profit off refereed customers after a year or 2, if that customer buys into the extras. But that’s a lot of income being taken away from the service of the customer. It is however very desirable to those that want the income to push this product when they can get a very high pay out for a single sale. Making it to where anyone that wants to push hosting is not going to go for an affiliate program that while rewarding the referral, is not giving away the farm to get the new customer. Keep in mind not every customer is going to come through the commission junction program, and this is not going to be iPage’s only source of advertising. After all they are also paying the cost to remain on number 1 host out of 25 with webhostingstuff.com. Not to mention Commission Junction is not exactly bringing affiliates for iPage for nothing. Clearly you have a choice to select between a company that pays more for making sure you get the best service, or more to those that would bring customers in like cattle.

Webhostingstuff.com is not the only company parading this company as being a highly regarded website. Going to Google I get a load of various affiliates, and a list to add of people that are in the business of webhosting reviews. Though it appears they are like webhostingstuff.com is paying the most for “advertising”. I found it on a few affiliates that try to appear as unbiased reviews. But none of these sites are hosted on iPage.com’s network. http://www.webhostingbreak.com/ is one of the sites that has a glowing endorsement. Better yet Ian (owner of webhostingbreak.com), allows you to do blog posts about hosting companies. Using other people to help advance his own website to promote hosting companies on his lists, all of which have affiliate programs.

After a long review of search engine results it’s hard not to find negative feedback about the support, uptime, and at times support responses that don’t understand the most basic of questions. Worst yet a repeat pattern where people are told there was no outages when asked for the cause of the outages. I find it remarkable based on the negative feedback that I have found that iPage.com has no negative feedback on webhostingstuff.com. The only glowing endorsements I can find are those that are clearly affiliates that have a coupon code so you can get service for $3.50.

The terms of service, or the many pages of terms of service. Are somewhat long and cumbersome for a product that is only $3.50 a month. Frankly I have had credit card agreements, cell phone contracts, and loan agreements with less reading involved. Considering the amount of time I have spent on researching this company already, I am not willing to invest anymore time into digging in to their terms of service. So at best I am going to tell you what I have found while glancing and looking for certain parts of the terms of service. Namely the domain name, since they offer a free one.

I am no big fan of hosting companies that want you to buy or transfer your domain to them. I don’t see a third option with iPage to simply change your dns to their servers from the domain register you have your domain with. You have to read the terms of service to see what they might mean by transfer which appears to mean changing your dns. Nothing clear in regards to that. The free domain is somewhat fuzzy on its own. I don’t have a problem so much with the domain being free for the life of the account, its an incentive. Not exactly one I would have preferred to use. But the fact that they do not disclose how much the domain will cost if you decided to leave. I had to call to find out, and its $15.00 (however the site lists it as a $9.95 value). I stated I could get it cheaper else where, so I was not interested in buying a domain through them. I also asked about just changing my dns, and not transferring the domain. The operator on the other end was unclear on the details. But they do try to transfer you from your existing domain register, unless you contact them prior to ordering. These days you can get a domain for less than $10 from many fine registration companies. After all who wants to pay extra to a hosting company they may not like.

Then their User Agreement and their Domain Registration Agreement do not agree with one another.

User Agreement 2.b.i: If your plan includes a free domain name and you cancel within the first 30 days, a fee for the domain will be deducted from your refund. If you do not wish to keep the domain name, iPage will take possession of the domain and the fee will not be charged.

Domain Registration Agreement 4: Once a domain name has been registered or renewed through iPage, no refunds will be given for the domain registration or renewal fee.

On one hand they can charge you $15.00 non-refundable on the other they refund all your money.

Also in User Agreement 2.b.i: at any time by either party by giving the other party thirty (30) days prior written notice, provided that we may charge You a minimum $35.00 charge as an early cancellation fee.

Meaning after you cancel after 30 days and you paid for a year ($42.00) you could get $7 or less.

Going to the order form they automatically selects 2 year pricing. I am not sure about their experience, but generally I have had forms on monthly pricing, often customers would not even bother reading the terms of service or for that matter see what they were paying for. But the worst part I think is that they preselected some add-ons, Prevent Identity Theft & Secure Your Data ($12.95 a year) and Automate Your Site Backup ($12.95 a year). That’s an extra $51.80, if the person who ordered did not bother to check the bi-annual billing, versus $25.90 for the year).

Finale here is my chat session with one of their (shared) staff, you will get what I mean after you read the transcript.  Needless to say I found out more than I thought I would ever get out of a chat session.  BTW I am Benjamin.

Thank you for contacting support. Please be prepared to answer your Security Question when we begin chatting. To enhance our security protocols, we’ll need you to provide the answer to your Security Question at the beginning of our conversation. If you have not yet set your Security Question and Answer, please log into your account now to set it up. Thank you. Please hold for the next available operator to respond.

All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.

All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.

You are now chatting with ‘Bryan Smith’

Bryan Smith: Hi Benjamin My name is Bryan Smith, how are you today?

Benjamin: I was wondering if you could give me details on some of the freebies offered on your main page that are not listed on the hosting features site. In regards to carbonite and shopsite. There are no details that I can see as to what I get with these two services if I sign on with you.

Bryan Smith: I apologize for the wait time.

Bryan Smith: Could you please provide me with the URL from where you have entered this Chat interface?

Benjamin: your main page

Bryan Smith: May I have the URL of our website through which you have logged into this chat? I need the URL of our website where you have clicked the Chat icon.

Benjamin: you should know that, there is only one main page

Bryan Smith: 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 to 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: but you only have one main page, either you know it, or you are supporting more then one company.

Benjamin: meaning outsourced support

Benjamin: iPage.com, which you should have been able to tell me

Bryan Smith: Okay.

Bryan Smith: Thank you for your interest in iPage.

Bryan Smith: Yes, we are supporting couple of hosting company.

Bryan Smith: FatCow is the sister company of iPage.

Bryan Smith: I will provide you the information.

Bryan Smith: May I place you on hold for 4 or 5 minutes, while I check this for you?

Benjamin: ok

Bryan Smith: Thank you for holding.

Bryan Smith: In order to know more about the ShopSite, please go through this link:

Bryan Smith:http://www.iPage.com/product/shopsitemanager.bml

Bryan Smith: In order to know more about the Carbonite, please go through this link:

Bryan Smith: http://Carbonite

Bryan Smith: The correct link is:

Bryan Smith:http://www.iPage.com/product/carbonite.bml

Benjamin: if I decided to not stay with your company how much does it cost to keep the domain name?

Bryan Smith: Only $10.95 per year.

Benjamin: but your site says a 9.95 value

Benjamin: and someone on the phone told me 15.00

Bryan Smith: You can view the domain price list at:

Bryan Smith:http://www.iPage.com/product/domainRegistration.bml

Benjamin: how many other companies are you supporting? To be honest I was looking for a company with its own support.

Bryan Smith: Only two hosting company.

Bryan Smith: iPage and FatCow.

Benjamin: fatcow does not appear to offer carbonite

Bryan Smith: FatCow offers the Carbonite.

Benjamin: where?

Bryan Smith: Please go through this link:

Bryan Smith:http://www.fatcow.com/product/carbonite.bml

Benjamin: ok I will review

Benjamin: May, ask where you are located?

Bryan Smith: Our headquarters are in Burlington, MA, but I’m located in one of the support centers in Mangalore, India.

Benjamin: you have an uncommon name for someone in India

Benjamin: anyway have a nice day

Bryan Smith: Its not our real name.

Bryan Smith: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Benjamin: why would you not use your real name?

Bryan Smith: Due to a security reasons we do not use it.

I ended the chat session after this, perhaps if I dug more I could have found out that this was not even a human being, after all Brian said “its was not our name“, I felt if I dived in any closer and I would find myself in the twilight zone. I have no problem with names that are not of European descent, but it seems a bit odd to use a fake name for the sake of security of someone in India. After all he could just go by his first name (is the person on the other side even male?).  It’s not like my name is all that rare, and I am sure the person on the other end has a common (maybe Hindi) name.  But perhaps I could have found out more information from the person on the other end that eagerly volunteered information.  I tend to doubt that fatcow is the only site behind iPage. I tend to wonder if iPage was somehow absorbed into the collective known as fatcow. It’s clearly cheaper to get hosting from iPage.com then fatcow.com. Which makes me wonder since iPage.com is cheaper, if whatever company that own fatcow is now seeing a slide in sales since it seems like unlimited hosting gets cheaper and cheaper as the months go by.

My suggestion, avoid this company as well as any company that tells you that they offer you unlimited hosting for dirt cheap. Offers you tons of freebies like carbotnite, but that’s just a trial account, not the full version. They also offer Google AdWords, Facebook advertising credit, Yahoo … all of which I get in the mail for free straight from those companies. This is nothing more than a gimmick to get you into buying service from those advertising outlets.

Then there is WordPress and Joomla, also free. The most I have paid for WordPress is on themes and applications. A lot of stuff that most people would never need. I am not a Joomla User, though I can tell you it was a support headache. But both of which you can install for free, especially if your host has a program that sets up apps like the one I was using with cPanel.

At this point I have to stop digging, as the more I dig the more I find. I wanted to spend no more than a day looking into this. Yet I spent 5 days. I have more content then I care to post, as I could devote a whole site to just what I found on iPage.


Webhostingstuff.com Top 25 Best Hosts for May 2010

If you reviewed my last post you will see that I got data that showed that Webhostingstuff.com was deleting negative feedback from people that are in their top 25 rankings.  At the same time the post I showed the link to, which I hesitate to post again because that link belongs to a hosting company.  But if your incline to look you can go to the previous post.  Granted I am going to turn the authors idea into my own, I doubt there is a problem as we both seem to be on the same page in regards to webhosting review scams.  I will also be posting links of other companies into my blog.  The author of that post said that the September 2008 rankings made no sense.  I am incline to agree with the author.  Clearly any review site that allows outside input should be base off of hosting customer rankings, data sorted by approval rating / amount of  ratings.  I am excluding the rest of the data as there is no relevance in regards to customer satisfaction.  Not to mention I am not a big fan of unlimited hosting, but that is a post for another day.  Based off their data that they publicly disclose, this is the order, this is ideally how their rankings should look:

My suggested rank . company / webhostingstuff.com rank /number of  ratings
  1. LFC Hosting / 23 / 100% / 52
  2. Essentials Hosting /  11 / 100% / 50
  3. HostGator / 5 /  100% / 39
  4. Arvixe Web Solutions / 4 /  100% / 38
  5. Scala Hosting / 21 / 100% / 32
  6. InMotion Hosting / 6 /  100% / 21
  7. Omnis Network / 13 / 100% / 16
  8. ThePrimeHost / 25 / 100% / 13
  9. iPage / 1 /  100% / 11
  10. nativespace / 8 /  100% / 11
  11. Interactive Online / 9 / 100% / 9
  12. Identity Website Hosting .. / 14 / 100% / 7
  13. Greenville Host / 12 / 100% / 6
  14. Netmar / 24 / 100% / 6
  15. IoxHost / 10 / 100% / 5
  16. Steadfast Networks / 22 /  100% / 3
  17. Cloud.bg / 18 /100% / 2
  18. Just Host / 2 / 80% / 141
  19. MochaHost / 7 / 80% / 79
  20. Site5.com / 15 /  80%  / 25
  21. 2GB Hosting / 16 / 80%/  21
  22. FatCow Web Hosting / 3 /  80% / 9
  23. Green Geeks / 17 / 80% / 8
  24. Indichosts.net / 20 / 80% / 7
  25. iWeb Technologies Inc.  / 19 / 60% / 9

Strangely the site that should be number 1, is listed as a ranking of 23 making it almost dead last.  While at the other extreme 2 would be number 18.     I have no idea why any site with less then 80% are even listed in this ranking.  Let alone a site with 60%.  In all honesty its been my experience people are less likely to say nice things about you, so a 100% approval rating seems unlikely especially with 52 reviews.   Given Hostgator’s supposed reputation, I find it surprising that they only have 39 reviews.  Perhaps that is the amount that are willing to say 100% nice things about them.  Strangely 4 and 6 are the only ones in the right spot, as I am sure that this is nothing more then a coincidence.