Borders – Lack of Adaption Ruined a Book Store

Today I went to Borders to see what was left, much of what is left is what few people are interested in, or the price is still to high. This is probable one of the last places you would expect to find a post about the book store Borders.  Yet the fall of this book store chain points to one thing, those who do not adapt can not expect to remain in business.

Back in my college years, I had a job that I really loved. No it was not my dream job of going through the Amazon looking for unidentified species.  It was work at a comic store.  Considering I used to be a Marvel Comics fan, it was a dream job to work for extra money for college.  This was months before the Death of Superman in the 90’s, for which I earned enough money to buy my second PC.  Given my last job was flipping burgers and working at Walmart, converting the orders of 456 customers with a large array of comic titles and comic related goods into a data base was a big step up. Their adaption turned a routine that took 6 days every month into a process that could be modified when customers ask to remove or add items to their orders.   With all that time freed up a new policy of once a week company diner meetings.  Granted most of the meetings were more or less a discussion of pop culture.

I would in time get another job as the only way to really advance in a comic store is to know how to sell, I had the buying part down.   But I am one of those people that would have trouble selling water in the desert. While this store is still up today, my dos based data base is no longer in use and they moved on to more efficient ways of processing customer’s orders.  From the time I first went to work for them they have gone through 3 store face lifts.  While I may have never have learned how to sell, I did learn a lot of what it took to manage a business.  The store’s owners told me back when I first started the two keys to their success was being diverse and adapting to their customers.  Though I have to say another part of their success was loving what they do.

How does Borders have any thing to do with hosting?

If you read enough of my reviews you will see that I do complain about design, I might go on about it being a copy of someone elses.  Or that my mother can do a better job.   I can not tell you how many sites I have looked at where the design was out dated, or worse yet they show cased software that long expired.  Software has about the same shelf life as a bag of potato chips.  So why would something stale attract me to buy?  Could you seriously buy a bag of stale chips just because the price is real low?  Some how people perceive the argument about design is a surface level argument.   But to me the design goes deeper into the heart of a company.  I am often asked would I prefer a site that is well designed or would I prefer good service.  To that I prefer a service that can prove they have skill in the very market they wish to provide service.  Design speaks volumes, in a world where to days big thing is tomorrows fad.  A web site is a companies resume, and I am not inclined to hire the person who looked like they fell out of their bed into their clothes, and can  not give me a good reason to hire them.

10 years ago Borders in Glendale Arizona was a great place to go, though this was before I started shopping on Amazon. Also I might add the store was clean. I went for the coffee and often buying cds and books. I have to say I did not buy commonly known artists from Borders as they were often $5 more then what I could get them at BestBuy. DVDs were definatly out of the question as Borders wanted most of the time $30 for a movie, where other places charged 20.  After a year it became clear the only bargains at Borders were in the clearance section.

The big Borders flaw, the pricing and the failure to adapt

I know I harp a lot on cheap hosting. Yet I do often look for the cheapest price on items such as media.  There is a big difference about bargain shopping for a movie and buying hosting.  After all the wide screen version at Best Buy is going to be the same as the one at Boarders.  With hosting you don’t really get to see the guts of what you get.  But there are somethings that do tell you, that your not getting a good deal.  10 megs of space for $20 a month is not a bargain in 2011, 2001 perhaps.   Not to mention with a world in economic turmoil, the last thing to do is the same old thing.  Sure people are going to buy books, movies, and music.  But they are more incline to bargain hunt.  I am no exception, especially since I collect nature references some of which can cost a couple hundreds (like one I have on termites).

One thing that bothered me was the membership card.   To get a discount you had to pay a fee, even though that discount did not equate to what I could get from a store that had no membership.  Unless maybe you considered your local grocery store that handed out memberships for free.  A little weird that a grocery store could beat a store like Borders on a cheaper deal.  I think it was two years ago Borders stopped charging for the membership and simply gave you one if you gave them an email. After doing so I never found any of their sales appealing.

Through the years I would still go to Borders, always for coffee and to browse through the clearance section.  But here is where I get to the clean part.  Perhaps the fabric chairs were meant to be part of the atmosphere.  But last I looked they were no longer burgundy color and more of a mud.  I am not sure they were steam cleaning these chair, but they are pretty gross now.  Perhaps they should have opted for a rubber chair that could easily be wiped down.  Perhaps not very appealing, but after ten years the excuse of paying for atmosphere is not excuse for high prices.

Which brings me to some hosts that fail in their design.   Sometimes when you dig through the sites you find things that are not bargains.  After all in some cases these hosts charge something like $25 to install word press, and $10 a month.  Never mind word press is free. Most host shared hosts use cPanel, have software (Fantastico) that installs it for you.  Yeah it can be more complex when you add widgets and other add ons or you choose to use a theme.  But most widgets are pretty self explanatory.  Or they want to charge you $20 for a domain or $75 for a ssl certificate.  For which you can get for for 1/2 the cost elsewhere.  Perhaps they are great because they can tell you how to set up your email, but are they ready to prevent modern threats.  Will they be ready for the next big thing like Word Press?

Kindle killed Borders?

I have friends that like to joke with me about my buying a Kindle killing off Borders.  Its a lot like blaming Netflicks for killing Blockbuster (though some would argue that it was Blockbuster that killed the family owned video shop), or perhaps DSL / Cable killed AOL.  But another rival to Borders, Barnes and Noble seems to have no problem with their adaption which is the Nook.  When a company fails to adapt they deserve to join Borders.

Cyberhostpro – where is the terms of service?

Cyberhostpro is my sixth host out of  7 of September 2010 list.  There is not a lot that I can tell you from just a simple search and once over look of the site.  There are not a lot of reviews out there.  The site is 5 years old.  I can tell you from what I seen they used to be housed on servers in the U.S. but changed over to a U.K. network.  Not that I ever made a big deal about what nation I was in.  I felt that if I did I might alienate someone.   Though it was not uncommon knowledge that every site that I did, operated under the U.S. Dollar.  Though towards the end I wanted to get a system up that would charge a customer based on their country.  Its a maddning system I admit given how many forms of currency are out there, and what it would take to have it up to date.  I could go on far longer on this blog post on currency exchanges then I could on cyberhostpro.  But lets look at the one thing that is missing on the main page, the tos (i.e. terms of service).  Granted this post may be one of my worst as I am battling a cold.  So while I am rather sleepy, I am also restless.  I am not one of those that can sleep out a disease, if I was the cold would probable have been gone sooner.  So here is my dieased ridden mind’s thoughts on cyberhostpro.

So where is the terms of service on cyberhostpro?

I am not sure what is with these hosts that are not up front with their terms of service.  As I indicated the merchants I dealt with are sticklers for that. They would look for that as well as the contact page.   If I had a banner up they we defiantly be asking about that. Keep in mind when I shopped around for merchant accounts I was looking for the lowest cost.   I tend to think most people do not know what rates to look for.  For me I can’t say I did either, but I am well aware of what percentage of my client billings are taken from me.  I tend to think that whomever companies such as cyberhostpro choose for a merchant really do not care about things such as terms of service and contact information.  I think they are more concerned about what suckers they can get under the high rates and hidden fees.  Never mind you may have absolutely no charge back protection.  Unless a host can adapt beyond such a merchant they will never be able to get into the big leagues of hosting.

Ok the cold medicine is making me get off subject, where is that terms of service of cyberhostpro?

Like prior hosts that are not showing the terms of service up front, they have it at the finale step of ordering.

Acceptable Use Policy & Terms and Conditions

Here is what I find as a red flag with cyberhostpro in their terms of service

Limit Over usage

If you go over your disk space they will be a charge of
£10.00 per 1GB daily fee applied to your account.
If you go over your bandwidth allowance they will be a charge of
£1.00 per 1GB daily fee applied to your account.

Notice that was a daily fee.   Perhaps you took off for a 7 day vacition.   During those 7 days you were over 3 gigs of space.  This means you come back to a charge of £210.  I am not sure at this what a pound is to the dollar.  But last I remembered it was about %170 the value of a dollar.  Not exactly a small fee to endure every day.

One finale thought on cyberhostpro

Its a little odd after doing a post on manashosting, that when I do a review of cyberhostpro I find the same exact bot with the picture of a pretty girl thats really not a person that offers you a chat.  Both of which are annoying and bounce around the screen and follow you until you close it.   Unfortunatly I can’t seem to get the same one thats is on manashosting to reappear.

Its almost like Jane works for both Manashosting and Cyberhostpro.

scalahosting – Is there dirt on

Scalahosting was number 21 of 25 for’s  May 2010 list. But now they are at 16.   The owner of the companies name is Vince Robinson.  But details are sketchy at best as there is not much to go on.  Sure there lots of positive reviews about scalahosting.   But I suspect there may be one too many positive reviews.  Especially after my last post on how to write reviews.

So why am I suspicous of the postive reviews about Scalahosting on

A claim of housing 18,000 domains seems honest.  But it does not tell us how many customers they have.   Back when I first started I would say that was a lot of domains (1999 I was still buying domains at $70 from Network Solutions).   But towards 2005 it would seem far less as cheaper domain registers were popping up every where.   I had one customer that had over 400 domains all of which were for an affiliate system with Rexxal (atleast I think that was the company).  Scalahosting seems to have alot of postive reviews and very few negative.

A not so kind review about Scalahosting on

It has to do with the discussion.

Why might you ask does this review matter?  Because this is not the only place he tried to post a review:

I have not looked further because one of the problems I have had while searching for negative feed back is I get stuck in pop up hell and sites that change to something that is by no means ‘G’ rated.    But it stands to reason if he found these two sites and made a page dedicated to it on his site that he probable found and other companies.  Frankly there seems be more information on review sites then any other sites

My Finale thoughts on Scalahosting

Its probable nothing, but Scalahosting is on the same network as

Here is an inhterview with the founder of Scalahosting Vince Robinson:

I admit there is not a lot of dirt on this company, and perhaps they deserve their postive feed back.   But I have to wonder about this one negative reviewer that seem to have a vendetta with this hosting company.  Why would he not find to post a review there as well?

As long as Scalahosting shows in the top 25 hosting postions with webhostinstuff, I recommend caution.

How to write host reviews to achieve the maximum effect be it positive or negative

While in the progress of working on the 21st host of May 2010, I start with looking at host reviews.   I happen to find a review about on, He claims it sucks and its fraud.  I decided to ask for what no one else was asking for.  That was documentation (chat sessions, email, support tickets).  Instead the moderator wanted to wait for the host to chime in, which it never did.     What I did not notice was the reviewer’s access was suspended.  No reason was given.   The post was soon locked out.    But clearly everyone but the reviewer was playing advocate for

I have a problem with this because no reason was given for suspending the access of the poster, and some one who did not work for the host some how knew the situation.  Even though his information on the situation was limited at best.  But I think he could have gotten his point through on the first post before they locked him out.

So many Host Reviews, so little to work with

Over the last few months I have read a lot of reviews.  Most of the comments I read through I did not bother to use, even though they were leaning towards my desired goal.  Obviously I was  looking for negative feed back.  One end of the spectrum someone would say a site sucked and provide little to back it up.   Then there were people that would tell you they just signed up with a host and it was great,  frankly I think they needed to wait till the end of the guarantee before commenting.    Rarely have I found reviews on either side of the spectrum that got my attention.    But here is my idea of what would be hard to avoid and get your point across, even if they decide to suspend your access.

What I recommend not doing when writing host reviews

For Negative host reviews

  • Don’t go anonymous, you will get more mileage out of your review if you disclose what site was involved with the host you are complaing about.
  • Don’t get an user id called (host name) sucks, (host name) fraud, (host name) anything.  Doing so just makes you look like your out for revenge and may just a be a disgruntle customer.
  • Avoid using vulgar language.
  • Avoid using the words scam and/or fraud.   Most times what people label as a scam or fraud were covered under the terms of service.   Like shutting your site down.   I think this was the reason the above poster had his access shut off.

For Positive Host Reviews

  • Don’t go anonymous, you will get more mileage out of your review if you disclose what site was involved with the host you are complaing about.  Yes its a repeat, but that does not make it any less effective.
  • Avoid writing host reviews until your guarantee period expires, depending on the host its usually 30 days.   Things could go wrong and you may have a hard time removing your endorsement from the site you put it on.

What has to be in the host reviews

Being a vegan, it might be weird for me to say but make sure there is some meat to you review.  Simple saying “x host” sucks, or” x host” is great is not much to a review.  For that matter they tell people nothing as to why or why not they should buy hosting.

For Negative host reviews

If you have a complaint provide copies of the email, chat, or ticket.   This is why I hate dealing with people by phone, unlike the other methods unless I record the call there is not much proof with phone conversations.   Its harded to be discredited if you have documentation to back your complaints.  If there is alot of documentation consider hosting it on your site and provide links to it.

For Positive host reviews

Give the reasons for why you choose this company.  Perhaps you joined them because of a control panel like Plesk.  Simple saying that the company has great support with out examples is just like saying “its a deal, just trust me”.

By no means is this a complete concept, but its what I see missing  in reviews.  Written properly your host reviews will be worth the effort be they positive or negative. – is Cloud bg an International host of mystery?

8 more hosts to go with my May 2010 webhostingstuff list, which brings me to Cloud bg.  Cloud bg is a bit of an oddity out of all the sites.  I say that because unlike the other 17 hosting companies, this company does not list the U.S. dollar (well it has a limited list).  The only site close to them is, but they are an English company.  However unlike Cloud bg, has a web site for for the U.S.  I tend to think that Canada gets over looked in this market after all while they may be an English country, their currency does not have the same value as  the U.S. Dollar or the U.K. Pound.  Clearly their link with was meant to target an English audiance as their link is .  When you go directly to, it  takes you to site in Bulgarian.  You have to click on the British Flag in order to get the site translated for you in English.

How long has Cloud bg been around?

Its a bit unclear, and frankly I don’t know how bg domains are handled.    After all you don’t see an approval date on. dot com’s. has no idea how long Cloud bg has been around either:

Site Established: Unknown
Traffic Popularity: #909 of 10,291 companies

Despite dropping from 18 to 20, they have a traffic popularity of 909.


requested on: 13/04/2009
processed from: 13/04/2009
activated on: 21/04/2009
expires at: 13/04/2011
domain status: Registered, conditional contract

If I am reading this correctly it appears the domain was created on April 21, 2010.    Not exactly a veteran company. This post might shed more light as to how long they have been around:

Cloud bg’s reviews on Webhostingstuff

What I find unique about Cloud Bg’s two reviews is the dates.

Cloud.Bg is the best solution! (Excellent)
– by Yulian ( on 19 May 2010 – the best web hosting provider (Excellent)
– by Miroslav ( on 18 May 2010

What are the chances of only having two reviews just a day apart?

Does Cloud bg host

No, despite having issues of trying to look at the who is info for this domain  I am able to look at the network info and I get the following:

netname:        SUPERHOSTINGBG
descr:          SuperHosting.BG Ltd
I can't confirm that they were ever with them, of if they recently changed their dns.

I wonder what the chances are of one review coming in one day after another.

Does Cloud bg host

Yes, Cloud bg does host  However the domain was registered this year.

Queried with “dom”…

   Domain Name: MVVITANOV.COM
   Whois Server:
   Referral URL:
   Name Server: NS1.CLOUD.BG
   Name Server: NS2.CLOUD.BG
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Updated Date: 12-mar-2010
   Creation Date: 12-mar-2010
   Expiration Date: 12-mar-2011

Cloud bg’s up time for July 2010

There are two things I gather from this.  Its possible that Cloud bg has only been active as of February of this year, or they were not added to until they started bidding for positioning in the top 25 spot.    That and perhaps is no longer hosting with Cloud bg because of this large amount of down time in May (26 hours)  and July (121 hours or 5 days of down time).    But last I checked is a single page website with what appears to be a under construction page / place holder (sorry I can not read Bulgarian).    The only post I can find in relation to any down time is:

From the sound of it, you would think they were down only three hours.

With in this post I find a link to the announcements, and I find three posts in July in regards to downtime.

But nothing in these announcements explains away the 7,249 minutes of downtime for July 2010 that lists.  There is nothing at least in English that explains away what happen in May.

The Cloud bg affiliate program

When I look at their twitter and Facebook feeds:

I get the impression that they are paying out $152.50 per sale.

But you have to read in full, to realize that its not every sale, and this depends on if the person actually signs up for the year.  I have no problem with them going from 18% to 20% on affiliate commissions.   But the tweet and Facebook update give an impression of fees of the other companies on the top 25 of

Finale thoughts on Cloud bg

Reading through their website I can tell that English is not their first language.  I know I am not one to talk as I don’t exactly go through my blog with a fine tooth comb, often I find myself coming in to correct what I put up.  But I am not trying to sell a service.  I have never been the person to put up sales material online.    There are a lot of details that bother me about Cloud bg, granted not as much as some of the others.,, and a host I used and I recommend avoiding

I am not sure how clear I can be that if you are interested in LayeredTech, you need to find someone else.   There is not company that I have been with that has earned as much contempt as LayredTech has earned.

I first brought up problems I had with LayeredTech and had promised a post in the future:

Well here it is, but unlike the last post LayeredTech is by far the worst of all the hosts that I have reviewed.    This company is responsible for most of the ulcers I have experiences and could easily have cost us hundreds of thousands in reoccurring income every year. Layeredtech, and the previous incarnations defiantly hurt the reputation of one of my hosting companies.

My History with PowerSurge, FastServers, and LayeredTech

We (former business associates) had started with LayeredTech in late 2001.   Long before LayeredTech  acquired  FastServers we were with PowerSurge.   It was never made clear when we were no longer a PowerSurge customer and became a FastServers Customer.     Our main reason for going with PowerSurge was cPanel. This would be our second cPanel provider (OCHosting was the first, and there is an avoidance post for them in the future).  Prior to 2007, we had an average of 27 servers, and were at a point of  paying over $7,000 a month.  Meaning they were getting around $84,000 a year.   They were our second cPanel provider, and we were intending to migrate from the first cPanel company (, a post about them later).

What we did not know is the servers we were getting from them were housed at facility called Hurricane Electric  ( This would become a network we would soon find to be one of the worst out there, as it was pron to outages and not to mention denial of service attacks.   Its my own speculation but I tend to wonder if it was being targeted for retaliation purposes, or perhaps it was not that well secured.   Somewhere along the way we were no longer a powersurge customer, but a FastServers customer.

In early 2008 LayeredTech would buyout FastServers.  Prior to doing a mass migration I personally contacted LayeredTech by phone and by email.   By phone I was told to contact FastServers.  By email I was sent to someone who they claimed would address my concerns, who after his initial response ignored my two attempts.  It seemed that I was more concerned with them retaining my service then they were.     By April 2008 we were already in progress of leaving because of an issue of refurbished hard drives (See below).  The bulk of my cancellations with LayeredTech were coming in and before the end of the year most of our accounts were gone.  I had notified them on their mandatory reason for canceling, that if they really wanted to know they should contact me.  This was first done in April, they waited till July to respond to the cancellation requests as they would ask why I had canceled my first server.   It was not till August 2008 I simply stop responding to their attempts to retain my service.   Because they had canceled three scheduled phone calls.    The last of which was to be a conference call, the arranger of the event was apparently sick, but no one else that was supposed to be in the conference call could check to see the conference system worked, or call me.

By late 2008 we were down to 1 server at $350 a month because a customer was rather nervous about moving.  But that would change by late 2009 after months of promises that a migration would be flawless (and it was). For which we were able to get the customer on a far more efficient server for far less then what FastServers would offer. By January of this year it was my pleasure to cancel the finale server with them before handing my controling interest of 4 hosting companies to the new owners.  There response to me was “We are sorry you feel that way”.   It was not a matter of how I felt, as it was their own actions that lead to this, and frankly we should have left sooner, long before LayeredTech acquired FastServers.

Hardware issues with LayeredTech/FastServers

Out of all companies we had a higher then average equipment failure.   Out of the 74 servers we had with LayeredTech/FastServers we had a 40% rate of hardware failure.  Worse yet we had a 30% chance of having a re-occurrence of failure.  Not once were we ever issued any sort of compensation for a failure in service.   I had even contact LayeredTech as a last ditch effort before moving to another provider, but LayeredTech seemed less concerned with the amount of time, the amount of servers, or the amount of money we had invested with FastServers.

The first warning sign with LayeredTech/FastServers Early 2002
(or drive? what drive?)

My issues first started with my 5th server back in early 2003.   Later this server would be considered the worst that we have ever had.   After getting another server to replace, I would ask for it to be mailed to us so we could either shoot it or run it over with a car.  For that Aaron wanted to sell the server to us, otherwise despite its hardware failure history he was going to reissue it to another customer.   Later on this would be funny because during 2008 they would start hounding us to get off 3 year old servers because they were worried about their durability.   But this disaster was enough that should have gotten my business partners to join with me in finding new companies.   Most servers that we get would have two or more drives for the sole purpose of back ups.  Remote back ups were at the time not cost effective, and only reserved on servers that held customers that paid for the service.   This server was no different and held a daily back up of all the content for every customer on its secondary drive.   During the first disaster the main drive went out.  For some reason Trevor of FastServers had to take the secondary drive out, and Trevor would tells us we did not know what we were talking about.  After hours of calling, emails, support ticket of back and forth arguing When he finale decided to take off for 18 hours.  I did not get any sleep and had to eagerly await for sales and billing to open.  I had to contact Aaron in sales to confirm that we indeed were being billed and paying for a secondary drive.  We had already suffered 10 hours of downtime by the time Trevor decided to take off, and this denial of a secondary drive cost us an extra day because apparently Trevor was the only one capable of finding and putting in our missing secondary hard drive.  For our downtime and my 48 hour period of no sleep, I got a “This situation just makes me sick”.  not an apology or I was wrong.  Or for that matter nothing to compensate us for this seriously flawed service.

The finale straw with LayeredTech/FastServers September 2007 – March 2008 (or if one refurbished drive fails, try another refurbished, rinse and repeat)

By this time we had more experience with a variety of suppliers, and it was rather clear the fail rate with LayeredTech/FastServers was beyond even some of the worst hosts like BurstNet.  During 4 separate hard drive crashes we come to find out that we were being given refurbished drives every time.   The claim was that drives were tested.  But you would think after the second and third time it would be come clear that there was a danger of losing us if they did not give us a new drive.  It was not until I had contact Aaron that we were going to leave that he took action to get what he claimed was a new server.   While admit we did not have any further problems with this server, I was not confident that this was a new server.

Apparently LayeredTech wanted us out faster – June 2008

If you remember I stated that I had wanted the 5th server with FastServers/LayeredTech because I had a lot of hard ware issues with it.  At the time the server was already three years old by the time we were in progress to replace it.   Regardless of its frequent hardware failure, Aaron wanted to recommission it.  But we were being contacted in June 2008 in regards to any server 3 years or older that they had to be replaced because they were at risk of collapse.  Strangely they targeted any server that was under $200 a month, and they were offering me nothing around the cost of the server.  I also no for fact that my company was not the first to use these servers.

The Hurricane Electric and LayeredTech/FastServers connection

Hardware issues were not our only concern,  network uptime was another issue.  By 2006 we were already getting service with other companies.  Any new servers we got with LayeredTech/FastServers were at there new center.    Every time we brought up problems were we told to get new servers at their new center.   Which meant we had to pay for the new and old server at the same time.   ThePlanet was more then happy later on to offer free two months on every server we migrated.  At the time we had been with ThePlanet for 3 years under EV1, and when they added cPanel it was becoming harder to consider using LayeredTech/FastServers.   I remember one outage under Hurricane Electric that was so bad that the tech on duty broke down and wrote on a forum how this may be the end of things,  its not surprising that post was late deleted.  Most outages were dos attacks (denial of service)

Would I recommend LayeredTech/FastServers?

NO,  and you should avoid this organization like the plague.   I can not stress it enough, LayredTech could care less if your a customer tomorrow as long as you pay them today.   Frankly I plan to add more posts aboutLayredTech as I have far more reasons why you should never use this company.   LayeredTech and FastServers have burned any possible opportunity of me ever coming back as a customer.

Is essential to your hosting needs, read to find out!!!

When I first started the reviews I thought I would do 1 or 2 a day and spend no more then 2 hours per post. But here I am at number 11 of 25  for May 2010 of Way over the thirty days I intended to have this all done. As of this weekend I had learned that is having people bid on spots. I learned this from one of the hosts that are on my lists. I am debating as to rather posting that email even though they asked me not to. But there is indeed a post tomorrow in regards to what they have told me. They told me that they are contacting to remove them from their list, I have advised the host that they can plead their case on my site.

Anyway, number 11 of 25 for May 2010. As of today they are now number 6 host. is not exactly a site that I find appealing. But then again some of the best sites are not the best design. As with some of the other sites in the top 25 doing a search on 3essentials does not lead to results unique to So for this review I am going to stick to the webpage, perhaps in the future I will do more of a

The first thing that grabs my attention is a bunch of links at the bottom of the page where normally the terms of service, about, and contact links are. Instead they are amongst these links.

3Essentials, Inc. © 2001 – 2010 | Terms Of ServicePrivacy PolicyCopyright Policy |Web Hosting ComparisonReferral Program | Hosting ArticlesGetting StartedRate Our ServiceASP.NET Web HostingPHP|ASPCheap Web Hosting | DotNetNuke MSSQL MySQL |Reseller Web HostingWindows Dedicated ServersWindows Web HostingWindows vs Linux |WordPress

Most of those links look like they belong in a faq section and not at the bottom of the website. Though I do find a rate our service link an appealing idea.

Next stop is the terms of service for Here are the parts that stick out for me.

6.e. Maintenance. 3Essentials may, at its own discretion and without notice, temporarily suspend all service for the purpose of repair, maintenance or improvement of any of 3Essentials’ systems. 3Essentials shall restore service as soon as is reasonably practicable. Client shall not be entitled to any setoff, discount, refund or other credit, in case of any service outage which is beyond 3Essentials control or which is reasonable in duration.

I wonder what does not qualify as “ reasonable in duration”

7. Auto Upgrade Of Plans. Client agrees that in the event the clients plan exceeds its allotted data transfer or storage that 3Essentials may automatically upgrade the clients plan to the next plan that will cover such transfer or storage. 3Essentials agrees that in the event of such an upgrade notice shall be given in the form of email. In the event the client does not receive the email, the client shall not hold 3Essentials liable. Client further agrees that no refund(s) will be given.

What bothers me here is that it seems there is not a method to stop a person from using more space then they have paid for. Instead there is monitoring so they can charge you should you go pasted a given amount of space.  IT was pretty much my operation that person could not use more space then they paid for.  To use more they would have to pay for more.  No surprise bills.

9.b. No refunds will be given, for any reason, to accounts that are older than 30 days, this includes, but is not limited to data loss, server or systems being unavailable, or websites being unavailable.

9.f. Pre-payment. Accounts that pay in advance for a specific period are not eligible for a refund if the client cancels the account prior to the renewal date, or the account is terminated by 3Essentials due to a violation of these terms.

9.h. Auto-Renewals. Client agrees that the term of the plan automatically renews on the renewal date for the same term. Cancelations that are received after the plan automatically renews are not subject to refunds.

Translation no refunds regardless if 3essentials is at fault or not. Something I am finding in a lot of terms of service for cheap hosting companies. I am tempted to say to avoid companies that state no refunds regardless of the hosting companies fault or not should be avoided. My own policy was to charge a customer under monthly terms if they broke quarterly or longer commitment after the thirty day guarantee. Then provide a prorated refund. No refunds were issued after 6 months. I have to wonder if merchant providers are willing to back them up on this. Generally the max amount of time to pursue a charge back is no later then 3 – 6 months.

According to the BBB they only have 3 employees and they have been in business since 2004. Unless this is just a failure to update details, this is a good indicator that this company is not growing. I know that Fat Cow and iPage who are own by the same corporation have several employees, and clearly so does HostGator. Yet back in May 2010, 3essentials with three “essential” employees was six spots away from Hostgator.

Their profile page on is no better then the one written for

Here is the thing I find interesting:

How We Operate

3Essentials takes pride in providing quality support to our customers. Our technicians are available 24×7 via email or online chat to resolve problems that our customers may experience. Each ticket is read by our staff and the problem is researched to determine the correct method of assistance to provide.

With three employees they have to research issues. I don’t recall my techs having to do research every time they had a ticket. Perhaps that’s because they had experience to deal with issues and rarely had to learn on the job. Most of the learning came from new things. I am not sure I would be in business if my techs had to “research” all the time “to determine the correct method of assistance to provide”. I would sooner have an experienced staff over staff that has to learn as they go.

3essentials affiliate program is a bit more interesting.

You get up to 50% of each sale, but the commission would be no greater then $100. I feel that there is a play on words in the affiliate. It seems they are implying that if you make 20 sales you get $2000. But clearly you would have to sale 20 packages that ensure you get $100 each. Their lowest package is $24.96 for 1 year the personal Linux Hosting, which has a $15 setup fee which I am sure there is no commission on. That’s $12.48. commission. I decided to chat with them to make sure there is no commission on the set up fee. I was correct. chat session

Benjamin: Curious about commissions through your affiliate program.

You are now speaking with Paul of Server Sales.

Benjamin: Hello Paul

Paul: Hi Benjamin.

Benjamin: I was wondering if I would make 50% off of all sales I refer to you, including setup fees

Paul: Affiliate commissions are 50% up to a maximum payout of $100 per sale

Paul: hosting plans must be active for 90 days to receive the commission

Benjamin: yes I can see that, but I do not see what is considered a commisioned item

Paul: any item that is purchased via your affiliate link can earn comission

Benjamin: including the set up fees?

Paul: ah.. good question. you are not payed 50% of the setup, just 50% of the hosting plan price.

Paul: the setup fee is passed to the customer to help us pay your omission.

Paul: *

Benjamin: is there a link to fine print for your affiliate program?

Benjamin: ie terms of service

Paul: not that I am aware. we do have a general TOS for all “3Essentials Customers” but not for affiliates

Paul: If you have a specific question about the affiliate terms, please send an email to [email protected]

Paul: the questions will be directed to the manager in charge of that program

Benjamin: ok thanks

Benjamin: how long have you guys been in business?

Paul: since 2001.

Paul: and a BBB member since 2005

Benjamin: and where are you located?

Paul: our coorporate offices and staff are in NC.

Paul: our servers are in Dallas texas

Paul: we also have hardware techs on site in Dallas

Benjamin: ok

Benjamin: have a good day

Paul: you too

Paul: thank you.

Paul: and let us know if you have any more questions.

Paul: bye.

Your party has left this session.

As you can see the chat operator did not bother to read my initial question. Anyone that has worked with me knows better then to pull such a stunt. You answer the initial question, if you feel there is something else to add you do it after answering the question.  When someone does not answer my question, I tend to wonder if the person on the other end knows what they are doing or if they understand English.    There is no agreement for the affiliate program that outlines the affiliate and 3essentials parts in the affiliate program. Something that would outline setup fees are not part of the commission program.  Not to mention that making it clear that the affiliate can’t make claims such as buying hosting will make them rich, cure baldness, make you thin……….

Well the chat operator did not know what he was talking about as I did find Terms and Conditions:

If your reffering from a free hosting account you may want to pay special attention to the terms of service.

3. Commissions. We will pay you a commission of %50 of the plan price.

There is nothing in here about $100 cap, or for that matter nothing in regards to not getting a commission on the setup fee.  So this is where I stop on the review of their affiliate program as their staff and the initial page to get you to sign up do not agree with the conditions.

Their are alot of things that strike me as quirky about this company, such as this text I received while waiting for someone to chat with me:

Welcome Benjamin! Please hold while we contact a representative. If a representative does not respond in a few seconds, then he/she is not available at this time.