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.
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
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?
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: 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?
Jerold King: You can check for the Corbanite service at:
Jerold King: http://www.ipower.com/product/carbonite.bml
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.