Powersurge.com, FastServers.net, and LayeredTech.com: 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: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/uncategorized/are-you-considering-inmotionhosting-com-caution-read-my-review-before-buying.html

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 (ochosting.com, 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  (HE.net). 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 HE.net 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.

Are you considering inmotionhosting.com? Caution READ my review before buying!!!

Are my eyes deceiving me? Because the number 6 of 25 webhostingstuff.com webhost In Motion Hosting appears to be on Hurricane Electric servers (he.net). One of the companies I started got its first cPanel start with one of their users called Powersurge.com, some how later I would be tossed off to fastservers.net. It was never clear as to why I mysteriously became a fastservers customer. But I had to deal with a rather un-delightful sales agent named Aaron, who was always happy to talk about new service. But when it came to problems such as faulty servers, he was slow to take action, but quick to blame me or my staff. In addition to their hardware problems (we had a 70% failure rate, and 40% reoccurring rate of failure), there were a lot of network problems with Hurricane Electric. Especially denial of service attacks. The problem was I had 9 servers with them, I can’t remember the amount of clients. But to solve my network issues Fastservers wanted me to buy new servers at their new location. Instead I went with ev1 (who merged with theplanet), as they were offering first month if I gave them a competitors invoice. Fastservers would soon become http://www.layeredtech.com/ right before the last of my servers were moved, Layered Tech was less interested in keeping my business then fast servers. There is a post about Layered Tech coming soon.

During one of the worst Hurricane Electric outages one of fast servers staff broke down and made claims on their forum that he did not know if the connection would ever be restored. It was eventually restored after a long and sleepless night, but I would love to find that link, I am pretty sure like most negative things about fast servers Aaron had a hand in cleaning it up. I don’t have the highest expectations that Hurricane Electric has gotten better since I left. So I can’t imagine in motion hosting customers have a lot of thrilling tales about up time and network speed. Maybe their location had better uptime then my location, I have doubts.

Inmotionhosting.com is another company that uses the same level of high payouts that other companies that use webhosting review websites.

  • 1 – 2 Sales Per Month: $50 Per Sale
  • 3+ Sales Per Month: $100 Per Sale


  • Please Note: InMotion Hosting has a strict policy against ‘Self-Sign Ups’ or attempts to earn commissions on your own hosting accounts.

Its hard to find bad things about in motion hosting. Probable due to the fact that there are so many variations to type inmotion, that it might cause confusion when posting or finding places to post. My recommendation if you ever want to make a bad post about this company is to stick with inmotionhosting.com, of for that matter a good review. Though it does not appear the affiliates and top host review sites are having the same problem. So for now I am going to focus on the order form and the terms of service.


I figure due to the fact that their cheapest plan is only purchasable in 2 years terms, it might be a good idea to look at the refund policy. I understand why they might want to charge per year and 2 years, those $.22 – .35 fee per attempted transaction on credit cards really eat into a $3 fee over 24 months of monthly billing.

  • Notifications of cancellation must be made 30 days prior to successive rebill period. InMotion Hosting reserves the right to deny, forfeit, or refuse refunds at any time if necessary.

I think that is enough to address my concerns. Clear as day, they can refuse to give you a refund. Also if you cancel your account on the 3rd day of the 23rd month of your hosting account, you will be charged for another 2 years.

I have also noticed that they do not have PayPal as an option on their checkout. I am by no stretch of the imagination a fan of PayPal. But I consider them a necessary evil, especially when up to 20 % of my clients paid that way. Plus I was more likely to win a dispute through PayPal then my merchant. Otherwise they are not the easiest people to get a hold of, plus it takes almost nothing to kill a subscription, regardless if I or my client wanted it canceled.

I am a little surprised while looking at the order form to see that they include frontpage extensions, considering I have not seen a request for that in years. I am currently looking at the starter which most people will sign up on. It offers 100 gigs of space, 1000 gigs of bandwitdh. Further review of this package tells me that its no better then a unlimited package, maybe worse then a unlimited package. There are a lot of limitations that would make it impossible to use the full amount of space that they offer.

I also see no option for WordPress or other blogger applications on the starter. The reason for that probable is because there are no mysql data bases on the starter package. I am not sure how anyone is going to use a 100 gigs of space when their account has no mysql databases. Its a little unclear but it looks like I can only get one domain on the starter package.

I thought I would look at their Pro the only package under Business Class that has monthly terms, the first thing that sticks out when I go to the Shopping cart is:

  • 1 Month – $19.95/mo + $40 Setup

That is a pretty high step-up fee, which I am sure is non-refundable. But that’s not all that sticks out:

  • Supports: 16 Separate Web SitesUnlimited domains with email (see terms) and 200 MySQL Databases

Support 16 websites, yet unlimited domains? See terms?


Unlimited Disk Space & Bandwidth

  • While IMH does not meter disk space & bandwidth, the purpose of an IMH hosting account is to host web sites. Using a hosting account primarily for online file storage or archiving electronic files is prohibited.
  • IMH Personal & Business Class hosting are shared hosting environments, so to ensure fast & reliable service to all of our clients, accounts that adversely affect server or network performance must correct these issues or will be asked to upgrade to a virtual or dedicated server.

Still not clear on what is meant by 16 sites, with unlimited domains. But lets take a look at the bottom of the terms of service.

  • IMH does not make implied or written warranties for any of our services.
  • IMH denies any warranty or merchantability for a specific purpose. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, wrong delivery, and any and all service interruptions caused by IMH.

Still not clear, and I find there are no guarantees that their service will work. Not to mention no warranty should they be the cause of my service interruption.  Sounds like a great webhost.

Awards? Yes inmotionhosting.com has afflialates….. I mean Awards!!!


Webhostingstuff.com, Hostaz.com and more phoney baloney review for pay websites.

I could go into each of the awards, but I would be repeating myself on many of these sites as to why they are affiliates, and not true review sites.

The Inmotionhosting.com chat session.

After reviewing their terms of service, package, and order form I had questions. I was particularly disturbed with what I had found.

My chat session started with 8 people ahead of me, but I was soon forwarded to a chat operator.

You are now speaking with Brian C. of Sales.

Brian C.: (8:9): Hello Benjamin.

Benjamin: (8:10): Hello Brian

Brian C.: (8:10): How may I help you today?

Benjamin: (8:10): I have questions, first let me ask can I pay by PayPal, I don’t see the option on your orderform

Brian C.: (8:11): If we place the order for you via chat or email we can accept Pay Pal on 6 mnth or longer billing.

Benjamin: (8:11): ok, why is it not on the order form?

Brian C.: (8:12): Due to how Pay Pal is processed we have to place the order so we can do a request for payment via Pay Pal.

Benjamin: (8:12): strange, you should consider whmcs

Brian C.: (8:12): What type of hosting plan were you looking to get setup on?

Benjamin: (8:13): well I am still looking at the moment

Brian C.: (8:13): Also we do prefer to take all orders via phone or chat to ensure everything is setup properly the first time and to avoid mistakes.

Benjamin: (8:13): Am I correct on that I can not install wordpress on the starter and it only has one domain?

Brian C.: (8:13): The starter under Value class hosting?

Benjamin: (8:13): yes

Brian C.: (8:14): Or were you referring to the Launch plan?

Benjamin: (8:14): the $3 per month plan

Brian C.: (8:15): No as Word Press requires a MYSQL database. If using WordPress you would want a minimum of the Launch plan. Also we do not accept Pay Pal on Value class hosting.

Benjamin: (8:15): If I place a order via your ordersystem with out contacting you on chat or phone how long will it take to get the order setup?

Brian C.: (8:16): After you place the order the confirmation / fraud check will take up to 30 minutes. After that process is completed a confirmation specialist will need to give you a call to go through all the information. After that call the account will be setup.

Benjamin: (8:17): also you did not answer me if the starter only gets one domain

Brian C.: (8:18): Correct.

Benjamin: (8:18): On the Pro (business class) it says that I can have 16 separate websites, yet unlimited domains. Can you clarify on that?

Brian C.: (8:19): The unlimited domain names are referring to parked domains which are pointers basically. For example www.abc.net would point to abc.com.

Benjamin: (8:19): ok, finale question

Benjamin: (8:19):
I see a graphic that states 30 or 90 day guarantee, does it matter what I order to get the 90 day?

Brian C.: (8:20): All Value class hosting includes only a 30 day money back guarantee. Business class has a 90 day.

Benjamin: (8:20): sorry one more question

Benjamin: (8:21): Usually I sign up for the max amount of time for optimum savings

Brian C.: (8:21): I completely understand.

Benjamin: (8:21): Lets say I experience a long period of down time and I am force to move my account to get active again

Brian C.: (8:22): We have actually maintained 99.98% uptime across the board since 2001.

Benjamin: (8:22): and its after 30 days would I be eligible for a refund, and how much

Brian C.: (8:22): We do not give refunds past the specified time.

Benjamin: (8:22): are you on hurricane electric servers?

Benjamin: (8:22): or should I say network

Brian C.: (8:23): Our datacenter is tier 3 datacenter utilizing 30 day diesel generators.

Brian C.: (8:23): We also on business class and above offer multiple bandwidth providers over multiple OC-48 lines.

Benjamin: (8:23): the trace route shows he.net, and I was on their network before

Brian C.: (8:27): Unfortunately that trace route is inaccurate as we are not on he.net network. Also the network depends on which hosting plan and server you are tracing.

Benjamin: (8:27): I am tracing your main domain

Benjamin: (8:28): what state are your servers located in?

Brian C.: (8:29): We have two data centers. One in Los Angeles and one in Washington D.C.

Benjamin: (8:30): ok thank you, have a good day

Nice how there chat sessions have a time stamps.

My Finale Thoughts on inmotionhosting.com

I got my answer on how a site can have 16 sites yet unlimited domains. Its not really unlimited domains, and I know of many domain registers that allow you to just forward your domain where you want. The bottom line is you get 16 websites hosted under 16 domains. Nothing unlimited about the domains, other then you can set them up as many as you want to forward to one of the 16 domains / sites under their pro plan.

I think the biggest red flag I get from this company is the fact that they offer no refunds regardless of the reason for canceling the account. As out lined in there own policy even if it was their fault that you canceled. My suggestion is to go the bbb if you have problems with getting a refund, though there is no guarantee that they can help you or for that matter will not take inmotion’s side. But every drop in the bucket counts


I did not mean to get out of customer mode in the chat. Instead of trying to point their network location, I should have got him to concede in regards to a refund would happen after extended down time. After all what do they have to worry about if they have no down time. I don’t buy that they are not using Hurricane Electric. Perhaps I am wrong.


Equinix LA1 600 W 7th Ave, Los Angeles CA 90017
One Wilshire 624 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90017

Then there is the PayPal issue, they don’t indicated that its available. You have to ask for it on chat or by phone. Its limited to certain types of accounts, and no less then 6 months or longer as out line by some of the complaints I have found.


Its not that hard to configure for that matter I used to manually generate subscriptions before we got a new billing system. It was a bit cumbersome, but no where near as bad as sending out billing notices every month. Every day one of my staff would review the previous days subscription payments and enter them into the billing system. Atleast until we got a new billing system that still processed if for us. But we did weekly audits to ensure all payments were tracked.  But “Due to how Pay Pal is processed we have to place the order so we can do a request for payment via Pay Pal.”, meaning they login to PayPal.com and send you a money request.

The website looks out of date, which makes me wonder if they are using an outdated billing system as the order form is not that impressive. The failure to have a PayPal on that system makes me wonder how out of date their billing system may be or for that matter how secure it might be. I can understand wanting to call to confirm my order is valid. But not every customer wants to be called. The setup questions are obscure at best on the order form. Setup questions could be addressed on the order form.

Basically if you choose to go with InMotionHosting, you better hope that nothing goes wrong. Because they reserve the right to refuse a refund.

More fun Reading


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, where it all began

This is the site that got me involved into exposing the evils of web reviews and top of lists for pay.

First off lets take a look at their whois information:

Registrant Contact:

   W3Centric Network Pte Ltd
   Michael Low ()
   9 Bukit Batok Central Link
   Singapore, SE 658074

While I can’t off  hand back up with facts, I am going to say that the bulk of webhosting companies are from the United States.   Especially those that webhostingstuff.com lists in their top 1 – 25.  But unlike those companies, this website is clearly not from the United States.  Though at this time they appear to be on SoftLayer Technologies Inc servers.

Here is the link I get a kick out of, and I am sure it was not there when I looked2 years ago.


In a nut shell they claim to be pure of heart and that they would never delete negative comments (though no claims on not deleting positive feed back on people they do not get paid by).  That there system can keep tracks of the traffic on the 10,530 webhosts listed in their data base (though the site only lists 10,293).  Which is hard to believe, but if it were true they would have number to back up their claims.   But at the same time they have lied about not deleting feed back.  Which when you look at host gator.

Back in September 2008 according to youcanhost.com http://blog.youcanhost.com/host-reviews-exposed/webhostingstuffcom-consumer-reports-for-hosting-or-advertising-for-web-hosting/ They had a 80% approval rating.   Now some how we have to believe that they are never deleted any negative feed back.  After all Hostgator now has a flawless 5 star rating.  Regardless a 100% rating is really hard for me to believe.   In my years of webhosting I would say that atleast 90% of my customers were happy with my service I was providing them.   But finding positive feed back from them posted online was next to impossible.   It was always easier to find negative feed back from people that I, or for that matter no one could please.
Then there is this tidbit of interest at youcanhost.com,



September 8th, 2008 at 10:54 am

Number 2 HostDawgs.com is defiantly new according to WhoIs Info: Creation Date: 24-feb-2008

This is a company that is not even in business, but yet its listed still in webhostingstuff.com’s data base


The only person to have given them a review appear to have an inactive website.

Here is what Webhostingstuff.com says about HostDawgs:

HostDawgs.com Uptime: 0.00%
Site Established: Unknown Traffic Popularity: #3,920 of 10,293 companies

Somehow a site with zero uptime is 3,920 out of 10,293 sites.

Does this mean that webhostingstuff.com is keeping track of close to 7,000 defunct websites? When you goto hostdawgs.com it takes you to GoDaddy’s generic landing page for newly registered domains.

Also keep in mind that HostDawgs.com used to be number 2 on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 list, search engine results are few and far between, and seldom taking me to anything relevant to hostdawgs.co.

However if you go look up GoDaddy.com’s ranking’s at webhostingstuff here is what it says:

Site Established: 2 Mar 1999 (11 years and 99 days ago)Traffic Popularity: #2 of 10,293 companiesThe GoDaddy site was established 11 years and 99 days ago since 2 Mar 1999.

Their website’s popularity is ranked #2 of about 10,293 hosting companies listed here – based on the estimated number of visitors to GoDaddy’s website.

I am a bit confused, JustHost.com was supposed to be number 2, and I don’t see GoDaddy.com on the top 25 at all.

Site Established: UnknownTraffic Popularity: #21 of 10,293 companiesTheir website’s popularity is ranked #21 of about 10,293 hosting companies listed here – based on the estimated number of visitors to Just Host’s website.

It looks like JustHost.com gets to stay on the top 25 based off of what ever number that webhostingstuff.com is not willing to share with its vistors.  But still it does not make sense.  So I figured lets try a few others:

Site Established: 15 Nov 2002 (7 years and 205 days ago)Traffic Popularity: #8 of 10,293 companiesThe BlueHost site was established 7 years and 205 days ago since 15 Nov 2002. Their website’s popularity is ranked #8 of about 10,293 hosting companies listed here – based on the estimated number of visitors to BlueHost’s website.

Another host not in the top 25 ,Bluehost

Site Established: 27 Apr 1998 (12 years and 43 days ago)Traffic Popularity: #11 of 10,293 companies The Network Solutions site was established 12 years and 43 days ago since 27 Apr 1998. Their website’s popularity is ranked #11 of about 10,293 hosting companies listed here – based on the estimated number of visitors to Network Solutions’s website.

Wow, Network solutions is not on the list, but according to the traffic popularity it should be 11.

So what about the one thats listed number 1:

Site Established: 24 Mar 1995 (15 years and 78 days ago)Traffic Popularity: #60 of 10,293 companiesThe iPage site was established 15 years and 78 days ago since 24 Mar 1995. Their website’s popularity is ranked #60 of about 10,293 hosting companies listed here – based on the estimated number of visitors to iPage’s website.

So, in conclusion:  Webhostingstuff.com can not even by their own numbers validate where websites rank in regards to their popularity.  They are just as bad as those companies they claim are not legit.  But just for fun, lets take their actually rankings and stack them against those in the top 25 list.  Bold face lie does not even cut it, this is a web of lies.

Its pretty funny, but there is only one site that has the right position according to its rankings and that is HostGator, and only one other site that should be in the top 25 and thats JustHost.com which should be number 21 not number 2.  All the others are 51 – 3555.

Listing in top 25 – actual ranking – company name

1 – 60 – iPage

2 – 21 – Just Host

3 – 46 – FatCow Web Hosting

4 – 77 – Arvixe Web Solutions

5 – 5 – HostGator

6 – 51 – InMotion Hosting

7 – 92 – MochaHost

8 – 2633 – nativespace

9 – 349 – Interactive Online

10 – 3555 – IoxHost

11 – 298 – Essentials Hosting

12 – 1065 – Greenville Host

13 – 200 – Omnis Network

14 – 2271 – Identity Website Hosting

15 – 59 – Site5 com

16 – 232 – 2GB Hosting

17 – 172 – Green Geeks

18 – 909 – Cloud bg

19 – 74 – iWeb Technologies Inc

20 – 530 – Indichostsnet

21 – 365 – Scala Hosting

22 – 103 – Steadfast Networks

23 – 764 – LFC Hosting

24 – 3382 – Netmar

25 – 1180 – ThePrimeHost

Curious about who would be number 1?  I found out by accident.  I wanted to see where Yahoo ranked, and surprise surprise they were number 1.

Webhostingstuff.com clearly states:

Web Hosting Stuff uses a Quality Scoring method to rank hosting companies featured within each hosting category.

The Quality Score for each web host is calculated using realtime visitor statistics and other quality indicators.

By using quality indicators such as visitor statistics, the system is able to determine which web hosts visitors liked.

To build a fair and honest ranking system, ranking is always performed automatically by the system – free of human interference.

Unlike some dubious “top 10 hosting sites”  that promote web hosts based on affiliate commissions, our fair and honest ranking system helps visitors find the real top web hosting companies.

I wonder what these other quality indicators are, perhaps this link can point us to it:  https://www.webhostingstuff.com/advertise.html

I have not actually seen any advertising on their site, so this is a bit of a curious link.