Hostingsthatsuck.com versus Benjamin the Grumpy Blogger

On Sunday Hostingsthatsuck.com decided to retract their approval of Zyma.com.

http://www.hostingsthatsuck.com/zyma-sucks/

The original post is gone, though I still have a screen shot. I suspect like several other people that choose to promote this host, hostingsthatsuck.com  had their free hosting account closed down last month.  Now that the gravy train is over, the happy thoughts go away.  Because despite the negative reviews that came in October 2011, Hostingsthatsuck.com did not disclose this email then.

An email from Zyma.com to Hostingsthatsuck.com

On October 4th one of the servers (panda) in our network experienced a serious software fault, which consequently lead to an outage lasting a total of 10 days. Our engineers have been working hard to resolve the problem, and we are now pleased to say that issue has now been permanently resolved and that no data loss has occurred. We acknowledge the fact that no information was sent to our customers and we deeply apologize for the lack of information and updates sent to the affected customers regarding this matter.”

Compensation:
We understand that customers experiencing this problem felt alot of anger as they were unable to reach our tech support team during the downtime period. To show our commitment to constantly improving our service, we are now offering all affected customers 2 months of free hosting credit being added directly to their account. To redeem the free credit, simply send a quick email to support@zyma.com and the domain name that was affected during the downtime period, and we will add the extra credit.

Despite the rumours, the company is in excellent financial standing, and we are no way in risk of any kind of bankruptcy. All customer hosting accounts are 100% safe for the duration of their purchase. We are here for the long run and are constantly striving to improving our services. We don’t overload or oversell the number of hosting accounts on any one of our servers.

Once again we sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience and problems caused by this issue and we would like to re-assure all our customers, that this issue has been permanently been resolved, and will NOT re-occur now or in the future.

Thank you for your co-operation and patience in this matter.

Regards,

Support Team
Zyma Technologies

In short Khuram lied to me about deleting hostingsthatsuck.com hosting account and affiliate program. He stated the following on my first post:

Khuram / January 26, 2011

Quite frankly, we were completely unaware that hostingsthatsuck.com were being dishonest in their review. We believe that people should write accurate and honest reviews about hosting companies, whether it is good or bad, which is why we have revoked hostingsthatsuck.com affiliate license with us, as well as removed their website from our servers.

If that is true, why did hostingsthatsuck.com get the above email?

It really did not bother me so much that Khuram lied to me, I pretty much figured he did since until this Sunday there was an endorsement page for zyma.com on hostingsthatsuck.com. What bothered me was the lack of disclosure on Hostingsthatsuck.com’s part until February 2012. They did it for what amounts to peanuts in affiliate fees.  After all how much can you squeeze out of  less than $10 a year payment? Unlike your so called top 10 sites, hostingsthatsuck.com can promote anyone that contacts them.  After all that is what Zyma.com did, they sent me the same exact invite that they sent hostingsthatsuck.com.

So things went sour between Hostingsthatsuck.com and Zyma.com

Instead of owning up to their mistakes they decided to throw an insult my way, without referring who “a grumpy blogger named Benjamin” was, that would be me.

As mentioned by a grumpy blogger named Benjamin on another website, Zyma hosting is a relatively new and just a small company as compared to other players like Godaddy or 1and1. Benjamin believes that this website should not give recommendation to a new host and we should let the big companies have it all. We disagree with this reasoning for not recommending a company, and we still believe that being a smaller company also means a hosting company may be able to take better care of their customers. So to any angry blogger who believes our method is totally flawed, we suggest you stick with your big companies like 1and1 and we wish you good luck.

I love how they call me out by name, but they failed to reference this site or the two posts about Zyma.com. Yet I am a grumpy person? I am pretty sure I was fully caffeinated when I wrote every post dealing with them. With no lack of coffee I have no reason to be grumpy. Honestly I like to think I approach topics like this with some level of satire. But the two posts I wrote about zyma.com seem dry in regards to any form of emotion. But what else can Hostingsthatsuck.com do when I am writing counter posts, surely the use of actual facts is not the best way to counter my posts. Like explain to me where it is I said I don’t think new hosts should get a recommendation.

Perhaps Hostingsthatsuck.com are Grumpy Bloggers? After all they had a 10 day outage and probable lost their free hosting account last month.

What did hostingsthatsuck.com leave out?

As stated they left out that this was a new company back in 2011. But there were a lot of other things they didn’t do.  Like tell you what domain they have hosted with them. How much resources they were using.  Instead of giving real data, they gave cropped screen shots that gave little detail and general information that could pretty much cover any hosting company.

Post from last year when Zyma was trolling for exposure:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=1618

Post from this year to see where they were now:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2945

If I am supposed to avoid the new hosts, than hostingsthatsuck.com are supposed to avoid the old hosts? Frankly they don’t get the say on who I do a review on, just as much as I don’t get a say on who they try to peddle on anyone that comes to their site. This was not a matter of if this host was new or old, small or big. It’s a matter of ethics.  The author for Hostingsthatsuck.com that wrote the Zyma.com post choose to completely ignores the fact that would not help result in a sale, and that was the fact that this host was new. They choose not to disclose til now that they received an email about the down time in October 2011.  So seriously why did it take this long to share an email from October 2011?

So is Hostingsthatsuck.com right about me thinking new companies should not be endorsed?

New companies have a big challenge of bringing in customers than say a company that can afford to run commercials during the Super Bowl (i.e. Hostgator) or run full page ads in Popular Mechanics (i.e. 1 & 1). Hostingsthatsuck.com used the trick of telling you to search for “Zyma sucks”, and yeah there were none out there at the time. Other than other people trying to pull the same tricks as hostingsthatsuck.com.   Hostingsthatsuck.com makes it a point to be in the top of search results for “(host name here) sucks”. Not so much to provide details about a company sucking, but to get buyers to sign up with the company for what may be peanuts like Zyma.com or big pay like Hostgator.com.

I make it an effort with any review of a new host to point out that if they are new, that should not be criteria to use against the company. New companies stand to lose more than older and bigger competitors with the loss of a single customer. Meaning they have more reason to work on keeping a customer. Not to mention there are large old companies like Burst.net that I advise avoiding like the plague. This had to deal with disclosing details like they had been contacted by zyma.com to do a review, and that they were new.

Back when I made my top 10 list for finding a host, I made my feeling clear on new hosts July 10, 2011:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2351

On a side note a new company is not a bad thing; we all have to start somewhere. This is why I recommend that on the initial sign up that you do no more than 30 days the first time around, and sign up for more time later on. Also a new company may be more eager to work to keep your business, where as a large establishment may consider you more of a number.

The whole searching for bad things about Zyma.com was flawed because there was nothing negative out due to the fact it was a new host. Lack of (Zyma.com sucks) does not mean that the host was good, nor does it mean they are bad.

But even when this “(host name) sucks” is used on old / big hosts hostingsthatsuck.com sales pitch ignores actual facts. There has not been a host yet that they have recommended where I was able to find more negative comments using the same criteria “(host name) sucks)” just going over the first few pages I can find more negative posts than what they say there are. Never mind their claim includes all search results. They want you to look no further, I want you to look beyond what they say.

I want to make it clear again:

I do not have a problem with Hostingsthatsuck.com making money off affiliate programs.

I do not have a problem with Hostingsthatsuck.com referring people to new hosts.

I do however have a problem with hostingsthatsuck using junk logic to make a buck, especially when they ignore the facts.

Zyma.com – A year later

I think it is safe to say that Zyma.com is proof that review sites like hostingsthatsuck.com are not to be trusted. A year has gone by allowing for real feedback to come in. Not like the arranged positive feedback that was given out in exchange for free hosting.  Not to mention nothing to stop these sites form signing up for “our affiliate program is one of the most attractive schemes around.” which paid out 40%. Granted I would not have used the word scheme. I can’t say I fault Zyma.com for contacting people for reviews to promote their company.

How my review of Zyma.com began

Last year Khuram the owner/marketing director and from what other people tell me the support for zyma.com contacted me to offer me free hosting account in exchange for a review. Not the first host to ask for a review. But like all of them, the owner of Zyma.com did not bother to actually look at this site and see if it’s actually a review site. I told him there was no way I would trust any of my sites on a $10 a year account. Shortly after I find that not only did he contact me he contacted a review site that uses “(hosts name) + sucks” as a marketing strategy in search engines like Google.  That site was hostingsthatsuck.com. The whole premise was this must be a good host because there were no negative reviews about this site. Never mind that before Zyma.com was a U.K. webhosting site, it belonged to some construction company in Spain. The review was disingenuous.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=1618

Khuram of Zyma.com was not happy with me

My review of Hostingsthatsucks.com review had Khuram the owner/marketing director/support and probable sales agent for Zyma.com contact me sharply protesting my review for calling his site a scam. This had to be a record in response time as he contacted me the same day I had posted this blog article. He asked that I remove my review of Zyma.com. I declined removing the post as I will only do that if I am wrong. I also made clear I only quoted one of the other people that he asked to do a review, which was hostingsthatsuck.com.  Hostingsthatsuck.com used words like scam and sucks, everything that someone would not want to hear about their site.  A site that has appeared on my site before and will continue to appear as long as hostingsthatsuck.com continues to use a false negative context while obscuring other negative search engine reviews.

After Khuram finale really read what I had wrote he conceded and claimed to have contacted hostingsthatsuck.com to remove their post, and that he removed their free hosting account and affiliate link:

which is why we have revoked hostingsthatsuck.com affiliate license with us, as well as removed their website from our servers.

With regards to hostingsthatsuck.com, we have requested them to remove the post, however we cannot force anyone to do anything, and so we are limited as to what more we can do.

Honestly I don’t believe him as the so called review for zyma.com at hostingsthatsuck.com has remained unchanged as you can see from the attached screen shot. I do not believe that the owners of this fake review site would leave a post-up for a site that will not pay them.

But the true gem out of all of this was the discussion on unlimited hosting. I could not get an answer on what normal usage was. It’s the same spill I get from any unlimited hosting advocate.  But in order to know what normal is you have to have number that’s your base line.  At less than $10 a year Zyma.com’s normal is going to be lower than what hostgator.com considers normal usage.

Why the Interest in Zyma.com again?

There are a few factors in why.  Last year I had promised to do a re-review of Zyma.com. I was going to do a re-review.  But with of the big hosts doing FTC compliance the need for a template review became unnecessary. It seemed better to just go after any review site that show cased a host with an FTC compliance requirements in their terms of service. After all my issue is not that affiliates are making money, it is that some affiliates try to label themselves as review sites and do not mention they are biased for the sake of a payment.

Another reason I bring up Zyma.com again is because of this unreal unlimited hosting plan. Not that I think any unlimited plan should be trusted for real hosting needs. Zyma.com offered this so called unlimited hosting plan for less than $10 a year.  I call it unreal because it’s not something done by other providers such as Hostgator.com and Endurance International Group. There are a lot of good reasons behind that. First and foremost it takes money to make money. One thing I am certain of is that Zyma.com does not have the capital and buying power that any of the popular so called unlimited companies have. In short Hostgator.com has the power to buy machines that can handle hundreds of people for far less then Zyma.com would.

Too often I encounter people that think that hosting should make up less than 1% of what they bring in. These are the same people that fall for any cheap solution. To anyone that thinks hosting should always be cheap, it is time to wake up from fairy land. When you buy hosting your data is not stored in another dimension where there is infinite capacity, its stored on a hard drive on a server, which in turn is stored on a rack that is hooked into a router.  This server’s rack is housed in data center that receives utilities such as water, electricity, and perhaps natural gas. Not to mention phone lines, the connection to an upstream provider. Plus if the provider offers backup options such as a gas powered generator and battery backups there are even more expenses.  Plus there are no gnomes working for free in the back ground. A human being in needed to do the maintenance and support for zyma.com, and most preferable more than 1 human being. If these human being are not outsourced from another country like say the Philippines or India and is in Great Britain then the costs go up even further.

Don’t forget that they offer 40% payment to people in their affiliate scheme (once again their choice of words not mine). Though I doubt at less than $4 per sale most review sites would be interested. That and merchants are not exactly allowing you to collect money for free. Which at the time Zyma.com’s only merchant was PayPal.com, that alone could cause less people to sign up as there are a lot of people that are not fans of PayPal.com who has decided to have a 30% retainer on proven participants. Then there are other fees such as business licenses. Running a business is not as simple as snapping your fingers.

The quality of the equipment and human interaction elements to a degree depend on how much is paid for them.  In short don’t expect a Porsche 918 Spyder on a budget that could buy you a 1985 Chevrolet Chevettee.  But while we are on the subject of human interaction back in January 2011 they were only offering 14 – 16 hours of support. This is my own opinion that Khuram was the only person at Zyma.com.

By October 2011 Zyma.com appeared to be falling apart at the seams

While I got a few comments on the down time at Zyma.com, most of the customers that contacted me via email. Per my own policy I do not publish the emails of customers unless they give me permission; sadly none of them contacted me back.  Down time seemed to be as long as 10 days. Review sites like hostingsthatsuck.com had people complaining about down time as well in October.

I contacted Khuram to get his side in regards to people complaining about down time, but I was never contacted back.

So what about the people that promoted Zyma.com?

I have looked at lot of sites that did a so called review based off of the free hosting plan from Zyma.com. One in particular did not have their hosting account continued this year by Zyma.com:

http://www.pingable.org/zyma-com-cheap-webhost-review/

Out of all of the sites that I have found with in the first 2 pages of search engine results on Google, this is the only one I find that retracts their positive feedback.

At the top of the page has been added a notice of:

We have received a lot of comments saying how bad Zyma have been, constant down time, and poor service. Zyma were meant to provide us with a free account for life, and they did not renew our account after 12 months, so all I can say as I would not trust these guys. Over the space of the year, we found that our site was down more often, and that it was slower to respond. So if you are considering Zyma, I would not go with them as a provider.

Never mind that was a 2012 update, a far cry from the complaints they also received in October 2011. It seems the only reason that they did an update was because of the removal of free hosting. I did not see anything in the email that was sent to me by zyma.com that stated a free for life account; then again I saw nothing of how long the free hosting would last. I can’t see any affiliate links despite the previous endorsement still intact below this despite a warning to avoid zyma.com.

Is Zyma.com a scam?

It would be safe to say that Zyma.com was a scam if people did not say that their websites had come back up.  But sites have come up. There is a back story that has yet to be told. I can only speculate as to what the cause was. But I personally feel the only way Zyma.com can move forwards is to get some pricing similar to the competitors they try to compete with. It was ok in the beginning, maybe in the first month to bring new customers end. But in the long run it’s a bad idea to not have a package that ensures a company does not struggle.

If anything I think Zyma.com is at worse a company that treads on despite its failures.