Brainhost.com – Due Diligence

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Less than 24 hours after my post on brainhost.com, someone posted a comment that pointed to what I had not looked at, and that was the reviews about this host. The focus of my post was what was the benefit that flippa.com got while promoting Brainhost.com. Another reason I choose to write about this host was due to the possibility that I may very well see brainhost.com on so called review sites ($175 or more payouts). I had not bothered to look at the review sites, what came up in search engines, or what sites like Alexa and archive.org had to say about brainhost.com. A simple glance at the search engine results tells me that Flippa.com did not bother to vet brainhost.com.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2980

My initial impression was this host would appear in the so called top host sites. I now think my first impression was wrong, and perhaps the review sites have seen what I failed to look into. There are a lot of reviews out there, and other then those sites that promote brainhost.com there are no positive feedback.  For that matter sites like webhostingstuff.com just started monitoring brainhost.com November 2011.

The only directory / review site I can find on the main page of search engine results is:

http://www.web-hosting-top.com/review/brainhost.com

Flippa tells me to be diligent; perhaps I should use their advice on Brainhost.com?

http://flippa.com/blog/how-old-is-your-site-new-guidelines-on-claiming-site-age/

In short they talk about aged domains, and how some sites used the creation date as the start date.  Something I try to point to when someone says there site is older than it actually is.  In some cases it was a case of site started before their domain was created like mindshark.ca, somehow a web services company is older than the creation date.  Then there is the case of where the domain was aged, like zyma.com who prior to being a British hosting company was a company out of Spain that dealt with construction.

There are a lot of other details that Flippa left out in the way of due diligence. Such as Alexa.com. Which if you read my blog enough you will know that the lower your score the better your company is.  Amazon has a 5, Google 1, Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is around 172,000, and brainhost.com is at 10,154.

Then there are more details you can get from Alexa if the score is below 100,000.

Alexa.com shows some very interesting results.  It seems up until February/March 2011 Brainhost.com was extremely limited in traffic.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/brainhost.com#

Then we come to a recommendation that flippa.com gives for due diligence, arcive.org. A site I use often when looking at a site.

http://web.archive.org/web/20100918115557/http://brainhost.com/

From there I can see that brainhost.com ran PPC pages and was for sale for the bulk of the time.

Now there are few telling details here, especially when you look at their BBB record

http://www.bbb.org/akron/business-reviews/internet-web-hosting/brainhostcom-in-akron-oh-90005710

Here are the details I find interesting about what the BBB lists:

  • 28 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 28 closed in last 12 months
  • BBB file opened: 03/03/2011
  • Business started: 08/20/2010
  • The address for this company 3660 Center Rd, Suite 363 Brunswick, OH 44212-3620 is UPS Store.
  • This business is in the process of responding to complaint(s) previously closed with no response. (cause of no rating)

As I have stated in the past I am no fan of the BBB, because they don’t validate any information and second their system is awkward. Never mind this is a system that asks for money from those it is supposed to keep an eye on.  No conflict of interest there (yes I am being sarcastic).  It’s been my personal experience that BBB asks the individual for the start date, they don’t look at the actual business license for a company. Because of the file date with the BBB, the Alexa Traffic, and what Archive.org show I think its safe to say the company started in Early 2011.

Brainhost.com and the review sites

But I think the most telling thing is looking up “brainhost.com review” on any search engine.

There are a lot of negative reviews out there.  The ones that have nothing negative are those trying to sell you onto brainhost.com.  Some of which appear on the gurus that promoted brainhost.com in the beginning.  The funny thing is if they allow comments they are negative, one particular so called guru with a site that looks like crap on shingle also wants to promote hostthanprofit.com  (MLM crap).  The only place I can find any comments about liking the service are at brainhost.com, there are no dates of when they got the kind words or what site is hosted with them.

Contact with Brainhost.com

My reason for contacting brainhosting.com is their 4 awards. 4 awards that I cannot tell where they came from, nor can anyone that I have contacted by phone or by chat. I also wanted some clarity on the hosting packages.  After why should I buy the $7.95 plan as its listed as a better value, should I not choose the $9.95 package?

http://www.brainhost.com/web-hosting-plans/

Brain Host offers a variety of Hosting Plan Options – choose below for the plan that best fits your needs!

From the looks of it there is only one package at three different prices.

The awards that brainhost.com has I find most interesting are the two for the year 2012. When I first looked at this site back on January 10, 2012 the awards were there. Now perhaps its just me, but in order to be the best host of 2012, you would have to be a good host for at least most or the full year in order to get an award for this year. It seems really premature to get a 2012 award.

Brainhost.com chat

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

Benjamin: Hello Andrew

Benjamin: Can you point me to the sites where your company got it’s awards from?

Andrew: May i know where you wish to point the website?

Benjamin: Point the website?

Andrew: I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand. Would you mind explaining it again, please?

Benjamin: Your company has 4 awards on the main page. Who was it that gave your company those awards?

Andrew: I will suggest you to call us at 1-800-311-9418 number so that they will assist you further in this regards.

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

Benjamin: can you tell me the difference in your hosting plans? They all have the same exact points.

Andrew: There are no difference just the tenure are different.

Benjamin: that is not what it looks like from the package page.

Benjamin: you only have one plan?

Andrew: Are you referred by any other company to sign up with us?

Benjamin: flippa

Andrew: We provide following hosting packages:

Andrew: • Month to Month: $9.95 per month. First month hosting + $20 one time setup fee + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $44.90

Andrew: • Every 6 Months: $53.70, which breaks down to $8.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $68.65

Andrew: • Every 12 Months: $95.40, which breaks down to $7.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $110.35

Andrew: • Every 24 Months: $166.80, which breaks down to $6.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $181.75

Andrew: • Every 36 Months: $214.20, which breaks down to $5.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $229.15

Andrew: • Every 48 Months: $237.60, which breaks down to $4.95 monthly + $14.95 domain registration = Initial pay $252.55

Andrew: All the payments are upfront.

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

Benjamin: but the site says free for one year.

Benjamin:http://www.brainhost.com/special-offer/flippa.php

Andrew: I will suggest you to call us at 1-800-311-9418 number so that they will assist you further in this regards.

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

Benjamin: are you sales or do you do customer service?

Andrew: We are technical support.

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

Andrew: I have not received a response from you for some time and will need to end this session. If you need further assistance please log back in to Live Chat. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you.

Chat session has been terminated by the site operator

The chat session with brainhost.com was confusing, not to mention the chat operator was in a hurry to get off chat with me.  A call to brainhost.com sales department could not give me the answer to who it was they got those awards from.  If anyone should know where a company got an award from it would be the sales department.  I happen to leave the chat session alone for a minute and the chat operator ended the chat session.  Never mind I gave the chat operator more than a minute to respond to me.

One thing is certain and that is the Brainhost,com is a mess.  They only have one package, and multiple ways to pay you can pay more for the same thing.

The one question I forgot to ask was how much under the Flippa offer would I pay and when after my free year expired.

I usually do not have a problem with hosts being new.  But there are things that bother me like an insane affiliate program. $175 uses a lot of what a customer pays to give an affiliate a commission. Sure it’s a tax deduction for the company, but so are things that provide a customer good service. Its far easier to keep existing customers then it is to bring in new ones.

On top of that Brainhost.com’s packages make no sense. I could not get a straight answer, payment terms for a package became different packages on their own.

I will be keeping an eye on Brainhost, mostly to see how long they are a trusted partner of Flippa.

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