I want to apologize in advance for this long thread.
I am creating this thread to share our absolutely horrible hosting experience with the company called Tier.net (which also does business as Host4Yourself.com and iwfhosting.net) and the equally horrible experience of having to deal directly with one of its main owners, Evan. Kemlet.
We have a social networking community website that allows users from all over the world to meet to chat and interact with friends and strangers. Users can create profiles and upload avatars to their profiles. It is not different from any website that has this option, including Facebook, Twitter, Webhostingtalk, etc., (90% of profile-based websites have an avatar upload option) One morning we noticed that our website I was inactive. (No wonder here, and I'll see it later) While I was thinking to myself, here we go again, I contacted his support team to find out what was going on. To my surprise, they said that someone had reported that a child pornographic image had been loaded as an avatar in a user's profile and that it was on their server. I clicked on the link that was reported and I saw a nude image of a woman of unknown age. In any case, he was naked and that particular page does not allow nudity, so it would be eliminated. Unfortunately, when you run a site that involves many strangers who meet and interact, a bad apple may happen. With that in mind, it was confirmed that the image was deleted when I verified it from the end of the server. I immediately pointed to the support person. I was frustrated and asked why no email was sent indicating that my server's IP was not routed. Are customers supposed to look at their servers every minute to make sure they are online? Suddenly, Evan comes out of nowhere (the owner and I will also contact him later) saying that they stop abusing the assistance department and that my service will be terminated immediately because we have child pornography. I said that I would then be reimbursed for the additional 2.5 months of service for which I paid. It seemed a reasonable request, since we would have been more than happy to leave this company alone for the downtime. Instantly he said that there will be no refund and completely disabled the live chat system and threw me out of our account. The server was immediately disconnected and I was prevented from recovering part of my data (I do not have access to any recent backup). There is not even the possibility of answering or saying a word. Boom, plug pulled. A great warning when I tried to re-login to my administration panel that said "Child pornography and abuse of staff". Wow. Staff abuse? Where? When? Hosting child pornography? Are you kidding me? We have been around for almost 20 years, we have worked with numerous law enforcement agencies in the past and some important departments even have accounts with us and help us in any way we can to detect these types of criminals. So, is this our new business? Cut that nonsense. This made our team struggle to get the website and cause a lot of pain and sleepless nights as we spent the next few days cleaning, restoring and struggling to get a new server and set everything up.
I have spoken with many hosts and individuals since this incident occurred. I explained the whole situation to them. Each of them agreed that this was not handled professionally. We were not given any opportunity to solve the problem. Assumptions were made. There was no thought of the fact that this could have happened to anyone with a server and a website that allows customized avatars. Imagine a user of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram uploading an illegal image (which probably happens a lot) and your host disconnects from them and accuses them of harboring child pornography. The funny thing is that after talking to the moderator and administrators of the chat room where this particular user avatar was used, they informed me that they had really noticed it and immediately deleted it. That explains why he was not on the server anymore. It turns out that everyone was watching a cached version of the image in Cloudflare, which we have set for a longer cache period for the images. (It was not in the profile of the users because their account was already prohibited and we were only given a direct link to the image) We have hundreds of moderators on our site and these problems are ALWAYS handled promptly. If we are informed, it is handled even faster.
Now in my complete experience with them. Some may take what I say as a kind of retaliation. My answer to that is that WHT offers a platform to share experiences with others, perhaps in the same situation I was in and making a difficult decision to find a host. I am taking my time now to provide that feedback. I feel that others need to know about this so they can make informed decisions. I am happy to leave the Tier.net company and never again deal with them.
My experience with them was unprofessional, frustrating and disconcerting.
The source of the problem is Evan, one of the owners or owners of parts. Apparently it is the "brain" of presale, technique and decision of the operation. Boy, what an arrogant and conflictive person he is.
I had a total of two servers with them. Both installation / migration experiences were horrible. I informed him of my needs and we both agreed on a price. I found them here in WHT. In one of the servers, part of the agreement was to migrate our website from another host to a server without a control panel for a fixed fee. (I paid him a month of administrative fees of $ 35). He kept trying to increase my sales in the current monthly plan, but I did not want that. Finally, we agreed on a complete one-month management plan to cover the complete migration and agreed on certain configurations. Certainly not even nearly a month of work. All of our requests were communicated clearly and no additional request was made for what we had already agreed upon. He even suggested that the migration could take a day. After day 1 of the migration, you can see that things go terribly wrong. Many things stopped working suddenly. I had to open several entries with them and communicate in live chat because things went wrong and appeared one after another, without stopping. The incompetence of their support began to raise its ugly head. You think that a problem is solved and then something else arises. They tried to fix it and they told me this and that can not be done, only to discover that what I requested could actually be done. If I questioned something, they would respond rudely. I finally realized why he always pushed me to Cpanel … because simply his support team (it seems that only he was doing the technical work) simply can not handle a simple task like a migration unless it is Cpanel. This lasted until a month before he was in "viable" conditions. In fact, I had to keep my other server active for another month because I did not feel comfortable with how things were going. I had to endure a tiring month of listening to Evan demonstrate his arrogance about how much he knows about technical things and hear him complain and whine about how little he was making with the server migration rate we both agreed upon. If he could not handle it, he should not have accepted the price. In fact, I remember that I even said that I can find someone else, but he kept selling me about how he can do it, so I agreed to let him do it. That month really ignited him and his behavior apparently worsened every day. I stayed with a server that did not meet the requirements I had requested, but that I did not want to bother anymore. I accepted, I hired other system administrators to correct their mistakes. Our second server, this time with Cpanel was the same kind of experience. The thing is going badly. It is not as bad as the first, but still has many headaches. It's Cpanel … it's supposed to be easy for them!
Now to the quality of service. Wow, these past few months have been a total nightmare in terms of server uptime. On multiple occasions, the server would suddenly disconnect. Not just minutes, we were talking hours. Anyone who wants to keep their server running all the time can understand how I should be feeling. The minutes are already a problem, but some hours will seem like a lifetime. We only select the hosts that we consider have a good time of activity. Your SLA guarantee is 100% availability. What a bunch of nonsense.
During these multiple idle times, you would use your live chat support feature on your site. From time to time, during our long periods of inactivity, I spoke with some different support members. At least they had different names, so I guess they were different. Every time I asked them about the situation, I would get the same generic response that will be solved very soon. I would wait a while and ask them again. As you can imagine, if all your server is down, you will get a little nervous, especially if they say it will be fixed soon. Nobody seemed to have any idea of what was happening there. To be fair, I must point out that the other members of the support team were nice in most of the interactions I had with them, they just did not understand what exactly was happening. In almost all the consultations I did during the last months, I would always end up with Evan suddenly jumping into the chat and accusing me of abuse of support. If your server is idle for hours, it is not uncommon to ask at least a few times for an update and ETA, especially if you are promised that it will be resolved very soon. The conversation would usually begin with Evan saying that they stop abusing their support department and that they are very hostile and rude to me.
Believe me, the last place I would like to be is in a live chat with support for the server to start up. But abuse? What ridiculous accusation? I even remember once during an interaction with your most pleasant and helpful staff to ask them not to let Evan take care of any of my support tickets. However, he was always there intruding on each of the problems he had. It was like that annoying little brother or sister that you have that never leaves. I want to make it very clear that the only time I would contact their support team was when my server did not work. Who would really want to take the time to talk to the support departments, let alone someone like Evan. He was a self-managed server, so he had no other reason to contact them. Unfortunately, I was only down so often that I was forced to do it.
This went on for several months, several times, and will probably continue as I write this. The sad part were all these times of inactivity, there was always a new person to blame. You would think they would do it right the first time, but it does not seem that the problems need several months and several instances of downtime to resolve. They continued to try to blame others as if they were saying their Psychz network or the ranks of LACNIC or the ascending provider or something more than themselves. He kept making broken promises about it finally resolving. Think that I never made a single claim about your SLA service time guarantee. I should have lowered it for many hours.
In our months of dealing with this company it was just stressful and frustrating. It was my mistake to stay with them as long as I did and pay up front several months and believe in them as long as I did. The price was good and I was attracted. I hope everyone (even if it's just one person) can learn from my horrible experience and not make the same mistake I made. I would avoid this company at all costs. The price does not tell the whole story. They are a budget host for a reason. Their practices, support and quality of hardware and hosting service are, frankly, poor. I have stayed with several providers for the past 20 years and I would classify them as the WORST, and it is not even close.
If you can attract someone who is really capable of managing a hosting business, maybe things can get better for them. Not someone who seems to be angry all the time. Certainly not someone who will steal money from customers like he did in this case.
These are some of the famous quotes I received during my chat interactions with Evan when I approached him to solve problems with his migration and all the time of inactivity with the server and the network:
"I have a family of 4 that you are currently interrupting completely"
"You are a ridiculous person with a ridiculous personality"
"I've only made 10,000 migrations, you insult my intelligence"
"I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a fork than continue"
"You're the most despicable and annoying person I've honestly met with"
"You are making a great effort to get your $ 35 with $ 3,000 in work and lost time"
"Incredibly, I did not want to have to deal with this again, I'm doing the best I can doing at home to spend hours on your $ 35 foolish, cheap setup"
Yes, he told me. I have everything in our records and there is probably much more. Take some time to analyze this situation and look back. I think Evan found the perfect opportunity to cut ties with me. Just a week after a renovation, he keeps the money prepaid and also knew that he would not renew with them again, given the huge amount of downtime. I made it clear based on the time of inactivity. Perfect storm for him to do what he did. Thank God I'm done with him. For those who read this review, of course they can make their own judgments. Just be careful what awaits you if you choose them. I was also caught up in the apparently good prices and promises and the hope that the network and services will improve. Everything was an illusion. For me, it is not worth taking the risk, especially in a competitive market and many better hosting providers.
Unfortunately, Paypal could not help me because Tier.net must have invented some lies to pretend that they provided the service in full by sending old invoices. The last invoice was paid until mid-July. There were still about 2.5 months remaining in the service (about $ 400 of hosting services not provided) that I will contact the bank. We have to put an end to this type of company capable of doing business in this way.
My main question would be: how can I get a refund for my unused part? BBB? My bank? How can hosting companies simply cancel servers and pocket money in this way? Especially considering the circumstances of what happened. There was no child pornography hosting! An idiot uploaded an image (which was not even on the server at the time) and our team of moderators removed it almost immediately. What are you going to use that money you stole from me? A good steak dinner tonight for your family, handsome.
In the worst case, I'm just going to bite the bullet and take it as a lesson learned, but I felt it was necessary to share my experience here and I hope that no one else has to go through what I did with this company. It could happen to you at any time. Be very careful with this company and the people who operate it. I can name 5-10 hosts in these same forums (which do not publish as many subprocesses as they do) that have better prices, hardware, customer service, customer service, network and management of a suspicious situation of "TOS violation" as what we had Be wise and take your business elsewhere.