A common problem in DreamHost

Hmmm, apparently I still have enough tolerance in me to be courteous about DreamHost in caps… but here goes…

Approximately 1 day ago, my account was disabled and suspended for no rhyme or reason.

I contacted support many times but only got a reply 3 hours ago… here it is:

[quote]Your accounts have been closed for suspected fraud in signing up multiple
accounts and running web proxies, both of which are strictly prohibited.
All payments have been refunded.



my reply:

look here, I’m a student and I’m paying for my account out of my savings and I don’t even know what the hell is proxy much… I’ve already cleared my suspected fraud at signup of my account, (there was an issue there) and I definitely don’t get enough to sign up for 2 or more accounts at dreamhost since it’s so expensive for my savings to handle already. I need my data and I do know I definitely have the legals rights to my data and files on the server. Could we have a talk about this before you just simply jump to conclusions like always?

I’ve seen many such cases on the internet already… There is even a hate group that despises dreamhost fraud checks and those overstrict measures that kick out paying customers. Right now, I don’t feel like joining that group so could you please get things cleared before you just simply delete my account?


Well, there went my school annual project which I had been working very hard on for the PAST 6 MONTHS!! I’m only 1 month away from the deadline and dreamhost shuts down my account for no reason at all?

All I can say is that dreamhost people simply jump to conclusions and they didn’t do what they claimed they would? They didn’t even bother sending an email to warn me about my account disabled and yet they say they tried to contact me?

hmmm, right now, I’d settle for dreamhost giving me back my plain old account with nothing extra but everything normal as of 2 days ago when it was all right… I don’t need any compensation, all I really want is an apology and a reversion to it’s correct state!

Instead, they’re holding all my files and my precious database hostage and refusing to answer to any of my support or abuse queries? Shouldn’t they pay more attention to such customers in such situations? I really don’t want to get into a lawsuit with DreamHost as a mere student who’s lost half a year’s worth of project work over a false accusation of dreamhost…

I hope a dreamhost employee reads this and gets me fixed up because my tolerance limit is really reaching it’s tip already…

what was your website ?

did it load a lot of external content ?

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no, I only had a very puny userbase at my joomla community with a 0.03% bandwidth usage on my level 1 plan… I only used 550mb approximately of webspace and they want to kick me out… there was no illegal content or anonymous ftp whatsoever, the only things i had there was my own funfun project, my blog, my 2 friends’ blogs, an annual school project and a gallery which only my friend and I has access to currently before the disable…

try to explain this to them, and ask about details of this suspended account.

Be polite, and they should look into this problem.
Their robots probably found something wrong on your account, and created a false alert.

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well, the problem now is that their support is kinda almost ignoring my messages to them…

You don’t remember if it was yesterday or not?

They hate money. They were probably just sick of you paying them for hosting.

Well, either that, or there likely is a reason.

And what was the issue? Seems odd you were already setting off the fraud alarms when you got here, only to end up getting your account disabled for fraud.

No you don’t.

It wasn’t important. If it was, you would have backed it up. You can’t blame that on anyone but yourself.

Here’s a free math lesson: If a Dreamhost account is breaking the bank, you can’t afford a lawyer.

Here’s a free life-in-general lesson: The second someone brings up a lawsuit like that, no one takes them seriously from that point on.

Good strategy, though. If a fake legal threat from a poor person that has no legal ground to stand on doesn’t scare a company with $millions, nothing will!

I hear that Lunarpages has a great lawyer. Looking at a sample of his work, I’d guess that you could easily afford him now that you don’t have a hosting bill.

One other thing… If you gave any other users access to your account, and they did what you’re being accused of, you’re still responsible and it wouldn’t change anything.

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Actually, from the email you included in your post, it appears a “reason” was given to you; it also appears that you don’t understand the basis for that reason.

I wouldn’t be focusing on how your content might have been “illegal” or a violation of the TOS. Other than the “proxies”, I don’t see anything at all in the Dreamhost Abuse Department’s response to you that indicates there was anything wrong with the content on your account.

According to what they have told you, “suspected fraud”, “multiple accounts”, and “running web proxies” are what concerned them enough to suspend your account; I suggest those are the things you should be trying to sort out with them.

Right! It seems pretty obvious to the casual observer (and it has even been explained to you, in writing!) that whatever “issue”, or issues, you had are not “cleared”. :wink:

You might consider that, if there were identification issues (including valid addresses, names on charge cards, multiple accounts using the same email address for the primary contact, etc.) their lack of confidence that you are who you say you are may well be a big part of the problem.

That said, I think you might get further in your attempt to understand what happened and possibly get at your data again if you look at things a little more professionally and with a little more understanding of your situation:

You don’t have a backup of your data? That is unfortunate, but not really DH’s problem. Since you seem to not understand this, and feel you have some “legals rights to my data and files on the server”, I suggest you go back and read (or read-read-carefully) the Terms of Service under which your account at DH is provided. Inferring that DH has a legal oblilgation to protect, backup, or even continue to provide you access to your “data” and “files” stored on their servers is just ignorant - the service is essentially “where is as is” in nature, and you have no legal recourse if DH loses data you stored on their servers (which can happen!). I know that is not pleasing to hear, but it is true.

Additionally, your statement that DH “just simply jump to conclusions like always?” implies that you have had a similar experience with DH before. Is that the case, or are you just throwing that out because you have read other disgruntled, unhappy, suspended, terminated users express their complaints of such behavior?

Now that is a really lame tactic, and not likely to encourage DH to help you out in this situation. :wink: Do you really think that your intimation that you might “join that group” is intimidating to DreamHost in any way, and/or will cause them to help you so that you don’t “bad mouth” them on the net?

Here’s a free tip when dealing with businesses that are in the public eye: They expect that that you will loudly inform everyone who will listen that you were badly treated if you feel you were treated unfairly. The fact that they suspended your account, knowing full well that you could go on the net and yell, “Dreamhost S*cks” from every venue that will have you, means they are prepared for you to do just that. This also implies they feel confident that they are doing the “right thing”, and are prepared to defend themselves legally if they have to.

They have access to “really good lawyers”, and a lot more money to pay those lawyers than you do…just a thought!

As for your “Conclusion”:

You should have backed up your work no matter what computer system you had it on, and they did give you a “reason” - you just don’t like or understand it. You should focus on getting the clarifications you desire rather than the data you failed to properly protect or claiming that, since you don’t understand the “reason”, no reason was given. That would be a “professional” approach likely to get you the most consideration from Dreamhost.

Read, and try to understand, the Terms of Service you agreed to. They have no obligation to “warn” you of their “fraud” concerns. That said, you do not really know what they did, or didn’t do, in trying to contact you - only that they didn’t succeed.

You are clearly missing the point completely here. You have not been “wronged” per the TOS; you have had your account canceled/suspended (and your money refunded). If you really, really want (need) to get at your data, I submit that you will have far better luck with that asking, politely, without threating or blustering, for them to help you with that. I don’t know if they will or not; but looking at it from a “non-hostile” perspective is likely to be more productive than blustering about it on a public forum.

“Hostage” implies that they expect or desire something from you in order to “release” the data, and that does not appear to be the case here.

I’ve already discussed the short-sightedness of not backing up any files and “precious” databases" that were important to you; they must not have been very important or precious, or you would never have placed your only copies of same to a $10.00 a month shared-server webhosting account. That’s almost as ignorant as not backing up important data from your own hard drive. :wink:

They haven’t “accused” you; they refused to do business with you -and they refunded your money. Now you are just looking foolish. Call a lawyer, and pay some money, to have him/her explain the TOS to which you agreed (since you don’t seem to understand it at all).

Try to find a “cheap one” to minimize the amount of money you will have to spend to learn that you have no hope of recovering from DreamHost via a lawsuit over them terminating your account and/or not providing you continued access to their servers.

Hey, who knows? Maybe they will! :slight_smile: Dreamhost has exhibited an amazing amount of patience in dealing with people with no clue. They are lot more tolerant than I would be.

Once you published this kind of nonsense in a public forum because you got impatient with not having all your inquiries handled at the speed you would have liked after I had explained to you why I terminated your account and refunded your money, I’d be sooo done with you.

DreamHost, on the other hand, generally bends over backwards trying to help the ignorant, and they even tolerate the mean-spirited rather well - so you may still have a shot! You ought to just explain that you foolishly did not back up your data, and that it is really important to you, and beg them to tarball it up for you. :wink:

Using your “student” status to get yourself some basic training on resolving business problems might also be a good idea. Good luck - I hope that you are able to salvage your project…and that you learn something from all this.


Could be! However, just because they have not answered you , again, doesn’t necessarily mean they are ignoring you.

I suspect that “tech support” isn’t dealing with your issue at all- rather the Abuse Department (which is where “Karl” works) is likely handling it.


Hi! I am not yet client to DH. Is good for me to read about problems and solutions concerning DH. Your post let me think that DH has a bad communication. It’s really so? If a user ask (politly) a question, how long does he has to wait for the answer?


apparently, some of you aren’t taking in the point that I didn’t really do much with my account at all yet… unless the joomla and wordpress in the one click installs are illegal, i don’t think i did anything illegal.

I am not a customer of DH yet too but trust me I think their support is awesome

They reply to me in seconds

If you have more than one account, you are in violation of the TOS. Did you have more than one account? If you did, you would have had to lie about certain details in order to get a second account, which is where the fraud bit comes in.

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the point is i only have 1 account and i did not violate the tos in any way at all… the fella whom i used his promo code violated the tos by setting up a web proxy and somehow dreamhost dragged me down in it…

Hmmm. Perhaps DreamHost thinks that you are the owner of the account with the proxy and the promo code, and you signed up for a second account using your own promo code. Do you know if your account details could give them any reason to suspect this?

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ding ding ding!

I think this is a good theory to go on for the investigation of your problems.

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If the original person was running proxies and you signed up with it, it shouldn’t affect you unless they have the reason to believe you are both the same.

Speaking from my personal experience, I love DH. The support has been excellent and I have never had a complaint.

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hmmm…sounds to me like they think you are the same person…

Almost like they suspect that you used one of your own promo codes to create a new account after your original account got suspended.

I wonder what makes them think that?


It is not like what you think. DH support is really helpful. I asked some general questions before and they replied within half a day.

However, for some other questions like what this thread is discussing, it may take more time for DH support to give an answer.

Generally speaking, DH support is fast and helpful.

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Just a reminder from DreamHost Abuse -

We are not part of DreamHost technical support - we’re our own ‘team’, and only a handful of the tasks that we handle are shared between us and TS. While we also endeavor to get back to people in a timely fashion, odds are pretty good that we won’t do it as quickly as TS will. Also, due to the nature of what we do, we generally do not provide call-backs (our policy is to have a written record of all correspondence).

In any case, it appears that I did not handle this particular case myself, but I can say that we do regularly disable what appear to be pretty clear cases of fraud. Either it’s people signing themselves up for multiple accounts (often using a promo code to ‘refer’ themselves), using a stolen credit card number, using bogus contact information, etc.

From time to time we disable someone we probably shouldn’t have, but the vast majority of the time someone is indeed trying to abuse our services in some way or engaging in fraud.

If someone feels that this is not the case, contact us and explain why you feel that the disablement was incorrect. Don’t yell, threaten, etc. Invoking threats of legal action or “spreading the word” certainly won’t help, either. If we’ve made a mistake we’ll do what we can to clear it up, but when an account is disabled on two separate occasions for apparent fraud we are going to be a bit suspicious - and are going to need pretty good reason to re-enable it.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

just to clarify, this deleting of account, did it have anything to do with the fact that this user was running a joomla CMS.
this is the CMS that i use and i’m not good at backing things up. i’m looking to switch my hosting today and would be appreciate it if any one could put my mind at rest.