Account Suspended... No Response From Support

Let me first start by saying that we have been a pretty happy DreamHost customer for almost 4 years now. Sure there have growing pains and some issues, but support has, until now, always been very helpful.

I know this is not generally the place to get help from support, but I thought it might be a little extra kick and some of you might like to hear about the absurdness that is happening.

Here is the issue…

We are television company that produces several shows for cable, namely SPEED. We had a new show airing July 13th, so we sent out a press release to a several of our clients and contacts within the industry on July 11th. On July 12th one of these contacts sent an email to their list of “Opt-in” subscribers telling them of our show and giving a link our website.

Apparently, this email, from a 3rd party to their list of subscribers, was flagged/reported a spam. And because this email was promoting our show and website, we got attached to it in the eyes of DreamHost.

At this point, there were apparently a few emails sent from support asking about it. I say apparently because, I never saw these. I’m not saying they weren’t sent, I’m just saying I never saw them. Maybe they got filter into spam, mis-routed, bounced, etc.

According to DreamHost, because there was no response from us to the inquiry I never saw, they suspended our account on July 20th.

“…had we not disabled your account, it’s likely we never
would have received a response from you on the matter.”

So after figuring out our account was suspended and finally why, I explained that the “email in question” was from a 3rd party promoting our show, etc. To which I was prompted with more questions on our relationship with this 3rd party and why they are promoting our website.

“Their email was sent in promotion of your website and for seemingly no other purpose. Can you be a bit more explicit as to why they are promoting your website?”

Is this not the age we live in… using the web to promote the web?

It has now been 1 1/2 days that our account has been suspended and 18 hours since I’ve been able to get any sort of a response from support.

Maybe it’s just me, but this whole situation is just absurd. Account suspended because of an email a 3rd party sent promoting our website and basically no help from support whatsoever.

You indicate that you’re with a television company that is producing several shows for a cable network channel that has distribution in more than one country, with some extremely recognizeable program titles. Assuming that this is true, you would be doing yourself an enormous favor to reconsider using a shared web host. The fact that a single complaint could get your account disabled is indicative of this.

The thought that emails sent from are being routed to a spam folder after 4 years as a customer is pretty odd. Especially considering that this is the same email address they use to send confirmation of domain changes, application installs, and other account specific communications.

You mention that your promo email was forwarded by a 3rd-party to a list of their opt-in clients. Are you hosting them? Do they use Dreamhost’s mailservers? Your OP reads like the only connection to your company is the link to your website.

I’ve been with Dreamhost for 5 years and have had the misfortune of someone sending Cialis and Viagra emails as if they were from me by spoofing my email address. There has never been a problem that wasn’t quickly resolved through a little communication with Dreamhost though. It is extremely difficult to imagine that there is not something missing here. Are you leaving something out?

We’ve had something along the same lines. A client of ours has us hosting a registration page for an event they are holding. They send out an email to an opted-in list (through their own service and accounts) and link to the page we host for them. The page itself is not about us, nor any of our services, it’s just hosted on our Dreamhost account.

This is considered a violation because our domain “was advertised” in the email sent by a third party to their opt-in list.

I think the sticky issue here is that this client of ours, it turns out, does not double-opt in to the list they mailed. We’re offering to move anything involved with this client elsewhere, so I hope Dreamhost will cut us a break on what seems like a grey area here.

One would think it’s a case of over-policing on the face of it, but perhaps the concern is that someone might be using one company in order to spam advertise for another. If the spammer gets caught it and burned the other continues to function with apparent clean hands, even tho it was the sole beneficiary of the spam. I’m not suggesting your company employs such practices by any means and I sincerely hope your current situation is resolved poste haste considering you’re simply an innocent bystander in all this.

Are you aware how the opt-in advertising was initially earmarked as spam?

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