Can't seem to get a response from support. Any suggestions for an alternative host?

I host multimedia content on one of my sites. Right now it is about 140GB. Randomly, after renewing, I get automated messages saying it is in violation of their policy as it looks like I am using my hosting for backing up my data. This is annoying as all of the data is publicly viewable and it setup for those who attend these events to see the recordings taken at them. In the past a quick email reply and support confirmed that my site was not in violation and all was fine. This time, which of course occurred right after renewing for another year, I can’t seem to get any help. The warning gave me 1 week before my data would be wiped out, effectively killing the site. I just received my final warning and that time limit is up in less than 24 hours. I replied to the first notice in under an hour and sent a followup a few days later, followed by a chat session the day after. Chat said they can’t do anything and an admin would contact me. 12 hours later I did finally get a reply asking for me to explain my site and give details about the use. A quick look at the directory would have shown them that there is an index file right there and they could have simply gone to the site and seen the answer, but I replied and gave them URLs to look at as well as describing the site. That was 24 hours ago and all I’ve gotten is the normal ‘you will get a reply within 24 hours’ and final notice emails. At this point I’m expecting the automated system to wipe my data before I actually get any kind of reply and so would like to start looking for an alternative host. I can accept them using automated tools to flag up things to look at, but they should really have someone verify that there is an issue before harassing their customers and they should especially have someone ready to respond within the time limit they set!

Thanks for any suggestions.

Your post is not the first one recently on this subject, but these recent posts collectively are the first posts I’ve seen on the subject since I started reading this forum 5 years ago.

I wonder if there has been a change in policy, or just a change in enforcement? I also wonder who you have to convince and what if any appeals process exists.

It’s a very interesting question. I’ve long felt that Dreamhost’s “unlimited webhosting space” policy will turn out to be untenable when a more substantial number of customers start doing what you are doing. Their current let-out (“not for archive/backup”) will not allow them to honestly exclude customers such as you, unless they start telling a much better story about what they mean by “archive”.

They could perhaps argue, for example, that your website is really a front-end to a large archive of multimedia material.

But such arguments will always be a matter for judgement-calls on a case-by-case basis. That is a really unsatisfactory way of running a webhosting business.

Far better, I think, would be to abandon the “unlimited” nonsense and institute a fixed limit of say 100GB or 200GB.

I have 2 main issues with the way this has been handled. 1st is that they ran this automated scan right after I had paid for another year, rather than before. This means I’ll have to go through trying to get a refund if I end up having to switch to another host, rather than if it had been done before when I could have switched and not renewed. They did this before and it is always right after paying. The 2nd issue is the lack of response from support. I did get another reply telling me that this had been moved to level 2 support and they have not deleted anything as far as I can tell, but I’m still waiting in limbo on this. I have hunted around and found a few alternatives that look to offer the same options and are similarly priced, but have to decide if the effort of switching all of my sites and email over is worth it. How they finally respond will certainly be a major factor.

I can agree that unlimited plans can be unsustainable if pushed, though data storage doesn’t cost as much as it used to. I work in web development and know the costs of maintaining servers. If they can no longer offer unlimited, then they will need to update their plans and give advanced notice to customers. First, preventing any new plans from being setup with unlimited and then working to get any existing customers to switch as their current plans expire.

Hi there!

Thanks for the report. I’ve consulted with a support lead, and we can extend the deadline on it for the time being, and manually review your data again. I’m sorry for the wait; we’ve been a little backed up on those situations.

My support lead is reviewing your open tickets now, so he can unflag your directories once we confirm it’s all for live site content. This is not a change in policy, but yes – we are just trying to enforce it a little more these days to keep our shared servers running smoothly for everyone.

Multimedia is of course allowed, and we do still provide “unlimited” storage for data tied directly to live site content (for sites hosted from the DreamHost account).