Caveat Emptor Testimonial

First, let me say I intend this post as informational testimonial, it chronicals my unique experience and is in no way intended imply that everyone out there will have the same DreamHost experience. I will not reply to any posts left in response to this.I do not hate DreamHost and regret to be leaving after years of great service.

Here’s my experience with DreamHost. I have been a member for three years despit my new user tag and until just this last month the service has been great, great, great.

I wouldn’t be leaving after three years just becasue of a single outtage, however my most recent interactions with it’s customer and technical support systems have been so awful that I decided to leave. Here’s why (an actual log my requests and DH responses in date order):

Message from me(Mar 17th, 2005 - 14:07:59 / #995346)
delayed email delivery

I had reports that I people have been sending me emails over the last three days that tdon’t show up in my Inbox. Also, I have received other emails today that were sent 2-3days ago. other emails have ome through to me just fine and in an timely fashion. The slow/no show emails have been from a variety of addresses and domians. I have also been checking my webmail account and the slow/no show email problem is idenitical there so I doubt it is my client. Any idea of what is going on?

No DH response ever recieved to this message #995346

Message from me (Mar 18th, 2005 - 11:39:41 / #995943)
No response to Support Request #995346

I sent a request to support. The ID #995346. I have been experience of two to three days in delivery of email to my account which is a big problem as I a missing messages that are tme sensitive. I have had no response from support. Please address my concern immediately.


No DH response ever recieved to this message #995949

Message from me(Mar 18th, 2005 - 14:14:10 / #996095)
See Support Request #995346

I finally found an announcment about why I"m not getting most of my email on

"Email not being delivered for some customers!

  • The mail machines for one of our clusters has been queueing mail internally instead of delivering it. This is due to a misconfiguration.
  • We’re reconfiguring the servers and mail should be delivered soon!
    Last Updated: Thursday, 17-Mar-2005 09:20:28 PST"

This was the only place I found this announcment – why was no
announcment posted in the announcments panel?!? This kind of major outage should be announced on the panel. It might have helped reduce the number of unneeded support requests you received over the past two days about failure to recieve email and eased user frustration. Additionally it would allow people to make other arrangments to receive emails before they’ve lost too much time and already missed client emails. Your site directs people to use the page only when the panel is not accessible, so I am sure a lot of people wouldn’t have thought to look there. Also it seems like this should count as an outage in service on the status page (the other place people look first when there is a problem).

The last time you upated this rather serious announcment was over 24 hours ago, and the annoucement says mail should be delivered “soon”, soon is not much of an ETA especially if soon is not within 24 hours. When do you anticipate having this problem solved?

With any hosting, people expect outages and occasional down time. This only becomes a big deal when the hosting services don’t ensure that customers know what’s going on and keep them updated on the status of the problem.


Reply written by hawknet(DH) (Mar 18th, 2005 - 15:21:23 / #4216135)
Re: See Support Request #995346


I’m really sorry about the email outtage. It is true we should have
probably announced this is a more widespread fashion, it seems out mail team was so busy working on the problem they forgot to post an
announcment about it!

I will let them know of your suggestion in case this happens in the


Message from me (Mar 18th, 2005 - 15:38:24 / #996161)
Re: See Support Request #995346

When do you anticipate this email problem will be solved?


PS It’s not too late to send an announcement especially since service is still down.

Reply written by treykaiser(DH) (Mar 19th, 2005 - 12:58:37 / #4226442)
Re: See Support Request #995346


We are working as quickly as possible on a resolution. We reget any
delays this may have caused you. We will send out an announcement once everything is back to 100%. We thank you for hosting with Dreamhost.


Message from lebasi (Mar 20th, 2005 - 13:46:29 / #996924)
See Support Request #995346 & #4226442

In response to my request to know when my email srevice would be restored I got the following very polite but utterly unhelpful response. Honestly I expect more than an apology when I request information about an outage that has been going on for four days.

I have used Dream Host for 3 years and this is the first time I received such poor service (from your initial failure to post notice of this problem in the announcments panel to failing to update users on the status of an unresolved problem even once in four days). The problem appears not only to be one of technical services but customer service. I understand your technical service people are busy trying to fix this and other real issues, but it doesn’t take a tech to post an announcment or send an email - that’s a customer service
failure. This customer service failure only increases your customers’
frustrations with the slowness/failure of technical service.

I am currently investigating the reviews and rating of other hosting companies as a result of my frustration not with the outtage but the way it has been handled and the many similar complaints I found in your support forums while I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my email in the first place. If this problem isn’t resolved by Monday, I really will have to seek other hosting solutions. In the meantime, I really would appreciate it if someone would provide me some meaningful information about the source of the problem and
when it is actually expected to resolved.


No DH response ever recieved to this message #996924

Message from me (Mar 21st, 2005 - 14:12:14 / #997596)
Missing incoming emails

Your emergency status page says that all email services are up and running but I am still missing a fair number of emails that I were sent to me in the last five days. What happened to the emails that i should have received when the server was misconfigured?

for reference see Support Request #995346 & #4226442 and the still open and un-answered #996924.

No DH response ever recieved to this message #997596

Message from me (Mar 21st, 2005 - 14:20:12 / #997605)
transfer site FROM DH to another host

Given the recent problems I have had with Dream Host I have decided to use another host. I looked around the knowledge base for info on how to smoothly transfer my site contents and domain registration from Dream Host to another provider but only found information about going the other wya. Please let me know what steps I need to take on this end to transfer hosting to my new provider.


Reply written by treykaiser (Mar 21st, 2005 - 15:55:46 / #4234557)
Re: transfer site FROM DH to another host


We regret to hear that you will be leaving us after 3 years. Here are thesteps to smoothly transition away from Dreamhost. If theres anyway wecan help you to decide to stay with Dreamhost let us know. We will need one last confirmation from you that you really want to leave the best priced Webhosting provider.

Steps to backup(to leave dreamhost or just to backup your own data for safety purposes)

  1. Use an FTP client to download all the files on your ftp area of the
    website. The MAILDIR will contain your email as well.

  2. Use the phpadmin of your mysql databases(if you have them) to performa DUMP function into your local drive.

  3. If you need additional backups we have hourly, daily and weekly
    backups inside the “.snapshot” of your FTP and SHELL folder.

This would give you backups of everything. We again hope you would


Message from me (Mar 21st, 2005 - 17:03:47 / #997728)
Re: transfer site FROM DH to another host

Hi Trey,
I have noted that my other support request emails have been closed. Even though my questions weren’t answered. It seems to be another indication of less than adequate customer service that support requests are closed w/o being answered, and does not encourage me to stay with DH.

Specifically, I need an answer to #997596 about my missing emails - it is very important that I get all the email that was sent to me during the past few days and I know for a fact that I haven’t (I sent myself a few test emails and have never gotten them). Please advise when and how this will happen.

Additionally, I also asked in #997605 what I needed to do to insure that mydomain registration would be transferred w/o a hitch, please advise.


No DH response ever recieved to this message #997728

Message from lebasi (Mar 22nd, 2005 - 11:35:17 / #998206)
Fed Up Completely!

Given the absolutely lousy service I have received over the last week, I have decided to use another host and transfer my domain registration from dreamhost. When I go to the registration panel it tells me that my domain is not registered with Dream Host. I know that it is! When I do a who is on my domain at , it confirms that my domain is registered to New Dream Network LLC,, 213-947-1032 (a phone
number that gets you nowhere) – that’s you guys. All I want to do is to get off dreamhost as quickly as possibly! I can’t do that w/o being able to point to correct DNS with my domain registrar or being able to tranfer my registration. Now because of poor record keeping and/or web panel problems, I can’t even leave. So now I have rely on this support sysytem that has proved patently unreliable to help me leave.

I beg of you, please help me this one last time and you won’t have to worry about any more of my open requests in your cue.


Reply written by hawknet (Mar 22nd, 2005 - 12:12:15 / #4237770)
Re: Fed Up Completely!


I’m sorry for the troubles, I went ahead and added your domain
registration to your account. It seems as though you registered the
domain in our old system and it did not transfer properly to the new one.
You can now modify it via our web panel:

If you still need the call back please let us know. I’m sorry you did not
like our service.


Do what you will with this info, I personally like a little more service in my customer service. And I was appalled by the number of times my requests went not only unanswered but were deleted (kicked out of the open request cue) to boot as if they had actually been addressed.

oh and one more note: my incoming email is still not 100% up despite the fact that systems staus emergency page reports that all sysytems are a go! So I am up to 6 days without reliable email and few answers.

BTW, good luck getting the registration from dreamhost, Ive been trying for 2 weeks. The latest info is they have it registrar locked, and wont release it, or reply to my support request (7 hours).

If you haven’t found a new host PM me and I will recomend my new host (free of affiliate links just so there isnt any conflict of interest).


Dreamhost Hosting - Last one out, turn off the lights. Alternative.

i feel your pain, haha…btw, i thought you were only going to post one thing ;p

good luck…btw, dude, is that you? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

seriously, I hope your new hosting service does better by you :slight_smile:


yikes, there’s more than a few spooky points in there. Hope you get things taken care of ASAP and back to good times.


I agree the support responses you got were not that helpful. All of your support messages were actually responded to relatively quickly but the questions themselves were not all addressed. I brought this particular case up with our head of support and he is advising our team on how to better handle cases like this one.

The email issues we had last week have been resolved and were resolved relatively quickly. If you are still missing emails there may be another problem specifically affecting your account. My own personal email was affected by the same problem your email was and I got all of my missing emails within a day or so of the original problem. They were all queued up on one of our servers and had to be processed.

I apologize for the lack of detail in the support responses you received. Email is a complex problem and it is not always immediately apparent what the root of a particular problem is.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Honcho

I actually looked into your situation after seeing several of your posts here and I can assure you we are not doing anything to obstruct the transfer of your domain. A domain you register is your property and we do what we can to assist you in whatever you want to do with it, including transferring it to another registrar.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Honcho

My experience is that DreamHost will hinder, obstruct and stymie any transfer of domain names.

Buyer Beware:

Pirates operate the Good Ship DreamHost.
You have been warned.

My experience with DreamHost has been excellent. There was one instance where my site was down for about three hours, but that was due to the failure of the main router, and hardware failures cannot be predicted.
I don’t work here. I’m just your typical support forum volunteer.

<My experience with DreamHost has been excellent. There was one instance where my site was down for about three hours, but that was due to the failure of the main router, and hardware failures cannot be predicted.>

Triple redundancy anyone? ;p


I don’t see how triple redundancy could help them predict hardware failures.
I don’t work here. I’m just your typical support forum volunteer.

<I don’t see how triple redundancy could help them predict hardware failures.>

im not talking about predicting as much as preventing :wink:


I think he was talking about redundancy preventing downtime, like with a redundant power supply. One PSU goes poof, the other one keeps chugging.

Of course this is a router we’re talking here. But even then there should be redundancy so that downtime would be minimized. Internet was designed to route around problems.

yeah, that’s why the entire internet didn’t go down. :slight_smile:
just one part of our dear DH


Multihoming is your friend :stuck_out_tongue: