Dear Simon Anderson - Service is Shocking


#1

I hope Dreamhost respects that i’m posting this here and not elsewhere on the web. One of my greatest wishes is that Dreamhost would return to the company i used to recommend and boast about. A 5-week problem that has hurt me badly kept on today with new errors. New problem in the mix is that i’m not even receiving the automatic acknowledgements of my complaints anymore. Not least to mention that Dreahost closed the ticket

When shit goes wrong with Dreamhost hosting, you’ve got to ask for help, then beg for it, then curse them and if all else fails, threaten them. Sometimes, when all 4 steps fail, you can only wonder if Dreamhost is the Devil punishing you for the once-upon-a-time when you were a believer in good service and people who gave a damn…err…blessing.

When Dreamhost says, “Let us assure you that you’re not on your own!” they mean, “You are David Bowie in Space Oddity and we couldn’t care less as you drift helplessly into the darkness of the internet.”

“This is Major Tom, Dreamhost. My battery is about to die. I’m trying one last time in the hope you will find a way to bring me back. If you don’t, i may land up on a planet you one day want to conquer…but i’ll have told them about you and they’ll be ready to say, 'GO AWAY - you will never be our God of Hosting.”

It has been 5 weeks of problems worsening and Dreamhost not listening yet Dreamhost, last week, had the audacity to mark the problem as resolved and send me a service questionnaire. I gave the lowest ratings possible yet the questionnaire was as useless as the service because no one responded with, “We fired the buggers who gave us a bad name and I’m here to help you…and i promise not to leave until your 40+ websites are safe.” In fact, no one responded at all.

I’m at the threatening stage. I am a writer and an activist and if Dreamhost costs me my customers which keeps my charity running i will spend a year collecting complaints and blogging. I do not threaten idly. It took me 2 years to get a corrupt person out of office. I have tenacity when someone does wrong and if i’m in this bad space ship then thousands of others must be too.

Last week, i posted one of the most important articles of my life in an attempt to stop corrupt people in government and big business from planning the next 30 years of my home town. But how could that get the attention it deserves when the website used, www.KnysnaKeep.org, took turns between being slow, super slow and down altogether.

I asked for a supervisor who would stay with me until the problem was fixed. Instead, i got another appy whom i strongly reminded of my request. A supervisor turns up and i ask not to be charged my annual hosting until the problem is resolved. Instead, i’m passed onto the next department and the money is deducted anyway. I ask not to receive a standard hacking email yet that was exactly what i received. Despite other mails, the ticket is closed and i receive the stupid questionaire (stupid because it would suggest that someone, somewhere cares).

Before Dreamhost cut my lifeline, i was told that:

“I noticed some old hung processes on your server. I killed those off and
restarted and now your sites on the shared server seem to be responding
faster.”

We have been dealing with an issue where the current process limit
(FCGID) was causing the Apache web service to become semi-responsive;
sites would become slow or unusable. This was a difficult case to
investigate due to many red herrings and the fact that the web service
would be online, just not fully functional. As of now, we believe we have
found a solution to alleviate this problem by raising the process count
limit, but only to a point where it won’t be adversely affecting server
performance. We’re monitoring this change and we’ve seen better
stability/uptime across our servers.

You cannot blame a lack of a cache plugin on a very small website. You cannot tell me to use shell commands (even if i can’t i find advice on shell commands on your pedia). Don’t tell me that the automatic backups, the (old) files are the problem when the Wordpress edition is only a week old. Don’t tell me it’s TomThumb because all that is up to date.

I say you cannot because this is not about one website. This is about many websites.

I went through this horrible process with Dreamhost last year. In that, the blame was continuously put on me, the customer. You never listened for months before it was discovered there was a virus - not because of shell commands, too many plugins, lack of cache plugin and much more.

You say that there might be a virus on 4 sites but that doesn’t sound like a surety. It’s interesting that new installations of the Bulletproof Security plugin, which i loaded because you recommended it, was targeted by you for 3 out of the 4 problematic sites. Is it really Bulletproof Security (you can say that with certainty) or is it a mistake?

It wasn’t that long ago when i went through 2 months of bad service when switching a site to VPS. I was continually told i needed to upgrade more for a website that was fine on shared hosting which made it clear it was a VPS problem. VPS problem eventually gets sorted “by itself”. This, of course, after i’d been blamed (a disturbing trend).

Help me trust you. There was a time when Dreamhost was amazing. What happened? Who at the top stopped giving a shit or got so greedy so as to overload the servers for quick buck instead of long-time loyalty?

Are you going to help me or are you sending me to hell?

If you choose the latter, start with an intensive scan of all the sites. If a particular example is needed, start with the activism site at KnysnaKeep.org. Other very problematic ones were KnysnaCrimeWatch.co.za, NumNum.co.za, LoveKnysna.com, yachtkairos.com and MichaelConradWood.co.za.

SITE ERRORS
Connection lost. Saving has been disabled until you’re reconnected. We’re backing up this post in your browser, just in case.

An error occurred sending mail: The mail server sent an incorrect greeting

500 errors and 404 errors

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

Hanging badly (that circle on the Tab sometimes doesn’t stop spinning).

Cloudflare error pages blaming the Dreamhostserver.

MTN line test - http://www.pingtest.net/result/85809127.png

DREAM OBJECTS
3 weeks ago, i also queried DreamObjects whose trial run i subscribed to. It was confirmed i was on the trial but your system has no details of it except to tell me it’s time to upgrade. I asked for another trial as it’s obviously essential to see what’s been used so as to know what package to subscribe to. But, alas, no answer.


#2

Sites down again! Still no response (nada, zip, nothing) from Dreamhost).

The above forum post was also a complaint submitted over a day ago. Nada, zip, nothing. Dreamhost doesn’t appear to even exist.


#3

It could be a side-effect of the migration from Debian to Ubuntu (see http://www.dreamhost.com/dreamscape/2013/06/03/change-is-in-the-air-dreamhost-upgrades/). When DH decided to migrate it might have begun to seem rational (from a management point of view) to stop putting much effort into tracking down bugs in pre-migration servers, because in post-migration servers so much will have changed that these bugs could very well not exist. Hence the non-responsiveness to (some) current bug reports.

N.B. this is pure guesswork. It could be worth finding out which distribution of Linux your server is running by doing something like

cat /etc/*-release

#4

Thanks Tom but there’s no joy in the fact that the problem not only remains but Dreamhost has utterly failed to acknowledge my complaints, let alone their delay tactics for the month before that.


#5

I got a non-standard email from Support which i’d love to have cheered for but the overall fact is that Dreamhost pointed at everything else but themselves.
[b]
My response to that has not been responded to in 6 days!

Receiving info of a hack has not had a response in 5 days![/b]

Simon Anderson doesn’t care about his Dreamhost customers otherwise he’d be deeply involved in rectifying the disaster that Support and the overloaded servers have become. Is his leadership the primary problem with Dreamhost?


#6

Come on guys, you’re starting to scare me! I’m still new here in my opinion and you aren’t making things sound very good.


#7

Well what are you worried about? It’s probably better if Dreamhost technical staff use their own judgement about which problems to fix and when, instead of having the CEO breathing down their necks urging them to fix the problems of the customers who shout the loudest.

So this thread may actually be a sign that things are as they should be.


#8

A year and a half of problems. This thread is definitely not the way it’s suppose to be:(

I loved Dreamhost. I just want them to figure out what went wrong and get themselves back to greatness.


#9

Wickedmike,

I’m truly sorry for any further frustration caused here – The support manager you’ve been working with on this support case did send you a response 6 days ago. If you’re unable to find that email OR the follow up that was just sent tonight in your inbox or spam folders, please refer to your support history in the panel and write to us again from there to continue on the existing support history.

I apologize again for any frustration caused – That was definitely not our intention! We very much appreciate your feedback and cooperation.


#10

Apologies. There is an email from Dreamhost although it doesn’t discuss one of my emails. I will respond and seek clarity. Thanks.


#11

8 WEEKS WITH NO SOLUTIONS!

After 2 months, Dreamhost asks: “Please let us know what exactly you’re referring to when you say server side problems.”

This is the problem. I have told you about the server problems. Instead of addressing each query, Dreamhost picks and chooses which to answer and, inevitably, says that there’s nothing wrong with their server and implies that it must be my fault. So many errors can only be Dreamhost’s fault. Even Google emailed me today to yell, “Increase in Server Errors”.

But i did a new round of tests on a few of my domains with the help of several net tools. Note that the majority of the time is spent waiting for the server.

From point 2, for www.loveknysna.com, i derive that i was lied to i.e. RAM allocated less than 94mb /or/ your server is having allocation problems. loveknysna.com is a perfect example of wrong because of it’s enormous fluctuations. At it’s best, it’s loading in 1 second (well designed site) but at its worst it doesn’t load at all.

loveknysna.com

  1. GMetrix First Test:
    Page load time: 1.91s
    Total page size: 647KB
  2. Yet yesterday i received the Wordpress error: Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 94371840 bytes (94mb) exhausted (tried to allocate 82 bytes) in /home/loveknysna/loveknysna.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1551
  3. Pingdom test:
    Page load time: 0.739s
    Total page size: 665kb
  4. Previous errors include:
    a. Content Encoding Error
    b. Connection lost. Saving has been disabled until you’re reconnected. We’re backing up this post in your browser, just in case.
    c. The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression.

kateforbeshealth.com

  1. GMetrix First test gave error: Analysis Error. An error occurred fetching the page: read timeout.
  2. GMetrix 2nd Test timed out
  3. GMetrix Third test:
    Page load time: 3.15s
    Total page size: 471KB
  4. Websitepulse First test:
    Response Time: 31.703 sec
    Connect: 0.010 sec
    Redirect: 0.000 sec
    First byte: 31.392 sec
    Last byte: 0.022 sec
  5. Websitepulse Second test timed out
  6. Pingdom test:

knysnakeep.org

  1. GMetrix First test:
    Page load time: 7.94s
    Total page size: 583KB
  2. Pingdom test:
    Page load time: 10.3s
    Total page size: 596kb
  3. Google Webmaster Tools (received today showing errors for past month):
    a. Increase in Server Errors (server error 9/access denied 3836 errors)
    b. 404 and 500 errors
    c. Googlebot did not crawl your URL because we couldn’t communicate with the DNS server, or because your server had no entry for your site. This could be because the server is down, or because there’s an issue with the DNS routing to your domain

Additionally, on the rare occasion Dreamhost has admitted fault it was said that:

  1. “I noticed some old hung processes on your server. I killed those off and restarted and now your sites on the shared server seem to be responding faster.”

We have been dealing with an issue where the current process limit
(FCGID) was causing the Apache web service to become semi-responsive;
sites would become slow or unusable. This was a difficult case to
investigate due to many red herrings and the fact that the web service
would be online, just not fully functional. As of now, we believe we have
found a solution to alleviate this problem by raising the process count
limit, but only to a point where it won’t be adversely affecting server
performance. We’re monitoring this change and we’ve seen better
stability/uptime across our servers.

This is a nightmare that has damaged my business. You treat me as one more customer to fob off but, to me, this is my life.


#12

STILL NOT BEING HELPED! Many queries ignored.

4 sites transferred to VPS as test and shows that little memory being used which adds weight to earlier assertion that Dreamhost has dropped shared hosting RAM to as little as 90mb.