Dreamhost accountability campaign


#1

Dreamhost accountability campaign:

I assume Dreamhost spreads its users across servers evenly. So, I also assume that when new people sign up, they’re put on the same mail servers as people that have been here a while. I think it’s time for segregation.

I propose (and have proposed to be included in the suggestions, so vote for it when listed) that Dreamhost reserves a mail server or servers for customers that have proven themselves not to be spamers. This server would sit on a reserved and real IP so that mail sent to providers such as AOL (especially AOL) and Hotmail are not blocked and delayed. I understand that AOL frequently blocks some of Dreamhost’s mail servers because they receive spam from one domain on the whole server. They just block the whole server. While this doesn’t seem fair, it makes sense. If a server is sending spam, it’s the server owners responsibility to shut it down. Unfortunately, this hurts the majority of us in the short and long run. Dreamhost, don’t make the loyal and TOS abiding customers take a hit because of unproven and rule breaking users. Reward the good guys by letting us use what will hereby be know as the clean server! Free us, and quarantine the others.

I am positive this would help to solve the recent flight of loyal customer problem of late.

I also propose (https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=home.sugg&current_step=Index&next_step=DoVote&sid=760&&voted=1) for the users, the lifeblood of Dreamhost, to push for greater accountability. Dreamhost is one hell of a service. Clearly, people love you guys. But I also know that people are walking. And they’re walking because they’re frustrated. And I’m frustrated too.

The one thing, the single one thing that would be universally accepted and hailed would be if you talked to us about the development side of your business. There’s the blog, but I feel safe saying it is not what the customers really want. They don’t enjoy you touting record earnings and profits when the emails out. Or a server breaks.

What we want is a roadmap. Talk to us like the fellow developers we are. Tell us what’s in the works, and tell us more than “it’s coming.” After all, logging in with name@domain.com has been coming for years and years. It’s time to give us something concrete. We wont care if things are harder to implement than you thought. It’s even ok to break your roadmap (not too much though). But having one, and letting your trusted customers participate, by helping you to help yourself, that’s all we want.

I’ve decided to walk from Dreamhost several times. I’ve done it a couple times too. But I’ve come back, not because you’re better than the rest–because, no, we know that’s not true when the mail breaks. I’ve come back because of the potential of the place. There’s a relationship that’s good. It’s not good enough. But it’s almost great.

And I think it’s our job, fellow Dreamhost customers, to kick them in the ass. If we can be tough, but fair and realistic, and hold Dreamhost to their word (and kick them in the ass), then I think we’ll truly have something.

So join me by lacing up that size 11.

Michael De Soto


#2

I don’t see any complaints that don’t apply to all other shared hosts–and most of the others either charge more, offer less, or haven’t been around long enough to trust they’ll be there tomorrow.

Even if you put people that haven’t spammed yet on one server, you better make sure that the accounts are only allowed static HTML, because one script exploit can turn any account into a spam fountain.

What’s important is that DH doesn’t seem to have a spam problem (http://www.spamhaus.org/sbl/listings.lasso?isp=dreamhost.com). If DH didn’t handle spam, you’d have people blacklisting ALL of their servers–even if they didn’t send the actual spam.

Anyway, the best solution is get a dedicated server. That is the only way to guarantee that you’re not affected by other users. Anything mission-critical should be on one (or several) anyway.

To address a few specific points:

People are walking from all hosts, regardless of how great they are. But considering that Dreamhost is one of the biggest, I’d say more people are walking to DH than from it.

Who’s we? We’re customers before anything else, even if a few happen to be developers. Besides, they already listen, which is more important than talking. I, as well as many others, have made suggestions that became a reality.

So, other hosts are better, but have no potential, so you come back to in inferior host that might have potential? BS.

If potential is more important to you than reliable service, I don’t see what you’re complaining about.

Sorry, but when I read stuff like that, I just hear, “I can’t cry loud enough by myself, so everyone should cry with me.” The reality of it is that our only “job” is to pay our hosting bill and follow their TOS.

There’s not a problem you can point out that DH isn’t already aware of. Getting a bunch of people to whine and complain does nothing but waste DH time that could be better spent doing something else.

Also, I see you just registered last month. Why haven’t you been here all along helping out your fellow DH’ers that you care so much about? Maybe offering guidance to the new users that can’t find their way around yet? Truly helpful people don’t just show up when they have something to whine about.

It’s just rare that you see someone trying to form a gang to say something loudly, that has anything worth saying at all.

Not to mention, your idea wouldn’t even do anything except waste time, so it isn’t even worth one person suggesting it, let alone a group. If someone spams on purpose, they’re gone–problem solved. If it’s a script exploit, it’s caught and stopped–problem solved. If it’s a software problem with a specific server, then it has nothing to do with who’s on that server.


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#3

I’ve been with Dreamhost for more than a year, so I’ve been around long enough to know what are and what are not temporary problems. But that wasn’t the point of my writing.

I think you need to read into the context of the post, more than the solutions I suggest. I think a lot of people like complaining, and I was complaining, but I’m not unreasonable. I’m also not an answer man. However, I wouldn’t be cavalier and dismiss my points with a stroke of your hand, if I were you. Because this begins the single-minded backbiting that occurs in most of the ragging and defending of Dreamhost.

The customers of Dreamhost are more than people holding out their credit cards and waiting for them to be swiped. That’s what the rest of the shared hosting world is like. For eight years Dreamhost has made a name for itself by being different and recognizing that single fact. Sometimes, it helps for them to be reminded of it.

And so the answer isn’t: “Tough. Go get a dedicated server if you don’t like things” either. That’s the wrong approach to take. If you don’t see this seiler, then fine. I’m not attempting to draw a line, or start a rebellion. That’s for people like you to do, because surely you are wiser than I.

But from what I read on these boards, there are many people that like these Dreamhost guys, and yet, are frustrated to no end. And to lose these people–that truly would be the real waste of time.


#4

It wouldn’t work. I’ve never sent any spam in my life, but it is perfectly conceivable that some malignant scumbag may figure out a way to seize control of my account or my computer and use them for spamming. It can happen to anybody.


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#5

I didn’t say that people don’t like complaining–just that complaining doesn’t fix anything. Especially when you’re whining about problems that they’re already aware of.

What context of your post should I read into? It was a whole page that basically said everyone should “Kick Dreamhost in the ass” over an issue you have with them. An issue that they’re already aware of.

Really? Assuming that your rant/movement to approach Dreamhost was step two of a “Dreamhost accountability campaign” process, wouldn’t having an answer, or at least something that resembles an idea, be step one? If not, how is that not just pointless whining and crying?

Name a mail problem that you know of that Dreamhost doesn’t. Do you really think that the ones they already know of will become more important with a little background crying?

They definitely know their stuff and I’d have a hard time believing that they’re not working on it. What more can they do? Would you rather they kept at it, or took a break to read a bunch of identical complaints about the same problem?

What points did you make?

I don’t whine about DH, or claim that they’re perfect. ALL shared hosts have problems, but with DH, the good far outweighs the bad.

They’re here to buy what Dreamhost is selling, whether it’s perfect or not. The features and upgrades are nice, and so is the personal touch they put on it, but when you put everything together… it’s what they’re selling.

They are different, but some of those differences are nothing more than obscene amounts of disk space, bandwidth and crazy sales.

And those differences that make them so great, are also what floods them with sign-ups, which leads to the growing pains that cause some of the problems that people complain about.

Actually, when it comes to anything that can be affected by other users, that IS the correct answer. This is common sense. It’s also the reason why people other than datacenters and big hosting companies have dedicated servers.

I’d also say that you’re not even close to being qualified to determine a right or wrong answer, considering that your answer was “segregation.” Painting the servers a different color would accomplish as much as your suggestion, so maybe you can make a new coat of paint phase 2 of your “Kick DH in the ass” campaign. If that doesn’t work, I say we all stand on the lawn in front of the datacenter and cry through megaphones.

This forum represents a tiny percentage of DH customers–and only a tiny percentage of the tiny percentage is complaining about anything. They host over 200,000 domains. Go count the number of people that are complaining and compare it to that number. I’m sure it will be an alarming percentage that will surely warrant your cute little campaign idea.

Anyone that’s not stupid would also know that bad news travels faster than good news. And since I just said, now you know it, too.


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#6

I don’t know how I missed this little trick.

Let people decide what they want to spend their votes on, instead of tricking them with a link that will automatically place a vote for your suggestion if they’re logged in. Maybe you’re stupid, but I’m pretty sure that the rest of us are smart enough to find the suggestions page and click the vote button by ourselves.

That’s the same type of deception the scumbag spammers you like to cry about use. I already voted against it, to help make up for anyone that didn’t catch the “voted=1” in the URL.

When I was done doing that, I sent in my own suggestion about how they should secure the suggestion area with post variables, or at least require a LoggedInUser=WhoEver for any part of the panel where a change can be made.

Now, when you come back with something stupid like, “Gee, that was a mistake, I had no idea…” let me just go ahead address that now:

So, you’re too stupid to link someone to a web page, but you’re smart enough to come here and tell everyone what they should be concerned with, point out where Dreamhost needs to improve and try to convince us that we should stand behind the garbage you’re spewing?

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, so I’ll leave it up to you to let us know whether it was deception or stupidity.


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#7

Okay. Clearly this is a case of attacking the messenger, not refining the message, which is what I hope would be the outcome of all this. Maybe I shouldn’t have said ‘ass.’

Again, I’m not claming to have any answers. But I’d like a way to know that the problems are being talked about. It’s not good enough for me to know that they should know about problems and therefore they’re working on them.

But, in any case, you’re completely right. No one wants to read this filth. Therefore I retract my statements. From this point on, I’ll leave you here to be the voice of reason.


#8

Wrong again. I’m not attacking you… I’m just attacking the stupidity of everything you type. Taking “ass” out of your post wouldn’t have made it any less stupid.

If you want someone to refine your message, come up with a message that’s worth refining, then ask for help instead of trying to pass yourself off as a smart person lecturing the uninformed. Lose the sales pitch and just say something worth saying.

Yeah, your lack of answers gave that one away.

Do you think they talk about the problems because they ran out of things to talk about? Or do you think that maybe talking about them is part of the process?

Since when does DH have to run things by you, anyway? You don’t even seem to get how things work in the first place, so what were you even hoping to hear?

Next time you realize that people don’t want to read trash, try realizing it before you post it.

The “wiser than I” crack didn’t make you seem any smarter and neither does this one.

Retracting stupid statements is a good first step. Next, work on not saying them in the first place.

I see you haven’t responded to whether or not that link was the result of dishonesty or stupidity. Is it safe to assume that it’s a little of both, or are you still working on your answer?


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#9

On the email server idea, it’s got one major shortcoming. When AOL blocks a server, it doesn’t block just one IP, but often the entire block if it’s owned by the same company. A friend of mine owns an ISP & web hosting business. One person on dialup got their message reported as spam at AOL and all of their customers could no longer send to AOL.

And it’s DH’s job to provide the services they agreed to when we signed up. When they go and limit our outgoing email from [undefined] to 200/hr without telling us - or even renegotiating the original agreement - they are violating their TOS. When I signed up, there was nothing in the agreement which allowed them to change there TOS without my consent. However, they’ve done this quite a few times.


#10

When they go and limit our outgoing email from [undefined] to 200/hr without telling us - or even renegotiating the original agreement - they are violating their TOS. When I signed up, there was nothing in the agreement which allowed them to change there TOS without my consent.

Where do you see detailed descriptions of any technical issues discussed in their service agreement? If they don’t say anything about it at all, they can’t be accused of “violating their TOS” when they make changes.

Any ISP will have to make technical changes frequently to deal with changing circumstances (server load, number of customers, spam, etc). You could argue that they should have notified people of this change – I don’t have a problem with that – but to accuse them of “violating their TOS” is just silly.


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#11

AOL isn’t perfect, but they are pretty reasonable, and they do publish information about their blocking policies and make their postmaster team available for those who have problems. That’s a lot better than you can say for most other big ISPs. They do some pretty aggressive filtering, and given their size (and their largely clueless user base), I think they do pretty well.

And anyway, DH’s rate-limiting mail on user machines HELPS rather than hurts the liklihood of you being able to deliver mail to AOL.

Where in the TOS does it say that they will let you send > 200 messages/hr? Where in the TOS does it say they will let you send ANY messages per hour? I’d say the TOS gives them a pretty broad degree of latitude in terms of what’s allowed and what’s not.

Not only that, but all versions of the TOS that I can remember have said that newer versions will supercede the old version. This clause hasn’t changed since 1998:

http://web.archive.org/web/19980513082408/http://dreamhost.com/terms.html
"Revisions to this Contract will be applicable to previous Contracts

Revisions will be considered agreed to by the Customer on renewal of service as specified in Section - Financial Arrangements. "

I guess you could argue that any changes might not be applicable until you renew the service. But yes, there was something in the agreement when you signed up permitting them to change the TOS without notice.


#12

I think the point De Sosto was making (albeit badly) was that Dreamhost is suffering growing pains. I’ve been with Dreamhost for 3 years now, and I go out of my way to recommend people to them, and especially my clients (I own a web design company).

Dreamhost has implemented several great suggestions, I love that they listen to their customers, at least where new features are concerned.

Now having said that, reliability and customer support quality HAS gone down some. Not enough to make me consider leaving, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat frustrated.

I was actually on here looking to see if anyone has been having the same problem I am…I’ve created several databases the last few days and instead of taking 5-10 minutes to propogate, it’s taking over 12 HOURS. I’ve got a client who’s going live and is waiting to migrate their db. When Dreamhost’s growing pains impact my business and timelines I’m giving clients, I tend to get annoyed.

Now granted, I realize that the servers are probably getting hammered right now with everyone creating new dbs to get on MySql 5.0. I don’t expect Dreamhost to “pass everything by me,” but knowing about issues that will affect service seems reasonable. Communication is KEY.

Also, I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve contacted support (which isn’t very often, mind you…maybe once every several months), I’ve noticed they aren’t as helpful as they used to be. Quick and helpful customer support is why I chose Dreamhost. Hopefully they’ll get a handle on their growth soon and return to the days of friendly and helpful support.


#13

Edit: just realized that, although I had some good responses to the above posts regarding the contract, I just pointed out several ways to circumvent the contract. Probably not the best thing to do on the forum for the company who issues the contract :o)


#14

Circumvent what? You said they didn’t have the clause that everyone else has, about being able change the terms without notice.

Will already pointed out that they do–and have since 1998.

“Revisions to this Contract will be applicable to previous Contracts”

That’s a great way to word it. That’s instant and without notice. Do you disagree? If so, that’s okay. When did you sign up? On that date, you read the above sentence and agreed to it, so there’s your notice. :wink:

Now, if you want to try getting around it by saying you don’t agree to until you renew, that’s fine… unless you consider this part:

“Violations of DreamHost’s Terms of Service or Spam Policy may, at DreamHost’s discretion, result in immediate disablement without refund.”

Their TOS is whatever is on that page when they enforce it, as you already agreed to when you signed up. So, you don’t have to agree with the TOS until you renew, but you can still have your account terminated for violating it during that time.

It’s like anything else. You can say that you don’t agree with a certain law, but that doesn’t keep you from going to jail when you break it.

My advice would be for people to accept and understand the CURRENT TOS, or at least make a backup of your data and line up a new host before you decide to challenge it.

You’re probably not going to find a company TOS that, regardless of how you twist the words, says anything different than, “Play by our rules, or play somewhere else.”


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#15

…I think you clearly attacked and name called. If you can’t see that from even just the 2nd sentence quoted above, then maybe you should wait a couple days and read it as though someone said it to you.[/quote]
What’s wrong with that? His first post contained the following: A bad idea, a lack of information, a spammed link to auto-vote for his suggestions, followed by a lecture about how we should back him on something he later admits to not really knowing anything about. Did I miss anything?

I just read his entire post, yet again… and I don’t see anything that wasn’t stupid.

It wouldn’t be a problem if it was just stupid–but instead of forming it as a question, he bundled all of that crap into a lecture he wasn’t qualified to give, trying to get people wound up over nothing.

Only once he was called out on it, did he decide that he’s not really an “answer man,” or that he just didn’t know what’s going on. A full page of crap could have been compressed into a sentence/question or two.

I have no problem reading that as if it were said to me. If I said something that stupid, I’d expect to be called out on it–just like he should have.

Like I said, saying something stupid or letting a bad idea slip is no biggie. Everyone does that. Entering a forum as a newcomer and preaching stupidity to people, expecting to build some sort of a following, is different.

An example, just to make sure I’m being very clear:

If he had said something silly like, “Hi, I’m new here, but I was just wondering if the mail servers would speed up if we all agreed to use shorter email addresses? I’m not familiar with how things work, but I couldn’t help but notice that some people have really long email address. Thanks.”

I would not have attacked that. I would have laughed as I read it–but it’s an honest, though uninformed, suggestion to a problem. It’s quite different than the poster’s choice of wording, something like, “I guarantee that if everyone uses shorter email addresses, we will not have any more email issues.”

See the difference? I’ve been here awhile and only got on people twice–this thread and the promo code thread.

It shouldn’t discourage him from posting questions, helping others here, or even voicing an opinion. Maybe he should have tried some of those things, instead of opening up with a “Kick Dreamhost in the ass” speech.

[quote]> try realizing it before you post it.

Please follow your own advice, and I will try too (even with Simon, who reneged on our agreement).[/quote]
Huh? I’ll need a link to a refresher course on the Simon agreement. I must have missed it, or forget what it’s about.

As far as following my own advice, I believe I already do. If I post a suggestion that everyone bugs support over the same issue, accomplishing nothing but wasting their time and delaying real support issues, then I hope someone will remind me to follow my own advice.

I do have to give him some credit, though. This thread is absolutely brilliant compared to the one suggesting that people with promo-codes over $50 should be banned. :^D That was easily the most braindead post I’ve seen here!


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#16

I feel your frustration, though, with someone (e.g. Simon) demandingly telling others what to do.

You just can’t let this petty bullshit go, can you?

Might I suggest finding a different, more appropriate place to try and stir up drama?


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#17

[quote]Saying stupid things or even being stupid is not a crime against humanity. Calling someone stupid, rather than just pointing out where you think they are incorrect, maybe should be.

I feel your frustration, though, with someone (e.g. Simon) demandingly telling others what to do.[/quote]
Hey, stupid! Why exactly did you feel the need to bring me in to this conversation?


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog