Missing Database after Account Suspension

I’ve not been using my DreamHost account all that much - but when I received notification that my account was suspended I took action to update the expired credit card details. All good - DreamHost let me know that my web sites would be available again in short order.

It wasn’t until I got an error from WordPress letting me know that there was a problem with the database that I noticed it was missing.

Chatted with support and found out that the database was deleted as part of the suspension. Would have loved to have been told that as part of any of the suspension messages!

Figured I’d share this here - if you’re missing your DB, and have recently had an account suspension, that may be why.

Ouch! Did you have a backup that you were able to restore from?

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I have the same problem. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the otherwise very detailed payment reminder/suspension warning e-mails they send out don’t include something like “If your account is suspended, we might DELETE ALL YOUR STUFF. In order to NOT LOSE all your stuff, give us money by ‘X’ or at least contact us to let us know your sad story so we might take pity on you.”

That one simple little step would increase not just customer satisfaction but also retentions (after all, what incentive do you have for paying a past-due balance if you’re going to lose all your data anyway?).

In my case, I had local backups of everything except the one blog database I needed most. I thought I had it backed up, too, but apparently it was just backed up on the server and I forgot to download a local copy.

Yes, I’m STUPID and the entire situation is completely MY FAULT. I had a good excuse for letting the account get so far past due, but I thought I’d be able to get it caught up quicker than I did and didn’t see any point in whining about it to the support folks.

After getting the account caught up, I was told everything should be back up and running in a couple hours. My files and databases never showed up, though, at which point support explained “Our system deleted your data as having been apparently abandoned.”

So, I asked “Is it possible you might have a backup you could manually access?” Nope.

“Do you maybe have an offline backup you could pull? I’m willing to pay to recover my database.” Nope.

Five years I’ve been with DreamHost, sticking around through multiple network cataclysms that had other users threatening to riot in the streets. In those five years, I’ve never been more disappointed than I am right now.