Pending Accounts and Bait & Switch Scam?


I’m trying to sign up for a VPS plan. The new account ended up as “Pending”. And reading through the forums, it seems like this is a very common occurrence. I checked the troubleshooting steps in the “Contact Support” section and it stated to “add a plan” in order to fix the issue…

The “Add Plan” list only has over-priced “Happy Hosting” plans with $50 setup fees that are totally different from the plans advertised on the main page. It didn’t have any option for VPS either. Trying to select “Enable VPS Service” on the left panel won’t work either because it says “Your account (#####) is not active!”. So to get a VPS plan, you need to active your account first. But in order to activate your account, you first need to buy the “Happy Hosting” plan with $11 monthly and $50 activation fee. DreamHost gets to scam unsuspecting customers through bait and switch.

I tried to add one of the plans anyway, maybe it will ‘activate’ the plan & I can cancel it afterwards. Didn’t work, account’s still “Pending”. And if you try to cancel the plan, it’ll give you a “Error communicating with server!” message. You can’t cancel the account either while it’s still “Pending”.

So now I have a $60 bill for something I never wanted, on an account that’s still pending, with no VPS plan which is the reason I singed up for. Tried contacting support, no reply. What a “Happy Hosting” company indeed!

Seriously, is this how you run your business? Please get this fixed


I don’t really think you have uncovered a scam =]

Most people don’t jump right to VPS when signing up, they start with the less expensive shared ‘happy hosting’. Which is indeed less expensive as long as you don’t try and pay for it monthly. I didn’t even think monthly was still available at all, but it does have a $50.00 setup fee which is waived if you sign up for a 1 or 2 year plan.

The account approval process has an automated path. For security reasons dreamhost never lists the exact things that can send you to the manual approval queue, but if you get sent to that queue then the approvals dept only works business days from 8-5 (US west coast time) which is why you see so many posts in the forum about it.