Questions about support

how does dreamhost handle support? is it just via forums or is there telephone support?

The forums and wiki (and even IRC channel) are both provided as support resources, but are populated mainly by DH customers. Tech support can be spotted from time to time. However official support, from DH emploies, is obtained through the panel - effectivly E-mail. Some plans come with a number of ‘call backs’ where you can submit a tech support request and ask that they call you with the response. There is no number to directly call suport.

Answers are generally recieved shortly, but from time to time can take 24 hours or more till you’ll hear back. To me it’s worth the wait becuase I have never recieved a stupid response where they didn’t bother reading my questions. Support is always very helpful, knowlegable, and kind.

–Matttail - personal website

As Matttail said; The primary method of support is via the ‘Contact Support’ section of the admin panel.

The implementation is (in my opinion) very good. You can communicate things such as the urgency of the request and your level of knowledge on the subject when making a support request.

In my experience, response times can vary quite a bit, depending on current queue levels and urgency etc, but generally I have my queries fully answered within 24 hours (usually much sooner).


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I had to submit 12 support requests regarding spam filtering setup before receiving a response from someone who tried to help. (TRIED to help is the key word.) About seven of those were replied by a different “support” person each time, who deleted my original question, sending me back to square zero for the next clueless support person. They did not take the time look at any of my previous messages. Each time they said “read the wiki” or else something completely wrong and contradictory to their own wiki. The other messages were me sending extra requests, frustrated at the approx average 20-hour response time. (Anyone who wants to blame me for submitting duplicates can shut your spam hole right now. This should have been answered properly the first time, or the second time or the third or the…)

Then another 20 or so requests and a month later my problem is still not resolved. Over that time I have basically figured out the problem myself thru trial and error. Dozens if not hundreds of hours wasted. Now they are telling me that the hundreds of email addresses that I’ve been using for years are all setup wrong and incompatible with their spam filtering system. I need to reconfigure every address then login individually to customize several options for every single address. In addition, all client-side (Thunderbird) filters that are setup will no longer work & need to be reconfigured. Then spam filtering still will not work completely for another esoteric reason. Basically Dreamhost spam filtering might work ok for a basic one-user per address setup, but if you try to do any forwarding to a different box or cc to another address, or have several addresses going into one account, all accounts on the domain will be hosed. Spam is probably the biggest problem on the web these days. Pretty sad it is not a glimmer of a priority for my formerly favorite webhost. Been here for years. Someone please PM me with recommendations for a good web host.

Oh ya, the support sucks. People who post promo codes get paid when people use them. Do not trust biased advice.

Oh my! In spite of the fact that this is “cross-posted” and most likely a troll (while claiming he’s “been here for years”, this poster has only posted 3 messages to these forums and one of those is an exact duplicate of this one - damn “forum spammers!”), I have not had my daily Wild Turkey ration and am feeling cranky so, just this once:

So I don’t suppose answering each of them with a simple RTFM would have been much use to you.

So, after wasting all those hours, and having “figured out the problem” yourself, you were “good to go”, right? :wink:

Here is a clue for the terminally cluless: Nothing DreamHost does or doesn’t do prevents “client side” filters from working. (hint: That’s why they are “client side”)

Now you’re talking! Ding! Give that poster a “Gold Star”! “He’s got it, by George, I think he’s got it!” He’s figured out that spam is a real problem!

It amazes me that users still believe it is the hosting company’s responsibility to solve their spam problem. I think any attempt at dealing with spam by the hosting provider is a benefit, as opposed to expecting them to shield me from all exposure to the “wild n’ woolly” internet.

Ah, another clue: Spam (UCE) is not a “web” issue and never has been. Different protocols, different transport mechanisms,etc. Email (and, last time I checked, all spam of the type the poster refers to comes via email) is a different beast altogether than “the web”. Of course, the term is now used in reference to “comment spam”, and “forum spam”, etc., but that’s not what this poster is talking about.

I thought you were concerned about spam, not “webhosting”, but I guess I completely misunderstood. You sure you are not really looking for a dedicated email provider ( you know, Brightmail, etc.). Never mind, I have a great idea! No reason to “PM” you on this one (I’ll share the advice with everyone who see the thread!): Go to Network Solutions/Verisign and pick the most expensive plan you can find! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

There’s an articulate thought! But, you know what they say about opinions being like a bodily orifice: “Everybody has one!”

Huh? I guess this poster has never seen one of those myriad “Save $97” promo codes which essentially passes all the “pay” onto the potential user as a benefit. Yea, if the customer is truly happy, and refers others, I suppose that the issuer of a “Save $97” promo might eventually get some “second tier” benefit from future genrations of (staying/paying) users.

Isn’t that obvious to the most casual observer? I just knew that if I stuck it out and read the whole thing there would a worthwile statement in there somewhere! Seriously though, get yourself a webhosting account with Network Solutions/Verisign. That way, for what you are paying, there will be someone there to whom you can propound your theories on how spam is the “webhosting company’s responsibility” to on the phone, ad nauseum…they are getting paid to listen, and you will have paid enough that they won’t mind listening to you no matter how unreasonable your expectations are.


I think rlparker has more than adequately covered most points, however I couldn’t resist commenting on the statement above.

I find that statement mildly insulting. As someone who has referred dozens of people to DreamHost, I think I can honestly say that I have never let the thought of potential rewards colour my recommendations, either in these forums or elsewhere. I have criticised DreamHost in the past, when I feel that they deserved it.

If my comments come across as mostly positive, it has nothing to do with possible rewards, but more to do with the fact that my hosting experience with DreamHost has been largely problem free.


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Agreed. I’ve referred a couple people because I have been really pleased with Dreamhost. He’s saying not to trust biased advice, but obviously any personal opinion is biased (such as his because of his bad experience, whether his fault, DH’s, or a combination of the two).

When it all comes down to it, I’ve been happy with DH. Response times for me have been within 15 minutes in most cases. The control panel is great, and there is actually some sense of community (unlike most other hosts).

Check out Gordaen’s Knowledge, the blog, and the MR2 page.

I didn’t waste too much time skimming thru the above nonsense, however a couple things come to mind. My panel page says (Member since February 2003). Until recently I was very pleased with DH and gladly referred everyone who was looking for a host. But now I have wasted 6 weeks on one problem. I didn’t register for these forums until yesterday because I’m not much for chitchat. I identified the problems with dreamhost’s spam filtering setup, but not the solution. My support history has more than 50messages back-forth on the same issue. If they implement a cumbersome and problematic system, I expect them to fix it. Rather, support is putting the burdon on customers to deal with a system that does not work. I’m extremely careful about who gets my email address, yet I’m getting around 300 spams per day & support and their “Spam Filtering” program have not been able to help.

Instead of ripping a post to pieces, anyone care to share how you were able to get spam to stop?

Hey Smarty Pants, thanks for using a big new word I had to lookup:

'Often, a person will post a sincere message about which he is emotionally sensitive. Skillful trolls know that an easy way to upset the person is to falsely claim that they are a “troll.” ’

Wow I guess you described yourself pretty well. You were not part of this discussion. I was giving an honest opinion to the person asking about support. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

I’d love to have that information myself!

I do appreciate the fact that spam is problematic. Nobody likes to spend a significant part of their day dealing with it. On a bad day recently I had over 1,300 spam/uce delivered to my assorted inboxes. Part of the reason for this is that I have been hosting websites since 1997 (since 1998 at DreamHost), and in the beginning I was not very careful about publishing my email address (live and learn!).

In spite of that, spam is managable for me because of Thunderbird’s excellent filtering. It took a while to “train” Thunderbird to spot all the stuff, and there are still days when it does not do as well as I would like, but generally speaking, only a couple of dozen spams sneak past Thunderbird each day now.

Alternatively, and old AL account I maintained for a long time for my young children used to be very heavily spammed, but by the time my kids had “outgrown” it, it was receiving very little spam - AL’s agressive (IMHO overly agressive) spam rejection systems stopped most of the spam (and a lot of legitimate mail) from arriving at all.

There is always a trade-off between the amount of spam you receive and the degree of filtering applied. I choose to deal with a little more spam than I have to in order to decrease the risk of missing legitimate mail, and don’t really want my ISP to make those decisions for me; I certainly do not want my webhosting provider to make them for me either.

Have you looked at Brightmail? You might also want to check out this paper for a little further background/information as to the technical aspects involved with getting “spam to stop”.

I suggest you don’t give up just yet on “client-side” filtering; it has worked well for me using Thunderbird.


It seems a pity for you to be looking for a new webhost after one bad experience, especially after being happy here for over 3 years.

Do you have an idea of how many spam emails were blocked? It could be that the 300 you are receiving is just a small percentage of the total.

Do you have any catch-all email addresses active?


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I’ve always hated that particular DreamHost forum title (assigned by Dreamhost according to the number of posts entered into these forums).

I apologize if I misidentified your previous post as a “troll”, and if, in fact, your post was a “sincere message about which he is/you are emotionally sensitive” please forgive my flippant response. I felt the message was less than sincere, and exhibited “troll-like qualities” in that it was Cross posted (same message in more than one forum) and from a “New User” claiming to have “been here for years”.

He He! Well, I am grossly overweight, old, and wrinklely, have been known to sleep under bridges, eat small creatures, and exhibit other “troll-like behavior” from time to time, BUT I was not trying to “upset” you, and I apologize profusely if I did.

No one is “part of the discussion” on a public forum until they chooose to participate, and then they become “part of the discussion” by virtue of having chosen to participate. That’s why the forums are referred to as “Public” forums. I chose to become part of the discussion because I felt it could be useful to the original poster to “add some balance”; I did not (and do not) feel that your experiences with a web hosting company’s support staff concerning your spam issue were an accurate depiction of what a new user could expect to encounter dealing with DreamHost support for hosting issues. Dreamhost is a hosting company; email lis an “added benefit” and “spam” is a problem we all have to deal with in our own way.

I don’t think it is reasonable to blame Dreamhost because you receive spam, and even less reasonable to blame Dreamhost support when they can’t help you control “spam” to your satisfaction. As such, I maintain my input to the discussion was as valid as yours.

No problem there! All “trolls” are, by definition, “thick-skinned” ;-). My feeling are rarely hurt by anything posted in public forums, and I wan’t upset with your remarks at all, though I appreciate your expressed sensitivity for my feelings.

I, too, and sorry if my response to your post hurt your feelings. It looks as though we were posting simultaneously; you might want to look back “up” the thread for a previous response of mine you might find more “on-point” regarding “spam”.