Sites down for 10+ days response from dreamhost

A couple weeks ago I noticed I was being charged for a VPS and didn’t need it anymore. A dreamhost customer support rep said to turn it off since it isn’t needed. I went ahead and did that but now all my sites are offline!

I submitted a report ticket 10 days ago and still haven’t heard anything from dreamhost. 10 days!!! I’ve submitted 4 additional tickets since then with no response. This is the worst support experience I’ve ever had. I’ve been a paying customer for 5+ years. This is beyond unacceptable. Every single one of my sites are offline now for over 10 days.

What do I do??

I’m sure a rep will be all over this and get you fixed up ASAP, and when they do you should query them about compensation for downtime. There was a thread at the beginning of this year where a few dreamhosters were musing on the subject of compensation. bobocat pulled a quote from a guarantee (although I’m unsure if it’s still in effect).

10 days * 24 hours of downtime = 240 days credit “next renewal”.

If a tech made an error in the instructions given to you then your 240 days credit should probably be VPS credit.

I’d rather have my sites back up! This is a crazy long time for every one of my websites to be offline. right??

Yep. Unfortunately there’s not a lot most of us here can do about it for you other than say to sit tight and wait for some rep to roll in and reply with “We apologise and we have a tech working on that for you right now” - or something along those lines.

Then hit 'em up for a stack of free time.

Unfortunately, there’s a limit of 10% of the next bill when it comes to reimbursement of downtime.

Even worse, it seems that DH is slowly, and quietly, moving away from their 100% uptime guarantee. You’ll see no mention of it anywhere in the TOS, just some promotional material. There used to be a dedicated page explaining the policy and the procedure for claiming compensation, but it’s been removed from the current site.

Combine that with no official tracking mechanism even for customers that do report the downtime according to the policy along with Support’s tendency to just credit your account with a token amount of free hosting when asked about this in an effort to make you go away, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘uptime guarantee’ disappears altogether.

Look at Dream Objects. That service does have an uptime clause in the TOS and it’s not 100%! It’s 99.9%, not counting scheduled maintenance and downtime < 1 minute.

As there is no longer any reference to 100% uptime on the DH website, save for one sentence in the promotional material, I’d even venture to suggest that the 100% uptime guarantee no longer exists because it would be very easy for DH lawyers to point out that there’s no explicit provision in the TOS except for a vague clause about limiting their liability in providing the service:

Please check clause 10 of the MATERIAL PRODUCTS section (thanks, DH, for not having anchors in your headings). Basically says that DH will try to provide a service, but is not liable for anything whatsoever if those services are not up to a standard you expect or suffer any losses because of it and the only compensation that they will be liable for is offering more of the service for free.

Note that I’m not complaining so much as pointing out the reality. I’m disappointed that the uptime guarantee has always been so poorly implemented, and even more disappointed that it appears to be going away, but I’m not taking any stand on their TOS. In fact, I think it’s quite a logical approach to take for budget shared hosting. If I were running a business or other online activity which would be impacted by downtime, I would find a provider(s) that either a) offered redundancy and failover mechanisms, b) agreed to monetarily compensate me for downtime, or c) both. That type of service would not cost < $10 / month though.

Back to the issue of 10 days without a response from support. I suspect that OP doesn’t have a shared hosting account (not required for VPS anymore), but maybe started with one and assumed it still existed, tried VPS with a free trial, never moved his/her sites back to shared before deciding that VPS was not needed, shut down the VPS service, and poof, sites gone. If that is the case, and no more payments are being made/billed, then Support may be ignoring requests because they see him/her as a former customer. Not a smart move on the part of DH, especially because I’m sure they make more on VPS than on shared and if a customer is at least considering VPS, and consequentially considering giving DH more money, then DH should be paying attention to said customer.

For the record, I’ve been monitoring my site with Pingdom for the past nine months at one minute intervals. My server’s stats are:

[]Uptime: 99.66%,
]Downtime: 23h 50m
[*]Number of Downtimes, 245

I have to take credit for roughly 10 minutes of that downtime due to site upgrades and mistakes, but generally those are realistic numbers. During that time there were 3-4 major outages, some of which DH could probably claim were scheduled although one or two would be borderline cases.

Hi Matt,

I’ve read through your support history with us for the last month and can see the misunderstanding, as well as the delay in our response to you. First let me apologize for that delay; it took a bit longer to find and restore the data for your account due to the holiday period, but we should have kept you informed on our progress that week, and I can agree you deserved better where response time is concerned.

It seems the misunderstanding came when you were told you no longer needed the shared hosting plan you had, since your sites were hosted on your VPS. We helped to cancel and refund that shared plan as well, and followed up to let you know. When your VPS service was cancelled at a later date from your web panel, your data was deleted along with it. It was at this point that we made an assignment for our admins to find any backups of your VPS we might still have, and copy it over to a new shared server for you. I see now this has completed and your sites that are registered and pointing to us are functional again!

We’ve followed up via email with an additional credit and explanation; please reply there if we missed anything or can clear anything else up.

Matt C

^ Now that’s damn good service!