Support ticket incurs hidden charge - B_WARE

Just a FYI and a bit of rant on dreamhost…

If we put in a support ticket, they automatically start billing your for “phone support” as of the date of the support ticket, without your knowledge or an “opt-in” or ability to “opt out”

The “phone support” is so IF you decide to call to discuss the support ticket, you may do so for free for 30 days. As far as I am aware, there is no notification of this charge. Even better, it “auto-renews” every month!

So now, I need to look for this charge following any support ticket, and then if I feel I not going to call, cancel it. If anyone working on your site starts a support ticket, be aware that they tack this on and let the admin know so they can cancel the charge.

Since they have no phone number and they do not accept billing inquiries by fax, the only way to inquire about the charge is to put in a support ticket, thereby incurring the charge again. Turning off this little bill-fattener took some deep digging in the web panel. A neat little trip to the first circle of hell! Nicely done, dreamhost.

Where are you seeing these charges? I’ve put in support tickets before, and I’ve never seen such a charge.

You only incur a charge if you request a callback. Don’t request phone support and you won’t be billed.

That explains it. I’ve also opened support tickets in the past with no trouble.


There is no charge for support tickets.

You couldn’t have called in because you can’t.

Well, maybe you guys are just lucky. Here is the actual text of the reply to my inquiry about this charge.

We have the last payment on this account to be $19.90 on 2011-01-08 13:48:46.
Since then the following charges have been made to the account, which you
have just paid for:

   2011-01-13 - $9.95 for "Phone Support: Recurring" through 2011-02-12.
   2011-01-15 - $12.27 for "psmysql1xx2x: Recurring" through 2011-01-15.
   2011-01-15 - $8.04 for "psxx42x: Recurring" through 2011-01-15.

Hi Henry,

This service is added when submitting a support ticket and includes the
availability of always available live chat and 3 callbacks per month.

Should you wish to remove it, you may do so via the "manage Account"

XXXXXXX name was removed to protect the (likely) innocent guy who wrote the response.

To be fair, when you submit a ticket, the fields you fill out are:

Relevant URL: http://
Please select the type of this request:
Please select your general expertise in the area of this request:
Phone Callback / Live Chat:
(additional charge)
Add Premium Support:
This is a recurring charge and not a one-time fee.
US customers only.
Number to call:
US only, include the area code!
Preferred time:
Pacific Time
(currently 5:44 AM)

It seems to clearly state that those options incur an extra charge

I stand corrected, this charge is and opt-in charge, as was pointed out. My web programmer appears to have implemented several months ago, perhaps by choice. Since he did not tell me he did so, it remained on the account, month after month.

I will not flame DH for this one, but I would respectfully ask the forum participants if they think the recurring nature of this charge is appropriate or not? Should it not expire unless renewed? Newbies (me) who don’t know the process inside and out get their bill fattened by 9.95 for every month they are dumb enough (me again) not to dig in deep and find out why it keeps recurring.

Ask yourself - this charge recurs forever unless you cancel it - is that ethical practice or not? Just sniff it - does it pass the sniff test?

Yes it’s appropriate because it’s clearly stated as recurring AND you have a very easy option of canceling it at any time.

I can understand your situation and I would bring it up with DH. if it’s clear that you never used the support you were paying for and it was an accident, they might give you a refund.

I think for the people that do use this premium service, they probably use it often enough that it would be a pain for them if they had to renew it manually each month.

I think they might want to offer you both options. Probably most people who will use this kind of thing will want to continue to use it, so it’s likely to be appropriate in the general case. Giving a hired developer full access to the Dreamhost control panel requires a certain amount of trust considering all of the things they might do to your account while there. Be careful. :slight_smile: