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- Posted on
July 17, 2006, 4:33 pm
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I recently filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau against
StartLogic. Below is what I meant to submit with the complaint, but
the BBB has a character limit... :-S Here goes.....
In October 2005, I opened an account with StartLogic paying up front
for twelve months of hosting service for my websites. The package is a
virtual private server (VPS) [info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vps ].
There were problems from day one. I experienced issues while
connecting to my server and it took them over one month to get the
account created correctly after having to recreate my VPS twice. Their
VPS service is an unmanaged service, meaning the client (myself) is
responsible for the installation and configuration of the software on
this server. They are only responsible for the initial setup and the
maintenance of hardware. So each time they erased and recreated my
account, I spend hours downloading, recompiling and reconfiguring the
software required to host my websites such as the web server, database
server, and scripting server, along with many other plug-ins and tools.
I was very frustrated but they offered two months of complimentary
service to make up for it. That was fine, I let it slide. For some
reason, the trouble tickets for these incidents were deleted from the
StartLogic support system. I have kept most of the correspondence in
my inbox, missing only some of my replies that were entered via their
website which was not sent back to me via email. I might have saved
copies of the complete tickets.
Near the end of May 2006, my brother mentioned that he could not login
to our server via SSH. It took me a bit more than a week to look into
it as I was busy at the time and I figured it was just a configuration
problem on his computer. But when I tried, I could no longer log in
with SSH either. SSH is the protocol giving us full command line
access to the operating system enabling us to install and configure our
server. Without it, the account is virtually useless. I opened a
trouble ticket with StartLogic. Their "solution" is quoted below:
"The virtual server will need to be recreated. Part of the file system
is damaged and needs to be rebuilt, which can only be done by
reinstalling the entire virtual server."
My wife and I work full time and we have a 2 year old at home. There
was no way I could dedicate another 2-3 hours setting up my server
again with no guarantee that it might last for more than a few months.
I challenged their response and asked them to fix the issue without
having to reinstall everything. After 3 to 4 days spent waiting for a
reply, I called the StartLogic support line and the technician I spoke
with informed me that I did not receive a reply because the original
technician dealing with my ticket was away on holidays. He told me he
was escalating the ticket and I would get a call back as soon as his
manager was off the phone. I waited and received no such phone call.
I could not deal with this level of service any longer. Having
exercised a reasonable amount of patience in my opinion, I decided I
was not being treated as a valued customer and I wanted to cancel my
I opened a new trouble ticket to request the cancellation of my account
along with a refund for my unused service. Note that the request for
refund was very clear and the subject line for my ticket was "I want
a refund". They offered me one free month to try to sway me back,
but I had already lost over two weeks of service (not counting the
trouble in October). An extra month with a server that I cannot use is
not much of an offer, so I did not accept it. The response I got was
that my account was sent to the cancellations department with no
mention of a refund. So I had to actually reply and ask about it. I
was then told:
"Since you have less than 6 months on your contract, you are not
eligible for a refund."
I found that odd since their knowledge base states:
How do I extend or shorten my service term?
You may change your service term at any time. You simply pay the
difference or receive a refund, depending upon whether you want to
extend or shorten your service term. To arrange for these
modifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
For security verification, please include the last four digits of your
credit card on file.
If we ignore this statement, they were right. I actually had 5 months
left on the contract if we don't factor in the 2 "bonus" months.
But my first month was spent without service. So in theory, I had at
least 6 months left. We replied back and forth to the ticket a few
more times until Yasmin Sheriff called me at home. I appreciated this
because I had a hard time trying to find time to call them in the three
hour window per weekday when I am not at work and their billing
department is still open. We discussed for a long while and the reason
she did not want to issue a refund was because she believed I was
responsible for the server's down time. I am sure that they had many
users in the past open a VPS account without having the expertise or
knowing the implications of setting up such a server but she refused to
recognize the possibility that this wasn't the case this time.
Remember that in the quote above, their technician specified that the
"file system is damaged". File systems are low level technologies
and cannot simply be damaged by entering a command at the console.
Having a university degree in computer science and years of experience
working with these systems, I can assure that they are almost always a
result of hardware failure. She told me I was their number one
priority, that their best technician was currently looking into it and
she put me on hold for about 10 minutes. When she came back to tell me
they were "still looking into it", I suggested they call me back
when they have fixed my account. I never got a call back. A few days
later I called their help line and was able to get Yasmin's extension
number. She did not answer, but I left a voice mail message asking to
call me back. She never did.
To this day,
- the original technical issue with my account has not been resolved
- I have no administration access to my virtual private server
- my websites are not accessible on the internet
- my trouble tickets are being ignored
- my voice mail messages are being ignored
- I am being refused a refund for the service that was paid for but not
In brief, StartLogic has breached its side of our agreement of
providing me with web hosting service from October 2005 to October
2006. I want to be refunded for the remainder of my contract and also
for the month of June since I've had no service since the end of May
2006. If they will not refund the two complimentary months, I want a
refund for the month of October 2005 since I did not have any service
Re: StartLogic - My bad experience and why you shouldn't trust them.
That sucks, man. I hope nothing like that happens to me with NetFirms.
Just purchased a year from them last month. *fingers crossed*