I’m sure we all got them, those stories of when hosting goes terribly wrong and you’re totally hung out to dry by your trusted hosting partner. In the odd twelve years I’ve been involved with building, maintaining and hosting web sites for clients, I have seen my fair share of totally worthless hosting companies. My recent experiences with VPS9.net is the latest addition to that list….
I am still extremely pissed off over the recent events, however I’ll do my best to give an objective report about what happened the past two weeks. I hope this serves as a warning to those who are considering hosting critical web sites with this company.
My relationship with VPS9.net started a little over a year ago when my company started renting an unmanaged VPS with them to host the main site for a new venture (a travel site selling adventure and volunteer trips). Their pricing seemed about right and from whatever information we could find online, the positive remarks seemed to outweigh the negative ones.
After paying the initial fee, there were some small issues with setting up the server with which VPS9 support was happy to help to out. So far so good… Until about 10 days ago, everything has been peachy!
Then, it all falls apart. It starts with me receiving an email which mentions our new server has been commissioned and is ready for use (the email included all the passwords and other details). I figured this must have been some sort of error or perhaps someone on my team had decided to setup a second server for whatever purpose. When I received the email, I was on the road so I decided I’d have a closer look at the situation later that evening. I didn’t around to that the following evening and the next few days I was too busy to bother. Then, three days or so after the email, I receive an email from one of our customers saying our web site has disappeared. Shocked and worried I tried opening the site, only to find out that, yep, it’s gone and I’m looking at a DNS error generated by Chrome.
I right away logged into my VPS9 account and created a ticket with support. About 12 hours later I receive a reply mentioning something along the lines that our new server is ready and I can start transferring our sites. WFT? I replied back I didn’t order any new server and need my sites back online asap. We’re right smack in the middle of high season and every day the site’s down, we’re loosing business.
The next reply from support mentioned VPS9 experiencing some issues with some of their servers and had to setup new ones instead (apparently their SSD drives were failing).
At this point I’m trying to grasp what’s happening here… Due to whatever reason, VPS9 servers are failing and the only course of action is to take those servers down and create clean new ones for the affected customers. Wow….
If I hadn’t approached support, I would have had no clue as to what’s been going on, all the while our web sites being down and our company loosing sales on a daily base.
At this point I’m starting to get frustrated and angry; I replied back that we don’t consider this a proper way of dealing with customers and we expect them to reinstate our server as it was before. We received a reply the next day saying they would restore our server in the next few hours. Feeling a little better with the prospect of this being over soon and things returning back to normal, I thank support for their help and ask them please inform me when the transfers are done so we can pick up the pieces and move on.
Things go quiet for another day or so after which I finally get an email saying the transfers are complete and our sites are now restored and up and running again. I quickly open up our site only to find out the site’s all messed up, with bits and pieces missing all over the place, menus not working, etc. So, I right away email them back explaining the situation, and telling them the main site is not loading properly.
After this email, the response time slows down and I don’t hear anything for almost two days. The response I get only states the site loads fine for them and asking me what the problem is. I respond with a brief explanation of what’s not working plus a screenshot and Goole cache link of how the site’s supposed to look.
Two days, later, no reply. Three days later, no reply. At this point I’ve send several more emails asking them what the hell is going and I’m starting to get seriously frustrated.
We arrive at last night. Not sure what else to do, I send them one final email threatening to take action if I don’t get a reply from them in the next 12 hours. Now, I hate being a dick and I consider myself to be a fair person, however at this point I’m so pissed that I’m prepared to spend a significant amount of time telling this story on the web to warn people about what can happen when hosting critical sites with VPS9. Low and behold, about two hours later I get an email asking me for the password to our new server, that’s it, no explanations, no apologies, nothing. Whatever. I gave them my password, and went to sleep.
After waking up this morning, I checked my email and found another gem of customer support by the hands of the gppd folks at VPS9. Stating the following:
We have re-transferred the website and whole of its content through remote transfer option available in the whm panel . And there is full backup of the website in /home.
This transfer we have done for you as a courtesy . As for unmanaged vps services clients . They need to transfer their website by themselves and take daily backup. In case of hardware issues , We are not held for any data loss .
As per the errors occurring related to your website is due to the wordpress plugins . It can get resolved with reinstallation of plugins with proper settings . There wont be further action taken from our technical support. On this request.
This old above vps will be available online for sometime. Until the datacenter shutdowns the main node . As HDD`s are failing, we have notified our clients on prior bases to take backup and also new vps are provided to restore the backup. We are not held responsible for 3rd party scripts or software configurations on unmanaged vps services .
Well, there you have it. I should simply thank VPS9 for the “courtesy” they’ve extended me and shut the hell up. I try opening up our main site, only to find out that it’s not loading at all anymore now and just showing an PHP error instead.
So, after almost two weeks of our site being down, we’re now forced to find a new hosting, setup a new server and restore the site using one of our own backups.
I could go on ranting for another hour, but what’s the use. VPS9 has made abundantly clear they’re not a trustworthy hosting partner and everybody looking for a reliable hosting company, DO NOT USE VPS9!
Like I said before, I consider myself a fair and reasonable person. I’ve been working in this industry long enough to know that shit breaks. However, these are the moments for companies to step up and show the world how you choose to deal with it. Had VPS9 contacted us right away explaining the issue, we could have worked out a solution together (I would have been more then happy to have them work together with one of our developers to fix the issue and put back the site).
This is not the way and VPS9 is now officially on my shit list!