Wednesday, 13 February 2013

BurstNet - Useless Unreliable Service and Rude!!!

Well if you read my last post you will notice that I was in the process of looking for a new host for my websites, and after my experience with Webhosting.uk.com I moved to a called BurstNet.

If you have not heard of Burstnet they are a US based firm operating out of Scranton, yes the same place the Office is based on "maybe that should have given me some warning".

This time I signed up for a VPS to give me greater control over my websites.

They Lied to Me - Not in the UK, No UK call centre EVER

I decided to use Burstnet as although they are in the US they told me that they have servers hosted in the UK in Manchester and are opening a call centre for UK clients shortly they also said they are available for support using AOL AIM, they also told me they use Hyper-V for the virtualisation and as I knew this to be a good setup I thought that they are working giving a go.

As their price was competitive I thought I would sign up. I thought I would give it a month to see what it was like so signed up for monthly billing.

Hyper-V No Way Man!!

When the VPS was setup it was in fact not Hyper-V at all but Solus, this gave me a slight worry but I thought as it was running ok, this was a problem I could live with.

The first month everything seemed to be working fine. Although I was unable to find then using AOL chat at all. But as the server seemed to be working OK I thought I would alter my billing to annual.

Burstnet VPS constantly offline and unable to reboot

Now this is where the problems arose, after a couple of months my VPS was offline and I was unable to reboot it using VNC or the control panel and had to raise a ticket, I actually had to call the technical support number (which is in the US, I am in the UK) and spoke to someone who said he would sort this immediately. Which he did and the server was back up and running.

This became a constant thing, just about every other month the server was offline and needed to be rebooted. Each time I raised a ticket and had to get it rebooted. On one phone call I asked if they are overselling the VPS offering and the guy on the phone said, that basically they put as many VPS's on each node as possible. This explained the poor performance and lack of up time.


How many Times can a VPS be Offline?

This continued for several months, and as the service was paid for I thought I would continue until the end and move away then.

Now not only was I getting poor and unreliable service, but in the time I was hosting with BurstNet they never once setup a UK call centre, and even at the time of writing this they still done have a UK call centre at all. So each time I had to call the US to try to get a solution, then on one occassion I rang up only to be told that with the VPS solution it is unmanaged so I dont get phone support, I said I am not asking for support i am asking them to reboot my server as its urgent.

Can you guess what they said?

Nothing they actually hung the phone up on me. A man called Jeremiah put the phone down on me, so I called back and as soon as I said who I was he hung up again, this happened on times until I was finally put through to someone else, who still did not resolve my problem. The problem this time was a bit more worrying than a simple reboot.

So what was the problem this time - well other than the server being offline?

I could not login to my server using my RDC connection as it was not accepting my password, I could not login using the VNC software either, and all my websites and email were down. So this was urgent, when I called I hoped a simple reboot would be all that was needed, but as I had managed to use the control panel to reboot I worried something else was wrong.

When I spoke to Burstnet they said the server must have been compromised and the only way to restore it was a complete rebuild, I said as my password is secure, this is total rubbish. Well after several days of no server and Burstnet refusing to help restore the server, I bit the bullet and rebuilt the server. On doing this I then ran a test on the physical drive space the VPS was using only to find that part of the drive had been corrupted and part of the windows user files had been deleted by chkdsk. On raising this with Burstnet they again refused to accept any responsibility for this failure.

They said the SLA only cover the network and not the hardware, meaning that even if the server hardware fails they are not liable for anything. Talk about a crap SLA.

So I decided after all this hassle and unrealiable service to move away from Burstnet.

The Truth about Burstnet

Burstnet are not UK based (and never will be)

Burstnet operate in the US as burstnet.com and in the UK and europe as Burstnet.eu, they dont not have any offices in the UK at all. The registered office for domains in the UK is actually a unit just outside Manchester Science Park. When I spoke to the security guy at this address, he said he has never seen anyone from Burstnet.

Burstnet.eu is registrant is NOT DISCLOSED and the registrar is actual Tucows, even though they claim to have a Tag for domains. Strange I think ;)

The VPS is actually hosted in the US not in the UK, the IP is registered in the UK with RIPE but redirects to the US, and when I took the VPS the time zone had to be left as US in order to activated the copy of windows server 2008.

Up until writing this email burstnet do not have any UK based call centres at all only US.

Burstnet Staff are RUDE and hang up on you

The staff are not only very rude, like I said before they hang up on you!!, but they are very inexperienced regarding hosting.

Burstnet services are oversold, over capacity and setup badly

The VPS offerings by Burstnet are not only over capacity, but in my experience are actually a tier 2 virtualisation, that is a virtualisation inside a virtualisation in order to maximise revenue.

It should also be noted that they actually have a clause in their Terms that states they can cancel services and request you to remove negative comments about them you may write anywhere online. Why on earth would a good decent company need such a clause if they werent providing a good service.

So in short STAY AWAY FROM BURST NET WHAT EVER YOU DO!

Thanks for Reading
Sean J Connolly
 FaceBook Me - Visit AJAX Web Development Store

BuzzProperties.co.uk - Online Property Sales and Letting

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Webhosting.UK.Com - They are really that dishonest!!


It all began when I was hunting the internet for a new hosting provider and in particular a VPS provider.

My first mistake was to move my websites to Webhosting UK, although I was looking for a VPS they said their shared hosting environment outperformed most VPS offering out there. So I took the gamble and signed up for a web hosting account.

Webhosting.uk.com cant get it right from the start

From the very start the service was bad, firstly I wanted to use the shared SSL area for my websites, so after my shared hosting area was provisioned I went about settting up all my files, websites, emails and thought at this point I would be able to access the shared SSL area via the Dot Net Panel control panel. This was not the case and on raising this issue I was told that the shared SSL area was only available if I was using the Plesk control panel and in order to use the Plesk panel I would have to be given a whole new account with the Plesk panel.

So after about a week my new hosting account was setup this time using plesk, and after a lot of chatting online with Web Hosting UK they finally agree to migrate my data over for free, as this was their fault. However I still needed to setup my email accounts again. Which was a pain.

Webhosting.uk.com alter service provision without notice

So there I was with my websites up and running, or so I thought. After about 6 months of hosting with Web Hosting UK I noticed one of my applications that had been running fine was not working, after a lot of error checking I noticed that this was due to the server having the FSO or File System Object disabled. I contacted Web Hosting UK and was told that they had disabled the FSO for security reason on the shared hosting and  in order to use the FSO I would need  to sign up for a VPS, as they have disabled the FSO on the shared hosting.

Webhosting.uk.com service is unreliable and not live most of the time

After all this I thought it would be plain sailing, but no such luck, the speed and reliability of the server meant that it was down more than it was up and my clients were constantly on the phone complaining they cant access any websites or emails. The server was not live most of the time.

Another problem was that not only was my website not live most of the time, but I had a problem with server rights when publishing an SQL DB and on one occassion this was fixed by contacting them via the web chat, however when this problem arose again I was told I would need to email in as it cant be sorted via web chat. This was a pain, as I had to wait a few days for this to be resolved.

Webhosting.uk.com dont honour their own SLA - refuse to give refunds

So after all the poor service and lack of uptime on my server I contacted them to see about getting some kind of credit as per their SLA agreement, As I was on annual billing, they refused to offer any kind of refund at all, as they said I needed to contact them within 40 days of the incident, which I did. I had lengthy conversations via email with a woman posing as a customer service agent, a woman called Jenna Strong, where as she is in fact the company secretary.

Wehosting.uk.com Jenna Strong is not a customer service agent she is the company secretary

So after all this I finally decided to move hosts, and tried to get a pro rata refund for my time left on my account, again this was refused, even though I had a month left on my account at the time of moving away.

So my advice to anyone looking for hosting is not STAY AWAY from Webhosting.uk.com they also operate as bodhosts and eukhost so dont not touch them with a barge pole if you want your website working and a company who is honest and reliable and stand by their own SLA.

The Truth about Webhosting.uk.com

Company Director & Secretary

Firstly the director of the company is John Strong and the company secretary is Jenna Strong (yes they are related) dont be fooled when she calls herself a customer service agent.

Domain Registered Address

Although the company is registered in the UK, the actual domain is registered to an office in Albany House in London which is a virtual office / mailing office address. They do not have an office in London.

Registered  Office

The registered office address is Leeds is also a virtual office and is also the contact address for the other companies including eUKHost and BodHost.

Also on the website it stats they have been in business since 2001 yet the company has only been registered since 2008

So as you can see with all this smoke and mirrors Webhosting.uk.com are a company not to deal with, they are nothing more than a Micky Mouse operation with poor customer service and dishonesty at all times.

Thanks for Reading
Sean J Connolly
 FaceBook Me - Visit AJAX Web Development Store

BuzzProperties.co.uk - Online Property Sales and Letting