12 January 2010

Don't Use Easyspace!

A friend recommended me to Easyspace (a web hosting company based in Glasgow, Scotland - part of the iomart group). Their prices looked good, they were UK based, and I could handle almost everything online...






My VPS has been running silky smooth ever since. It's never been blindingly fast in terms of network speed... but I don't need a huge pipe onto the net yet.

Problems started as work slowed towards the end of the 2009 and funds dried up. I didn't even notice, but the December invoice didn't get paid. I had no notice or warning. Because of the holidays, I left my accounting until the new year.

While I was off, I received an email (twice, on 29th December) stating that someone from Easyspace had tried to call me (I received no such call), but they needed me to call back to sort out a problem with payment. This email stated that my services "have lapsed".

I checked that my server was still operational: it was. I checked my Easyspace Control Panel for recent, failed transactions requiring my attention: none. My assumption: their mistake.

As I came to do my accounts for December (a little later than normal), I noticed that no payment was taken at the beginning of December for Easyspace. Was I wrong to assume that this could have been an internal error? If you were a hosting company and a customer had failed to pay for your services, when would you contact them to sort it out?

While I was in my Easyspace Control Panel, I noticed that there was an invoice outstanding: dated 02/02/10... "This must be the one they're talking about," I thought. I paid this invoice there and then online (even assigning it a special code of their choosing so they could flag it up on their accounts more easily).

I had acknowledgement of this payment and my service seemingly continued. My server showed up in my account; all was well.

Skip to today. For various reasons I don't know from when my server went down, but it has now been down all day.

After two very calm and collected phone calls to Easyspace to sort this problem out, even paying the payments they had failed to take (December + January), and waiting very patiently (for now 11 hours from initial contact!) I am royally cheesed off.

So to recap: they didn't warn me that my payments weren't processed, the "warning" they did give was late and uninformative (it was an automated email after all), and even though I had attempted to comply to their wishes they still took my server offline (again without warning) and have so far yet to restore it, although all accounts are settled.

And to top it all, their automated telephone queuing service is rubbish. It simply rings and puts you straight into the queue; no "Thank you for calling Easyspace" to let you know you've called the correct number, just music until you hear the standard rotation message of "thank you for waiting".

Therefore, I am now looking to move my web hosting needs to another provider. So if you have any suggestions, I would be welcome to hear them! Stick your referral links in the comments.

While this may be painful for me, this experience has taught me a few lessons:

  1. If in doubt, speak to a person - despite how difficult they make it
  2. Always have a backup server ready to take over
  3. Don't trust other organisations to do things the ideal way (no matter how easy it should be for them to implement)
Yet, despite all of this I am thankful for a couple of things:
  1. At least this server wasn't running anything too mission critical
  2. Other important services (esp. email) are hosted elsewhere, e.g. Google
  3. I don't have to stay with Easyspace
  4. I can go to bed without worrying or stressing because I'm so laid-back it's not ruffling my feathers all that much, in the grand scheme of things
Rant over, Simon out.

2 comments:

ILMV said...

Hi Simon, sorry to hear about the poor hosting experience.

I've been with WebFusion for about a year now and they're doing ok, seems cheap enough, plesk control panel, decent network speeds (not that I've really pushed the limits). I have had a few dealings with their support (after I had cocked up with settings) and on all occasions offered the some decent solutions.

Anonymous said...

AVOID THESE COWBOYS AT ALL COSTS.

Over the last couple of years these people have achieved a level of incompetence I have never come across with any other company.
After running a business we logged on to our website one day to find it had been hijacked by an american company, we were fully paid up so contacted wasteofspace, oops sorry easyspace who had to admit that yes we had paid up fully but an "error" between there admin and accounts had allowed our domain name to be put back up for grabs and therefore sold to someone else, bang business gone in one fowl swoop. They did nothing for us except offer us another name for free, Great help !! However through a complete lapse of thought on our part we recently signed up for an on line shop package with these jokers and they are still complete idiots, we paid by DD from our company mastercard started to build our site but every month there automatic payment system failed and they took our site offline, great if you have a online shop. It was left for us to contact them and they took the details and manually imputed them then we would get our shop back, this happened 4 times in 6 months so once again we have been robbed of 25 quid a month for absolutly nothing, they have outright lied in emails to us saying we had not left all the numbers when we filled out the online payment form but they managed to take the first 2 months money without issue. What kind of company sells web services but cannot get there own systems to work.
Now we have moved to a proper company 1&1.co.uk but easyspace want to charge us another 20 quid to transfer our name away from them.I have emailed them but as usual no reply.

IF YOU RUN AN ONLINE BUSINESS WITH A DOMAIN NAME REGISTERED WITH EASYSPACE ASK YOURSELF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU LOST YOUR NAME ???

I URGE YOU TO MOVE AWAY FROM EASYSPACE.