Cheap Web Hosting Support: How Bad Hosting Support Can Be

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cheap web hosting support - Title
 
I’d like to share with you a piece of my experience with cheap web hosting support. It was bad but also funny. It’s the sort of support that I wish you never have with your host. If you know how bad a technical support can be, then you may want to choose a cheap web hosting more carefully.

Also, I’ve got a little freebie for you (look at the end of this post).

 

After reading this post you will probably be more careful and then you’ll have more chances to get a good support even if it’s a cheap web hosting.

The host which support I’m reviewing is one of 100+ hosts that I’ve been using for my projects on behalf of my clients.

And this host is one of those unreliable cheap web hosting with bad support that makes their clients cry. It’s actually also the host with the “funniest” support I’ve ever been using.

I even doubted that its support is a real person. For a moment I thought that it was just a next-generation chat bot used by this cheap web hosting support staff and not a human (you’ll see below what I mean 🙂 ).

By the way, if you are looking for a high-quality host (there are very affordable ones too!) with great support, just look at this page when you have time.
But now I will talk about bad quality host with utterly under-qualified support.

It’s a not well-known host (fortunately), so it’s unlikely you will have a chance to use it. But anyway, its domain name is h*****ga**vps.com

I’m not shouting out the name of this cheap web hosting with bad support because this is not the aim of this post.

My aim now is that you could do the following:

  • See how bad support can be. And you will know what to expect if you make a wrong decision when choosing your hosting (even if it’s not cheap web hosting).
  • Have some fun reading my little adventure story with the host support (the last support ticket is the funniest by the way).

Okay, let’s rock: click on images below to read a corresponding support ticket or read them all five tickets one by one. Enjoy!

cheap web hosting support - Act1

cheap web hosting support - Act2

cheap web hosting support - Act3

cheap web hosting support - Act4

cheap web hosting support - Act5

 

Act 1. Placing my order. Warming up with the cheap web hosting support

 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

I’ve just bought your hosting, and see that it’s active. But I have not received my account information (cPanel account, name servers etc)

I have got only payment confirmation.

Can you please send me my new account info?
Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, you ordered 2 times for the same product so it messed it up a little, I deleted your 2nd order which looked like you did order the same thing twice.
 
My note: So what? I still need my hosting account information.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi Brady,

Thanks.
And can you please tell me the name servers?

FYI: The reason why there were two orders is that after filling in my personal info and pressing ‘pay’ (or ‘submit’) button it gave me error. And so I tried again, but got the error again.
Then I checked my email and saw two invoices. And then I simply payed one.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Oh I see ok, please look here for the information: <URL with name servers information>
 
My note: Issue resolved from the second unnecessary attempt. Whereas a good host support resolves issues with minimum iterations.

 
Okay, that was not a big deal. But it was just a warming up.
 

Act 2. Installing CMS. First blood

 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

I’ve installed Drupal 7 from Softaculous and it went without errors.
But when I try to access the website or Drupal admin area I get this error:
“Fatal error: Class ‘PDO’ not found in /home/username/public_html/includes/database/database.inc on line 187”

I don’t have such problem on many other hosting.

Can you please fix it?

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, i have told a technician to look into this for you as it seems to be a error due to the cpanel plugins not being installed maybe, it may take a few hours to get this sorted out.

Please take a look here and if you can fix it let us know asap: http://codesteps.com/2014/01/12/how-to-resolve-fatal-error-class-pdo-not-found-in-homepublic_html-includesdatabasedatabase-inc-on-line-184-error-in-drupal/

 
My note: Asking client to solve technical problems which arise on hosting side when performing such an elementary operation as installing a CMS is a nonsense. It’s entirely a hosting responsibility to make the installing scripts work. But I did what they asked.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

This quick fix did not help me. But maybe it was me who did something wrong. You may try to do anything in my cPanel if you want.
user/password is the same as you told me: <skipped>.

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, our hosting is super cheap due to not giving support for non server side issues, it would be best if you post on a drupal forum and they will give you the best support for drupal. We will check if it is a error on our side and get back to you but it maybe a while upto 24 hours maximum.
 
My note: On every shared hosting everyone should expects that installing scripts provided by the host should work. Asking a client to go and resolve this programming issue is bold.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

Yes, I understand you don’t provide CMS support… <skipped> … I’ve used several other unmanaged hosting and there are no problems with default Drupal installation.

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, i think it is us not your script, our technician for that server is compiling PHP to support PDO classes for Drupal, please give us a few hours to get this done.
 
My note: I told them that this was the issue was on their side from the very beginning. At last they have got it. Whew. It took them three iterations in the support ticket to resolve the issue instead of one iteration.

 
Alright, it was still not much fun yet. The fun starts next.
 

Act 3. They killed my site the first time. I don’t succumb

 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,
My site is not available.
Can you please fix it?
Thanks.
 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, we sent out emails a long time ago saying this cpanel would be ending from April 2015, I have added credit buy Canada north America 1 year hosting.

I have added credit order here: <URL skipped>
Product Selection: <skipped>
 
My note: Okay, it looks like I have to place a new order. And say goodbye to my old site. The host has annihilated it. But no worries, I had a backup.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hello,

I went to the link <skipped> and started placing a new order, but when specifying my domain (yourdomain.net) it said that “This domain already exists in our database so cannot be ordered again”.

Please see the screen shot attached.
Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, when ordering add a random domain (yourdomain101.net) then your domain (yourdomain.net) as an add on domain.
 
My note: Well, the host does not want to make life easier for the clients. Instead of resolving it the host makes the client (me) undergo some workaround.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi, I did as you said, but when trying to open my domain (<skipped>) the browser says "Forbidden.
You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
<technical info skipped>"

Please assist.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, had a look you need to put a index file in the main public folder, upload the site extract to public_html right now you have folders so domain.com/1 etc. Delete all then add the main content here: public_html
 
My note: Again, instead of simply resolving its error, the host goes on bugging me as if I’m its beta-tester.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

Thanks for your hints.

I’ve added index.html file into public_html, but it did not change anything (i.e. I still get Forbidden error when trying to open my domain <skipped>).

Can you please do anything with it?

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, sorry forgot to say: delete htaccess
 
My note: Again, instead of resolving the issues the hosts ask me to try this try that. Grrr…
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

I’ve tried both with and without htaccess, but the same result.
Now there is no htaccess, but still I get Forbidden when trying to open my domain <skipped>.

What can be done please?

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, the domain is not even registered.
 
My note: That’s where it begins really to piss me off because of the host’s unprofessionalism. But I hold myself.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi Brady,

Of course I don’t have the domain <skipped>, because it’s some random domain (you asked me to add). I own only this domain <skipped>

Please look at your reply at 07/09/2015 09:43 where you say:
"Hi, when ordering add a random domain (yourdomain101.net) then <yourdomain.net> as a add on domain."

Please let me know what I need to do.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, what is the domain you are trying to use??
 
My note: Nice, a very "thoughtful" question from the support who seemingly does not read the thread above. Luckily for me, the support updated the ticket soon:
 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, re-created the account with the correct domain: (yourdomain.net)
 
My note: Oh, my Heaven! I can’t believe this! They have done it at last. This is what they should have done long time ago instead of suggesting inefficient stuff and wasting my time.

 
Perhaps, it was a bit complicated to follow. But the next one is where the real fun begins.
 

Act 4. They killed my site the second time. Backup saga

 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

I’ve got two problems:

1. My site disappeared (when I open yoursite.net it gives me page (<URL skipped>) that says that something is misconfigured.)

2. I can’t login to my cpanel (it says not valid username/pasword)
I try
<URL skipped> or <URL skipped> with username/pass: <skipped>

I’ve done absolutely nothing since the last time my site was ok.

Please resolve these issues.
Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, i had to re-create your service, your cpanel login is the same but no files will be available.
 
My note: Very nice! They simply killed all my data and did not even tell me about it right away. But I’ve got a backup. If I knew then that the story was just starting out…
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi Brady,

I’ve uploaded my full cpanel backup (backup-9.13.2015_03-23-18_yousite.tar.gz) to my root folder (/home/user1)
Please restore it.

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, simply right click and extract it.
 
My note: haha, nice joke 🙂
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

This is Full CPanel Backup.
I can’t simply extract it or use any other cPanel tool available to me.

This is what host masters do:
See this page

Please restore it for me.

Thanks.

 
My note: I feel strange because it looks like I know basic stuff more than the support does.
 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, go to /home and you will see your backup there and you can restore yourself, your saying we need to do this due to permissions?
 
My note: Support’s persistance is driving me crazy, but I still hold myself.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Dear Brady,

Please let me repeat once again, that it’s not a partial files backup. It’s a full cpanel backup which contains files, databases, Mail, configs etc
I can’t restore it myself because it’s not something I can do on shared hosting.

I could do it if I had a reseller plan with a corresponding WHM functionality enabled (WHM >> Main >> Backup >> Restore a Full Backup/cpmove file) but I don’t have WHM in my hosting account with you.

Please read the following saying that shared hosting users can’t restore full cpanel backups (maybe it will give you and idea what I’m trying to say to you):
http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1187713

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BALA (SUPPORT):
Hello,

Brady didn’t quite understand what you meant however, I’ve restored your backup if you have any further concerns please get do get back to us. I’ve been hired 15 minutes ago so you’ll be experiencing a better level of support.

 
My note: Cool! There will be no more unprofessional support! (Hehe, how naive I was! Keep on reading 🙂 )

 
The funniest part is below. That is above my expectations.
 

Act 5. They killed my site the third time. Backup saga resurrected. Deja-vu

 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi,

My site (yoursite.net) is not loading. The browser is just connecting endlessly…
I have not made any changes since last time it worked.

Can you please fix it?
Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
LOUIS (SUPPORT):
Hello Sir,

We have migrated these servers and the webmaster is changing ip’s…

All your data is fine and with the grace of Allah you will manage this

 
My note: okay, let’s consider this downtime because of the host’s failure. Let’s wait a bit for IP propagation or whatever…

(a couple of days later)

 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hello,
my website still does not work.
Please fix it asap.
Thanks.
 
cheap web hosting support
 
LOUIS (SUPPORT):
Hi,
You need to delete your database and recreate it.
 
My note: Very nice. So, it’s not about IPs. It’s about something else. In other words, they admited they have broken my site. And that it’s me who has to fix it. Okay, I tried to replace the database and restore partial backups, but it did not help. Thus, the easiest solution is to simply restore full cPanel backup. This only the host can do.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Please restore my full cpanel backup which is located in my user root folder:
/home/user1/
Name of the full cpanel backup: backup-9.13.2015_03-23-18_yoursite.tar.gz
Thanks
 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, you can do this in softaculous, also just open the backup and copy the sql over your old sql file.
 
My note: Hey! Long time to see! The old fella Brady. The full cPanel backup restoration expert :))) I thought lightning do not strike the same place twice. How wrong I was!
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Hi Brady,

I am not able to do it in Softaculous, because this is a full cpanel backup. This it what only host masters can do. No shared account users are allowed to restore full cpanel backups.

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
LOUIS (SUPPORT):
Hello,
Have you changed your DNS to ns1.<skipped> and ns2.<skipped>
 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, download your backup restore with softaculous or open cPanel, then click Softaculous at the bottom.
 
My note: Oh no! Not again!
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
As regards restoring FULL CPANEL backup: please have a look at ticket XYZ.
And if you have any questions, please contact Bala, your Senior Admin.

And yes, name servers are correct.
You can see it here: http://whois.domaintools.com/

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, all you need to do is extract the backup and download the sql file and replace the current sql with your backed up.
 
My note: What?! Not funny anymore.
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Brady,
I understand you. But this is a full cpanel backup. It is not supposed to be restored like you say.
This is becoming frustrating. Not the first time with the same issue.

Please please please don’t tell me any more saying I can restore full cpanel backup myself. Because normally no users on shared hosting accounts can do that!

I’ve been using more than 100 hosts and you are one of the most outstanding support I’ve even met.

Please next time I expect you to tell me everything is done.
Or contact your senior technical support and ask them to help you out.

Thanks

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, all you need to do is replace the sql file what is the point in a full restore if you can restore 1 sql file to fix everything?
 
My note: Really?!
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Brady,

First off all, it was not me who broke my site. It was a failure from your side. Why should I spend any time fixing your issue?
I’m using your shred hosting account, and not unmanaged VPS.

Second, I’ve tried to do what you say, and tried to restore a SQL backup (I hope you meant this by "replacing sql file"), but this gave me no results as well as there were no indication that the database restore process was going on. Looked like your server was not responding.

Third, your explanations to replace sql file are not clear to me ("extract the backup and download the sql file and replace the current sql with your backed up").
Where is the "current sql" file located on my account and in the full cpanel backup you are talking about?
Perhaps your meant to restore a sql backup, but I ‘ve already tried that and it did not work out.

That’s why I suggest you just restoring a full cpanel backup as it may be the easiest for you and me.

If you don’t want to restore a full cpanel for any reason, then take my full cpanel backup and do what you told me to do: i.e. download it and restore a sql file or whatever else..

If you need my cpanel user password, then here are they:
user: <skipped>
pass: <slipped>

The full cpanel backup is here:
/home/user1/
name of the full cpanel backup: backup-9.13.2015_03-23-18_yoursite.tar.gz

Thanks.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, if the sql backup like mine is showing 0 then you need to create a new database unfortunately.
 
My note: WTF?!
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Dear Brady,

I’ve got a full cpanel backup.
I believe it is fine.

Can you replace the whole account by restoring the full cpanel backup?

I am already telling you this for a week every day.

Please, I’m begging you, restore the full cpanel backup and my site will be okay again.

Why don’t you do this?

It looks like you are mocking at me…

Please please please. i’m telling you please because simply I don’t allow myself to be rude.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
BRADY (SUPPORT):
Hi, unzip the backup i checked the sql is 0 bytes same as some other accounts.
 
My note: WTF again?!
 
cheap web hosting support review
 
MICHAEL:
Dear Brady,

It is the absolutely the same full cpanel backup that Bala, your senior admin, could restore.
This backup’s name is backup-9.13.2015_03-23-18_yoursite.tar.gz located at /home/user1/
Please look at this ticket: XYZ

And now you tell me that the database in the backup is empty.
Or I don’t understand what you are telling me.
Please explain.
Or better please restore the same backup that Bala could restore.

 
cheap web hosting support
 
LOUIS (SUPPORT):
Backup restored and all your MySQL databases are fine. Sorry for Brady being so useless…
 
My note: That’s what I expected on day one. But it took eight days to restore my site.

 
 
What is the moral of this story?

The point is that very cheap web hosting is likely to be technically unreliable. But if such host has an awful support, it becomes a nightmare. That’s why for your websites which are important to you, you need to choose a high-quality hosting with professional and knowledgeable support like the ones on this list.

Also, make sure you always have backups. You can arrange backups for free or use very convenient paid backup service.

Anyway, if you have ever had experience with a bad cheap web hosting support, you will have something to compare to. And you will appreciate high-quality support and reliable hosting much more 🙂

P.S.: If you’d like to use the comic templates I’ve created and used for this post, you can download them here (absolutely free, no obligations). By the way, consider subscribing to my blog if you have not already, and you will not miss good stuff from me 🙂

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Comments

  1. Time is money, hosting companies should have fast and efficient support if live support is not available. No one wants to sit on their hands for days waiting for a response.

    Seeing you know the topic of discussion this is a golden nugget of information for those not familiar with hosting platforms.

    Thanks Michael, another good read!

  2. i hope you still remember me
    how are you and thank you for helping me secure my website and taking backup with google drive and a lot
    now i need your most advice for something…
    I have Shared Hostgator host plan, ineed another one that have a very good stable hosting planes ?
    with good price ? and thank you.

  3. Brady is so hilarious hahaha!

    Let me share some too.

    I’ve tried to live chat to ask some pre sales question in one of the most famous brand owned by EIG.
    I just asked about how many virtual memory, physical memory, and entry processes given in 1 shared hosting account, yet the support (his name is also Louis) replied me after 15 mins (seriously, just to answer that?) with server’s hardware specs (their processor, ram, etc which is not my concern).

    I lost my cool, closed the chat window, and not convinced with them anymore. 1 hour later I register new account in HawkHost. They are much better in case of answering tech-y questions.

    • Hahaha, yeah EIG outsources support, and sometimes the support fails like that 🙂
      But even outsourcing can be not that bad, but obviously EIG cuts the costs very much and gets what it pays for.
      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. Ha ha. I enjoyed it. How funny customer support from hosting provider that was ! think best hosting providers give support till customer satisfaction. I don’t want to get that kind of experience.

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