Jul 31 2009
BlueHost Hosting Service Failure
 

Update: Over 24 hours down and site is still not up.

It has become a recurring theme with BlueHost hosting service issues.

Once again, one of the sites I host with BlueHost is down and has been down since 4pm yesterday.

This is my chat with Bluehost:
——————————
: I believe it is file system corruption, but I am not sure
[12:16:26 PM]: there is a file tree rebuild no in process
John [12:14:42 PM]: Just this one server–it is having a serious issue, but we’re doing our very best to restore it
You can submit your feedback to us at feedback@bluehost.com so that we can review your comments. I can understand, however.
—————————
Now over 12 hours later and the problem still persist.

No warning that maintenance was going to be run, just take down the sites.
This is another example of how BlueHost is mismanaging growth and not responding to problems.

Several hundred accounts are being affected. Apparently the file system.

Write to if you feel the same way I do.
matt@bluehost.com
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Matt,

Once again I find myself writing to you and your company about a failure to provide nominal service.

I am now posting on my blog my experiences and you have lost me as a customer, not only for failing to respond to my previous correspondence but what is clearly growth mismanagement.

Having a customer site going down for over an hour is one thing, having it go down for days is another thing altogether. This is not the early days of web hosting, reliability is expected as a basic requirement when purchasing hosting.

Corrective action is imperative on your part to repair this problem as it only appears to be getting worse.

Regards,
Victor

Email from Michael on Feedback.

Michael,

My domain is hothousestudios.com. Would love to figure out exactly
what is going on, because this is totally unacceptable. Remember
customers have options. My site is STILL DOWN.

I’ve provided my number below.

Also, I called billing to see about receiving some sort of credit and
was apalled a the response, basically did I read the TOS and the
service is provided as is. No credits are issued. WOW. that is not the
way to do business with a any customer.

-Victor

Email back:
I apologize you didn’t get the reply you wanted Victor. Matt is the CEO of a very fast growing company and is very busy dealing with the different aspects and developing groundbreaking features which he details on his blog. I haven’t exchanged more than 10 words with him myself for a few months now. I’m not aware of any servers going down for days, usually they’re back up in a matter of minutes. If you’ll send me your domain name we’ll be able to look into the issue and have a more informed conversation. We appreciate you letting us know how you feel.

Regards,
Michael Stevens
Morning Tech Manager
1958 Kuhni Road
Provo, Ut 84606

Next response:
Unfortunately you’re on that server which is going through a file system check. It’s taken much longer than we would have liked, probably due to an errant customer having millions of log files on his account that he doesn’t even know about. It became necessary to run it to ensure file integrity. When it’s done running the check the server will be back up just like it as. These instances are extremely rare but have become necessary from time to time.
For compensation, in the past we’ve given a free month for downtime, but it turns out that breaks our billing system and causes our CEO to be very angry. What I can do is actually a little better for you. I can leave a note on your account that we’ll make your next hosting renewal a dollar cheaper per month, which would be 12 bucks off if you renewed for a year. You’d need to call us at least 16 days before the renewal take place and ask us to look for the note made today July 31st, and then ask to be renewed at the lesser rated we promised. We automatically renew our customers at 15 days before it’s canceled unless they ask us not to, to ensure their domains and websites are safe.

My Response:
Look I appreciate your response and what you are saying does nothing for me. I could care less what it does to your billing and what makes your CEO angry I could care even less. Your CEO posts on his blog to send him email and he doesn’t even respond!

Who reads his email?

You guys have really pissed me off the way you have handled the situation and this should be consider a major failure in customer service.

I have asked repeatedly that I be moved to a more stable server, and I have no idea if that has happened or not. It is unfortunate that BlueHost is following the path that some other hosting companies have followed, in really forgetting that the customer is #1.

I do not want to renew and have no interest. I asked for a simple credit and that was apprently too much to ask!

I will begin my migration away from your servers asap.

Regards,
Victor

response from Mike:
If you had a company with hundreds of thousands of customers, would you be able to respond to everyone who sends you mail? Don’t take it so personally. I’m happy to ask the admins to migrate you once the server comes backup, but honestly there is no better chance you’ll have a better experience on another box, probably less of a chance since this one just went through a file system check and likely will not need one again for many months or years if ever. If your account is migrated you’d be looking at additional downtime because of transfer time and dns propagation.

my response:
If I could not respond as CEO I would make sure each email received a
response somehow, someway, you know why…. because those are the
people I have to thank for getting me to where I am!

The fact that someone took the time to write an email should be
enough, I don’t care if you have 1 million customers!

The fact remains that Bluehost has not handled this and other
situations effectively, there is a major flaw not only on the tech
side but also from a customer service standpoint.

I have hosted with numerous hosting companies. It’s all about managed
growth and paying attention to the customer.

Just do a search on twitter and google for Bluehost horror stories. I
am not the only person having problem on a repeated basis. Seems
like some re-grouping is in order.

Regards,
Victor

Response:
He does have a ticket system as well as this feedback email. I suspect he does at least read them all as I’ve received responses. If you search on the web, you’ll find a plethora of praise and otherwise about any big company. The ones that have a poor experience will tend to be more vocal about it. Our growth is a testament to our repeat loyal customers. I look forward to being mentioned on your blog again. Cheers.

My Response:
So I have no resolution my site is still down. Go figure.

Next:
How long will it be before the site is back up?

Written by

View all posts by: