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Beating Of A Web Host

Is It Legal?



9:04 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

I recently switched web hosts from one to another to take advantages of some services they offered. Upon setting up my account I immediately had some problems, mainly with them failing to tell me some small but useful information. I switched a second domain to this site, and had all sorts of problems with getting it set up properly. The same thing occured with a sub-domain I set up as well.

Thinking to worst was over, I went through a week without any troubles. In my third week I started to have e-mail troubles, and the odd bit of IP outage. When pressed as to why, they came up with flimsy answers that made little sense.

Yesterday my site went down completely, and all my attempts to contact the host did nothing. My e-mail had been down 75% of the time for a week, and my site was locked out from usage. I got upset, and changed to another web host.

My question is does anyone know what legal obligations a web host is under to provide services? I know in the regular world a business that fails to provide a service promised is liable by law, but I'm not sure if server outages count in the webmaster world. I have checked their operating agreement and it states they will not be help responsible for server outages, but could I hold them responsible for continued lack of correction of those outages? All I want is a refund on my set-up and the 3 weeks I was with the company, but I'm not sure if I have a legal leg to stand on. Does anyone have any ideas?

Saving that, does anyone have a couple black ski masks, a shot gun, some pepper spray, and some real apathy towards idiot web hosting companies?


10:53 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

86 the shotgun idea...ain't worth it. Besides your "hosting" company is probably in an office 4 miles from the servers they lease from the "real" host anyway...you'd get the wrong dude.

I had a similar situation and lernt a real good lesson about Visa/Mastercard and what they will and won't do.

1. You need a contract in writing to be safe. Bulletproof safe.

2. You need to get credit vouchers from the web host to back up what they say they are going to credit you for.

3. Seems email isnt a rock solid form of communication yet, so faxed agreements are in order if you've got something valuable on the line.

Try a host that is highly recommended by your peers.


11:30 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>Try a host that is highly recommended by your peers.

And also make sure they specify a 'service level agreement' of 99.whatever% - without this you've effectively no legal comeback.


1:31 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Some background on what is going on. I've been in the computer business over twenty years working with large data centers and have seen the ISP's crop up. I can say that the level of service is horrible even from some bigger names. Most have no clue about customer service or service level agreements (SLA's). When they do, it doesn't matter, they don't have good communication with customers and most don't want to bother. They feel they can implement code changes that distrupt service and it's no big deal. Why, because most are technical folks who have no people skills. I rent dedicated servers and still have problems with this. To try and get any money from them for interruption of service is impossible.
You can compare this industry to the contractors business, when business is this good, most do not care or want to hear from customers.

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