WebHost4Life Sucks

by Lyndon on April 19, 2010

A Customer Service Fail of EPIC Proportions

I’ve been hosting a number of small sites across a number of accounts for a number of years with WebHost4Life.  For the most part the service has been what you’d expect out of a low cost hosting company – not great but not that bad.

While things changed.  Holy crap what a piece of shit company.  They are in the process of migrating all servers to new technology and today one of my accounts was migrated.

I get an email letting me know it’s been completed. I go check out the site nervously.  Boom, Error, the connection string for the SQL Server Database is incorrect. I contact Live Chat Support they tell me they have forwarded my request to Technical Support and “Hang Up” on me.

So I hit the Live Chat Button again.  They tell me I will need to wait 24-48 hours.  Craptastic.  Here is the dialog:

Melanie Evans: Hi Lyndon. My name is Melanie, how are you today?

Lyndon Reid: Hi Melanie

Lyndon Reid: My sites were migrated today and are not working

Melanie Evans: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Lyndon Reid: I need this fixed

Lyndon Reid: please

Lyndon Reid: :)

Lyndon Reid: Hello?

Melanie Evans: May I place you on hold while I look into this for you? I should have some more information regarding your issue in 4-5 minutes.

Melanie Evans: One of our agents already escalated your issue to our specialists.

Lyndon Reid: He hung up on me so i was unaware

Melanie Evans: Our engineers are working on it.

Lyndon Reid: How long until i can expect a reply

Melanie Evans: It will take 24 – 48 hours to resolve your ticket.

Melanie Evans: I will give the highest priority.

Lyndon Reid: That is really unfair

Lyndon Reid: My entire site is down

Lyndon Reid: Because of something you guys did

Lyndon Reid: and now i have to wait

Lyndon Reid: worse yet you are trying to upsell service packages

Melanie Evans: Yes.

Melanie Evans: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Lyndon Reid: Your serious, I have to wait for up to 2 days?

Lyndon Reid: This will affect my google rankings negatively

Lyndon Reid: This means two days with NO EARNINGS

Melanie Evans: I can understand your concern.

Lyndon Reid: If your company understood my concern they would do something faster

Melanie Evans: I assure that it will be resolved soon.

Lyndon Reid: thank u

End of Conversation

The best part.  I go to open a ticket myself.  Check out the screen shot.  I can pay $30.00 a month for faster service.  This is new, since the migration.  So they destroy my site and then charge $360 a year for service.  What a freakin joke.  I wish upon them, with the white hot intensity of a thousand burning sounds, complete and total failure and bankruptcy.

WebHost4Life Sucks

WebHost4Life Sucks

If you are reading them and looking for a host a would recommend stabbing yourself in the left eye with a ballpoint pen before giving this self serving pricks your business.

Love you (no not you WebHost4Life, everyone else that reads my blog).

PS:  Isn’t great that I can put a blog post up faster than they can fix a minor issue?

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Jacobson April 19, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Unreal. Makes me glad I’m with Host Gator.

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Lyndon April 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I am happy for you and sad for me :P.

Hope you are well Chris!

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Eric Johnson April 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I also got burned by them over the weekend. I got the email saying my site was migrated and it appeared to be working. But upon further inspection, they had toasted all of my custom DNS records so I was losing downloads for a day or so.

I figured no big deal and went to add a custom DNS record in the control panel. As soon as I did that, the entire site went down. I think I connected with 5 different support reps, each one telling me the exact same thing you saw. I was so sick and tired of the automatic line “I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.”.

It took the better part of a day for them to get to my ticket, and the “solution” was to restart IIS.

I then take an even closer look and find that they migrated the schema of my database, but NONE of the data. I chatted with another rep and was told it could take 2 days to get that restored. 2 Days. Are you kidding me?

My contract runs out in November but during my outage I looked around and purchased a VPS account with someone else. I plan on being off of their terrible services long before November gets here.

Absolutely pathetic.

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Lyndon April 19, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for commenting. And so Quickly. Sorry to hear you had to go through this as well. You pay monthly with them (just up front) according to their TOS you can request a refund for unused months.

Who did you go with for your VPS?

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Eric Johnson April 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I’m going with KickAssVps.com. I’m actually kind of glad it happened this weekend, as I was seriously considering using their VPS services for some things I’m going to be rolling out in the near-term. Thankfully they gave me a preview of what is to come and I won’t be locked into another one of their contracts.

As you said above, they have been OK in the past. Not great, but not like this.

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Lyndon April 19, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Excellent, I will be checking them out as well as RackSpace’s cloud. Thanks for the referral. I’ll bug ya for an affiliate link if I decide to go with them. It’s bad timing for me to make a jump into premium hosting but I guess it needs to be done.

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Youfoundjake April 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm

It sucks reading about downtime on a website. Side note: did the correct version of php get loaded? Could php4 be running and you actually use php5?
I use lunarpages.com. Great service. (notice the lack of affiliate link, that’s just how I roll)
good luck!!

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Lyndon April 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Hey Jake,

Thanks for checking in and your concern. It’s actually a Windows server. They didn’t restore the database correctly when migrating servers. Now I wait :|

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Jason Hanley April 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

It’s clear their customer service sucks, but if you’re able, I would strongly recommend switching to a UNIX-based server when you switch providers.

I developed on Windows for years and assumed that corruption/reboots/hangs were just a part of normal life, until I hosted my web apps on a UNIX server and they just ran… for months.. through OS and libraries upgrades and patches… without any problems or downtime.

I use Windows daily for my laptop and local development, but I would never in 100 years consider deploying a live site on it.

Sorry to hear of your troubles and hope they get it resolved soon!

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Lyndon April 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I have sites on windows servers that NEVER have issues. Must have been your shared environment. Windows CAN be stable.

But yeah there LAMP has its place too. truth be told, I can code quicker in ASP.NET so often I whip things together fast in asp.net.

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Donn Edwards April 20, 2010 at 7:01 am

I’m sorry to hear of your story. You aren’t the only one. See
http://webhost4lifecustomers.ning.com/
for other stories. Join and connect with other users.

Also, I am the webmaster for fishwisepro.com, and it has been unusable for 12 days
(http://donnedwards.openaccess.co.za/2010/03/webhost4life-breaks-fishwisepro-web.html) and has had no data for 3 weeks. I did manage to get their attention enough to get an apology from the company. It’s on my blog. But the problems continue.

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Susan H. July 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

3rd day that my site is down: http://www.marblesoftinc.com.

I have 2 accounts with them and both are NOT working. My ASP.NET site hasn’t worked for 3 months. My Linux site is still down. I’ve given up :(

After you get this macro response to your tickets:

“We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Currently, we are experiencing an issue with our MySQL server. This is the reason you are experiencing the issue. Our engineers are working on the issue and it will be resolved at the earliest. We appreciate your patience during this service interruption. ”

Somehow this does not motivate me to be patient.

After 3 days of downtime and no results, I have none.

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Jay April 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm

$360/yr??? That’s horrible! I would prefer a dedicated server if I need to spend so much to fix problems with them.

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Lyndon April 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Tell me about it :S

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Tina April 27, 2010 at 10:39 am

The real treat? Ask the tech support specialists where they’re physically located. I’m betting they work out of Mangalore, India.

They’ll be really coy about this, so you have to be direct, otherwise they’ll just give you the address of the U.S. headquarters. But that’s not really where support staff are working. The “please wait 4-5 minutes” line is a tip-off. They all use that exact same line. Several cheapie hosts all funnel their support staff through the same place in India.

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Vik April 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I’m not alone, all my sites with webhost4life are down for last 2 days.
Pathetic. It is not even the 1st time either, but 2 days (& still waiting) to fix something in IIS is a joke.

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Lyndon April 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Good luck Vik. I’d try and do anything you can yourself. Such a PITA. They really don’t care.

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Billy April 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Chalk me up to another infuriated soon-to-be past customer of WH4L. My clients site went down on Wednesday 4/21 and is still not up. They couldn’t even provide me a functioning A record due to sheer stupidity. Just today, the test link for the migration began to work but of course none of my custom CMS or customer log-in functions work. I’m so mad, I have screamed. My company has a cloudhosting account with Rackspace that I’m moving any leftover WH4L accounts to. They are great with real customer service. It’s not cheap, but I guarantee the same type of issue won’t happen with Rackspace. WH4L has cost me $1000+ in one week due to this situation. Unacceptable.

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Lyndon April 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm

They don’t care. It’s so sad. They should try hosting some of their own stuff at RackSpace so they can see what support is about.

They haven’t even left a comment on this blog. Look at what RackSpace did when they were mentioned on this blog – http://www.lyndonreid.com/switching-to-mosso-hosting

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Marshall April 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hey dude this really, really sucks. I’m curious to know though after this incident whether you did make the move to RackSpace or not? I’ve been considering them for some server space as well. Often it’s the fear of change and migration that sucks until our hand is forced…I guess it does pay to be proactive at some things.

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Webhost Think May 12, 2010 at 9:08 am

yes,webhost4life sucks. I agree with you!

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Edward May 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

Yes, this migration has been a complete and utter disaster. My pet peeve was what they did to the webmail. The used to be the clean, simple Smartermail which many advanced features as well as logical features like users being to change their own email passwords. Additionally, when logging into webmail, you didn’t even need to enter the domain part of your email address because your Smartermail service was yours and yours only.

Now the punks have branded the webmail with “Webhost4life” in 20 different pages and users have to email me to change their passwords. And then there’s the idiotic line it seems everyone gets every time: “I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.”

I had two separate accounts with them and have already closed off one. The next is gonna happen soon!

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Anthony Chamy May 13, 2010 at 7:33 am

Anthony Chamy vs. Herman

Anthony Chamy: my website is down

Anthony Chamy: again!

Anthony Chamy: Can you please put it back up immediately?

Herman Ray: Hi Anthony. I apologize for the wait time. My name is Herman, how are you today?

Herman Ray: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Anthony Chamy: It has been down due to a connection to the datebase failure

Anthony Chamy: http://www.kepri.co

Anthony Chamy: http://www.kepri.com

Herman Ray: May I place you on hold while I look into this for you? I should have some more information regarding your issue in 4-5 minutes.

Anthony Chamy: Error message is: Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: User kepri already has more than ‘max_user_connections’ active connections in \\boswinfs04\home\users\web\b2091\whl.kepri2\connect.php on line 23 Connection to DB failed

Anthony Chamy: please do so

Anthony Chamy: i am missing traffic that is crucial to my business

Anthony Chamy: and I am losing money

Anthony Chamy: …

Herman Ray: Thank you for your patience. I am still looking into your issue. Can you please hold for another 2 to 3 minutes?

Anthony Chamy: yes please go ahead.

Herman Ray: I appreciate your patience. I am researching on the issue but I will return in 4-5 minutes with some more information.

Anthony Chamy: that’s fine.

Herman Ray: Thank you for your patience. I will be back with some more information in 4 to 5 minutes.

Herman Ray: Thank you for your patience. I am still looking into your issue. Can you please hold for another 2 to 3 minutes?

Anthony Chamy: I think you are taking more time to write these generic messages than time to fix the problem…

Herman Ray: I appreciate your patience. I am researching on the issue but I will return in 4-5 minutes with some more information.

Anthony Chamy: Can you please stop repeating that? thank you

Herman Ray: Thank you for your patience. I will be back with some more information in 4 to 5 minutes.

Anthony Chamy: Herman, you have said this 5 times now, may you please discontinue repeating the same message?

Herman Ray: Thank you for holding.

Herman Ray: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Herman Ray: Could you please check the website again?

Anthony Chamy: the website is running now!

Anthony Chamy: canyou tell me what went wrong?

Herman Ray: We allow 10 concurrent connections to the MySQL servers. You have exceeded this limit. However, we have reset it from the backend.

Anthony Chamy: Can you explain to me why I did not have this problem before the migration?

Herman Ray: Unfortunately, I cannot comment on this. I hope you will not experience any such issue in future.

Anthony Chamy: I spoke to your colleague 2 days ago

Anthony Chamy: and they told me that they increased my quota

Anthony Chamy: ABOVE 10 concurrent connections

Anthony Chamy: so the fact that you said we went over 10 means he did NOT change my quota?

Herman Ray: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

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Guy May 21, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Man these guys… what clowns. I’ve been with them since early 2006. It was never great but it was ok and it was cheap (for IIS hosting).

But now, after this so-called migration, it’s all gone to hell.

Two websites both down for TEN DAYS! TEN FREAKIN DAYS!!! And STILL not fixed.

I used to recommend these bozos to others that wanted low cost IIS hosting. Every single one of them has been down anywhere from one to many days after this migration.

And the best part; they timed the migration on all of those accounts for just after the plans came up for renewal.

This is THE WORST experience I’ve had with a hosting company, ever.

Please, pretty pretty please:
— take your business elsewhere
— tell everybody to post everywhere about these idiots so they don’t fall prey

I sincerely hope they go bust. It would be a service to humanity.

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Matt Kocaj May 29, 2010 at 2:49 am

I have had the same headache. My sites are down and their customer service people either suck or can’t help me anyway. I say ‘either’ coz i did manage to get reasonable customer service from Tim (supervisor @ Pheonix, AZ call centre) in the sense that he was polite and, well, not a moron like the other 1st level plebs (yes, if you’re reading this i’m talking about you!). But he still couldn’t do anything. He’s like IM’ing the “techs” trying to get some help! what tha?

I have ASP.NET MVC sites and while they’re a little more complex than regular ASP.NET sites, the old english-as-a-second-language Tech Support staff (helpdesk.webhost4life.com) managed to help me out no problems prior to this “migration” crap.

In this migration phase i have:
– lost data in my website’s MSSQL DB’s (they “migrated” old copies of my DBs instead of the latest version at time of migration). Currently “waiting” to get a proper backup restored.
– lost iis script mapping for a number of sites/paths (MVC specific issue). Not resolved yet
– lost a ton of functionality from going from the web-based SmarterMail email client to the SquirrelMail client including: lost inbox messages except for last month (idiots!); end users can’t change their own passwords; lost the Global Address List; lost mailbox signatures; aliases/forward groups all screwed up (members of forwarding groups missing etc..); generally the SquirrelMail client is crap in comparison to the SmarterMail one and the admin features are much worse too. I run a school so i have a lot of mailboxes.
– had one of my MSSQL db passwords changed so suddenly i (/my app) can’t access that DB
– come to the realisation that i need to move to another company but live in fear that transferring my domains might be next to impossible (forget about the huge downtime)

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Gina Gray June 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

OH MY GAWD.. don’t ever ever ever use this company… i’ve lost so much money.. have four sites… i had never had problems with them til now.. i think they have dug a hole so deep they can’t get out. They bullsh*& their way out of every situation like we are all a bunch of idiots. Spout programming crap and my husband is a software tester and pt programmer.. WTH?? really.. STAY as far away as you can.. unless it’s to let others know how crappy they treat people. Pass the word along. They did offer to refund me 22 dollars.. REALLY hahahha what a joke.. specially since i lost mega $$$ and had to compesate my customers.. UGHH

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Susan H. July 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Well, I am joining the ranks of customers that have been majorly screwed over by Webhost4Life.
I have two accounts with them (a windows and a unix platform) and they have destroyed all my sites.

My ASP.NET site is still broken since March. They updated the ticket and said it was fixed, I sign in and try to login and it’s broken.

As of this writing, my main website is still not up and they don’t even have a clue that it’s down. I had a demo website on a subdomain for a paying client that I updated content for 4 hours and they restored it to the state PRIOR to all my work, wiping out all my changes.

And they write, sorry for the inconvenience. WOW. How about sorry for really messing up your livelihood?

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Atahualpa jimenez July 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I’m going throu similar problems, i want to know how to begin a legal proccess agaist webhost4life. because the causeme serius lost.

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jon August 10, 2010 at 9:33 am

Do NOT use Webhost4life. These guys used to be pretty good now they absolutely suck. They made some sort of migration and they totally botched it. DO NOT USE WEB HOST 4 LIFE.

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Corey August 14, 2010 at 10:13 am

I cant agree with you more, this company use to be pretty good, but after the migration my site went down too. They uninstalled a PHP module I was using, in my site. It took them 2 WEEKS!!! to uncomment a single line of an ini file and get my site back up.

Then, they stop supporting all the features I used in my website. I had stored all of my Database calls as stored procedures and used a remote client to update and add to them. Next thing I know, I can not connect to the DB remotely anymore (apparently that is not supported now) so I log on using phpMyAdmin and that’s when I notice all the stored are no longer visible. I contact them and the tell me that feature is no longer supported… well uh great, so what do I do now? They have no anwser for that, but they wanted to let me know that my account need to be renewed in the next month and did I want to go ahead and take of that… hmmm, I dont think so.

But here I am, trying to get an updated backup of my DB, which now I cant do because I can not get access to the stored procedures. So looks like the 100 or so procedures I wrote are long gone and I will have to redo them. For some reason, they can not figure out how to perform a backup of a database.

I can not believe how horrible there service has been after the migration.

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ANT August 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

Well I guess it’s time for me to vent. I see most responses here come from very recent dates.
Mine is very recent last 2 weeks. I cant believe how this company webhost4life can exist. I too went through the “we are migrating your sites” with a nightmare there after. I was dumbfounded to see they hadn’t even moved all my files form the original structure. Which made me really mad. I had to go back in and rebuild all the content that was missing. This of course was after the many days of it will take us 24-48 hours bull%$^ to resolve the fact the sites would not even come up.
I do not wish this company webhost4life on my worst enemy if I had one. I was happy to see that this thread came up on a google search for their name webhost4life on the first page. I hope others read this and make a better decision as to where to host there sites.

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Barrett August 20, 2010 at 11:07 am

WebHost4Life is the worst hosting company in the history of civilization. I don’t think you could pay a Hollywood screenwriter to create a more miserable tale of failure. I personally have had horrendous experiences with them and my client has lost hundreds of dollars in troubleshooting issues with their hosting services.

If you enjoy intense pain and suffering, I would recommend either sitting on a pile of nails or hosting your website at WebHost4Life.

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famousde September 11, 2010 at 7:55 am

Looks like I’m a new member of this lovely “webhost4life” totally screwed me club.

I’ve had 7 or sow of my own sites with them for over 5 years.

I’ve had a few large clients (companies) with them.

And the worst of all, as per my recommendation, my biggest, most important client and opportunity ever, just finished in development and went live about a month ago. This is a large project – a year of development time creating a site for the State Government. Webhost4life went to hell just in time to cause disaster for the project; not only webhost4life’s technical difficulties, but also the truly pathetic interactions with webhost4life staff that took place throughout the ordeal. Webhost4life has not only cost me a significant amount of time. I have suffered huge losses of memberships and potential members on my own sites. The SEO and statistical track records of all the sites has been flawed, disrupted and diminished. Most damaging, though, is the harm this host has done to my reputation as a business and web developer, as well as the harm to the reputation of my own several sites which have been hit or miss operational for months. I am truly damaged and embarrassed by the support staff of this company, who are not only technically incompetent, but have demonstrated the poorest communication and customer skills I have ever experienced in my life – in any business or other matter. Support ticket requests and problems, more often and not, receive “resolutions,” or “replies,” that bare little relation to the issue. It is clearly that either the webhost4life support staff either cannot read, or choose not to. Anyway, one could go on about many things: the long and the short of it is that this company went to crap fast, and responded to the crisis in the worst ways I could think possible to where my reputation and bottom line has suffered a significant loss.

On a happier note: I migrated the new state site over to GoDaddy. 1/2 the price and so far twice as fast with not a single crash or down time. I want to get everything else off webhost4life; however, as of late, I can’t access through any route, any of the SQL databases or backups. I fear that on top of all these problems, they’re going to lose all my data. If this happens, then the losses will be devastating.

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Tim September 14, 2010 at 7:13 am

My 2 Cents about Webhost4life support…

I suppose I could sum it up with one word…Terrible…But then if I’m going to take the time to post my comment, I might as well make it worth while.

It takes hours for anyone to respond to support tickets, sometimes days. Are you kidding me??? My website is down, I’m losing business, and you won’t even respond to my requests for help. I don’t know what kind of business background these people have, but it obviously isn’t in customer service. Terrible.

Technical support 24/7, yeah right!!! More like, only when the rest of the world is sleeping! Honestly, when I submit an issue, I need it fixed NOW, not when your support staff is on the clock at who knows what time. You’re a real time web hosting company, get people working when we need you to be working! Websites are running around the clock, not when you’re on the clock. Terrible.

Enough with the automated responses in your chat feature. What are we, 5 years old?? Doesn’t take long for someone to figure out that their customer support experience is being automated. “Can you please hold 2 to 3 more minutes while I research?”. Shut up. Terrible.

You claim 99% uptime on your home page. Pretty bold statement because in my experience, and apparently a lot of other folks, since this transition mess it has been more like 45% uptime. In my opinion this is false advertising, and grounds for legal action right there because of your failure to provide reasonable service. Terrible.

Your changes during this process have been constantly breaking my site, to the point where I’m embarrassed to give out my business cards which have the URL on them because I don’t know if the site will be working or not. Issues that I could take care of myself in seconds, if you would give me the capability to do so, are taking days to fix. Terrible.

Hmmm… that’s funny… I see I was just charged for something that auto-renewed. Wow, you have no problems making sure you get your money. If you guys were paid based on performance just like we are with our websites (when you haven’t broken them that is), you would be screwed! Terrible.

My advice?… Unless this company makes some major changes, stay away from them, don’t fall into the trap, seek other hosting resources. Trust me it would be well worth your time and money to find someone else to entrust your hard work in.

Oh and one last thing webhost4life, I would like you to pay me for the past 2 months of potential sales that you robbed from me when you broke my sites, plus the time and money spent trying to fix your mistakes. Give me that, and a whole new philosophy on customer service going forward and we’ll be just fine. Until then, my response for your service, which I will gladly express to others, is…Terrible.

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Rob M. September 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Website down 7 days and counting. My accountname.webhost4life.com site works but my site with my real URL doesn’t. Sounds like a blooming permissions problems, lads.

I have a theory that webhost4life is actually the portal to hell.

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George September 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

WebHost4Life.com – what a joke! WebHost4Nobody should be their name! WebHost4Life.com is totally incompetent and has been for me the cause of nothing but troubles, headaches, and sleepless nights for almost 4 months.

I have been with them for several years, and slowly they have been deteriorating, in terms of features offered (less), price increases, slower and less competent support, and increased downtime and website slowness. However things have gotten really bad since January, and affected me directly since June when they started to run all the websites they host (including those expensive dedicated servers) of their new, apparently improved, platform. It looks like as of August 2010 they have completely moved all their clients to this new platform. And all new clients will be on their new platform automatically. And I can only feel sorry for them, because that new platform is new indeed, in that it totally ruins your website. Please read my review to find out why…

WEBSITE MORE DOWN THAN UP and “EXPERIENCED” SUPPORT TEAM:
For a start, expect your website to constantly go down, and expect the support team not to be able to do anything about it for weeks! Yes, weeks! While the support is available 24×7 as they say, they are practically useless. The way their support works is quite entertaining, if only it wasn’t so sad… First they turn you into a parrot (a little bird that can repeat phrases after you… you know) by making you restate the problem to them like 5 times over (because they will either answer a question you did not ask, or ignore half of what you asked), to which they give you one of their two favorite responses: “we are sorry for this inconvenience…” or “we are investigating the issue…” or both, if you are particularly insistent. The way they decide which response to pick is by throwing a dice btw. After about a week, once you have received 5 or 6 as you have probably guessed terribly informative messages; you request that the issue be looked by a supervisor or a higher technician. This turns them into a different mode of operation with you… Now they tend to reply in a “things are working fine now, please check on your end…” fashion and closing the ticket. And after that, Oh Miracle! Indeed, the website works for 30 minutes, or even an hour… unbelievable! (Though if you can call 5s-10s response times working is a matter of a debate). But that “miracle” time does not usually last more than an hour… the website goes down for some time, and then spontaneously up again for 10 minutes, and then down for oh maybe several hours, and then… you get the pattern! So, then you realize that, after all, they are just humans, not some deities that could work a true miracle, you so hoped for! After all, it must be insanely difficult to have a website you host run for several days uninterrupted… isn’t it? Thus, you submit another ticket, and you are back to the beginning of your entertaining, but sad, time-consuming, counter-productive, and costly endeavor of communicating with their so-called experienced 24×7 support!

WEBSITE ACCESS PROBLEMS:
But if the roller coaster-like responsiveness and availability of your website didn’t disappoint you enough, I have another lovely surprise: guess what: you may not even be able to access your website for weeks to upload or download files via FTP, or to back up your database! I have been cut off from my website FTP-wise for 10 days! They could care less! Just imagine what it’s like to urgently need to update your website and not have any means to do it! Their support this time was beyond just incompetent, they were totally clueless! I was asking like what is 5×5, and they were telling me that 2+2 = 4 (bad analogy but you get the point – they were totally unaware of the problem or did not want to fix it). I tried retrieving a backup for one of my databases for 1 month! They could care less! It was fortunate that I was able to migrate my database nevertheless by first using an older backup and then importing data from their database server (which thank God was accessible at that time) over to my new database server. So, even after you realize how terrible they are, unless you do regular backups that you have access to, you might have a very hard time trying to migrate to a different host, like I did.

DIRTY PRACTICES with BILLING:
And a few words about the billing. BEWARE they do not stand by their guarantees! First of all they do not refund any add-on features you purchased in addition to your plan – at all! So, even if you spend more than what the plan cost you on those extra features (like extra domain) – they will not you refund a buck! Second: regardless of what your issue is they will impose a hefty cancellation fee! Third: when issuing partial refunds for the hosting plans they calculate the amount by looking into complete months of hosting left, and rounding the amount in their favor! So if you have left 117 days with them, they will refund for 90 days only, not 117! Fourth: if you have prepaid for the hosting (like I did – I paid 40 days before my hosting would expire), they will turn it on its head and state that your real payment date was the begging of the new billing period, and the beginning of the new billing period was the date when you paid! That’s what they told me on the phone: literally they accused me of late payment, when in fact it was the other way around! So, not only is their support incompetent, but their accounting department is incompetent as well! Fifth: I have asked them several times not to put my account on auto-renew; and over the phone they assured me it was off, but when I logged in to the control panel, the auto-renew was on – they disrespect you completely! Finally: when it comes to arguing that you want to cancel the account and get a refund, stating unacceptable downtime as the reason, they tell you literally: “Yes we do provide and guarantee 99% uptime, but that is cumulative, not during any particular time period”. In other words, if you host your website for 5 years with them (that’s 60 months), it’s ok by their terms for your website to be down for 2-3 weeks in a row, because the uptime guarantee is cumulative! Ridiculous! So, basically, you would be very lucky if you get anything back from them! Do not trust them, and stay away!

PROOF of THEIR POOR PERFORMANCE and CONCLUSION:
I am glad that I have finally ended my relationship with them and moved to a great asp.net alternative – ARVIXE. I am btw not their affiliate or anything, but thought its important I mention a good place where you can go if you want to host a moderate asp.net websites with SQL Server databases.

And here’s a response time chart generated by Pingdom for my website when it was hosted by WebHost4Life.com and later when it was on ARVIXE’s servers! It’s real data, and to me the difference is astonishing:
http://i52.tinypic.com/2dc5o20.png

The bottom line is that if you want your website to be constantly inaccessible, offline, slow, and unresponsive, and if you like repeating your questions and explaining your issues 10 times over to the support team only to hear that they “are sorry” or that “it works fine now”, then WebHost4Life.com is for you. Otherwise – don’t even consider this terrible web host!

PS:
Sorry for the lengthy and at times sarcastic review, but I really wanted to give a thorough and comprehensive review with specific examples and facts, and to warn people to stay away from WebHost4Life.com!

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xinde September 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Webhost4life used to be good. However, they are so irresponsible. In the migrating process. They lost my database and asked me to have a backup copy. They said it is not their responsibility to maintain customer’s data. I don’t know what to do. Is there anything that I can do for my lost.

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Wallaman October 5, 2010 at 7:01 am

I too got screwed by WH4L and am moving my sites as we speak. In my case I run web portals wrtiien in .NET and they went and renamed or changed the web.config files and once I realized what happened I actually had to request that they stop working on my problems because their “engineers” were just changing things in the config files to see if it worked. Connection steings, authentication setting etc…. I agree these guys were in the top tier several years ago but in their quest for money they are third world.

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Sameh Ayoub October 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

Dear All,

I had similar case where I faced problem and their support refused to take action, resolve the problem nor even escate it to next level of support.

I had serious problem losing emails even sent to same domain on their servers. they never listened and they advised me to increase mail quota and closed the ticket without actual resolution.

I opened another ticket asking them to solve problem for not receiving delivery note for my mails, they said it’s not supported on the current paltform even though it is exchange. then they closed ticket.

I tried to escalate problem even through phone, they said that their supervisor don’t have mail or phone to be reached !!!

So deadend is that I am losing mails, and I can’t even know that the mails are lost to resend it again.

I don’t recomend them even for PERSONAL email hosting even.

Sameh Ayoub

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Sameh Ayoub October 12, 2010 at 2:31 am

These guys never listen, I opened ticket because I am losing emails sent even on same domain on same server and they still insist that everything is fine.

I asked them to enable Delivery Receipt because it’s not working, they said this feature is not supported on the current platform though they say that the new platform is exchange and this is basic feature, they refused to enable it even though they know I am losing my mails and it was affecting my buisness.

I tried many times to escale it even through phone and no one listen, they said their supervisor has no phone and no mail.

I don’t rewcomend them for even FUN mails not buiness support.

Sameh Ayoub

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Donn Edwards October 12, 2010 at 8:26 am

I’m surprised there are still any WebHost4STRIFE customers left. I have moved to Arvixe and everything is working well. In fact, it’s working better than it ever did at WH4L

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Christian T October 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

hi Lyndon,

I did come across your site and I also want to share my experience with WebHost4Life. Truly, if I could turn back my time, I would NOT even look at this host at all. I was lured by how fast their Sales Team responded my sales inquiries, but when I was a customer with them, BANG! No response at all in 48 hours! What the F**K?

It seems that this company places 100 sales staffs on the front bench, leaving one idiot at the backbench to handle all the tickets! This idiot may run out-of-puff and do not even have time to look at my problem!. I am very, very disappointed with their lack of service, lack of attention to my problem, server problem, downtime issue and many, which I cannot elaborate one by one here. In just a simple statement, if you want to host your ASP.NET site, NEVER EVER consider WebHost4Life as they are truly sucks!

I then decided not to continue with this saga and I switched to asphostcentral.com. Wow! Their service, on the other hand, is top-notch, support is prompt, attentive and the price and features are reasonable. If only I knew this host earlier, I would not even have to spend days of nightmares with WebHost4Life! Seriously, if you are looking for good and reliable ASP.NET host, you can take a look at asphostcentral.com. They may not provide live chat service, but their services are always prompt and responsive. Mostly, I receive a response within 1 hour!

Hope this can be a valuable feedback for ya all! Good luck!

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Sheila R. November 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hey WH4L gang, your worst nightmares are not over, even if you *think* you cancelled your host accounts with WebHost4Life!

I cancelled my account back in May 2010 before the migration (thank god). Account was originally 1-year prepaid opened in Nov. 2009 when they were “Uni Marketing Alliance, Inc.” out of Monterey Park, CA. The whole migration thing happened I think because they were sold to The Endurance International Group, Burlington, MA and obviously outsourced to total all-around incompetents after that (India anyone?).

I never got that pro-rated refund for the 5 unused months after cancelling the account, naturally, even though that was in the original Terms and Conditions of my account.

They just started sending me emails yesterday 11/3/2010 (thus the WEB HOST FURY has now been re-ignited that I thought was long over):

“Some time ago, we received a request from you to cancel your account. For your own security, we need you to confirm that you do, in fact, want to cancel your account before we can complete the cancellation process.” blah, blah, blah…

I have now received many emails stating that due to a “technical glitch” I need to log into their console to cancel my already cancelled account – even though I keep responding steadfastly that the account was closed!

Other emails from them go like this:
“Per the information provided in our earlier response, your account was not canceled due to a technical glitch. Your account was scheduled for cancellation in old platform. However, it got moved into the new platform. Thus, the account was not canceled and it is still active on our servers. In order to cancel your account, please get back to us with the answer for the Security Question or last four digits of the credit card.”

Listen, my account was never migrated AND was also a definite confirmed cancel back in May 2010 with printed proof. I could foresee this shit coming back to haunt me!

Finally I sent them the big long detailed response about PROOF IN HAND of cancel and terms (which I absolutely have), gladly pursue legal action, gladly report them to the BBB, gladly post in blogs and forums about their fraudulent billing on closed accounts… and I made sure I cc:’d this guy also at two different email addresses:

Gary Engel
Sr. Vice President, Sales and Customer Support
The Endurance International Group
customer@enduranceinternational.com
gary@webhost4life.com

WARNING TO CANCELLED ACCOUNT OWNERS AT WebHost4Life: DO NOT LOG IN to their site if you are sure you cancelled your account in the past! It’s a trick to do possibly two bad (fraudulent) things: 1) re-bill you for another term, 2) charge a new $35 cancellation fee. Right now it looks like they are desperate to FRAUDULENTLY BILL old customers!

LASTLY, make sure you cancel the credit card you used with them, or else don’t be surprised when you see a nice fat fraudulent charge (felony theft) on it – opps a “technical glitch” they’ll call it.

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Lax November 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Right. The webhost4life sold to new owner, the old ppl disappeared forever. don’t know how many still using their service. full story available on webhostpark.com

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Mark December 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Yes, these guys are the biggest rip off merchants / cowboys around; DO NOT USE WEBHOST4LIFE.COM they are total crap.

I went through the migration and at one point they wanted ME to migrate my own sites because they were to inept to do it themselves, I basically told them to get stuffed and they ended up doing it but not after a ton of mucking around. Here is the clincher, one of my websites went down and like a lot of people I was going to have to wait two days to get it resolved(!).

Of course if I was prepared to pay for a premium support service (@ $30 per month) I would get priority treatment (WTF!!!), you break it you fix it and believe me they broke it alot.

So anyway, I had two accounts with these clowns and one of them automatically renewed the day that the sites went down. I had a enough and migrated them away asking for a refund, out of $143 that I had paid I received a refund of $72. Apparently there is a $35 cancellation fee (per account) and some other bull$hit charges, there is no 30 day guarantee.

In the end I accepted the financial loss just to cut these clown loose.

So, WEBHOST4LIFE here’s a new catchphrase for you

“If you want hosting strife, go with webhost4life”

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Nestor February 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

I used to love it… before the damn famous migration! I had 2 accounts, total 20 websites hosted there and was happy. Then as many posted here, the migration come, all become hell, the first migrated one account with 10 websites, 8 of them were down, I reported, wasted days and days writing the same and the same, like every time different staff pick my ticket and had to start from zero…

After 30 days my 8 websites down, and having my next account ready also for migration… I just couldnt stand more and moved away. And yes, the SmartMail gone to some crappy mail system with horrible interface and no user friendly.

I moved to other hosting but slow, I’m now trying a new one… wish me good luck, but sure never go back to WH4L unless they pay me, the get back to old plataform and get SmartMail back.

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Mark May 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

You ca go to my URL above and see the utter failure of webhost4life. Their support is completely ineffective and they definitely want you to pay a monthly fee for support whereas support used to be included and fairly good before they sold the company. I would never recommend this service to anyone. NEVER!

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Mark May 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

You can go to my URL above and see the utter failure of webhost4life. Their support is completely ineffective and they definitely want you to pay a monthly fee for support whereas support used to be included and fairly good before they sold the company. I would never recommend this service to anyone. NEVER!

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pelicanpaul August 17, 2011 at 8:38 am

just to cap it off… they cannot even host their own site which is down. before they were sold this was actually a good place to host. the squeezing of the hosting dollar has turned this world into crap. I will never host there again. 99% uptime… yeah right!

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Bill September 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I have several sites hosted with them. I have hosted with them for over 8 years. However I am going to find a new hosting service provider as soon as possible, no matter what the cost is. At least twice per year they cause my sites to go down. When I report it, they try to get me to fix the problem for them. They move files around in your directories and end up losing key dll’s and configuration files. Total rip off. I have a customer who needs her site up and running. Currently she is losing money because they can’t fix the problem they created. So please if you are trying to establish your company, and to gain a strong branding. Avoid web host for life.

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Josh July 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I have a few websites hosted with this company – it started off well (low cost, good set of base features, seemingly good customer support). Over the last few months its been getting really bad. I’ve had downtime several times a week, each at 30+ mins long, where my sites are inaccessible from any browser, device or connection. Each time I contacted live support they have told me that it is being fixed and that “it won’t happen again”. Well, they have said that nearly every time my site has gone down. This is unacceptable.

When I asked where she was based, she said “India”, yet all their customer support names sound European or American. So are WH4L also using fake employee names in their live chat?

I will be looking to move to another hosting provider once my annual subscription runs out.

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