Saturday, March 29, 2008

IX Web Hosting Outrage & Outage

My 2 long time readers may remember me mentioning my Web Host IX Webhosting's Ukrainian Support Center and the absurd responses I get from them when I have a little problem. Like my email not working. Or a couple months ago when tornadoes struck several states, including Kentucky, and my Web Host went down. I submitted a support ticket and was told there had been no downtime. So, I called the toll-free # to Kentucky and talked to a real person, an American, and told him the Ukrainians are claiming there was no downtime and are refusing downtime compensation. He then told the Ukrainians that there had been an outage and to give me downtime compensation.

So, on to today's nightmare. For several months I've been getting emails from the CEO of my web hosting company, Fathi Said, regarding moving their data center from Hopkinsville, Kentucky to Columbus, Ohio. I didn't much care as long as it didn't affect me.

And then a couple days ago in the latest email from Fathi I learned it would affect me. As in, well, I'll just go copy and paste their latest message on their help center webpage....

We are currently relocating all our servers and equipment from our present location in Hopkinsville, KY to our new state-of-the-art facility in Columbus, OH. The server relocation starts at 1am EST Saturday night. If your website or email service is unavailable after this time, please rest assured that our relocation team is working safely and securely to bring your service back up as fast as possible. We are expecting all services, including telephone support, to be back online by or before 8am EST on Sunday morning.

So, now do you see what I'm upset about? My websites all went down at midnight. It is now almost 5pm and they are still down. It was not til I read the above message did I realize they are actually physically moving the servers up to Ohio. I'm picturing a bunch of Kentuckians in pickup trucks heading north with my websites strapped down in back.

IX Webhosting is, supposedly, one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. Supposedly they have over 300,000 websites on their servers. I don't know how many are e-commerce websites that are making zilch today.

You can look at my AdSense stats from today in the above image and see I'm making zilch. Just one big $0.00.

So, I guess if they do ever come back online I'll be submitting a support ticket to the Ukrainians asking for downtime compensation. Again. And they'll tell me there was no downtime, there was no move to a new data center.

Now, usually when I get around to complaining or submitting a support ticket the problem is already fixed. I'll click on my website right now and see if that's the case this time. Nope. Still down. Earlier they at least had the courtesy to put up a page explaining why the websites were down. But, now it's just bringing up the basic "The page cannot be displayed" page.

I'm annoyed.

UPDATE: About an hour later and my websites are back working again, apparently successfully making the trip from Kentucky to Ohio.

9 comments:

Jazmin said...

Hi Durango,

I also have sites hosted by IX Webhosting and I've experienced most of the same problems...particularly with their nightmare online customer support center.

Did you request your refund for their recent pilgrimage to Ohio?

Durango said...

I've not visited the Ukrainians yet to request downtime compensation. Ironically that was the worst downtime incident I've experienced. I got zero AdSense revenue that day til the websites came back up. Downtime Compensation just consists of adding a month to your billing cycle. It doesn't really make up for lost money. But, you've gotta admit everything is working real well right now, including email. Knock on wood. I wonder why they use those Ukrainians? When you call IX directly the customer support is real good. And they laugh along with you as they read through the Support Ticket's fractured English.

Jazmin said...

It's good to hear that everything seems to be going smoothly for you...I've experienced some down time during the move and I've had several "server could not be reached" messages on my Google Webmaster Tools dashboard since the move. I can't tell if the two are directly related (though I suspect they are).

I don't know what the deal is with using the Ukrainian support people...good way to cut costs, I guess. But to be fair, I've had experiences with the American support people being clueless, too.

Have you used other webhosts? I'm having a difficult time gauging how bad IX really is.

Durango said...

I've not had any downtime that I've known about since the move. During the move I think the websites went down at 1am my time and came back up about 17 hours later.

I have used other webhosts and have been pretty happy with IX. For the most part. I had a real back experience with a host based in Manhattan. I forget their name.

My first was called Timehost, based in Florida. I was happy with them, but they were costing me $29 a month for 2 websites. For the same amount I can host I don't know how many on IX, what with using sub-domains and directing the URL to the sub-domain.

Speaking of the Ukrainians, I replied to that email we all got from the IX CEO. For that I got a scolding message from the Ukrainians telling me to open a support ticket when I have an issue, not to use email.

As for email. It is working real well. I'd submitted I don't know how many support tickets about email problems in the past couple months. The Ukrainians were particularly wacky on the email issue. The move seems to have fixed the email issues. At least for me.

Jazmin said...

Yeah, I guess I'll stick with IX for now. It's a pretty good deal...I also experienced a lot less down time once I moved my site onto a dedicated server.

And I've never had trouble with my email...at least not that I've noticed.

lol, I recently replied to the email from the CEO. They opened a ticket for me and responded with a (polite) stock answer that they wouldn't refund any downtime because we were given notice of the outtage in advance.

I just hope these treks to different places don't become a regular thing with them.

Did you register your domains through IX as well? I did...which I guess is a mistake, but I worry about transferring the domain to a different registrar because I've had major issues with the Ukranians when it comes to DNS settings. Ugh.

Durango said...

I used up my free domain registrations that came with the account, IX charges $19.95 for a domain. Cheaper elsewhere. I've never moved a domain to different registrar so don't know about that woe.

That's funny, you replied to the CEO email too. That's bizarre that they'd say no downtime comp cuz we were warned it would happen. Like if this was a problem we had plenty of time to move our sites elsewhere? Is that the twisted logic? I lost AdSense revenue that day. Even if they did their usual downtime comp of adding a month to the billing cycle it still would not make up for the loss.

There is something oddly charming about those Ukrainians though. They are so robotically polite. I called the U.S. support number once and asked about the Ukrainian support center. The women lied to me and told me all their support team was in America. I pictured all these dozens of Ukrainians being held in a phone center holding room in Kentucky. The next time I called I asked again and that time the guy was totally honest about the bizarre Ukrainians and their convoluted responses.

Jazmin said...

Yeah, I guess that's their twisted logic. It's been awhile since I reread the terms of their uptime guarantee...not that it really matters because they can change it whenever they want.

And you're right, the Ukrainians do have their own "charm"...they've actually always been really nice and polite. And, while they get credit for that, being "nice" didn't get them anywhere when it came to helping me with a (seemingly) simple CNAME record (one of the TX guys figured it out).

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