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Old 10-09-2001, 07:26 PM   #1
Rhea
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Location: Oh drat these computers, they're so naughty and so complex. I could pinch them.
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Angry Is my web host a jerk...or am I?

Hi folks,

I could use some feedback on a problem I'm having with my web host. I received this email today:

* * * * *
Mail privileges to @bigdancelist.com have been cancelled to ensure that there will be no more complaints from you against (MY WEB HOST) that bigdancelist was relaying mail to @(MY EMAIL).

Please make alternate arrangements for your mail because as of now any mail sent to ANY name @bigdancelist will bounce back to the sender and will NOT be relayed to @(MY EMAIL) any more.
* * * * *

I wrote back explaining that this must have been an oversight resulting from a complaint registered with Spam Cop, not noticing that the spam contained a reference to my own domain...and neglecting to remove it. I suggested to my web host that a warning first might be appropriate and that I was astonished at his attitude. His response:

* * * * *
You filed a charge that a (MY WEB HOST) client, bigdancelist.com, relayed spam to @(MY EMAIL) .

Our compliance with the law is instant and automatic. bigdancelist.com will no longer relay mail. You can request a POP address for @bigdancelist.com and have all bigdancelist mail funnelled into that, however, relaying from bigdancelist.com to to a (MY EMAIL DOMAIN) address has been cut and will not be re-instated.
* * * * *

bigdancelist.com is one of my domains hosted at (MY WEB HOST). @(MY EMAIL) is my private email addy to which mail sent to my domains is routed by (MY WEB HOST)

Is he for real? Is this reaction and response typical of what most web hosts would do under the circumstances?

What law is he referring to? I'm located in the USA and he's in Canada. Is he required by law to deny this service, even though it was a mistake? Since he is apparently inflexible, is there any other organization to which I can appeal for help?

Anyway, if you web hosts could clue me in as to whether he's just being a jerk or I'm just plain ignorant of the consequences of my stupid mistake I'd appreciate it! And while you're at it, can anyone recommend a web host that:

1) is customer service oriented, 2) reasonably priced, 3) has decent up-time, 4) is warm-blooded?
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Old 10-10-2001, 04:41 PM   #2
Scuba
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Thumbs down Yes

They do sound like jerks.
first wait for them to fix the problem. You might even want to phone them ans personaly talk to the net admin.

If they don't set it back,....
What requirements are for the site is term or data transfer, Perl-CGI, MySQL and such ?
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Old 10-10-2001, 05:48 PM   #3
Steve_S
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Please try and work it out with your present host. The phone is always better in my view.

Your host owns a block of IP numbers or may be a colocation/host client with a contractual relationship with a company that owns the block of IP numbers.

If any of these IP numbers land up in a Blackhole List like this one:

http://www.mail-abuse.org/rbl/

or ORBS it will spell huge problems for the host as all his clients will be toast with respect to email. This has very serious financial implications and may explain their immediate action which some hosts implement.

Also remember, millions of emails of SPAM could be sent while the warning is in effect as opposed to an immediate termination which may also explain the actions. I'm not taking sides on the issue Just trying to point out another view on the issue.

Good luck and best wishes "GEEKETTE"

Last edited by Steve_S; 10-10-2001 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 10-10-2001, 06:29 PM   #4
Rhea
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Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback. I know that the mistake was mine and I feel very bad about it, but the way my web host chose to respond to it seems extreme to me. I've hosted at his server for a year and a half, so he has to know that I'm not a spammer (and a stupid spammer, at that). His responses to my requests for assistance or information have always been terse to the point of rudeness. I think it's time for me to move on.

I appreciate the suggestions to phone him and try to talk this one out but knowing his style, I doubt he'll be flexible. I'm not the most sophisticated webmistress on the planet and there have been times I wanted to write to him for assistance but felt too intimidated to do so. That's not a good sign.

Oh well. So can anyone point me to a URL that explains what's involved in switching web hosts? I realize it will probably be a lot of work for me, but how long can I expect my domains to be 'off the air' during the transition? (Ooh...I don't even want to think about it...I've finally started getting good rankings with AltaVista!)

Muchos!
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Old 10-27-2001, 09:30 PM   #5
rbacal
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One thing I've found is that webhosting companies have become fairly touchy about certain things -- spam and bandwidth issues are two. I think it's good to remember that the business is incredibly competitive and many hosts are severely understaffed.

It's easier for them to not look into problems but take their stock answers, and take actions according to their contracts (which are almost all onesided).

I try to remember (re: customer service), that some of these folks are dealing with dozens of hassles every day, and often get extremely rude nasty comments from their customers.

I've also found that some of the best web hosts (including the one I use now), in terms of limited downtime, etc are the toughest and have zero-tolerance for anything that affects the network. Use a cgi script that's too server intensive and it gets shut down. That's HOW they can be so reliable and have fast access servers. Personally, I see them as protecting me.
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