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How to Spot a Web Hosting Scam

How to Spot a Web Hosting Scam

Web hosting scams are a rarity, but they do exist. This business is highly competitive and very lucrative, attracting sharks that are looking to prey on unsuspecting customers and rob them for all they can. The scams you need to watch out for are those initiated by fly-by-night hosts who have no real intentions of providing you with service.

One of the most common scams involves a host offering an amazing set of features at an incredibly low price. They generally call for you to purchase hosting at a yearly rate and may also tack on a setup fee. After you purchase an account, the company never responds with your login details. When trying to contact them, you get the bad news that the provider’s email address or phone number is no longer valid. Now you have a paid for a year’s worth of service only to learn that the web hosting company was running scam. Unless your credit card issuer works with you on disputing the claim, you could find yourself having learned a painful and expensive lesson.

Getting swindled by a rogue web host isn’t a good feeling to say the least. Fortunately, there are a few ways to spot a scam and learn if you are dealing with a legitimate company. Here are a few things you should keep in mind before signing up for hosting service:

Look for Signs of Legitimacy

The best way to learn if a web host is legitimate is to look for a VeriSign or Better Business Bureau Seal on the company website. While not every provider does it, most reputable companies will go far and beyond to help you establish a peace of mind before signing up with them. If you can’t find anything on the site that provides you with the assurance that they are running a legitimate business, take your search for web hosting service elsewhere.

Be Wary of Cheap Hosting Plans

If the price for a web hosting plan seems too good to be true, it just may be. We’re not talking about budget hosts per say, yet those who are offering a deal so good that making a profit is nearly impossible. For instance, let’s say a web host has a package with an unbelievable amount of disk storage, bandwidth and features for only $2 per month. A deal this tempting should certainly raise a few red flags. Keep in mind that every web hosting company has to pay for their equipment, bandwidth and internet connection. Offering hosting plans at such a low cost would likely put them out of business over time.

Look for Contact Information

The bells should go ringing in your head if the provider doesn’t have any contact information posted on their site. You should never have to spend 10 minutes looking all over the place for an email address or phone number. Besides, if this information is buried somewhere on the site or nonexistent, there is a good chance that the company doesn’t want you to find it. If the host can’t be contacted, there is no way they can provide the level of support you will require.

Read Web Hosting Reviews

Before purchasing a web hosting plan, it is a good rule of thumb to read a few reviews to get some feedback from other customers. Additionally, you can try a search on the company’s name and find out if any other people have had good or bad experiences. If a shady company has gotten over on someone else, the details are bound to be posted somewhere on the web.

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    26th December 2008
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Best Web Hosting Tips

    One Response to “How to Spot a Web Hosting Scam”

    1. Jack Palen says:

      I just need to tell all of you about my terrible hosting experience with
      SPEEDY SPARROW which owned by an couple of teenage kids…

      Anyway. I have several sites hosted with SPEEDY SPARROW unfortunately…
      Well, what I’m about to say may be followed with “That’s what you expect
      with SPEEDY SPARROW hosting service.”

      Two weeks ago they moved one of the domains I work with to another server
      (without prior notification) and they didn’t bother even check the front
      page of the website to see if it came up correctly! The database wasn’t
      moved over so almost the whole site was completely broken. Then The SSL Cert
      wasn’t brought over with it (I found out later) so no orders could be taken.
      Two day later I realized that my processor was not installed on the same
      location on the server as the last server so no credit card charges could go
      through!

      5 days went by with no e-commerce and 2 of those five days the site was
      completely disabled from SPEEDY SPARROW! When I e-mailed them (tried calling, no answer even
      though they have ‘phone support’ listed as an option on their website.) and
      they simply replied with ‘the site is now working’. No explanation, no
      apology, nothing. I was so angry.

      I finally weeded an apology out of them and they offered me 1 month of
      free hosting. I told them I was leaving SPEEDY SPARROW and they told
      me that would be a big mistake and closed my account and deleted my files!!!

      So, I try calling, I leave voicemail, no response. I call and hit ‘zero’ for
      the operator, it will either jump from phone to phone and eventually hit
      voicemail or they will pick up the phone and hang it up! Can you believe
      that?!

      Stay away from SPEEDY SPARROW, they’re terrible. SPEEDY SPARROW SUCKS.

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