Remember my post about transferring my site to 3ix? It was the biggest mistake I ever made with respect to my blog. I remember bragging to my blogger friends how they provide chat support and how cheap their services are. But now I take back all those things I have bragged about because with 3ix, you get what you paid for – cheap hosting.
This post is going to be long so please bear with me as I try to vent out my frustrations here in my blog. I hope someone will learn from my experience. If you decide you don’t want to read all the bru-haha, then you can skip and proceed here.
I have been a subscriber of 3ix for over six months before I transferred pinoytux.com to 3ix hosting, which worked pretty much well. I decided that free hosting no longer works for my blog so I ordered an upgrade of my account amounting to $28.10. It was OK at first. I mean I can’t transfer my database to their MySQL server but the support was kind enough to upload the dump file for me. Then hell started to break loose.
One time, I thought that my account was compromised because my homepage shows the WordPress installation page. So I asked them to check what is wrong with my account. The very kind technical support didn’t know what to do and asked me if I have backup of my database, which I did from 3 days before. So the support dumped again the file after two hours of debate why he can’t import a dump file in tar.gz and zip format. I lost some post and comments because of this but I thought, you know sh*t happens, so I guess its OK.
Then I put in SiteUptime checker to see how many times my blog went down every day. I see reports that my has become inaccessible quite a few times because I received alerts through email but I thought that it is not so bad. Maybe it was all just false positives.
Then again, the database went missing. I checked phpMyAdmin and my WP database shows no tables. So I opened a chat again with their support and this time, I asked them to change the permission of the database because it was I think that is wrong. So they did and they fixed the problem.
Then it happened again and again and again until I lost count. Finally, my patience with their antics run dry when they suspended my account because of reasons unfamiliar to me. I opened a chat and asked them why my account was suspended. Their answer was because my site is “causing high server load”.
Having limited access to my account, I asked the support what is the reason why my account was suspended. The answer I got was “check your logs”. Being a good girl that I am, tried to download the logs only to find out that the archived logs are in .exe file. I asked the support where can I get my logs, I was pointed at my CPANEL account which is what I did. When I asked the support that I can’t see the logs because it was in .exe format, he just said “never mind”. Continuing with the isolation process, he asked me if I have scripts and cron jobs. I said that I definitely don’t have a cron job and scripts running, aside from those that are included in my wordpress installation and asked the support to give me what cron job he is seeing so I can check it. I didn’t get an answer to that. What I got was the mysterious cron job was removed and the site should be fine. It never happened.
The following three days that my account was suspended without any technical reason except “site is causing high server load”, I was in hell. I can’t sleep and very frustrated with the way they handled my case. All I get from them are these lines:
- Your account is suspended for 24 hours because of high server load.
- Check your logs.
- Do you have cron job running?
- Do you have scripts running?
- (insert ps command here)
- Your account will be activated in (n) hours. You will have to wait.
I was given so much BS I was so furious. Every time I ask too many questions about my account or my site, the chat gets disconnected. Deciding I can no longer take their technical incapabilities, I requested for refund of the amount I purchased for the upgrade and rollback the account to its original package. I stated that my upgrade was bought less than 30 days ago so it should be covered by the 30 days money back guarantee. I reported this and got denied stating that they cannot issue refund but they will add the credits to my existing package. I did the math and the credits are equivalent to more than two years worth of hosting, two years of the same sh*t.
I am still appealing to them that their Terms of Agreement stipulates that ALL PAYMENTS are refundable if dispute is filed within 30 days. There was nowhere stated in their TOA that only newly created accounts are covered by the 30 days guarantee. I even asked the support from Billing Department where in their site can I find the statement that only newly opened accounts are covered by 30-days guarantee and I got this:
LiveChat2: Please read our money back guarantee terms and conditions
LiveChat2: also if there is some technical issue you can let me know and I will ask a tech to check
LiveChat2: but refund again its not possible
rai: I have asked you tech over and over and over again
rai: Refunds and Disputes All payments to 3iX are non refundable (unless covered by 30-day Money Back Guarantee). This includes any setup fees and monthly fees regardless of usage. All billing disputes must be reported within 30 days of the time the dispute occurred. Disputed charges to your credit card issuer, also known as charge backs, in 3iX’s discretion which is valid, under the terms and conditions of our SLA, AUP, and TOS, will result in service interruption, and reconnection fees to restore the desired service. 30 Day Money Back Guarantee All hosting plans come with a 30 day money guarantee. If for whatever reason we fail to satisfy your needs and are within 30 days we will fully refund your money all we ask is you give us a reason so this will help us improve as a company, we will not deduct ANY fee.
rai: All payments to 3iX are non refundable (unless covered by 30-day Money Back Guarantee). This includes any setup fees and monthly fees regardless of usage.
rai: ALL PAYMENTS
rai: UNLESS COVERED BY 30 DAYS
rai: REGARDLESS OF USAGE
LiveChat2: correct so when did you first signup with us
LiveChat2: calculate from that day 30 days and let me know when the 30 days ended
rai: WHERE DID IT SAY THAT UPGRADES ARE NOT COVERED BY 30DAYS GUARANTEE?
rai: I PAID FOR THE UPGRADE APRIL 6
rai: not november
LiveChat2: Do you understand when it says 30 day money back guranteed ?
rai: I am not asking to refund the initial $12
rai: I am asking you to refund what I paid for the upgrade
rai: which is why I asked for downgrade
rai: show where it says that payment for upgrades are not covered by the guarantee
rai: When you say all payments, it includes the upgrade
rai: the invoice was issued april 6
rai: that is the refund I want to get
LiveChat2: You get refunds only if the hosting account is in 30 day money back guarantee and not otherwise
LiveChat2: Please get it clear for yourself
LiveChat2: else every client would be upgrading and downgrading
rai: the upgrade is considered a different purchase
rai: because the first was just a $12 purchase
rai: I asked if i need to buy another package
rai: and your smart salesperson said i can get my account upgraded
LiveChat2: no upgrade is of an existing plan not of a different domain
LiveChat2: so its not a different purchase
rai: who also told me that 20 days is still applicable
LiveChat2: no upgrade is of an existing plan not of a different domain , so its not a different purchase
rai: these problems occured when I upgraded my account
rai: I was quiet during the time prior to the upgrade
rai: you guys are unbelievable
rai: can you give me where it says that upgrades are not covered by the refund?
rai: because as I understand, when you say all payments, it means all payments made within 30 days are refundable
LiveChat2: Do you understand when it says 30 day money back gurantee ?
rai: if this is what you can give to your clients, then I am very disappointed with you
LiveChat2: neways I have made everything clear , you can come back on chat if you lead to a conclusion
LiveChat2: you will not be refunded for the upgrade
rai: can you give me what you 30 days guarantee stipulates?
LiveChat2: 30 days guarantee — any newly setup hosting account will be refunded if its in 30 days
rai: where is the link?
LiveChat2: you need to refer the money back guarantee page
rai: it doesnt say newly setup hosting ascounts
rai: it says all payments
rai: please dont lie
LiveChat2: neways I have made everything clear , you can come back on chat if you lead to a conclusion , you will not be refunded for the upgrade
(Can you tell that I am really frustrated and mad?)
Oh yes, my dear readers. When you upgrade your account sometime after the 30 days, they will not give refund regardless if you are satisfied or not.
This is not about me being a brat for not getting what I want. I believe deserve to get what was promised and equivalent to what I paid for as a paying customer. I am in the position to complain for the poor service they are giving me and I tried so very hard to work with them to resolve the issue of my account despite of being disconnected from chat over and over again.
If they cannot isolate the case, then it is only a matter of time before they decide to suspend my account again for the same reason and without giving technical justification.
All in all, when I subscribed to 3ix.org, I was in no way treated as a customer. I did not received proper technical support, I was refused to get my money back and the worst, they NEVER, EVER apologized to me for the inconvenience they have caused. They never did the very basic rule of customer service, to empathize with the customer. I was treated like an ignorant customer, who knows nothing how the Internet or a computer works. Did I mentioned I lost money from ads and sponsorships in the process?
It seems that the $1 per month price is what I got from them. I got what I paid for and nothing more. They have my money so it does not matter to them whether I get the service that I should get or not.
And here is my message to 3ix.org:
You know I tried every time I talk to your support team that I want to resolve the issue “why is my site causing high server load”. Instead, you disconnected the chat and told me to check the logs, cron and scripts over and over again, which you, as my provider, cannot or will not give any further details. I do not want to resort to asking for refund because I will not be upgrading my account if I am satisfied with your service. I even spread the word to my friends and colleagues that you are one great hosting until I was refused to be given proper support. As of this writing and three days of an unattended open ticket, pinoytux.com still looks like this:
With all these obvious reasons that I am not satisfied, I was refused to be given a refund but instead, the only option presented is to use the amount I paid for to extend the credits of my original package. You have given me a choice that only works for you, not for both parties. I am very disappointed with you.
Lesson learned: If something is too good to be true, it probably is.
To those who made it this far, I thank you for reading my story. I hope there are lessons learned from my experience. You are welcome to make comments.
Update (May 07 10:54 AM):
My IP at home was blocked from accessing my site including cpanel and ftp. I asked the support why my IP was blocked and the logical explanation the support gave was that there were login attempts from my IP (duh! of course there will be login attempts from my IP!). When I asked how many times should I attempt to login before the server blocks my ip and he said 3. Just to prove what he said, I tried to continuously login in my account with series of wrong passwords in ftp and cpanel and I still got in. How do you explain that?
Update (May 07 9:45 PM):
I transferred my hosting to 1and1.com and so far, I have not encountered any problems at all. 1and1 provides tons of help pages to guide customers in building their own sites. When I transferred my database, it only took less than 2 minutes to import my WP databases (the way it should be), compared to 3ix where I can’t import my database at all (I have to ask the support to do it for me). I will write my own review of 1and1.com sometime within the month because it is too early to tell.
Update (May 08 1:34 PM):
PinoyTux finally and formally hosted by 1and1.com and I am pleased so far. Not having to ask the support for any help is a good sign, at least for now it looks like I am actually getting what I paid for. And yes, the support ticket in 3ix is still open and last update I got was the “technicians are looking into it”.
69 Comments to “3ix is Not A Cheap Hosting Provider”
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