Web Hosting Scams
In order to help you avoid getting scammed by the unscrupulous hosts that do exist, we have tried to put together the 'tricks' used by such companies to ensnare you:
- Unlimited bandwidth/space - it is simply impossible for a company to offer unlimited space or bandwidth to use. As hosting companies and their associated technologies are themselves limited (i.e. bandwidth or hard disk space), unlimited offerings are usually just an advertising gimmick. Often you will find clauses embedded deep within the company's terms of service contract that negate the unlimited offering. The clauses are usually arbitrary, such as excessive CPU usage will be grounds for account termination.
UnlimBand is a good resource to learn more.
- No Contact - some hosts simply make it impossible to contact them! Even getting an email address so that you can get a hold of them can be a chore. Many cheap hosts prefer to keep communication down.
- Long term contracts only - while cheaper plans may warrant an annual only plan, some hosts provide annual service exclusively. There is no guarantee that even though you have paid them for 12 months that you will get 12 months of service.
- Domain Registration not in your Name - some devious web hosts, while offering to register you domain for you, legally register the domain in their own name! This means that if you try switching hosts, you will lose the domain name - legally it is their posession, and you have no claim on it!
- No Money Back Guarantee - a host should fully satisfy your needs - if not, your money should be returned.
- Complicated uptime Guarantee - some hosts hide behind their TOS with complicated procedures such as the customer having to report the downtime for any downtime. Be careful of this.
Remember to read both the TOS (terms of service) and AUP (acceptable use policy) to ensure no hidden surprises later!
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