Hostwinds Review

This week we have a “special blog” called Hostwinds Review, where I’ll share my personal experiences with this company.  If you remember, I posted a blog about a month ago, letting you know I decided to start emailing using a “cloud-based” server (VSP) in my attempt to think outside the box.   One month later,  that box has gone down in flames, thanks to a hosting/server company named Hostwinds (www.hostwinds.com).

The letter below is one I sent to their “feedback support email” two weeks into my experience (I was patient, trying to work out constant issues from the get go).

Hi,
I’m still trying to get some help with this issue……..if I can’t get resolution I’m going to have to cancel and get a refund. I’ve haven’t made a DIME in 2 weeks since I joined Hostwinds.
The fact remains that when I received my VSP…..you guys (Hostwinds) gave me a bad IP address that belonged to a domain with a bad reputation. The DNS was set to the bad reputation domain (message fail attached) when this debacle started 2 weeks ago. Not only that….no one found out that the server was compromised as well. These issues have cause Gmail to BLOCK ALL MESSAGES. I can’t even send a test message from my domain email to my own Gmail….ridiculous.
So now I’m sitting here and I can’t send any emails to Gmail. I need resolution and I need this fixed. I was asked to be patient….but I’m running out. I need ideas and answers. I have over 7,000 Gmail subscribers who I can’t contact because of this. Thanks…Dan
PS…If there is some Executive or Manager or someone that can speak to me, have the call. I’m tired of sending 20 emails everyday.

So the first red flag to me should’ve been no phone support….that’s on me (I literally have 150+ emails between myself and their tech support in the one month I was with them, solid “evidence” that I’m not defaming anyone, I’m just stating facts).

Much to my surprise, I received a response from their C.O.O., Michael Brower

Hello Dan,
I wanted to let you know that shortly after receiving your email, I reached out to my senior support team to review in full-detail the issues you were facing.  They had quickly identified that it was due to the DKIM not being setup/configured on your Cloudflare portal, and had modified these changes for you. I waited until they were confident that the issue was resolved, before reaching back out to you, to see if you’re having any further issues with our support or your service.
I do apologize that you had faced the issues that you had, and that this was not corrected in a more timely manner, this is not the level of support I wish for us to offer our clients.
At this time, is there anything pending that is unresolved, or that you would like to provide comments on?
I truly appreciate your email, however, this should not have been an instance where you as the client felt the need to reach out to be assisted properly.
I have ensured that proper coaching has been provided for the staff members that had worked on your ticket, and am hopeful moving forward that you do not experience any further issues with regards to our support.
Thank you,
Michael Brower

I thanked him and giving him the entire back story (the additional comments he asked for) on what was happening.  I thought I finally got through to someone that can help….awesome….

Hold on…..not so fast….a week after that I was still waiting for issues to be resolved.  My “new” IP Address was blocked from Yahoo AND GMail which virtually made it impossible to make a single penny sending emails.  They had single-handedly shut me down.  I waited another week….and wrote my last plea to the C.O.O. again….

Hi Michael,
I officially have nowhere else to turn. In the two weeks since this was sent, I still cannot get any “traction” with getting Yahoo or Gmail to release their blacklists on my IP Address. Again, due to the fact that I was given a) and IP address from a known spammer, b) the DNS was never changed from the known spammer, thus ruining MY IP reputation before I had a chance to send 1 email and c) there was ZERO security and monitoring in place for my VPS opening me up for various threats.
Then tonight…..I get my MX Tools report and it says I’m on a Blacklist (strange, since yesterday it was fine and I have sent ZERO emails today 4/16). I contacted support. I’m told (see attached) for the 2nd time in 2 weeks the mail queue is compromised….that there are “many emails sent from the domains majalomail.com and machpackprocess.com and from the IP address 198.54.126.25 and if I own them”. My response is attached. Same thing basically happened on 3/31, a few days before I sent my email to you.
In addition…Tier 4 support was handling my account, but I guess not anymore.
Since joining Hostwinds, this has been a complete nightmare. I can’t explain how I feel, except a beaten man.….hands down, worst experience of my business life. I haven’t made a dime since I joined Hostwinds and I can’t survive another zero revenue month. If there isn’t something done within 48 hours AND someone doesn’t actually CALL ME and tell me how they are fixing this, I’m done.
This is not a threat. If this isn’t addressed by 4/18 I will be contacting you for a full refund (I should be asking for the $5,000 I’ve probably lost!) This was supposed to be a great venture which your sales team promised me and instead it’s basically ruined the entire 2nd Qtr. of my business. I know you can understand how unacceptable that is. I have this business in addition to my “day job” to help cover my 90yr old Mother’s care home expenses and well, nothing has been covered for the past month thanks to this.
I need someone to step in a fix this.
Thanks,
Dan

Since I didn’t hear from him by 4/18, and not to mention had a few more “issues” that their tech support couldn’t fix, I send one last email…..

I’m done……I expect a full refund ASAP.

So that’s it……my full review of arguably the worst 30-days of business I’ve ever had and that includes when I had cancer!  To the C.O.O.’s credit, he did respond that he was out of the office due to personal reasons and I did get a full refund, but the damage is done.  From a business prospective, it’s no company I want to be associated with.  Zero accountability, no care to rectify the situation, just “I apologize”, but no action takers there!

I believe it’s my duty as a business owner, consumer AND stand up person not to allow anyone I know OR am associated with in any way to spend one dime on this company.  Spread the word to those you love…..don’t say you weren’t warned.  I told them if I treated my subscribers and customers like I was treated, I would be out of business in a few months.

Pay it forward everyone…..karma is a bitch 🙂

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