Web Hosting Disaster: My Nightmares with DREAMHOST

I have a simple blog. I thought I’d save a few bucks and leave GoDaddy a few years ago.  I usually do a lot of research before I make a move like this.  There are so many web hosts out there.  Who’s reliable? Who has the best rates? Who won’t nickel and dime you? Who will provide great support when things go wrong?  Reviews online about DreamHost were quite positive a few years ago so I went all in and transferred my site and some for a few friends I have done web site work for.

A good beginning.

Initially, I was happy.  My needs were pretty simple. None of my sites have a ton of traffic.  Most of my radio show listeners visit the station’s website, not mine. 

The problems begin.
Even with only a handful of visitors a day, I kept getting emails and messages on social media from fans who would say my site was down.  Sure enough, I’d try to log in and there would be some error message of how my site is overloading their server.  It’s absurd.  I had such a small amount of traffic.

I tried troubleshooting and I’m fairly web savvy, so I determined it might be the message board I was using.  It’s the same message board I’d used with countless other hosts, but for some reason DreamHost couldn’t handle it. Even though it seemed to be just my message board that was too much for Dream Host to handle, my entire website would go offline over and over again. They seriously couldn’t handle a couple dozen vistors a day? Clearly DreamHost wasn’t able to host my simple WordPress blog so I stopped using their hosting I unfortunately already paid for.

Mistake #1:
Yup. The mistake I made was I pre-paid. I used maybe a month or so of the hosting I paid a year for.  I switched all my stuff over to this free account on WordPress and have never had a problem since. WordPress has been great. And it didn’t cost me a dime.

I didn’t bother asking for a refund.  I chalked it up to a lesson learned.  You get what you pay for.  Saving a couple dollars up front cost over $100.

$100+ wasted, but hey at least email works. Wait. Uh oh.
Even though I wasted all that money on their hosting, I at least was content with their email. Then an email from DreamHost let all their customers know they’re disabling an email feature that was crucial. It’s catch-all email. Basically if you send an email to anything at my domain, I’ll get it. I use different usernames for different purposes. With little warning, they just decided that even though they’re not going to charge you less, Dream Host will just drop that service. Their customer bulletin board had irate message after irate message. Dream Host didn’t seem to care. They said it was something to do with security or overload.  Whatever. It’s a basic entry-level feature GoDaddy and any other reliable web hosting service offers.  It was the last straw so I decided to move everything back to GoDaddy.

Just TRY to cancel your account.
Once the domain was transferred back, I tried to find a way to reach DreamHost to let them know I would not be renewing.   Good luck trying to find a phone number.  You won’t. Most reputable companies have one.  It should have been a warning sign to me when I signed up that DreamHost didn’t have a phone number available to customers to contact them.

I logged in to see if I could cancel my account that way.  No luck.  Every time I tried to cancel, I never got the screen to complete the process. It would circle back to the account management screen. It showed no balance owed.  (I have this all on video.)  Yet it would  not let me cancel the account.  I can’t call anyone for help.  So the only option left was e-mail or their online chat.

The online chat support was useless. Shocker.

Great now I have to cancel credit cards.
This is when I found it best to reach out to my credit card companies and let them know not to allow any further charges by Dream Host.  I had to change my credit card numbers on all my cards, which means the pain and time wasted of going through every bill I use my credit cards for to pay with auto-pay.  So much wasted time.

Hey I got a reply!

I DID get a response via email. Ordeal is finally over I’m thinking, right? Wrong. They want more money if I want to cancel.  Yup. You read that correctly.  I have to pay more to cancel.  So it’s ransom pretty much.  Fortunately I’ve changed my credit card numbers and my domain transfer is complete.

Don’t make the mistake I did.
Just wanted to issue this warning that if you’re looking for a company to host your blog or web site, saving a few dollars at sign up doesn’t necessarily mean you save money in the long run.  Do your research.  I’m not saying GoDaddy is the best, but I’ve never had to deal with shady business practices with them.

Hopefully my DreamHost nightmare is over.

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