Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How OneHut Burned Me

Two years ago I began working as a freelance Web designer. My intentions were not to make big bucks, but to help people and organizations out who could not afford to hire their own designer while gaining experience. Having little experience with Web hosts, I referred to the results of several Web host ranking Web sites. I thought I made a good choice when my research turned up OneHut, a very affordable host with average customer service and a non-WYSIWYG interface.

I was a fairly happy customer for several years. Customer service was not entirely responsive and when they did fix an issues, they were not very good at communicating that to me. But, I figured I got what I paid for.

Well, did I ever get it.

This past weekend all of the sites I manage went down, and did not come back. With the help from a friend and a little research I soon realized that OneHut went out of business without warning any of their customers. Not only have I lost all of the pages and assets to several sites (including over two years of work on my brother-in-law's Web site), but it appears that good ole OneHut registered my domains in what I am guess is their parent company's name. As a result I might not be able to transfer my clients' domain names.

Research uncovered this blog by another unhappy customer, this forum string on the Web site of the user interface OneHut used (the only feature with which I was content), these reviews from unhappy customers, and the Better Business Bureau's report on the company.

With little else to do, I decided to try to contact the company with which my domains were registered, names4ever.com. That URL directed me to aplus.net (with a little more research I discovered that these urls do as well: abac.com, server4me.com, websolo.com). I spoke with customer service and they directed me to contact support@names4ever.com and said they will set me up with access to manage my domains (which is strange because names4ever directed me to aplus.net). After not hearing from them for four days, today I emailed customer support at aplus.net retelling my tragic story and hoping for a little serious direction.

Now, I am no expert on the clientèle of Web hosts, but upon googling "ABACUS America scam" (ABACUS America being the company that owns names4ever, and apparently the names sake of abac.com and aplus.net), I was returned a long list of escrow scam sites, all hosted by said ABACUS company. For some reason I don't think I will be getting any help from this company, and in the end its my clients and my reputation that will suffer.

Let this be a warning to all out there thinking of finding a cheap Web host. Go with a trusted name, it's worth the extra cost.

5 comments:

ENorcross said...

This is a good commentary on the situation we're in.

Let's hope the authorities can find a way to deal with these assholes who fucked us.

-Eric Norcross
norcrossfilms@gmail.com

melking said...

I see you found my blog...I am sorry this has happen to you too! Let me know if you get your domain back.

C.W.Brown said...

To update, a few days after I published my blog, all of my Web sites miraculously came back up. The most disturbing part is that there still have been no communications from any company about OneHut. I can only assume that another company bought OneHut as they went out of business and they are now hosting my sites. I still suggest to all of my clients that moving to a reliable host would be a good decision to make.

He3am said...

Same thing for me man. i'm just fucked up!

ENorcross said...

Sorry to hear that. Onehut.com were such a bunch of fucking hacks man. They should be lined up and shot to death those fuckers. Their remains should be fed to the sharks.