IX Web Hosting, Just Say No!
I have previously lamented about my struggles with IX Web Hosting who I am currently using. When I wrote in March I explained that there may be a bit of downtime to my sites due to being moved to a new server. My sites had to be migrated because the server was still using some very dated software and I needed something that was actually published this century. The server migration went fairly well or so I thought. As I started to dig into the configuration I found modules missing that made my blog unavailable. This was a simple problem but it took IX Web Hosting a week to get things straightened out. Finally I was back up and I tried to forget the problems I had had.
Things had gone fairly well since then until Friday June 13th. At that point I was frustrated enough that I had come to the conclusion that I needed to make a change to my hosting company. I began to research the various options at my disposal. At the same time I was maintaining my IX Web Hosting account and the sites hosted there. I figured that I had a little time so that I didn’t make a mistake and rush into something I would regret. Besides, it wasn’t like my sites were down or anything right? Yeah I really should not have made that last statement.
This past weekend I got up and turned on the computer. I was going to post a blog entry here and one on Diary of a Diehard. I opened a browser window and navigated to my web site. Instead of the page I was given an error message claiming that the site was unavailable. Oh great, here we go again I thought. At first I considered maybe this was a local problem. I rebooted my computer, my router, and my cable modem. No such luck, I still could not get to my sites. Maybe this was a DNS problem. I instead entered the IP address to my sites expecting to see the page load. Again I received a network error. I went to the IX Web Hosting site and attempted to log into my control panel. I was again presented the network error page. This was strange. I went to the support center and entered a problem ticket. Like usual several hours later I received a reply stating that the server had some emergency problem and that administrators were working on it. I opened a chat window to talk to a representative to see how long this outage would last. I was told there was a problem with a RAID controller and that there was an ETA of a couple of hours. I was irritated that IX Web Hosting didn’t have on-site spares but a couple more hours wouldn’t kill me.
I waited rather impatiently for the sites to return. After two hours I tried again and got the same error message. I understand that things sometimes happen so I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I promised myself I would double their allotted time before requesting status. Two more hours came and went and my sites were still unavailable. I went back to the chat client and asked for a status update. I was told the server had drive issues as well as RAID and would only boot into safe mode. The new ETA was that it would take 4 hours for service to be restored. This would mean that my sites would be unavailable for 12 hours. I was not happy but there was not much that I could do. I found other computer work to do to kill the time until I could get on and update my sites. I was now sitting on several entries that needed to be posted and data that needed to be updated.
At four hours I checked the sites and they were still unavailable. I decided I would let it go another couple of hours. At that time I checked again and continued to receive the error message. I went back to the chat client for yet another status. The problem ticket I had initially opened had still not been updated so it was clear that system was not getting me anywhere. The technician at this point had no idea how much longer this was going to take and suggested that I wait until morning; great, a whole day of outage without an end in sight. I was seriously ticked off.
The next morning I checked and what a surprise, my sites were still down. I went back to the chat client and again asked for an update. I was told 2-4 hours. Seriously, I was told that again. I explained that I didn’t really trust their estimate and asked if they could please just put my sites on a different server while they continued to troubleshoot. I was told that was not possible. They cannot move me until they get the server fixed. They have no idea why they can’t move me; they just know that can’t happen. So there I sat for another 4 hours waiting for a miracle to happen. The miracle didn’t show up and I was still down. I went back to the chat window again and explained that my sites had now been down a day and a half. There was a canned apology along with an estimate that it would be up in 4 hours. I don’t have to tell you that those hours blew by and my site was still unavailable. I went back to the chat window and demanded that something be done. In this amount of time you could drive from the IX Web Hosting data center to Dell, buy a server, drive it back to the data center, configure it, and get it on the network. There is absolutely no way it should take this amount of time. I was told that the administrators were doing everything they could and that it could be several hours before it was available. I asked for a definition of “several” and was told up to 12. I went to bed last night thinking at the worst case the sites would be restored by 10 AM which was 2.25 days since I found them down. Of course 10 AM came and went and the sites are still not available.
This is beyond ridiculous. When I protested that this downtime went well beyond the 99.9% uptime guarantee I was sent to billing who provided me with a credit of 2 months on my service contract. What good is that going to do me? Why do I need to extend my contract when they can’t even keep a simple server up? Not only that but the promised credit was not posted to my account so I have no idea where this actually went. It is now imperative that I find an alternative for web hosting. The technicians at IX Web Hosting obviously have no clue what they are doing or are not empowered to solve the problems they encounter. The customer service is grossly understaffed and incapable of fixing anything. Further they do not seem to know what the administrators are doing and set false expectations with the customer. What they lack in customer focus they make up for with rudeness. I cannot put into words how bad their service is. If you are a current customer I suggest monitoring your service closely. If you are considering web hosting I suggest you look elsewhere as the aggravation is not worth the cost savings you may receive.