Wouldn't use them again - VERY slow setup

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robertja's review of Evo Hosting, www.evohosting.co.uk

★★☆☆☆

“Wouldn't use them again - VERY slow setup”

Written on: 20/01/2013 by robertja (5 reviews written)

If evo hosting read this and want to query/verify any of the below, they can contact me via Twitter. Links to my profile below.

I currently have a basic Wordpress site hosted with them and this month, have decided to move away from them. I had previously read good things and decided to try them. In retrospect, I wish I'd stayed with one of my preferred webhosts - tsohost/34sp.

It started very badly from the off. After I paid them instantly I was expecting an email within a couple of hours with my login details, so I could get started. It took evo hosting 1 day 3 hours 15 mins to email me anything to allow me to login to my new account. I sent them several emails - their only response was a copy and paste reply about them not being. After a day I asked them on Twitter and got a pathetic excuse.

Ironically, they ARE very fast (in fact, blazingly fast...) at emailing you an invoice and then sending a follow email when you don;t pay it immediately. If evohost would allow me to setup up an automated payment (like any other host allows, ahem ...) they wouldn't have to send "account overdue" notices. Like some of your other customers, I'm busy and it's easy to forgot to login into PayPal. I mean we're not in 1999 anymore?!?!?!

Every month I get an automated email from evohost and every month I have to login to PayPal, press pay and wait to be redirected to their site. Total pain in the ass and after several months I'm bored of it. Again, I mentioend this fact to evohost on Twitter.

Whilst I've only used their support once, it took 2.5 days for them to respond. Granted, I'm not paying prices where I;d expect sub 10 minute replies I get from my preferred hosts, but 2.5 days is very long time to wait for support. Would be even more annoyed if it was an online shop, where I would be potentially losing money.

I have no issue with their prices (which are fairly normal) or the actual hosting (my small Wordpress site is fairly snappy, as expected due to to them using LiteSpeed), or even their control panel (which is easy to use) - I really think they need to look into the above two issues. If you have a look around I'm not the only person mentioning account setup times.

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Catmcauliffe's Response to robertja's Review

Written on: 06/02/2013

Hi,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your comments--I am glad to hear you are happy with our prices, hosting, and control panel.

However, you are incorrect about our accepted payment methods. While we use PayPal as our payment processor, customers do not need to have a PayPal account in order to pay us via credit or debit cards. We also accept Google Checkout, cheques, and postal orders.

We use PayPal as our payment processor because we have been unable to get a merchant account from a bank, a requirement for processing credit and debit cards with other processors. Also, without a merchant account, we cannot offer direct debit to our customers. While PayPal enables users to set up subscriptions, we had to disable this feature because we had approximately 100 customers who set up multiple subscriptions for a single service.

When we have tried to get a merchant account in the past, we were told by banks that they would not give a merchant account to a web hosting provider because the industry has an extremely high rate of fraud and chargebacks.

We periodically check with banks to see if their policies have changed, as we realise some of our customers would prefer to have an alternative payment processor.

Because fraud is such an issue in the web hosting industry, we manually review all orders before accepting them. As a result, it may take a while for some customers to receive their account details. While this is not ideal, we don't allow automatic setup because of all the issues fraudulent orders can cause. Aside from chargebacks, fraudulent orders can cause a multitude of issues; if a spammer signs up with stolen details, they can use a hosting account to send spam. When a spammer uses our hosting to send bulk emails, it can put the stability of the server at risk, as well as cause email issues for all of the other people hosted on the same server (the server will get blacklisted, leaving innocent users unable to send, and sometimes receive, email). As a result, we take fraudulent orders extremely seriously, which can sometime result in delays for legitimate users.

In most instances, orders are activated within minutes (except for overnight). The logs we have your account show you paid your invoice for your hosting account on 07/07/2012 at 15:24 and your order was accepted on 08/07/2012 at 19:39. Obviously, your order was not activated in a timely manner, for which I apologise. We dropped the ball, and we have taken steps to prevent this sort of delaying from occurring again in the future. However, it did not take 3 days for us to send you the details for your hosting account.

Also, you opened at ticket on 07/07/2012 at 19:55 and you received a reply on 09/07/2012 at 00:33. Your ticket was opened in the sales department, which is open from 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday and our SLA guarantees a reply/resolution within 24 hours.

With respect to invoices, we don't send up a follow up email when invoices aren't paid immediately. For hosting accounts, an invoice is generated 7 days before payment is due. 3 days later, people with upaid invoices receive a reminder. When an invoice is overdue, a reminder is sent on the 1st, 4th, and 7th days, as the account will be suspended when the invoice is a week overdue. If a customer pays their invoices on time, they only receive 2 emails about the invoice.

Some customers feel they are reminded too frequently, while others claim we don't remind them enough. We have tried to strike a balance which will please the majority of our 6,000+ active customers, a feat which obviously isn't always easy.

When we received your feedback in July, we took steps to remedy some of the issues you mentioned, and this review will undoubtedly spark additional changes.


All the best,
Caitlin McAuliffe
Co-Managing Director
Evohosting Ltd.

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Robertja's reply to Catmcauliffe's Comment

Written on: 17/02/2013

Thanks for replying, few companies do actually take the time to do this, or choose to give a copy and pasdte reply.

Granted, you say "most" orders are activated quickly, but in this instance, my order wasn't, hence my frustration - I'm speaking about my experience. If my site had been for a paying customer I'd have gotten a lot of stick and arkward questions asked due to the delay, basically a lot of uneeded stress. I did post a tweet after my account was finally activated, in total it took 1 day 6 hours, this is a long time in my opinion :)

I've just looked back through the original emails, ticket #HLL-157771 and the explanation for the delayed account setup was the fact it was a weekend and you person who deals with orders was not in the country at the time (support ticket #HLL-157771) :) I quote you response:

"All our orders have to go through a manual fraud check which takes some time; unfortunately as well, because it's a weekend and the person who normally deals with orders is not in the country at the moment, I have had to deal with them outside my normal working hours".

I mean that's fair enough, if you have to manually create things yourself and you only have a single person who can deal with orders, but it's certainly not ideal. For one, I feel the pain to the poor soul manually logging into PayPal to verify payments for you quoted 6000+ customers, that's certainly a full job alone :) However, having to wait so long is very frustrating.

I'm well aware that getting a merchant account can be challenging, but you may want to look around at your competition - I come into contact with a lot of hosts and being a full web developer, have to setup accounts for customers. Last week alone I used 7 different web hosts for customers. I have yet to come across a single hosting company that does accept credit cards on their sites and will not setup accounts pretty much instantly. In this respect, you're unique. I'm sure you do allow payment via cheque and postal order, but surely that would be even slower than be fore and would require even more manual checking? That is of little, if no benefit in my opinion.

Either way, I decided to move 34sp for the hosting. In contrast, I paid instantly on their site, on a Saturday morning using my credit card and minutes later recieved an email with all my account settings and login details. They are a big established host and as I paid on their site directly, had a merchant account.

I digress, bar the issue with setup and billing the actual hosting and your control panel was perfectly fine. Howerver, by forcing PayPal unpon me was apian to be honest. Each month I got a suspension email from yourselves. If you do have to use PayPal, at the very least allow a subscription payment to be used so it's not so manual.

No hard feelings, I'm a web developer by trade and expect things like hosting to be available straight away, especially if I've made an instant payment. Each to their own I guess. The actual quality of your shared hosting is good, which is more important and something a lot of hosts I've used definitely cannot say.

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