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“Went downhill rapidly, AVOID! Even to charities”

Written on: 21/05/2012 by james108 (1 review written)

The basic premise of 34SP is good - providing hosting and domains, support, the price to services is very reasonable considering the services they offer (hosted platform managed by 34SP, Virtual Private Servers, specialist domains and custom configurations).

The services of 34SP were recommended to us by the charity consortium in the UK as a charity friendly service. Unlike charities however we do pay for both our domain and hosting due to the size of our site and the features being available only on their professional hosting package. There is nothing wrong with this, the features are there we need and they used to provide good value.

Over the last 12 months things have just went downhill rapidly when we upgraded from our legacy package onto one of their mainstream servers. Constant loss of service, Email (POP3/IMAP) failing to work, outages caused by hackers (allegedly - I will get to this in a moment) and the final straw was our site getting a "suspended hosting" page our main homepage during one of the most important events of the year.

Now to anyone viewing the site it looks like we had not paid the bill. We had - we were and still are completely up to date. We lost email services and web services completely during one of the most important events over the year. The charity worker contacted their support to resolve it; they were told to check the DNS, clear their browser cache for a suspended hosting page? Even to their wording they were suggesting we made it up?!? How could we call their payment hotline on the suspended hosting page (which is not listed on our site at all) if we made it up? We could only get that number if the page was being displayed. To put this in context; during a critical time for our charity we lost access, it was hinted that there was not a problem, our site visitors thought the event was not running and some even emailed screenshots to our sister organisation to us showing the suspended hosting page to us. It looked highly unprofessional on us and put alot of egg on our face.

I as systems administrator was called in - I emailed them and asked for the billing / management to speak to me and for a record of their SLA for our site uptime. After such time we still have not received a response.

If they treat a registered charity this poorly (again we do pay) then it is anyone's guess how they treat a business.

I have asked for the company to be removed from the charity friendly list of hosting providers based on how we have been treated. There is no excuse for this level of service, even as of now we have not received a response. Calling or emailing is futile.

We were told by the weekend staff there is only one member of support at the weekend who was on lunch by the time of our call. How can they provide 10 hours of constant support over the weekend with one member of staff?

As for the hacking, by logging into our Parallels - our copy of the host file was not pointed to the Internet facing IP - but rather during the time of the Ddos "hack". I firmly believe this was a configuration issue at their end rather than any hack.

We certainly do not trust their service anymore, it's like all the knowledgeable people in the company have jumped ship. Avoid.

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