Thursday, March 20, 2008
BlueHost: Web Space Scam! [aka BLUEHOST SUCKS!]

Well, yes. And I have to mention that this isn't just about BlueHost, it concerns a lot of other currently popular hosting services, that offer huge web space for not such a big price. Well, let me tell you about my experience with BlueHost in the last 48 hours. To start with, let me give you a part of the official BlueHost terms of use, that you can find on their website. I have to mention that the TOS page is basically nowhere to be found, unless you search for it in the help center. Yeah, very informative. If you want to see the whole page, it's here. But here's the section of interest to me:

"No material that provides sells or offers to sell the following: controlled substances, illegal drugs and drug contraband, weapons, pirated materials, instructions on making, assembling or obtaining illegal goods or weapons to attack others. Information used to break, copyright, violate the trademark of or to destroy others property or information. Information used to illegally harm any people or animals. We do not allow pornography, nudity, sexual products, programs or services. Escort services are not allowed or other content deemed adult related."

This is the only thing that they are saying about "copy righted material". That you don't have the right to sell them. I add to it myself: don't share them either, basically don't violate the bloody copyright laws. But hey, what part of any copyright law, OR the bloody terms of service, says that you are not allowed to back up your legally collected copyrighted material on your web space? What if you're using the God forsaken 1500 Gigs that "supposedly" they should give you, to back up parts of your hard drive? And what if that backup is 1 - password protected, 2 - outside of your public web folder, or to say it in simple terms, what if nobody but you has access to that back up? Exactly what are you violating that way? Well, let me tell you what gets violated that way: BlueHost's shameful marketing scam. They tell you that you have 1500 Gigs, but they know that most people use only something about 20 Megs [I'm also quoting parts of this from Genox, as I was speaking to him about it yesterday]. They advertise 1500 Gigs to get your attention, but they never have the kind of resources to allow people to use 1500 Gigs each. Which means that if you, as one of all these supposedly clueless customers, actually want to use some of the space, they will freak out and start pushing you with limitations that they never ever mentioned anything about, in their terms of service. You just wake up one morning, and figure out that your website has been suspended, without any sort of warning, and not even your email addresses work. I mean how un-considerate and un-professional is that? Then you call them, and they tell you that you are "violating" their terms of service, and you are "violating" copyright laws, while you were doing no such thing. They tell you that unless you remove everything you have in your personal folders, they will not give you access to anything. It doesn't matter how many times you try to tell them that this is wrong, they simply won't listen. They use the fact that you need your website back online, and push you to do exactly what they say: to never use what you have paid for. Yes, this is no kidding, this just happened to me. And then I emailed their "abuse" department, asking for an explanation about this, which so far they haven't responded to, and something tells me that they won't.

But hey wait, this is not all, it gets even better. You know what they primarily made me remove from the server? PUBLIC DOMAIN EBOOKS, AND LEGALLY FREE MUSIC! Yes, no kidding, how stupid is that? I had, in my public folders, eBooks that are legally free and fine to share and distribute, and music that happens to be made by my boyfriend [Genox] who releases his music for free, and somehow I'm pretty sure that he doesn't mind me sharing his music! Yes, the bloody BlueHost support didn't listen to me when I tried to tell them that this is free material!! They kept telling me that until I remove it, they won't re-activate my services. What does that tell me? That this is not at all about TOS or Copyright or law or anything like that, this is about the fact that they're lying about the 1500 Gigs, and they're just counting on it that with the kind of limitations they apply, you can never use the damn thing. I mean exactly how many full text websites can you have to fill up 1500 Gigs? Is everybody going to start their own eBay or something?

Now as I mentioned, this is not just about BlueHost. It goes for bunch of hosting services out there, but I would say BlueHost is the worst because:
1 - They don't mention anything in their TOS about their backwards policies,
2 - Their live chat support STILL tells you that it's ok to have copyrighted material as long as you don't share them [I tried this with a fake name yesterday!],
3 - Other similar hosting services won't get b****y with you if you're using their space with legally free material, and they understand the concept of "public domain books". Or at lest that's what their phone support tells me,
4 - The BlueHost support "lady" got quite offensive with me yesterday and hung up the phone on me, when she basically couldn't say anything in response to my logical argument.
So, ladies and gentlemen, this is _THE_ one most ugly behavior I have ever experienced from a company offering a service. In one act, BlueHost has managed to surpass even Rogers and Network Solutions. Good job, really!
So here's what's going to happen now. I already have full back up of my websites and databases and everything, and I'm fully prepared to move to another host if they bother me again. Actually given the current horrible downtimes of BlueHost, that would not be too bad anyway. AND, I have just put back my legally free material online, and I have absolutely no intention of removing them. And I have every intention of filling up the web space I'm paying for, with completely un-copyrighted material that can be very useful to my website viewers. Lets see what happens.

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Ahoo "Aasemoon" Pirsoleimani, 1998-2014