Feature

Feature Price Sucks

Once upon a time I used to use a host called Feature Price. I did quite a bit of research before switching my sites to them, and was very pleased with what I saw. That was a few years ago, and for long time they didn't disappoint. Until they went from the best to the worst sometime around last November.

I wish I had tracked & posted everything that happened with this hosting fiasco, especially because there's a few reports that I didn't have control over which are now gone forever, but this article should give you a pretty good overview of the problem. Make yourself a sandwich and get yourself something to drink, because this is a long one.

Last November, my noticed my hurm.com e-mail had stopped, and started putting in requests to Feature Price, my hosting service, for help. Their people blindly saw that the site was still up, and apparently that was all they needed to presume the e-mail is also working. However, I've had an account with them for a long time, and my first account with them dated back to their original Cobalt-based servers. Fathi Said, the original Feature Price owner, set up my e-mail on a different server than the hurm.com web space early on in my subscription with them.

It turned out that (e-mail) server died on or before last November 1st, 2002, and no one made provisions to move it to another server. For *all* of November their tech support bungled the simple task of pointing my site's e-mail to another server. I stopped getting answers from most of my e-mail petitions. In one support phone call, even after explaining about the e-mail server issues, the woman refused to acknowledge any server problems and kept asking me what e-mail software client I used on my computer. Most of my web-based help requests took several days before any response came in. Only Samir Said (relative of Fathi, presumably) of their Sales department offered any sympathy, although he seemed never in a position to be able to help, unfortunately. He also suggested that the various departments weren't getting my e-mails, which I find suspect since I e-mailed from from ISP e-mail, work e-mail, hotmail, and an e-mail account set up on their own servers.

Eventually they switched the server...except they switched the web server, not the e-mail server. I recall them mentioning the e-mail now worked, but with my web site gone, no FTP information, and no e-mail control, I was fed up. Early in December I cancelled that first account, but still trying to be cooperative I offered that they could transfer the remaining 10 months on that first account to my second of 2 accounts. They still haven't replied to me about that (and I guess they never will since I found out recently that they went out of business). At the time, they successfully cancelled the account, but no refund came.

In January of 2003, their site design switched and their help system became a tangled mess of contact-with-customer limitations. Early in February I received a notice that my second site (nowheresville.org, the only one I still had active) was up for renewal. This warning-notice came on a Saturday morning and the renewal was up less than 2 days later, the following Monday. I sent one final request for the 10 months from the first to be transferred to the account I had remaining, but also figured that both because it was the weekend and that they never replied to anything any more that I might as well sign up and work things out later. I still liked some of their server aspect, even if their customer support was total crap. I signed up for 6 more months, which was coincidentaly when the cancelled account would have naturally run out, and that should have been about 110 bucks.

A couple of days after renewing I saw by my online banking statement that the charge had went through but never received info from Feature Price. I petitioned for some kind of update, and in reply received an update notice that stated I would have to activate the renewal through a certain web site. They also required me to send again some minor confirmation info and stated that even though I was sending the last 4 digits of my credit card I would not be charged anything additional. This was apparently a lie, as I was not only charged again, but I was charged for another full year and a set-up charge, at about 228 dollars. I called their help line as the renewal form suggested, but their operator literally hung up on me after claming mine was a technical problem, and not a sales/renewal problem. Flaberghasted, I used their online chat system to contact someone, and she said I needed the bill to go through so that I could fax in the bill, credit card, etc. as was told to you. Not trusting their process, I checked with my bank and they confirmed that it's likely I'll need the sale to go through before I can contest anything. My bank gave me a phone number that kept putting off calling—but I'm kind of glad I did since things may work out better for me in the end.

The site did get transferred to their new hosting system during the renewal, but it didn't auto-transfer the data via FTP as was suggested could happen and I requested. Fortunately, I'm naturally cautious about such exchanges, and the combination of that and my string of problems with Feature Price, I had everything backed up on my own computer before putting in for the renewal.

I complained via e-mail about the extra charges, and after a few days they actually came off. But a couple of days later they came back, and that bogus charge remains there even now.

I may soon get some financial satisfaction on the whole mess. When Atlantic.net bought the disaster that was once Feature Price, it looks like they bought the hardware and client list but the subscriptions didn't also carry over. That means my old host failed to provide the service I had paid them in a way that makes it oh-so-much-easier for me to file a dispute with my credit card and expect to get all $448.76 back from them. Rather than feel like I might have to settle, I might get a complete refund on everything.

I'm so glad Feature Price went in the toilet so fast. If they had slowly dropped in service they might have been able to keep my money. By failing so hard within the period of my subscription, things should work out for me in the end.

And who do I use now? Currently: www.hostrocket.com. However, a friend of mine is using www.surpasshosting.com, and they seem to have a bit of a better deal there. Check both out, as each has their own strengths.

Share this Page:

Comments:

Categories:

Share

Share this page with family and friends…even complete strangers. It's up to you. Whatever floats your boat.

Click the icon below to select the method of sharing.

Share:

Comments

Read Comments (4)

Jonathan commented at 12:36 AM on June 17, 2003:

There is not enough usage of the word Flaberghasted anymore.

That friend of yours was smart to use Surpass. I bet he is handsome and has a very large, uh, wallet. What a great guy that friend of yours is.

Oh, where was I? Glad to see that chargeback will work out for you. Didn't know you were stuck in a $450 limbo!

Jonathan commented at 12:58 AM on August 26, 2003:

Can it get worse? Feature Price is back up and stealing people's money again. Grr.....

Nobody commented at 1:38 AM on August 27, 2003:

How is that possible? Didn't they close down everything and sell off assets? I wonder if I can get all my money back now...?

david commented at 10:30 PM on November 5, 2003:

FP offered a free domain name registration when i signed up for their platinum service... they registered it in thier name, not mine. when i renewed my service with them in feb, my service became really bad. then they went out of business in may. i was out of $300 and here i am 8 months later and STILL dont have access to my domain, because they are still listed as the administrative contact!

Leave a comment





Please enter the letter "w" in the field below:

 

Browse the archives »