Give Us A Hand

If you love Jewschool and, generally, what we’ve got going on over here with our various projects, like The Open Source Judaism Project, The Yada Blog (which we also host), Steven I. Weiss’ Kosher Bachelor & The Metro Section (both coming soon), as well as the also-soon-to-come rebirth of Bang It Out, design support for JDub Records (with artists like Mattissyahu & BEN), not to mention our secular work, you might be able to help us with a little problem we’re having.

After our system was recently hacked (you may have noticed something about a “panic box” replacing the Jewschool homepage sometime last week), a few of us here pooled together the resources to move over to a new and improved server, where we would have more protection against such hack attempts. After some research, I decided to give CI Host, a Texas-based webhosting company, a chance. The following complaint I just filed with the BBB explains the all-but-wonderful experience I’ve had with CI Host thus far:

I recently purchased Dedicated Web Hosting through CI Host. The cost of the package was for roughly $150/mo with a $200 setup fee. After my account was configured and I logged into my server to install some necessary software, I discovered that the configuration of the server, as well as the “managed services” provided by the company would not be sufficient for my needs.

This feeling was exacerbated by the fact that upon every occasion on which I tried to reach their customer service staff by telephone, I was placed into a call queue that disconnected me after staying on hold for 5 minutes. This has happened well over 12 times thus far, 8 times today alone. When complaining about this fact to their receptionist she merely apologized and returned me to the call queue where I was disconnected once again.

Infuriated, I went to cancel my account, and in the process of filling out their online cancellation form, discovered language in an argeement I would be required to sign in order to cancel, which requires that I waive my entitlement to a refund of my setup fees. However, on the company’s website, prior to signup, there was a bolded statement: “Risk free contracts! – 30 day money back guarantee on all servers.” There is no asterisk, nor link, nor small print which notes that this is not an entirely true statement.

When, after several attempts, I was finally able to contact a service representative, I was informed that in signing my contract with the company, that I had consented to all company policies, even though the specific policy relating to the waiver of setup fees upon cancellation was not stipulated within the contract itself.

I believe this to be a completely misleading business practice and am incensed by such ‘contractual trickery’. It is a completely dishonest way of making money and constitutes a breach of good faith.

Now, I’ve already signed up with another hoster, and the new server will be up and running today. But I want our $200 back. I’m going to try to stop the payment (I have to go to my branch and fill out a form), but since I can’t be sure that’ll work, if everyone who reads this and identifies with my concerns would be willing to write an email to both [email protected] and [email protected] and insist that they terminate my contract (name: Daniel Sieradski, account: #ci61883463, domain: youraunt.net) with a full refund, including setup and monthly fees, I would greatly appreciate your support. Let them know that you think it is an entirely reprehensible business action, and that you fully intend to make all of your associates who are currently hosted by their company, as well as those who you know are looking for hosting, aware of the underhanded manner in which their company conducts business. That oughtta put the fear of G-d in ’em.

On the other hand, if you’re not much for letter-writing, and you’d just like to pitch in a financial contribution to help cover to cost of the server migration, by all means, lend us a hand.

Also, if you’re looking for cheap yet quality webhosting, or some help designing and building your website, you know where to find me. Thanks a bunch!

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