ASPnix is an utterly worthless web host...
I don't say this too often, but words cannot express how worthless they are. If I were to summarize the ways in which they failed to provide useful service, I could take all month. In short, they were lacking in a number of areas, including:
- Poor customer service
- Unstable systems
- Utter lack of communication (95% of the time)
- Cryptic communication (the other 5% of the time)
- Non-existent monitoring (also called "Monitoring via Customer")
- Invisible Support Team
Mind you, this is the short list. As I mentioned earlier this month, I experienced a great deal of problems with my former web host that necessitated departing from the at my earliest possible convenience. They had a good price, which they always used as an excuse for their poor service (what can you expect for $7.77 a month?) The problem was that not everyone was paying for the barest service, they didn't offer a weaker SLA based on price, and some of us had foolishly pre-paid for the year.
I was one of the folks that pre-paid because I received excellent recommendations of their service and support from various members of the CommunityServer.org forums who were using their services. For at least 3 months, things went rather well, and then their ace support tech went and got himself another job. It was at that point that we realized how much work he had been doing.
And with the loss of support, there went the communication (which had never been really great to begin with). There would be outages, especially of mail, which would go on for days with nary a peek about what was happening or when it would be resolved. Every now and then, you'd get a "it's fixed" response, with 5 people responding, "I still can't connect..."
There were so many complaints in the forums at one time, that they simply started deleting posts with the hint of a complaint in them -- using time that could have been better spent addressing the source of the problems themselves. You were lucky if you opened a ticket and got a response within 48 hours, forget about a solution. It got to the point where people would open tickets and then immediately go to the forums to post that they had opened a ticket.
The funniest part was that you could ask a question or post a complaint and not receive a response for days, but all you had to do was post an email praising ASPnix, and you'd get an instantaneous response -- even in the midst of a crisis. I was especially amused by the people who would say, "I've had great service from ASPnix..." one day, but then the following week would be complaining because their site had been down for 48 hours with no real status update. You have to be careful how much you try to ignore problems simply because they aren't happening to you at that moment.
A number of us posted suggestions and recommendations about dealing with outages, and providing useful communication. We also requested better monitoring and some replacement techs. The responses were all along the lines of "we know what we're doing, and we'll be fine. Soon. You'll see..." The biggest problem was email for a while, and I solved that by setting up some backup MX services from DynDNS.org. They were well worth it, and enabled me to put up with the other issues that ASPnix generously proved me for my pre-paid dollars.
The SQL server configuration was so atrocious, that my website performance felt like I was running on a 386. And, they wouldn't allow me to configure .BAT and .CMD files to download from the website -- for security reasons!!! Mind you, I said download and not execute.
When we tried to point out the problems with the service, they deleted our messages and even prevented me from posting for a while. Once I decided that they were beyond hope, I just started waiting until my service time was up and didn't bother to say anything anymore. Still, even with the silence, they disabled my forum account a month later.
Since May, they've been promising new pricing and a new plan, and updated forums, but they closed it down with a sign that says it's not really closed. Supposedly, the forums will be back up in September, not that they've been any good at forecasting up to this point. Oh, and they finally got some new techs, but they still take days to service simple requests, such as "please take my backup named xxx and move it to yyy."
I should have moved right at the end of June, but that was a particularly busy month for me, and so I had to postpone it by a month. Having finally switched, the experience is so astronomically better, that I wish I had done it back in November and just written off the lost cash. Things were so bad for the past 7 or so months that I am actually surprised when my current tickets get resolved in under an hour.
And no, I haven't pre-paid for the year with my new host, even though I ran through two trial periods prior to selecting them. But I will very likely pre-pay with them in a couple of months, if they manage to keep it up. And I'm pretty sure they will, since they appear to have more than one super tech working for them.
Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with ASPnix, the king of crappy webhosts. Make sure you do your research before selecting a web hosting provider...