Why did I change hosting companys?

One has to wonder: Is it worth it to have your web and E-Mail servers with a company that either can’t, or can’t want to enforce their TOS (Terms Of Service) or maintain a clean server?

What follows is the support ticket exchange with my former hosting company that caused me to change the hosting for Weeg.org.  What blew me away is the blaming of ObamaCare for not being able to turn a profit. They blame ObamaCare for what I perceive as the inability to keep track of what their servers are actually doing.

I wonder how many people would need to be hired to change a server setting or two and take a daily look at the server stats.  The changes I proposed are a setting change and 10 – 20 minutes a day looking at results.  I find it difficult at best to believe I the only person who noticed that hosting with these people caused me not to be able to send E-Mail to some of the biggest domains in North America.

Mike Weeg
Client 11/12/2012 22:55

I can’t send to yahoo.com, hotmail.com, and now comcast.net. Seriously, you should do something about enforcing your terms of use and /or ensuring no bots live in your servers. I could be making an assumption that there are terms of use that discourage spamming. I’d be willing to pay more for running off a clean mail server.

Mail gets blocked to these domains for reasons like this:

BL000010 :: Mail to Comcast is rejected and is returned with an error message containing the code BL000010. What does this mean?

Your email could not be delivered because your email provider is listed on the Cloudmark Sender Intelligence (CSI). CSI is a list of IP addresses which have been detected as sending spam. Comcast uses this list to protect its subscribers from receiving spam.

Staff 11/12/2012 23:04

The only way to ensure you are the only one sending from a specific server/IP is to use a VPS.

Amanda, N.
Scottdale Hosting Support

Mike Weeg
Client 11/13/2012 00:21

Are you suggesting that y’all have no intention of enforcing your terms of service?

How much rocket science does it take to monitor what your servers are doing? I’d start by seeing which accounts send out the most e-mail. Then I’d start pulling random samples and applying lockouts as required. The law is on your side, you have every right to know what is being passed through your servers as well as enforcing your zero tolerance spam policy.

From your TOS:

3.) Zero Tolerance Spam Policy
We take a zero tolerance stance against sending of unsolicited e-mail, bulk emailing, and spam. “Safe lists” and purchased lists will be treated as spam. Any user who sends out spam will have their account terminated with or without notice.Please read our generalized mail policy.

Sites advertised via SPAM (Spamvertised) may not be hosted on our servers. This provision includes, but is not limited to SPAM sent via fax, email, instant messaging, or usenet/newsgroups. Any account which results in our IP space being blacklisted will be immediately suspended and/or terminated.

Scottdale Hosting reserves the right to require changes or disable as necessary any web site, account, database, or other component that does not comply with its established policies, or to make any such modifications in an emergency at its sole discretion.

Scottdale Hosting reserves the right to charge the holder of the account used to send any unsolicited e-mail a clean up fee or any charges incurred for blacklist removal. This cost of the clean up fee is entirely at the discretion of Scottdale Hosting.


Staff 11/13/2012 01:49

We do enforce our TOS and accounts that send spam are terminated. The problem is that by the time they are caught, the damage is already done in the way of the email being sent. Accounts are limited per hour to the number of emails they can send. The issue is not only spammers though. Our own scottdalehosting.com site sends emails to customers and are routinely blocked by yahoo, hotmail, and other sites even though we only send emails to verified customers. To get around this issue, we use google apps and use their mail servers. The sad thing is that even with a reverse dns entry, throttled emails, and other measures to prevent being labeled as a spammer, we still routinely get blocked when using our own server. Yet gmail who anyone can sign up for is not blocked.

We are doing our best to limit the amount of emails that are sent as spam, however, with a small company our size and only 3 full time employees, we don’t have the revenue or manpower to do what you are asking. I would like to have the revenue to support more personnel or outsource support service, but again, it cost money. With ObamaCare taking effect in the near future, we will be hard pressed to turn a profit as it is.

The easy fix is to sign up for google apps and use their gmail as your mail servers. Once you sign up, you can login to your cpanel and change the mx entries to the ones provided by gmail, pointing your mail to their server.

Gary H.
Scottdale Hosting Support

Mike Weeg
Client 11/13/2012 21:42

First, I’ll suggest cutting in half (or more) the number of E-Mails allowed per hour per account. After that, of course, you’d need to get a new mail server IP, because that would be the quick way to be un-blacklisted.

“The issue is not only spammers though. Our own scottdalehosting.com site sends emails to customers and are routinely blocked by yahoo, hotmail, and other sites even though we only send emails to verified customers. “

That is because of the spammers sending too much BS. The amount of good mail is seemingly dwarfed by the spam.

Blaming obamacare is reaching. Quite honestly, I would be willing to pay 3 times as much if there weren’t mail delivery hassles. I suspect 90% of other account holders would also.

Anyhow all that being said and /or vented, I will look into Google Apps. Questions on that include, but are probably not limited to:
Will my users need to reset their passwords?
Will they be able to keep their stored E-Mails?
Will I be able to configure E_Mail forwarders here?
I’m sure that I’ll come up with more.


Staff 11/14/2012 04:25

Suggestions noted. If you are not happy with the account, please cancel and move the account.

Gary H.
Scottdale Hosting Support

Mike Weeg
Client 11/19/2012 00:10

I took your advice. Please cease billing me and feel free to remove my account.

Thank you.

In case it helps, I noticed that when the server change took effect, the amount of spam that appeared to be from the same address it was sent to came to a screeching halt. You might want to look for bots and the like.

Staff 11/19/2012 04:48

Account has been cancelled. Please ensure you cancel your PayPal subscription.

Thank You,
Amanda, N.
Scottdale Hosting Support

I will post comments. –Mikey…

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