VPS.NET Review – Basically They Suck As a Web Host And Do Not Give Refunds
I’m not one to ramble and complain, but I feel I have to tell you my story of my web hosting experience with vps.net.
I am an avid reader of yoast.com and the big man himself personally recommended them giving a glowing reference of his site being hosted there and receiving over a million visitors per month without a hitch. Of course he is promoting them and making a commission, but I was happy to use his link and put a few dollars his way because he had dramatically short cutted my research time.
So I duly signed up and initially things went ok, I got a response quickly from Rus the MD and everything seemed in order. Once I had figured out what to buy (I choose a system that was more powerful than Joost recommended, happily buying an overspeced setup to ensure we would never run out of juice).
After getting the basic installation done, and moving a few sites over everything started going downhill.
There was continually problems with the server crashing for no reasons, or worse crashing under a little load, and it seems the technicians were baffled. After a few days of experiencing ongoing crashes at seemingly random periods things seems to be under control.
I never felt the techs were that interested in fixing stuff, it was when they got to it, as opposed to wow your server is down I better look at this immediately.
For around a week or so everything was good, the speed was great, and we had no problems.
Then suddenly the crashing returned. The server was intolerable slow, which I later found out was due to a server disk getting rebuilt which took over 48 hours to complete.
I should point out here that vps have a “user pays” support system. Where you will pay extra for support. Some basic initial support was included when we signed up, but essentially you want something done, you are going to pay for it. Unlike softlayer my previous host.
For the next week on and off, I was suffering downtime from minutes to hours at a time. At certain times of the day support was non existent. I had to wonder if the office was even open. Live support often disappeared and did not respond, so I was left to ponder how to fix things myself.
Each crash was invoking a fsck (checking disk for errors) and it often took 45 mins plus for the server to complete this and reboot.
VPS never had any idea that the server was down, despite it being their problem, and I was forced to make an almost 24 hour a day vigil to make sure the server was operational. The VPS guys after about a week of errors seemed to sort out the problem which they blamed on the backup and we started having some stabiity again.
There seemingly blasé attitude made me think this was normal for them (constant problems).
I was offered compensation of $42 for the downtime (which frankly was insulting given the amount of money I had lost when the server was down). But I was at the stage of just being happy the server was stable and didn’t push the point.
Three or four days later the server started crashing again, and for a few more days I had intermittent server crashes or worse not crashing but being unresponsive (web server not working).
Support were slow to respond and quick to blame everything such as MYSQL being overloaded or configuration problems (despite them having setup the server).
At this point I could not cope with anymore downtime and signed up with Storm on Demand (this time researching extensively myself).
It took about 5 days to slowly move things from vps to storm and what I found interesting is there was stability with VPS in that time. Before I had moved any sites it was stable. Clearly a MYSQL problem would have caused the server to keep crashing if that indeed was the issue (It wasn’t).
It seems VPS had found and fixed the problem but continued to blame the configuration and/or mysql overload.
So I moved all sites to stormondemand and they have been running without missing a beat for days now, 100% rock solid (as you expect a VPS or any web hosting to be).
Clearly vps had major problems. Oh funny that. It wasn’t a mysql overload vps was it? A nice excuse for your crappy setup.
One other thing I should point out is storm on demand do NOT charge extra on a per ticket basis like vps.net does. So don’t expect you are going to have to pay extra everytime you want a script installed or whatever like you do at vps.net.
I’ve put storm on demand to the test and they have installed a number of scripts for us, their support has been 100% contactable when needed, usually responding in minutes and not hours in the case of vps.net.
Getting back to vps.net, I asked for a refund on un-used time (I paid in advance) and was not so politely shown the terms and conditions “no refunds”. But it gets worse, they would even refund their lousy $42 credit for all the lost claiming that it could only be used against future invoices.
In summary vps are a web hosting nightmare. Do not waste any time with these guys, you get all sorts of weird problems, you’ll have periods of time where no support is available, you will have lots of down time and you will get zero accountability from them.
For the record I went right to the top (the MD) and was told basically tough luck. He never bothered to respond to my final email about having zero accountability.
This has been the worst web hosting experience ever, so I can only hope other people looking to use vps will see this and not waste a lot of money and worse, suffer significant downtime at the expense of these people.
It’s quite sad because everything looked so rosy at the start. Just dont let it fool you. Avoid vps.net like the plague.
For the record, you will get a much more powerful server for the same amount at storm on demand, so take your business there.
UPDATE: Found this interesting interview Problems with VPS.net (in particular read the comments from vps.net users). Seems there were problems back in 2011. The same SAN issues are still happening in 2012. And goes to show, I was silly listening to Joost who seems blissfully unaware or does not seem to care he is getting paid to recommend a shoddy service. It all makes sense now 🙂