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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast astrosurge's Avatar
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    Angry Dealing with internet dumb client & his unscrupulous webhosting company

    I posted an entry here previously - http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=669380. In that post i mentioned about how my client paid very expensively for a webhosting package that does not include mysql.

    Well, after thorough investigation, i found out that my client has been duped by his own webhosting company. Using the invoice that my client have forwarded me, i made a cross reference of the details from his invoice and the webhosting plan offered in that webhosting's co. website.

    This is what i found out in my client's webhost website price plan - my client pay RM360 (USD113, USD1=Malaysian Ringgit 3.2) for a 30GB webspace, 1 domain allowance with 10MB MySQL+phpmyadmin+apache+other basic stuff included.

    However in contrary, his invoice stated that, he paid the same price, RM360 for only 4GB space (26GB short from the one stated in their website!), 1 domain allowance with NO mysql+phpmyadmin+apache. When i rechecked this plan (the one from invoice) in the website, this plan does not exist!

    The Problem;

    I am not sure if you guys would do this, i have taken my client's position to argue with his webhosting tech support on his behalf on why mysql is not included when they should as he has paid for it. I lambasted the tech support for running a shady and unscrupulous business. The tech support 'promised' to refer to the sales dept after i busted his wrongdoings. the outcome is, they ignored me totally after that, even after firing 2 emails the next 24 hrs since they got busted.

    since my proposal stated that there is the need to migrate his 90's static website to a CMS, i must get the database component installed no matter what. i brought this up together with my findings of how poor the webhost was rated by the public to my client and also some suggestions of how to solve this problem.

    my client replied that he couldnt grab 50% of what i said because its too technical for him to digest but he thanked me nonetheless for informing him his webhost's misconduct. as i suggested, he dont mind paying another extra for a new webhosting and asked me to move on instead of arguing with his webhost.

    When i thought that I was really close to seeing the light, i had another issue bothering me. what if his current webhost refuse to transfer the domain name to the new webhost as a retribution for blowing their cover?? Wouldnt that be a disaster since the domain name bears the name of my client's business name?

    also, since my client is not tech-savvy, should i purchase the new webhosting with his credit card details? Is that practice alright? Or should i guide him in doing so with him keying the credit card details on his own? i was tad worried if he dont understand my instructions well and make mistakes such as registering with the wrong price plan.

    i did not want to bug him further to avoid him having this impression of me being incompetent.

    what will you do if you are in this situation like me?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrosurge View Post
    When i thought that I was really close to seeing the light, i had another issue bothering me. what if his current webhost refuse to transfer the domain name to the new webhost as a retribution for blowing their cover?? Wouldnt that be a disaster since the domain name bears the name of my client's business name?
    First thing is why gey pissy with them in the first place? Just take the client off them and don't get into a p*****g contest...they know they're incompetent and won't care what you think, but why give them a reason to be awkward about the domain? Best thing would have been to remain polite and professional as you take their revenue away from them - no need for you to take it all so personally.

    Assuming the domain is registered in his name or his business name there is always redress available through Nominet (in the uk) or it's equivelant - usually it just entails a fax on headed notepaper to the relevant authority to transfer the domain if the registrar is playing funny b*****s

    also, since my client is not tech-savvy, should i purchase the new webhosting with his credit card details? Is that practice alright? Or should i guide him in doing so with him keying the credit card details on his own? i was tad worried if he dont understand my instructions well and make mistakes such as registering with the wrong price plan.
    I would purchase it on his behalf using my own credit card - then invoice the client accordingly, (and with an administration/handling fee of course).

    Can I ask why you are not handling the hosting yourself through a reseller account somewhere? You are missing out on a regular source of income with little overhead or work required after the first year - don't be shy about offering a client a full service!

  3. #3
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Judging by the tone of your post, it's hard to imagine that you aren't contributing some to the 'dumbness' and stress of the situation. It's just hosting, don't get over emotional

    I would never use a client's credit card to make a purchase with a 3rd party vendor, even if they authorized it. I'm not sure it's legal and I'm certain the credit card folks don't like that.

    So, let's look at your situation in it's simplest form:

    1) Your client was overpaying for hosting and not getting the features that he was promised.

    2) You tried to intervene on behalf of the client, but the client doesn't seem that interested and asked you to move on. Client says he doesn't mind paying a bit more.

    3) You refer to this client is an 'internet dumb client' and consider what to do.

    The answer is pretty easy: do what your client wants. If you don't want to appear incompetent, then provide the service that the client wants and give them a bit of respect. Just because you think they are 'internet dumb' that doesn't mean that they aren't still paying you.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast astrosurge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Eden View Post
    First thing is why gey pissy with them in the first place? Just take the client off them and don't get into a p*****g contest...they know they're incompetent and won't care what you think, but why give them a reason to be awkward about the domain? Best thing would have been to remain polite and professional as you take their revenue away from them - no need for you to take it all so personally.
    i was tad upset because my client is just an old man with no internet knowledge being ripped off. during the course of correspondence with the tech support, no foul language was uttered. i was merely temperamental in the way that the tech support deal with the complaint by being defensive that my client is not subscribed to that component when their website clearly stated it does. that shows how the tech support was ill-trained as he/she does not even understand what is the service offering of the company they work with. i had exercised proper discourse by debating facts and not lambasting blindly like a nutter.

    Can I ask why you are not handling the hosting yourself through a reseller account somewhere? You are missing out on a regular source of income with little overhead or work required after the first year - don't be shy about offering a client a full service!
    this is because i am new, just started and this current problem is actually my second project. as for reseller account i will opt in when my finances is right. yes, i do look forward to it as part of my biz expansion in a year's time.

    Well, I am ranting in capacity as a newbie, and that is why there are alot of things i am unsure about and needed guidance of whats right and whats wrong just to make sure my freelancing biz is heading into the right path.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast astrosurge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Judging by the tone of your post, it's hard to imagine that you aren't contributing some to the 'dumbness' and stress of the situation. It's just hosting, don't get over emotional
    i get your point, and maybe my post sounds abit like it (emotional, as you suggested) Well, i do take pride in what i do and to witness in front of my own eye a webhosting bigwig in my my country doing this kind of s*** makes me sick. though having said my client is dumb, i was actually sympathized with him, that is why i intervene on his behalf to make sure justice served.

    maybe i am doing too much, more than i should do...however, thanks for the feedback.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrosurge View Post
    he dont mind paying another extra for a new webhosting and asked me to move on instead of arguing with his webhost.
    Just do what he asks and forget about the old hosting. It's not your problem and your client in any case has mentally written it off to experience. He's not worried, so you don't need to be either. Get new hosting.

    Also, I think you're worrying too much about very small sums of money. The sums may seem significant to you as you're starting out, but they are not significant to your client, or indeed to anyone who owns an established business, even a tiny one.

    Clients just love it if you can bring them solutions and just quietly get things done, rather than pestering them with endless problems that they don't understand. It's really worth trying harder to keep all these problems out of the limelight.

    And a general point: it's a really bad idea to start fighting with the supplier of one of your clients when you have no sound legal basis to do this. For all you know your client may rely on this supplier for other services as well. If you damage the business relationship between supplier and client this could result in all sorts of problems you have not foreseen. It's not appropriate to interfere in the relationship to such a degree that you, technically a third party (though the supplier may not realise this), accuse the supplier of dishonesty or incompetence.

    See the big picture, that's what it boils down to, and life will be a lot simpler!

    Paul

  7. #7
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrosurge View Post
    he dont mind paying another extra for a new webhosting and asked me to move on instead of arguing with his webhost.
    He's paying $113 a month for web hosting now that he could get for less $10 a month. I don't see how he could possibly end up paying more then he already is.


    what if his current webhost refuse to transfer the domain name to the new webhost as a retribution for blowing their cover??
    And that is why you never host your domains with the same company that you register your domain names with.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    He's paying $113 a month for web hosting now that he could get for less $10 a month. I don't see how he could possibly end up paying more then he already is.
    It's per year, not per month, IIRC from the OP's other thread.


    Paul

  9. #9
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit7285
    And a general point: it's a really bad idea to start fighting with the supplier of one of your clients when you have no sound legal basis to do this.
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but he stated the person affected was an elderly individual who was mislead through targeted false advertising on the website (as in the package he would get for the money) and had no comprehension to be able to advocate the misgivings of how he was mislead due to an incapacity in respect of technical knowledge. While I don't know the person in question (so I can't make a judgement as to how competent a computer user he is) I can say that the act of misleading someone into believing what their purchasing would be more than what was actually delivered (based on the information provided on the site) is in itself criminal (I can think of at least 3 laws which would class that as worthy of conviction), let alone the potential in this case that the individual in question may well be considered in a vulnerable position (being of an older age - thereby perhaps not having as much money to spend - and being technologically less aware - thereby not fully being able to understand what he was buying due to being mislead) - which there are explicit laws against (at least in the UK and most of Europe there are).

    I am not a lawyer and I don't know the specifics of the case but let me tell you... if someone I knew got duped into purchasing something misrepresented (who was either unable to recognise this due to lack of knowledge, comprehension, awareness or mindful nature)... I would be slamming down on the business in question like Thor with his hammer (even if it was just in a position of advocating on the end-users behalf and any number of other customers who may have been mis-sold goods), based on what I've read I'd say there's just cause for a lawsuit and as someone who taught elderly people how to use computers for a while, it disgusts me that there's traders willing to falsify their goods unscrupulously to take advantage of people who aren't in a position to know they've been had.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but he stated the person affected was an elderly individual who was mislead through targeted false advertising on the website (as in the package he would get for the money) and had no comprehension to be able to advocate the misgivings of how he was mislead due to an incapacity in respect of technical knowledge. While I don't know the person in question (so I can't make a judgement as to how competent a computer user he is) I can say that the act of misleading someone into believing what their purchasing would be more than what was actually delivered (based on the information provided on the site) is in itself criminal (I can think of at least 3 laws which would class that as worthy of conviction), let alone the potential in this case that the individual in question may well be considered in a vulnerable position (being of an older age - thereby perhaps not having as much money to spend - and being technologically less aware - thereby not fully being able to understand what he was buying due to being mislead) - which there are explicit laws against (at least in the UK and most of Europe there are).

    I am not a lawyer and I don't know the specifics of the case but let me tell you... if someone I knew got duped into purchasing something misrepresented (who was either unable to recognise this due to lack of knowledge, comprehension, awareness or mindful nature)... I would be slamming down on the business in question like Thor with his hammer (even if it was just in a position of advocating on the end-users behalf and any number of other customers who may have been mis-sold goods), based on what I've read I'd say there's just cause for a lawsuit and as someone who taught elderly people how to use computers for a while, it disgusts me that there's traders willing to falsify their goods unscrupulously to take advantage of people who aren't in a position to know they've been had.
    You seriously advocate starting a lawsuit about this? That's hilarious. You don't even know the true facts of this case. None of us do. We only have the OP's rather excitable account.

    All this cod-legal tough talking is just pointless hot air. It's fantasy, supposition and guesswork and is clearly not based on any practical real world experience. Total overreaction.


    Paul

  11. #11
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    You clearly need to re-read my comments, what I stated was on the conjectural basis of purely what he wrote in the post, while I did state how I would feel if the situation portrayed was accurate and affected someone I know, I did explicitly note (which you clearly ignored) that I didn't know the person, had no idea as to his competency levels and did not have any specifics of the case in question (therefore my thoughts were based only on what was stated). I am certainly not advocating a lawsuit as grounds for such action would be dependant on various factors which remain undisclosed at this stage however what I have stated is if the information provided by the OP is true and he was indeed mislead into a purchase by the business, there may well be reasonable grounds for a lawsuit, which is an entirely legitimate statement to make. Stating an opinion based on the information given is VERY different to giving procedural action or directly advising such action.


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