If you have read my writing long enough, my blog had a different URL when I started publishing two years ago. Early this year, I was forced to leave it. And that partially explains why I launched this site. So the truth is, there are two reasons for my launching this site. First, I wanted some changes in my writing and the way I present it. And second, I had a very bad experience with my former provider. Total nightmare.
Today, let me write about this two-year nightmare. Here is my report and review of Philhosting.net. Let this be unsolicited advice — a warning — for those who consider getting Philhosting.net’s service.
Philhosting.net is a provider based here in the Philippines. I always look for the best bargains, and What attracted me to them (much to my regret) was their very reasonable price. I only spent around P1,500 for both the URL registration and web hosting for 500 MB worth of space.
During the first month, it was smooth sailing. But from the second month onwards, the service worsened big time.
– My site would be down several times in each month. Several tickets at a time need to be sent before you can get any action done. The truth is, I would need to pray almost every time when I would access my site.
– I was very helpless when my site would be down during a Saturday or Sunday — which happened a couple of times. There is no phone support during weekends. No e-mail support either. So yes, your site will be down for two full days if your site is down on a Saturday. But this is not the worst.
– In December 2008, my site was down a day or two after Christmas. Their tech support went on holiday. My site was restored only after two weeks,or after the New Year! Horrendous! Good thing my site is a personal blog. If it had been an e-commerce site, I would have been out of business.
– Philhosting.net’s tech support was awful. They never answered my specific questions or concerns. It was as if all my queries were answered with a scripted, copy and paste answer. Don’t expect any empathy for customers if you have the misfortune of getting their service.
I had stayed with them and settled for their poor service because there’s a considerable amount of inconvenience when one transfers a url and its content from one provider to another. And the truth is, I was almost set on settling with poor service for a third year. They reminded to through e-mail to renew my package with them, which means I needed to access my control panel. But…
– For some reason, they changed my password to the control panel. You need to access the control panel to make transactions, such as renewing your subscription with them.
– When I couldn’t access my control panel, I did two things: 1) Sent them support tickets using the form outside control panel (on the Philhosting.net website); and 2) Sent them a separate, direct e-mail. I mentioned in these messages that I could not access my control panel and will not be able to receive any replies inside the control panel. So my instruction was to either call me directly or send me a direct e-mail. Neither happened.
– Since writing to them did not work, I called their office. I was calling them during office hours for two months. No answer. The truth is, I seriously wondered if they had gotten bankrupt (won’t be surprised because their service is really bad).
To cut the long story short, my old site had expired. When my call finally got through a month or so after the expiration, they said that they have been replying to my e-mails. But true enough, they did not follow instructions — they replied through the control panel, which, as I pointed to them again, I did not have access to.
The bad news was, they are no longer able to revive my old site. Following international protocol on URL ownership, they also lost access to my URL, until some guy from China stole my URL for himself to sell to the highest bidder. My separate investigation of this fellow shows that he has become notorious internationally and has been sued by several individuals and companies for stealing URLs.
I didn’t realize that my name has that much value that internet pirates would actually take interest in it. This is another story all together.
By then, I had already decided to launch this new and better site. The good thing is, I was able to back up and save two years’ worth of writing before everything got lost. Still, up to the very end, Philhosting.net did not do a single thing to help its customer. I also noticed that I am not alone in condemning Philhosting.net for its horrible, unprofessional service.
I am now with a new provider, Philwebservices.com, and so far, everything is good. The investment is more or less the same, but the service is much better. My new provider has told me about customers who were very angry with Philhosting.net, and they have also told me that in order to get work done, customers needed to actually go to their office in some part of Makati. And to think we now live in an era of e-mails and e-commerce.
Well, I have moved forward. And I have said goodbye to the poor service of Philhosting.net.
A lot of friends have asked me advice on how to start a blog or website. If you plan to host your own website, let this be my first advice. Choose a good provider. Go for quality and efficiency. Don’t become a victim. Don’t settle for Philhosting.net, a provider synonymous with poor and unprofessional service.