This is the entirety of the email I sent Jeff, in regards to my service.
Jeff, you emailed my (now dead) address yesterday regarding the disabling of Superbusnet.com due to piracy issues regarding one of the subdomains I had (pspgoodies.superbusnet.com).
Let me first state that I understand the action that was taken, and why; the list of items on that site - which I did not run, but am definately responsible for out of ignorance - is staggering. I do emphasise with you and your company in that regard.
My issue in this is that I think the action, considering my long term standing with your customer (three years as of tomorrow, and a member since 2004) was excessive. Though I understand that the TOS states that my account may be terminated without warning, three years is a long time to be with your company, and as I'm also one of the webmasters of another of your websites (velthomer.net), I find that taking away my website - and those websites that behaved under me - was a little much. Couldn't a warning/probation have sufficed?
This would not be troubling by itself. But the fact of the matter is that this happens less than a week after my payment to extend my service with your company goes through... that is troublesome. My service officially extends tomorrow, the 5th, and my payment went through right after making it, which was on the 28th of December. I must apologise if I find the timing of all of this... troublesome, to say the least. This also isn't the first time I've had a problem with your company blindsiding me, as I once had to put off a proposed forum move on the Velthomer domain back in November of 2005 due to your policy on CPU Limits.
I'm asking for this to be resolved in one of two ways: I'd like to either remain a customer of your company with my service intact and probationary, or if that is not possible/in your best interests, then I absolutely want my money back from my most recent payment, as my service has not extended yet. My preference would be the former, but I will not this issue rest until one of these two options has been fulfilled.
Thank you for your time, I understand you have a thankless job.
- Christopher Bowen
I got this response back. Note that the second to last real paragraph - the one where I mention the timing - is quoted at the top.
If you are implying that we felt the need to wait until after your
renewal to disable your account, that accusation is patently offensive
and (it goes without saying) completely false. We'd much rather have an
ongoing business relationship with a customer who is willing to abide by
our TOS into perpetuity, but that option was not given to us.
Just to underscore that fact, I've initiated a refund of your most recent
$240.00 credit card payment. It should arrive back on your card within a
few days. This is being done as a courtesy to you in recognition of your
long time hosting with us.
That said, it goes beyond the pale to attempt to shift blame on us when
an account under your control was found to be engaging in the illegal
distribution of hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars worth of
software from your hosting account. This is not a minor offense, and if
you had no direct involvement in the distribution it would be one thing
to contact us with an explanation and plead your case (we would have
listened), but you felt the need to go beyond that and instead lay blame
on _us_ for actually enforcing our policies.
In any case, you will have your refund, and your account will not be
re-enabled under any circumstances. From what you demanded, I believe
that this should resolve the matter to your satisfaction.
Well, I got one of my needed resolutions; I got my money back.
But I can't help but feel awful about it. Jeff was really pissed; one of the things I enjoy about Dreamhost is their personal interaction, FESS would not be where it is now if it wasn't for that, and the way they interacted with me on that stress test (and their forgiveness over the way I conducted it). Losing Dreamhost as my provider, despite what a few people - notable among them recession - have to say, sucks. I liked the site, I liked the 490GB of storage, I liked the 5+TB of bandwidth, and most of all, I liked customer service that actually calls me back, and deals with me. Dreamhost is a topnotch company.
But I feel I did no wrong here, except laying out what I saw, and of course, protecting my investment. Was I as wrong as Jeff made it out to be? Jeff truly does a thankless job; being the DMCA guy anywhere, you're going to deal with very pissed off people. Was this truly a lesson in my lack of any soft of diplomacy? This was really the best I am capable of. Should I, from now on, filter everything through my girlfriend to make sure I'm not stepping on toes?
I feel bad. I really do, despite the situation, I feel bad, not so much because I could have saved my site, but because I offended a guy with what I thought was a diplomatic approach.
As for the rest of it, I have some questions (like, getting the superbusnet.com name before some squatter does, and what this means for Velthomer), but I don't think this will affect Velthomer in anyway. My email address has been permanently moved to superbus AT velthomer .com, and I gave Aileen a Velthomer email address, as she was the only other one using Superbusnet as her email provider; anyone that has a problem with this can bite my dick, for I am the billpayer.
Is this one really my fault? Or am I dealing with someone fairly jaded?
Jeff, my sincerest apologies for the misunderstanding. It was not my intent to shift blame to your company for my failure as a webmaster, and even noted that the warez on our domain was gross negligence on my part; that much, I can definately attest to, I should have made a sweep of my domain. The intention of noting the timing of the domain being pulled was not to "accuse", but just to note that the timing was nothing more than questionable. I love dealing with Dreamhost, and would not want to sacrifice that in any way, and I sincerely apologise for offending you, that was NOT the intention; my first priority was simply to protect my investment, and my domain, and I thank you for the pending refund.
The refund is bittersweet; my first priority would be to remain a customer at any reasonable price. But since that is not happening, I do have two more questions, if you don't mind:
1) I have another domain with your company that I have joint ownership of with another user (velthomer.net). Will this affect that domain?
2) With my account being disabled, I have no choice but to take the name to another host. What will be involved in that? Am I still registered with Dreamhost for another year, or does that expire tomorrow (and possibly fall into the hands of a squatter)?
Again, I can't apologise enough; the implication you got from my email was ABSOLUTELY not the intention, I can't stress that enough. Overall, your company has been excellent to deal with since I signed up in 2004, and I would do almost anything to keep that going; I flat-out don't trust any other company with my domain. My intention with this is not to sweet-talk my way into regaining service; I fear we're past that, unfortunately (though there's not much I'd stop at to keep superbusnet.com with Dreamhost). This is a personal apology, and necessary questions regarding my other domain (which I'll be keeping with Dreamhost, and guarding MUCH more carefully) as well as this one.
Thank you again for your time.
- Christopher Bowen
Doesn't get more sincere than that...