technical notes

Fasthosts are money-grabbing censorous bullies

I moved my hosting to positive internet” because my previous hosts, fasthosts, are money-grabbing, censorous bullies. There’s a long story to this, but the advice you need to know is this:

If you have a fasthosts contract, cancel it immediately. Of course, you can always renew it as the expiry date approaches, but if you don’t cancel then you risk stupid fines if — like me — you lose you credit card and forget to update you details with them

There’s details about this which I won’t bore you with. Basically, I got a reminder email a week before they were due to take a year’s payment for hosting, and it took me a week to get round to answering it. By then, it was too late and they’d charged me an additional 30 quid for being late to paying them for the privilage of another year’s hosting. 30 quid for a week delay after a single reminder email is too much, and I complained bitterly but just met an immoveable wall. So I posted about it on my blog , including the advice to cancel any existing contracts, and that’s where the second take home message comes in:

Fasthosts retain the right to take down your site without warning, and without appeal, if you post anything that they don’t like. With me they refused to discuss the matter, refused to show how what I’d posted was against their terms of service, refused to discuss what part of my complaint post against them was ‘unsuitable’. Conclusion: fasthosts have no respect for freedom of expression, especially when it comes to criticism of them and possibly on other topics too

I had a long and futile email correspondence with them about this. I didn’t make a big fuss about it, partly because they had all the cards, and partly because I was busy with more important things, which I wanted my website to be operational for. Now fasthosts weren’t a bad host, technically, as far as these things go, but their complete lack of respect for me as a customer, and for some of the values I think hosting should be about (freedom of speech), mean that I couldn’t risk keeping my hosting with them. I knew that when the next thing went wrong I would meet exactly the same response from them: “lump it and shut up.”

I moved to Positive mostly because they offered free hosting to badscience, but so far I have found their service reliable and their support excellent — both competant and friendly.