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Journal mandelbr0t's Journal: The Worst VPS in Canada

VPS sounds like such a great idea. A bunch of computing resources sitting in some rack and hooked up to a great deal of network infrastructure. Price-wise, it's pretty reasonable. CentOS isn't my favourite Linux distro, but it'll do.

I moved my server from my basement to for a 3 month trial period. I didn't even get through it. Their NOC is staffed by monkeys. The fun begins about 2 weeks ago, on 16 Feb.

I reported a routing problem to Tech Support. The weekend goes by without action and I find that the problem has randomly fixed itself by Monday (2.5 days offline). The response from tech. support? "You need to host your DNS with us". The next Friday, 23 Feb., the same routing issue pops up. This time it's intermittent, dropping for about 60-90 seconds at a time (and dropping all active TCP connections at the same time). I take a traceroute trace and try and convince the monkeys that the problem is with their routing. They record it as "Website not responding."

Undaunted, I follow the traceroute upstream and find that a router at their upstream provider appears to be the issue. I speak with a nice friendly network tech at Peer1, and he asks me to send the traceroute output to him. He looks at it and sends it to WebServe, copying me (I guess WebServe's routing problem).

I'm frustrated now; it looks like WebServe is holding me hostage until I move my DNS. So, like an idiot, I move my DNS. It turns out that it's an additional service, even when paying $50/mo. for the VPS in the first place. You'd think it'd be free, and the tech. support e-mail certainly implied that.

Now I'm hooped. I'd updated the root nameservers and now my domain is truly offline. I can't retrieve the passwords from their system because I'd used my own domain as the contact. So I created a new account, paid the DNS fee and anxiously awaited the login details on my Gmail account to fix my DNS. I log in and get "multiple modern bill accounts for domain ..." So, basically, their system doesn't check for duplicate account information until AFTER they've taken your money. And as an added bonus, I've now locked out all of the other accounts too (not that I could retrieve their passwords anyway).

The last straw came yesterday, when a single port for one of my services got blocked. Another tech. support ticket, no apparent action (again, mysteriously resolves itself later). I awake this morning to find that they have rebooted my VPS (again dropping all active connections), changed my root password and prevented me from reaching their nameservers.

So I bailed out. Continuous customer service complaints and even outright abuse of their incompetent NOC staff still failed to get any response. Finally, I cancelled the service, fradulently relieved of at least the DNS fee, definitely feeling like the whole thing was a waste of time and money. I'm having to redo about 2 solid days of work due to their bungling. I've filed a BBB complaint about the misleading advertising and defective service. Depending on the outcome of that, I may just have to sue their ass.

Good network technicians really are hard to find. I think I'll deal with the problems of hosting in my basement on a secure, reliable business DSL line than worry about some 16 year-old crackhead trying to figure out IOS on the fly. Seriously, I could build a better network than these guys with some string and some chewing gum.

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The Worst VPS in Canada

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