I read how horrible it is to deal with an incompetent webhosting provider. And I have my own horror story to share. It’s a story that I hope will serve as a wakeup call to those who are in hosting providing business: beef up your offering, improve the competency of your support and do not oversell.
The hosting provider that I have problem with is the tmdhosting. In Chinese, TMD stands for a popular rude word that English has no equivalent of. When I first signed up with this hosting provider, I had no idea that I would curse the name.
This is how the story got started. My company was looking for a competent web host to host a vtiger app for our internal CRM use. tmdhosting is very aggressive in advertising, it even set up dedicated vtiger hosting page just to give the impression to the world that it is the vtiger hosting expert.
And so, we manually migrated the data in our old CRM to vtiger. And the moment we started using it, we found that the vtiger app was slow. We found out that the reason for this problem was because we were using shared hosting and our CPU limits were breached.
tmdhosting suggested that I upgraded to a VPS hosting package, which I complied. Before I could finish upgrading, another support personnel suggested me to take a dedicated server. I didn't take that because I couldn’t foresee why do I need a dedicated server. I reasoned that if a VPS couldn’t work out, then, and only then I would go for a dedicated server.
And so tmdhosting began a round of migration from the old shared hosting account to a VPS.
I thought that after the migration would increase the snappiness of my websites. How wrong I was. In fact, the performance of VPS was actually a few magnitude worse than shared hosting. I then filed a ticket to the support and asked the tmdhosting to fix the problem, there is no reason why VPS performance was worse than shared hosting performance.
See how useful the reply? I asked why VPS’s performance is worse than shared hosting, and the reply I got was “you need more resources”. Complete nonsense!
I then reiterated my questions, and again, the support ignored my questions and it appears as if the support was just reading from the scripts:
As you can see, all the tmdhosting staff was interested in, was to upsell me dedicated server hosting package, regardless of whether I needed it or not. tmdhosting was really putting their own interest above customer's.
After a few more exchanges, I decided to take the matters into my own hands and ssh into my server and did a few investigation. I narrowed the performance problem down to a disk issue:
51 seconds to transfer 1KB! This is simply outrageous. Now, of course I understand that for VPS, the CPU and RAM are guaranteed and the IO performance is not, and one bad container on a hardware node can drastically hurts the performance of other containers on the same node. But no matter what, such a slow IO performance is completely unacceptable.
I was very sure that I have a case against the tmdhosting provider, so I showed them the statistic and they bombed back with.... the talks of dedicated server again:
I was amazed and stupefied by the kind of response offered by tmdhosting. Here it is, a very simple and significant case that demonstrates your incompetency, and all you do, instead of fixing your failing, you upsell us another more premium package.
I then asked for ssh credentials to test the disk performance on my old shared hosting account, just to compare the disk IO operation characteristics, but this time tmdhosting refused to let me do so on the pretext that this may result in severe server overloads.
tmdhosting conveniently forgot that the very reason why I wanted to test the disk characteristics, was because their VPS performance was simply very bad. And since when running SSH command required government issued document? All these actions were meant to irritate me into giving up doing something that I deem necessary and which would further reveal their poor plans.
On top of the support incompetence, all the tmdhosting wants, is to sell me the expensive dedicated server package. But would an expensive dedicated server package solve my problem? I don’t know, and tmdhosting didn't care. All it cares is to upsell me expensive package.
You might say that I should just disengage them the very first moment they showed their incompetence but I didn’t. Yeah, serve me right.
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