What HostDeal.com Did to Us

What HostDeal.com Did to Us

The problem started on Tues., June 28th. I received an e-mail that evening from a few people saying that the website was down.

I took a look and found that it wasn’t actually the whole website, but instead it appeared that the mySQL server was down. My of our website runs on mySQL servers, including our forums, our wiki, our news engine, and so on. The main menu of our website has a function in it which “calls” the forums, so if the forums are down, so is the main menu of our site.

Nonetheless, the mySQL server going down was a pretty normal occurence with HostDeal, and I assumed it would be up shortly. However, just for my own sanity, I decided to take a look at our mySQL databases and make sure everything was okay and there wasn’t, per chance, a corrupted table on the forum database.

Imagine my surprise when I opened our CPanel mySQL area and found that only one of our 11 databases was still showing up — our UPDS. I had already sent a trouble ticket to the support department alerting them to the mySQL server being down, but I now amended it to read that our databases were gone. I got a response back that night that said my ticket would be “escalated” and would be responded to shortly.

The next morning I got a response that asked which databases were gone. The ticket also mentioned that one database was showing up. I responded that 10 databases were gone, and named off the ones I could remember.

I got no response.

At 4:00pm on the 29th, I sent another response saying that the databases weren’t restored. I kindly asked that they simply call up their backup and restore them.

Still, no response.

The next morning, I called tech support (they’re only open during “normal business hours”), and spoke with the lead tech. While the conversation started amicably, it escalated into a shouting match when I was told that they don’t do backups from the mySQL server.

This is, for lack of a better term, asinine. What kind of reputable web host doesn’t do complete backups on a regular basis?

The tech, throughout the course of the conversation:

  • Said they didn’t know what the problem is, and that they were still “reviewing the logs;”
  • Said nothing they had done on the server could have caused this;
  • Said that there is a backup utility on the control panel where I could backup my own data;
  • Said the reason I hadn’t gotten any responses to my ticket inquiries was because they “didn’t have anything to tell me.”

Luckily, I had been diligent enough to do backups, but they were about a week and a half old at this point.

At this point, I ended the conversation by demanding my money back, and advised we were going to be cancelling our account with them. By the end of the next day, I had found us a new home at Micfo.com. The rest is history.

The lesson learned: be a lot more careful about following up with the little things like “regular backups” and true “24×7” support.

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