The following is my review of CloudAtCost’s services and customer support, or lack thereof.
First things first. I rarely complain to any company and when I do I don’t usually make a big deal of it. However, when it comes to CloudAtCost I want to make sure that as many people as possible see this post and avoid these guys like the plague.
The story begins late 2013 when a friend informed me that a new hosting company was offering lifetime deals on cloud hosting your own VPS. To be honest that should have been my first warning right there. I went ahead and got one of the lower tier $12 a year servers. It seemed like a steal. A server with 512MB RAM, 1 CPU, 10GB SSD, 500GB Monthly Transfer, 10MBit Network. I promptly got one and setup a Minecraft Pocket Edition server. It all went extremely well. It went so well in fact that I decided I’d shell out $70 and get the lifetime deal on the next size up server - 2 Xeon vCPU, 1 public IP, 1GB ECC RAM, 20GB SSD, 100 Mbit Network, 1TB monthly transfer.
I had some Wordpress sites I was maintaining for some friends so I installed ISPConfig and transfered the sites over from a free to host site I was hosting them on. The free host is Servers-Free and I highly recommend them if you’re looking for somewhere free and reliable to host a site. No command line access but as a website host they do the job and do it better than some paid services. Back to CloudAtCost, I had now setup a nifty little server, configured it the way I wanted and I was having fun trying out new things with it and playing with different services I wanted to test out. That’s when the problems started. A couple of weeks after I purchased the $70 server I awoke one morning to some emails from my uptime monitor informing me that my websites were down. After failing to connect via SSH on my home PC, I logged into the panel at CloudAtCost’s site and tried to get a console. No luck. I tried rebooting my server. No luck. I logged a support incident with CloudAtCost and waited…and waited…and waited. No confirmation, no response at all for the rest of the day, or the next. My server came up occasionally but not for long. It was at that point I transferred the sites back to Servers-Free server. About a week later I got a response back from CloudAtCost saying they were experiencing some difficulties and normal service would be resumed. Putting this down to teething issues with a new hosting company I plodded on. I moved my sites back and put it behind me. Unfortunately this kind of downtime became more common place in the weeks to follow. In the past when I’ve had an issue with a company I’ve run a quick search for @replies to that company on Twitter. A quick search for @cloudatcost revealed that I wasn’t the only one having these issues. What baffled me then and still baffles me to this day is CloudAtCost’s failure to acknowledge these issues and address them publically. It would only take someone there a few seconds to tweet out a message to customers. Upfront honesty about difficulties would be a lot better than what they have now - a sea of pissed off customers hurling abuse at them on a populer social network.
This is a company that, not only doesn’t respond to its customers, but the ‘Live Chat’ chat window serves only to inform the frustrated user of deals to be had from them. I’ve tried Live Chat twice now when there are ‘Agents Available’ and both times I get offers for deals and no word from a Support Rep. It’s like they are actually laughing at me while my server is down. My current downtime is almost 2 weeks now and CloudAtCost have done nothing to resolve the issue. I’ve logged 2 tickets and I also see them getting the shit beat out of them from angry customers on Twitter and Facebook. They can’t control the Twitter replies but they seem to have enough time on their hands to delete the Facebook comments. I’ve paid $82 for services that are, at this point, non-existant. I even called their parent company, Fibernetics recently and didn’t get much from the individual there. His advice? File a ticket. I told him I was sick of filing tickets that don’t get addressed. His only reply was that it’s a developer server and not production. You don’t get to take people’s money in return for shitty service just because you’re offering a developer server. My advice to anyone is not to buy any services from this company. I suspect they won’t be around much longer. From what I see online it appears I’m not alone in this opinion. CloudAtCost are a joke and I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was just a money grab.