Egyptian blogger from Cairo.
Revolutionary Socialist.
Partner & Creative Director at ThePlanet.

My Disastrous Experience with GigeVPS (formerly Host Latch)

I think it’s my duty as part of the open-source community to share the nightmare that was GigeVPS.

I first came across Host Latch and was impressed with their low prices and advanced features, which is why I thought I should sign up. In the first few weeks, there were problems every once in a while, but it wasn’t catastrophic.

One day, I receive an email saying that they’ve been acquired by GigeVPS. Subsequently, my server was down and I had to update the configuration so that everything worked on the new IPs.

In a period of just under 3 months, the server was down at least 5 or 6 times. Every time that would happen, I would find out by chance (never notified), and it had always been GigeVPS’s fault. Their response was that either the server was about to restart automatically (which is hard to believe), or that everything’s fine (I would always restart the server myself).

Overall, the service was poor and the VPS was unstable and causing constant issues.

I didn’t get around to setting up an automated backup system with my Amazon S3 subscription because I was too preoccupied with trying to get the mail server working properly (which, by the way, is an almost impossibility with GigeVPS’s Kloxo control panel). Just as I was about to work on that, disaster struck.

I paid my invoices on time every month (due by the 13th). This time though, it slipped my mind. On the 14th (a few hours after the payment deadline) my server was down and none of the websites were working.

I logged on to the billing control panel, and found that my VPS wasn’t there, and my latest invoice was canceled. There was no way for me to access or restart the server, and I couldn’t even pay the invoice if I wanted to.

I opened a support ticket showing extreme urgency, and literally got an answer a few hours later with “We’re looking into this and will let you know”. It went back and forth for 9 hours before I was told that the VPS was removed because I hadn’t paid.

At first I could fathom that the entire VPS was terminated because I was a few hours late. I keep adding longer and longer updates to the ticket with no answer.

It turns out that, a few hours after my invoice was due, everything was erased. They completely removed the VPS and everything was gone. I couldn’t pay the invoice, restore data, access any part of the server – nothing.

After getting over the shock, I asked them to have the manager call me. It literally took about a day to get any sort of response, and it was of no use whatsoever. All I got was “You didn’t pay your invoice on time, so your account has been terminated. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We can offer you a 50% discount on the first month of a new VPS.”

Needless to say, I was completely furious. They had erased everything without the slightest of warnings only a few hours after the deadline. And all they had to say, after torturing me with endless hours of delays in response and completely inadequate tones and attitudes, is that they can give me a 50% discount for the first month of a new VPS.

After another day waiting impatiently for them to call, and updating the ticket every half hour, I get a call from a young man who seems to be handling the entire business on his own.

He refused to apologize, and would not even recognize that they have committed a serious error. All he said was that they “might’ve been a little too fast terminating the account after the invoice was overdue”. I clarified the following points to him:

  • I’ve always paid my invoice on time
  • This is the first time I was late, and it had only been a few hours
  • I didn’t receive any warning whatsoever
  • I couldn’t even pay the invoice on the 14th – it was immediately canceled
  • Everything was erased with no backup
  • They would not recognize the error
  • All they could do to make up is to offer a lame 50% discount on the first month of a new VPS

It has been an absolute nightmare. Whatever you do, DO NOT sign up for GigeVPS, you will certainly regret it.

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8 comments

Steff

August 27, 2010

OMG! I only wish I saw this before I paid them for hosting.
I brought their biggest VPS deal (platinum) and part of the automated checkout system it takes you to PayPal and pay for the service. I got some emails welcoming me and I didn’t think much more about it until about 8 hours later when I got an email demanding payment. I said that I had already paid but the insisted that I hadn’t.
So I go to my PayPal account and see that indeed no payment was sent.
I was not happy but paid the invoice again and this time the payment went through and I had a receipt.
I notified billing and tech support about this and got an automated reply “our management staff will update you regarding this” if fact every time I emailed then I got the same reply.
8 more hours later and I haven’t even got the vps made or any further correspondence from them.
So I decide to try live chat…. It was manned by “Larry” after a few seconds I realised that this is an automated script bot and only answers keywords in your question. In fact one of my questions was are you a bot and the reply was no.
Its been a few more hours now and nothing at all.
I’m just about to raise a complaint with PayPal and try and get a refund!

Tarek Shalaby

August 27, 2010

Hi Steff,

Sorry to hear about your experience. The good thing is, you didn’t lose any valuable information. You lost time and were frustrated for a bit, but at least you can tell that it’s an unreliable service.

Having said that, if you could get your money back, then you can forget about the entire experience and move on. If you don’t, then I’m sure you’ll eventually get the VPS, in which case just use it to play around with it for a month and then don’t pay any other invoices.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Steff

August 27, 2010

Hi Tarek, not quite as straight forward as that. We own and operate a large non profit organisation and only chose to move to GigeVPS after we were let down by Leapswitch (another story here) so our many web accounts were in limbo and GigeVPS were given access to our WHM. I won’t go in to this here for fear of litigation.
However, like you we have discovered that the TOC’s are contradicting the service on offer. not only that but there are some specifics written to the TOC’s about cancellation that cannot be carried out because GiGeVPS has prevented anyone from doing so. In other words unfair contract comes to mind.
Your story is shocking but becoming more familiar. I think that a universally recognise standard of service needs to be established so that paying customers wont experience the same bad service as we have.

Tarek Shalaby

August 28, 2010

You’re absolutely right. We as customers are repeatedly screwed over by the different hosts. The fact of the matter is that it’s becoming easier to rent rack space in data centers, add the simplified architecture of virtual machines providing numerous virtual private servers on a single physical server. Therefore, some people have have taken advantage of that and have opened business beyond their capabilities, and we suffer.

I could only hope that this is a result of a young industry shaping up. I think within the next couple of years, VPS hosts will improve and still maintain low prices.

Until then, we have the open-source community which keeps us all in the loop so that everyone can share his or her experiences and avoid the repetition of any disasters.

Steff

August 28, 2010

Exactly that Tarek!
We managed to get a refund but after a bit of a fight with GigeVPS.
On the front page of their website they boast a minute set up guaranteed (they are in fact referring to an account but make suggestions that the VPS will be ready in that time)(I have a copy of the front page for evidence), yet their TOC’s forbid a refund once an account is made and then contradict itself by saying that you can get a refund within days but only if a specific form is completed… This form does not exist so therefore preventing anyone from getting a refund.
Reading through the full terms of conditions it would most certainly fall within the unfair contract law here in the UK.
Anyway, keen not to be done out of money I set about asking for a url to this form in order for a refund… I did this through the live chat session. It transpires that they couldn’t tell me where this form was. hours later and no VPS and nothing at all from the host other than the automated reply “I am forwarding your request to our management staff and he will get back to you further. Please standby”

Anyway… I decided to stay up late and plug away at this. Eventually I used the sales contact us form and requested a refund.
7 hours later I get a reply saying that they were sorry for the delay and that they have been off visiting a relative in hospital and one of the team had a flying lesson or exam that took 8 hours and so there has been nobody around until now.
So instead of reading or acting on my refund request they instead created an account for me and then asked for forgiveness. Well I said no! Id already read through the terms and conditions and didn’t see that going on a jolly in a plane for 8 hours was acceptable under our contract. I also mentioned how shocked I was that they were so flippant about support that nobody was available for practically a whole day…. nobody at all! What about their existing customer base what if they had server issues… who would have helped them whilst they were off enjoying the day?

OK back to this special form again… you know the one you have to fill in in order to get a refund. Well that didn’t exist and so I was prompted by live support to use a tech support ticket instead…. I tried but guess what? Yes as I was trying they closed down my account preventing me from sending the request. And then bounced back any communications via email saying that my account is no longer recognised. I’m not sure if this was just a mistake that they made or if it was on purpose…. Either way it didn’t matter because I already filled in this form many hours before.

After a salesman acknowledged my request for a refund he said that he would pass this on to Jacob who I think is the front guy. GigeVPS isn’t a big company at all. In fact it is very small from what I can determine, yet their website give a corporate illusion.
Anyway several hours passed and I thought enough is enough and decided to report the company to PayPal. My main concern is that the TOC’s say one thing and the sales material says another. They offer service that clearly isn’t happening and that under PayPal rules I have a right to a full refund.

I got that refund very quickly….. and this was the email response I received from GigeVPS

***************************************
Do not reply to this e-mail directly, use the ticket URL listed below to reply.
***************************************

Hello,

Below is the response made to your support ticket.
———————————————-
Refunded. A note for you, never open a dispute, we could have easily won the dispute and you would be out of $40 and also out of a VPS. I suggest you *never* use Paypal disputes, and don’t hang them over a hosts head. Best of luck on your next host.

———————————
Regards,
~ Jacob Wall
———————————
———————————————-
Ticket ID: xxxxx
Subject: Been 8 hours now!!!!
Status: Answered
Ticket URL: http://my.gigevps.net/viewticket.php?tid=389868&c=F86ue6yY
———————————————-
Regards,
GigeVPS

I have copies of all emails, screen shots, Chat sessions, TOC’s and any other correspondence so I am not at all worried about and legal threat.
My advise to anyone considering GigeVPS forget it. You’ll end up regretting the experience if you ever get past the account creation process in the first place.
Just do a Google about this company and read the horror stories for yourselves.

Steff

August 28, 2010

Oh forgot to mention. That ticket above showing the refund message with the subject line says “Been 8 hours now!!!!
was the last request I sent them demanding a refund… It took them a further 10.5 (ten and a half) ours to reply to that and that ticket was originally posted as “URGENT”. God forbid if your site was down.

Tarek Shalaby

August 30, 2010

WOW! I thought I was an extreme case, but I’m looking more and more like a regular GigeVPS customer. I just heard they were ‘bought’ by another company.

Here’s how I envision the scenario: This guy Jacob is running everything on his own. He’s good at what he does, but he doesn’t have the time nor resources to do a decent job. So he tries halfheartedly, and whenever there are too many problems/complaints, he makes a new company and buys the current one to avoid the tarnished reputation. That’s how it went from HostLatch to GigeVPS, and now NetIntelligence Ltd VPS.

After all these problems, I signed up for an account at the WebHostingTalk forum and started a thread that turned into a bit of a heated debate because Jacob himself took part, and I think he asked someone to write and defend him: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=974883

It’s funny because if you search for GigeVPS in Google, you get my thread and this blog post on the first page! That’s probably why he had to change the name.

Oh well, hope we’re all over this and we can all get on with our lives. It’s always useful to share all information so that we can all make use of it.

Rus

September 19, 2010

I’ve read over this and would like to say that as mentioned in another comment we have take over the day to day operations of GigeVPS. Some of the previous way things were setup and run were less than, shall we say, optimal. However I would like to apologies personally on the behalf of the previous owners for any issues and hope that you would reconsider the brand now that its under new ownership

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