Then a pregnant pause and an ominous “oooh” then “oooo-kay you are going to have to call [name redacted] at extension [redacted] to work this out.” Of course, it was much too late to get in contact with this person. Meanwhile, the site is down with no explanation. Gerbils speculated that the latest threads were the cause; others blamed it on a person who shall not be named ever again. Some didn’t know about the “fallout shelter” and were left completely in the dark.
When this hosting company shuts you down, they do a very thorough job of it, email, ftp, www, even the control panel reacted like I was not an account holder. The site effectively no longer existed, my email didn’t work and still there was no explanation anywhere.
When I finally caught the person at the hosting company, I asked why it was pulled. She said that it was decided that the site was indeed set up to harass a person and as such violated the terms of service. Despite this rocky start, she was quite helpful. Some of the questions she asked were:
“Is the site primarily a site to harass someone?”
I said no, because we are so much more than SWSNBN.
“Are there nude pictures of [SWSNBN] on the site?”
MY EYES IT BURNS! Of course I said there were none, not even clothed… Good God… That image will be stuck in the esophagus of my mind forever.
“What about this picture of a gerbil cut in half…”
I never saw it, I can’t comment, but I didn’t post it.
I explained that 99.9% of the site was idle chatter about real life and friends getting together. Not having seen the site since the morning, I had no idea that I was going to have to defend some of the “wrongness” pictures that she found there. In the end she was convinced that TSW is not a harassment site and while there was some TOS violations, they were minor and not worthy of having the site pulled. She then restored the site after a lengthy back and forth about various TOS issues she was finding on the site.
So the site is up… for the time being.
I never did get an answer to the central question, “Why was my site pulled on getting a single phone call?” They sidestepped the question every chance they had and continuously tried to turn me to the defensive. I am the paying customer; I should be treated with respect if not presumed to be in the right. This is unacceptable behavior in any business.
Think about that for a minute. One Phone Call and they fold like a deck of cards, all jokers and suffer 52 affirmations of their hypocrisy.
The hosting company is going to be told “You’re Fired” as soon as I can get other hosting set up. I do not wish to do business with a hosting company that will pull a site on the say so of one insane PhD without even giving a chance to respond. If TSW were indeed a site that was designed to generate a profit (its not, despite what SWSNBN continuously says) there would be significant losses due to their incompetence.
Pulling the site on a single phone call is bad business, it sets a bad precedent, and to top it all off it exposes the hosting company to legal actions the next time they receive a complaint and refuse to pull the site. Not pulling the site is the proper response, but they really can’t do the right thing anymore since setting this precedent.
But the biggest reason to move the site is that the hosting company has the following in their new customer FAQ.
One of your users is using your webhosting services to slander/libel me. Please take down their website.
I’m sorry that you’re having trouble with one of our clients.
As you know, ours is a democratic country, where people can say what they like about one another. Certainly, if you’ve been libeled or slandered you may have some legal recourse for that having happened. This legal recourse would be between yourself and our client exclusively, and would be a matter for civil court to decide on.
We do not take down websites without an official court order to do so. It would be a violation of our clients’ rights, to demand anything less, prior to removing a site from our servers. If your attorney is able to obtain an injunction, or other form of court order, please share a notarized copy of that letter with us. If we’re able to verify the authenticity of the document, we’ll honor the request therein to remove the website from our servers.
There was/is no court order, yet the site was down for the better part of a day. I did my due diligence before signing up; this page reassured me that I could comment on SWSNBN without fear of being arbitrarily shut down. Little did I know that these flowery words were complete bullflop.
Hosting shoppers would certainly assume that they will be treated fairly and would be able to plunk down their cash with confidence after reading the above. Only after the hosting company has the cash in hand do you find out that they are hypocrites.
So, anyway, I will be shopping for hosting again. This means the cash I prepaid the hosting company is forfeit, but it is a small price to pay to get away for these spineless hypocrites.
Moral of the story is that if you fold like a Bishop’s miter filled with toasty, cheesy polenta in the face of a single strident complaint, your business will suffer.