By Published On: July 8th, 201996 Comments

 

Many providers of “low-cost” shared web hosting like Hostpapa advertise “unlimited bandwidth” — but it’s a scam, and you could end up with your website shut down and back-up functions blocked unless you pay higher fees. Don’t get burned. Learn from my experience.

In 2018-19, the web hosting provider Hostpapa started slowing down (“throttling”) my website, and then suddenly without notice shut my site down completely until I paid higher fees. This seemed like a scam. I investigated and discovered that’s exactly what it was – and I was far from Hostpapa’s only victim. In this post, I summarize what I learned about this profitable scam aspect of Hostpapa’s regular business operations. I do it in a way that is understandable for non-technical people, and I then suggest key questions to ask before signing up with any “cheap” web hosting provider like Hostpapa.

Hostpapa gets generally good reviews. Learning #1: You cannot trust most reviews of web hosting providers. Search engines return “Reviews of…”, “Top ten…” and “Best…” lists very high in search results, so there are massive profits in posting such lists and reviews. Most reviews of the “best web hosting providers” are put together by a person or company that’s typically getting paid by the web hosting companies every time a visitor clicks through to the companies’ websites, and is paid more if the visitor signs up. So if a top-ten list gives a very bad review, it’s usually just because that particular company has no such “affiliate programs” with scam reviewers. (Reviews done by established, independent tech magazines are a better bet.)

I signed up for Hostpapa’s medium, “unlimited bandwidth,” shared web hosting plan that said they would “never charge higher usage fees” – so what could go wrong?

One day out of the blue I received an automated message from Hostpapa telling me that my website had been using up so much server resources that Hostpapa had shut my website down. I could not even access my website to manage it. The email said that I could regain access to my site if I started paying monthly fees that were ten times more than what I was currently paying.

Most people without technical knowledge probably just pay the higher fees. What choice do you have? But I had a little technical knowledge and a lot of suspicion. My WordPress blog on Hostpapa was small, and the traffic was very light. I contacted Hostpapa and explained this and reminded them I was on an “unlimited bandwidth” plan that said I’d “never be charged higher usage fees”.

Hostpapa staff said my “unlimited” plan wasn’t actually unlimited. They said the “bandwidth” was unlimited but not the “server usage”. Learning #2: The commonly advertised feature of “unlimited bandwidth” for shared web hosting plans is misleading.

For non-technical users, “bandwidth” can be understood as the width of a pipe, while “server usage”, is the amount of liquid your website sends back and forth through the pipe. Hostpapa sent me a link to their policy that described extremely tight, strict limits on “server usage” – the number of monthly drops my website was allowed to send through the pipe to web users. But this policy was never mentioned in Hostpapa’s ads or Terms of Service.

I persuaded Hostpapa to let me back into my website, and I tried to ensure that I had a backup of the content. However, Hostpapa was still throttling my website so heavily that, no matter what back-up tool I used, it would time out.

Hostpapa then sent me a list of technical tips to “correct the problems” that were causing my “excessive server usage.” I had to spend many hours researching to figure out how to implement them. I finally managed to implement them all — and it made absolutely no difference. Hostpapa shut my website down again.

Hostpapa then admitted to me that it was often the case that implementing their technical tips did not actually solve the problems. The real problem, their staff explained, was that WordPress has become so popular that it’s now a frequent target of hackers and malicious web-bots. These hackers and web-bots were overloading my website. And even running WordPress firewalls and plugins like “Stop Bad Bots” doesn’t help a lot — they help secure your site, to be sure, but they do not actually block the bad traffic from ever arriving. Bad traffic can only be blocked at the server level, by the web hosting provider.

So why can’t Hostpapa just block these malicious web-bots? Well, they could. If they wanted to. And that’s exactly what responsible web hosting providers do, I soon discovered. But Hostpapa doesn’t. Instead, Hostpapa lets many web-bots through, and then throttles their clients’ websites and shuts them down and sends out demands for higher fees. And then Hostpapa has set up an entire division of its staff dedicated to moving people with small WordPress sites off low-cost hosting plans onto higher-priced plans – this scam is a major part of their profit model.

Consider a comparison: About 90% of emails circulating on the internet are spam. Imagine if an internet service provider refused to run spam-blockers and instead let all spam emails through to its clients and then charged its clients higher fees for all the extra email server space they were using each day. This is basically Hostpapa’s policy and practice in relation to malicious web-bots – and they can get away with it because most of their individual and small-business clients on low-cost plans don’t have the technical knowledge to understand what’s going on.

I repeatedly asked to be allowed to talk to a supervisor or manager at Hostpapa, but my requests were refused.

I persuaded the Advertising Standards Council to investigate and they eventually concluded that Hostpapa was indeed engaged in false and misleading advertising.

In response to the findings of the Advertising Standards Council and another complaint I made through the Better Business Bureau, Hostpapa finally changed their advertising and Terms of Service to clarify that they will under certain conditions throttle websites, shut them down and charge higher fees (see their new ad below). However, the wording in their ad and Terms of Service “Disruptive Uses” section still make it sound like this will only ever happen if “you” engage in “abusive” activities or if “you” use “unusual” amounts of server space. Hostpapa has refused to clarify that, in fact, your site could be throttled and shut down when you’re simply a victim of common web-bots that Hostpapa itself could be blocking.

I will never do business with Hostpapa again — I’ve found other web hosting providers that are nearly as low-cost and I’ve had no problems. So here are some key questions to ask a provider if you are considering signing up for a shared web hosting plan:

  • Do they block most web-bots that attack WordPress sites, or is that left to the client to do?
  • What are their ACTUAL server usage limits?
  • Do they throttle client websites?
  • Do they shut down client websites without notice?
  • Do they demand higher fees if a site crosses the server usage limits?

I’ve posted this just to be helpful to other people, not to make money. If you’ve found this post helpful, please post a link to it somewhere so that others are more likely to find it when they do searches. (And/or please leave a comment — if you don’t see my “Comments” section below, click on the title of this post and it should appear.)

UPDATE July 2020: Since I originally wrote this post I have not continued to research other web hosting providers, and for various unrelated reasons my “list” of recommended, alternative, better providers has slowly whittled down to just one provider. I’m happy to email this recommendation to you if you ask in a comment. However, my main recommendation is to contact providers with the questions I’ve identified above — that way, you let them know that people are wising up to this kind of scam and looking for alternatives, and you get providers’ policies in writing. When you find a good one, feel free to let me know via email (I don’t want to turn the comments thread into a long list of “ads” for providers) and perhaps we can crowdsource a longer list again. Also, I encourage everyone having problems with Hostpapa to post a complaint to the Better Business Bureau summarizing this scam. If there are a lot of public complaints about this, others will hear about it — and who knows, Hostpapa might even change… You can go through a formal complaint process with the BBB, or simply post a comment here: https://www.bbb.org/ca/on/oakville/profile/web-hosting/hostpapa-inc-0107-1241393/customer-reviews

 

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96 Comments

  1. Rob Wipond January 18, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Dan, yes you absolutely can get your money back! I got mine back. Just write them a clear, polite but firm letter highlighting your complaint and that you want your money back. I think the reason it’s easy is because there are several independent arbiters where you can easily formally complain about being financially ripped off if they don’t give it back. They will investigate on your behalf. The broader issue — the apparent widespread deception and fraud that Hostpapa seems to be engaging in through this pattern of behaviour — is much more difficult to find anyone to investigate. Best of luck!

  2. Dan February 4, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Hey, another person checking in about the host papa scam. I only became involved because my mother was getting tricked into buying a VPS for a tiny WordPress site. The dude at host papa said she had malware on her site, and she was very concerned – but then hostpapa listed a home directory of another user lol. Once I pointed out they didn’t even have the right site he switched to talking about resources. Sadly I took their bait and looked at logs myself and once again, they are trying to be tricky. They limit sites to 1gb memory max, but it’s not sandboxed or anything so if WordPress does an update check/site scan they let it consume whenever memory is available (even if it’s for .5 of a second) and then they count that as a fault, and you know what that means — up selling scam! Anyway, now I’m moving the site and having my mother get her credit card to reverse the charges (it’s easier and it screws with hostpapa a little bit, so I like that) . Anyway thanks for the site, at first I couldn’t believe a legit company would be so scammy, this is nearly on the level of “hi we’re calling because your computer has a problem” scammers. The only difference here is folks signed up with hostpapa to start the harassment!

  3. James February 23, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Hi. Yep getting the same experience here. I am in Australia so if I could get your hosting recommendation it would be appreciated.

  4. Janes February 23, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Hi could I get your recommendation. I’m in Australia

  5. Shelagh McNally March 22, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    My experience as well. I was updating a friend’s website and he had 2,300 spam comments with hundreds of bad links. It had been that way since 2016 with HostPapa never saying a word to him. The minute we cleaned that up and installed a WordPress plugin to stop spam, HostPapa started contacting us saying we have 48 hour to respond or they were taking our website down. They listed a bunch of highly technical reasons that were all linked to writing code and nothing to do with a WordPress site that has 6 pages and 10 photos on it. When we called back it sounded like a call centre and the person who sent us the message was “busy” and would call back. They never called back and we just transferred the website to another service. Very much a scam! Thanks for this website. I made my friend feel better about moving his website.

  6. Rob Wipond March 22, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Wow, they are more brazen all the time!

  7. Alex MacPherson April 27, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Hello,
    We are currently experiencing these escalating threats of shut down if we don’t respond to their upselling efforts. Hoping we can safely navigate out of this with your list of recommendation.

    We’ll definitely be contacting the BBB.

    Thanks in advance!

  8. Chris Trott September 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Glad I found this. I would appreciate your recommendations as I was ready to sign up with them too. :-(

  9. Sue Crawford September 29, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    We are having the EXACT same issue with HostPapa. I was with LunarPages for many years and never had an issue until they were bought out by HostPapa. Please send me your recommendation. I suspect it is WP Engine, but I would love to know. Thanks!

  10. Lynda McClatchie October 3, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Wow– this is enlightening– I’m going through this too with Host Papa. Please send me your recommendation, and I’m also going to contact the BBB

  11. Kim October 7, 2021 at 5:52 am

    I’m going thru the same time thing. 10 page web site. Maybe 7 plugins. Teething to upsell me to reseller server because I have other sites with them. Never had an issue until host papa bought lunar pages

  12. Mary Woodring October 7, 2021 at 7:49 am

    I would love your recommendation. They are currently attempting to shake me down too.

  13. Rob Wipond October 8, 2021 at 12:53 am

    A sudden upsurge in more complaints here and coming to me directly lately — I wonder if it’s the purchase of lunar pages that some are mentioning? It’s pathetic how little investigation of white collar business crime there is in Canada — this really is starting to look potentially criminal.

  14. Anonymous October 30, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    So happy to find a review that is real and not influenced by high affiliate commissions AKA greed.

    Unfortunately, you know only one side of the story, but what happens behind the curtains is even more shady.

    These so called “Account managers” that contact clients regarding exceeded limits and excessive usage of resources are nothing more than sales representatives who get paid commissions for every successful upsell they make. 99% of these people have 0 technical background and the things they write in emails are from a script + some random statistics from raw logs. These logs in some cases are irrelevant or wrong.
    The scope of those sales reps is to intimidate, shut down cPanel and website access and try hard to upsell. They are told to do so. In fact if they don’t do enough upsells they may get fired and just be replaced.

    The shady practiced behind this company are so beyond your imagination..
    Many Canadian citizens choose Hostpapa solely because they are happy to help Canadian business. However, they have no clue how this company is managed. Hostpapa has done everything possible to pay as less taxes as possible while still be legally ok. How? Well the larger amount of their staff works from all around the world, at pay rates way below the minimum wage in Canada and USA. These employees are not actual employees but independent contractors. That takes away from them the employee right, while HostPapa benefits from these people by not having to pay taxes and insurance for them. It’s pure profit directly going into the pockets of the few people on top. Who by the way, don’t care about customer satisfaction and providing best service – their scope is to have a quite ok image so they can have clients to keep profiting from.
    You will never hear from a supervisor or a manager when you request to because they simply don’t care. Just like they don’t care about their employees.

    I have much more to say but it’s wise to stop here.
    If you happen to read this article, please share it so that more and more people can be aware what’s going on with this company.

  15. Jeff Harrison December 22, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    So glad I came across this. I run a tiny WP site for a local hobby club and it has been running fine for years. Then, out of the blue, we are using “too many resources” with offers for upgrades and pricey tech support. Would love to hear your recommendation for a trusted prover.

  16. Robert December 23, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    I have not had any problems with hostpapa yet but would like to avoid them in the future and don’t really want to support a company like this. Recommendations would be appreciated.

  17. Sandra January 27, 2022 at 12:17 am

    Hi there, also running into the same problems and would love your recommendation (also in Australia). Thanks!

  18. Don February 3, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    Just got the major sales pitch, no threats yet, would like to know what provider people recommend, we are New Zealand based if that matters

  19. Dave S February 8, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    I’m in the same boat, was with LunarPages since the early 2000s, never an issue, hosts a few small sites, very low traffic. Then HostPapa bought them out.

    A month ago their ‘Account Manager’ tells me my ‘server resource usage’ is exceeding limits…yet they can’t specify what is going on. Tech Support has given me a number of options, I’ve implemented nearly all, but the threats continue. Account Manager keeps trying to upsell me.

    Basically they’re telling you there’s something wrong, they can’t specify what, and a few token suggestions to make changes, which likely won’t help, since the goal is only to make you upgrade. (And then presumably, upgrade again, and again.) You can’t fix whatever is ‘broken’.

    Curious how involved it is to move to a different server, I have a couple sites that are fairly basic PHP, plus a couple WordPress sites..? Any automation on this?

    Please email me the recommendation as well, thank you for posting this Rob!

  20. Rob Wipond February 8, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    And everyone reading this thread should know that I get equally as many or more people only contacting me about this privately! Yeesh…

    Hi Dave, it’s actually usually very easy to move to a different web hosting company. And I highly recommend actually initiating the process BEFORE you flag to Hostpapa that you’re considering doing it. If they lock you out, you’ve got a bigger problem to navigate.

    Essentially, you only have to copy the underlying databases/info that drives your site. You can do this from CPanel if you have that — there’s both a File Manager as well as some hosts allow you access to a formal backup tool via CPanel. For WordPress or other website tools there are often free plugins you can use as well from within them. CAUTION: My experience was that Hostpapa was throttling my site so heavily, that some backup tools did not work, but instead timed out.

    So the most reliable method, especially if you’re not sufficiently tech-savvy on your own to feel comfortable to backup and then restore again on a new web host, is to simply ask your new chosen web host to “transfer” the site for you. This is standard, common practice in the web hosting field, they usually offer it for free when you sign up with them. So you sign up with them and give them the access to your old site, and they formally contact your host and they usually have a backdoor route that allows them to much more rapidly copy everything necessary and restore it for you in the new location. It’s usually stupid simple for them — I can only imagine it potentially being a problem with more complex sites.

  21. HSS February 9, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I had the same experience. I also had several web design clients who had recommended lunarpages to in the past who are suddenly emailing me saying they are getting the same threatening messaging from hostPapa. I contacted hostpapa to get my site back up and they’re being very obnoxious about doing so. In the moments that it’s actually up, I’m going and downloading all of my site information. Unfortunately they keep suspending it in the middle of my work. This feels like a racketeering/protection scam. “Nice website you have there, be a shame if something happened to it. “ This is mob like behavior. Even their logo looks like some guy named Guido Lightfingers. The thing of it is, although web design clients that I recommend going with lunarpages are going to get a recommendation to go elsewhere now that hostPapa has decided to behave unethically. So it’s not just me they’re losing. A couple years ago malware got onto my site. I did not have security holes. Their crappy service is why the malware got in. That time I actually fell for their upsell to add extra layers of security. It’s not happening again. I am done with them.

  22. Deidre April 30, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks so much. This is exactly the kind of real information I needed. I am not happy with my current provider. I don’t have a great deal of knowledge regarding websites. I have muddled through with the same provider for a few years and it has been adequate enough. However, I feel like I am paying very high fees for what I am really getting. My preference is to have most of what I need in one place. I don’t enjoy having to outsource my security as I essentially have to do with my current provider (who also just was bought out in the last year). Not terrible providers, but not exceptional either. Happy to pay money for what is advertised. Not happy to find out a month in, that I need another add on and then another month later that I need another one. If it’s going to cost me $50 a month let me know at the start, don’t nickel and dime me to the end of the year. I liked the idea of HostPapa. I would prefer to go Canadian. However, what I was reading in the negative reviews was raising alarm bells. I also know that sometimes customers just blame companies for issues that are actually their own. I really appreciate you being so honest in your assessment and explaining it in very simple terms for those of us that don’t have a lot of extra knowledge. Please email me your current pick of provider if you would not mind. I am hoping to get this issue resolved as best as possible this year, at least for the foreseeable future. Thanks for taking the time to help us out.

  23. John May 26, 2022 at 2:32 am

    Same problem here as well.

  24. Dr Pepa June 17, 2022 at 3:22 am

    Had an account with Lunarpages over a decade with NO ISSUES, then each week a “manager” for having “2 faults a day 3 days straight”, then the issue was the inodes (scam when they give unlimited storage with limited number of files and folders), the ONLY solution was getting more expensive plan lol
    I moved my largest sites to digitalocean and the rest in a dreamhost shared account, now Im happy

  25. Tim Hicks July 13, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Great information. They’re doing it to me, too. Would like to hear your recpmmendation.

  26. Shaun July 17, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Scammer company. They tried to force my client to upgrade to $70 per month for a low traffic wordpress site that was “being targeted”. I think by them to be honest. When I asked exactly what was being targeted they sent nonsensical resource logs with no filenames. They threatened my client, wasting my time and energy. I moved her to [edited] in minutes and all problems were solved instantly. Chris from [edited] will actually fix the problem if you are being targeted, not try to upsell you to enterprise level service. However, to their credit, hostpapa DID refund my client 280 bucks for prepaid service.

  27. John August 11, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Please let me know which provider you recommend. I keep getting emails informing me of “excessive server usage” routine. Like this email: “Your hosting account is exceeding one or more server resources than your current hosting plan allows. Now, our system has detected that this high resource consumption continues, which as a result is affecting the performance of your website(s).”

    I have four websites and the busiest one averages about 6-7 visitors PER WEEK. My next step it to change providers. I’m not that technically savvy, so it will be a chore, but this is getting ridiculous.

    Thank you for this web page. It confirmed my suspicions.

  28. Rob Wipond August 11, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    You’re welcome, John! Did you enter your correct email address here? I can’t seem to send to it, getting blocked. Drop me a direct email if you can.

  29. Rob Wipond August 11, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation, Shaun, I’ll check it out and share it with others. But I don’t want to risk this web thread, which gets a fair bit of traffic, becoming a place that draws scammers to post names of hosting providers, so I edited out the name.

  30. Abe August 26, 2022 at 3:09 am

    Hi Rob. Thanks for sharing this very useful info. Like others, I’d be interested to learn about your current recommendation(s) for good Cdn hosting companies,

  31. Steve August 29, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    After a few months of use my mailbox exceeded 1gb and I was threatened to be shutdown if I did not delete some emails to bring it down to under 1gb or upgrade to one of the expensive services.
    My work around for this was to save my email only on my pc using pop3.

  32. MMJ September 1, 2022 at 2:05 am

    I’d like the recommendation.

  33. Trix September 1, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    Would like the recommendation, thank you.!
    I *just* got notice from Hostpapa on this exact issue from the so called Acct Mgr. “I will monitor from today to make sure no other faults are produced and make sure that the account does not go into suspension.”
    Also been happy with Lunarpages for years until Hostpapa took over. They jacked up the prices and are now pulling this nonsense.
    Absolutely infuriating.

  34. DeBugMan September 3, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Why not put the list of recommended providers in the post instead of having each and every person searching for a viable HostPapa alternative to individually send a message and get it by email? Yes, everybody should spend all their spare time contacting one provider at a time, read endless web pages of stuff to figure out the downsides, but what do I do if I really don’t have time and energy for that? Give up on having a WordPress blog? Spend my next weekends copy/pasting the pages into text file and reformat them as static HTML pages? Yes, people want me to give up, stop doing what I like, restrict me, but what’s the point of life if we are at this point?

  35. Rob Wipond September 4, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    Look at the date on the original post, DeBugMan. Three years ago, I and many posters here would have recommended LunarPages–but since then, LunarPages has been purchased by Hostpapa and there’s been an endless stream of people with tiny websites hosted by LunarPages getting told they are massively overusing resources and must pay much, much more, and these victims are posting reports here and emailing me. So, the point is, I haven’t wanted to take on the responsibility of making public recommendations, and then having to constantly keep up to date researching to figure out if my recommendations are still valid–that’s a lot of work for me, and no one’s paying me for this. Basically, my own recommended ‘list’ has been reduced to two hosts I have been recently using myself, so I feel ‘relatively confident’ about recommending those in a private chat, that’s all. Even then, I urge everyone to ask the recommended questions before signing up.

    I am considering directly contacting a few companies to ask them to answer my suggested questions and issue clear public statements about their site throttling and upselling policies, and then posting those statements here. As you are commenting on, though, even that is substantial work for a person to do, and I have other priorities, just like you do. For example, incidentally, not a single person, as far as I know, has complained about their experiences with Hostpapa to BBB and posted a link to this page on the BBB website–that could be very helpful to many people and might get Hostpapa’s attention, especially if done by everyone who has had problems.

  36. Cindy September 8, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Hello, after 2 years, I am suddenly getting rude support and somehow my wp_co fig debug file was turned on to ‘true’ which means that it is vulnerable to attacks. I will migrate my sites away from these crooks. Please tell me which company you recommend. Thanks

  37. Luc Alexander September 22, 2022 at 5:41 am

    And here we are, 2022, and HostPapa is still the same. I am sad they are Canadian. I went away from them a long time ago, for different reasons. Never had WordPress issues because I design my own websites and do not use WordPress.

    But now I have been drawn into trying to help the Poodle Club of Canada with their WordPress website, as they have been receiving the upgrade suggestions with “resource usage” threats. They are mostly dog fanciers with no tech experience. Their website has no blog, only one contact form and one form to notify of planned events. I wondered how there could be excessive usage of resources. But they are pushing for the Club to get a VPS, of course at a ridiculous price.
    The talk of the “account manager” made no sense, typical upselling blather aimed at someone whom you hope to swindle. So I looked around to find out if others have encountered this behaviour… and found this.
    Thank you Bob. Now I have a strategy.
    Please email me the hosting suggestion, as the hosts I use are too expensive for a small non profit association.

  38. Nina September 25, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Hi Rob,

    I’m having the same issues with Hostpapa and would like a recommendation. I will be researching alternatives, however, it’s always nice to get a word of mouth suggestion.

    Thanks,

  39. Sam Pang October 3, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Bob,
    I am experiencing the same issue with Hostpapa and would greatly appreciate your suggestion.
    Tricked into purchasing VPS last year. Now reports of high resources usage and out of memory errors again, asking to upgrade again.
    Thanks for sharing your story and recommendation in Canada.

  40. David October 4, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    Hello, please email me the best hosting provider to use instead of HostPapa.

    I’ve also been harassed and upsold and its time to move on

  41. Carla October 8, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Hello there
    I too would be very interested in knowing who you would recommend as a hosting provider instead of HostPapa.

    Yep, you’ve guessed it: it would appear I’m another victim of the scam. In my case, it was faults caused by IO spikes. Account Manager was clearly trying to upsell – I asked for information about what was causing the spikes, and got patchy information plus other information that didn’t make sense.

    I opened a support ticket once I started to suspect he was not actually interested in solving the problem and, in fairness, the support team have been a lot better. It looked like they may have solved it, but now I’ve got an EP fault!

    It all made me very suspicious – I can’t see how the sites I have, which are way below the limits aside from when these spikes happen and really not at all complex or large, could be causing these problems – so I did a bit of digging (which eventually led me here!). It seems CloudLinux actually allows them to set their own limits, so now I’m wondering if they set them artificially low at some point with the specific intent of it causing problems so they can start the process of trying to upsell.

    Also, why do they need to suspend the account? I was told one of the big issues with exceeding the resource limits was impact it has on other accounts (and hence websites) on the shared server. However, from what I can see (and I’m far from an expert in these things so I could be wrong), the CloudLinux LVE should stop any individual account using too many resources – meaning it doesn’t affect anyone else, and the only the only negative repercussion should be that the website exceeding the limits slows down or is unavailable… That would make sense as you couldn’t run a shared hosting server if one badly misbehaving account/website could bring everyone’s site down.

    Anyway, rant over! Look forward to hearing who you recommend….

  42. Craig October 11, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Same dissatisfaction with hostpapa here. Please send your recommendation.

  43. Darius Kedros October 17, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Rob, my website has only been live for a couple of weeks and already HP are sending me the scam emails threatening all that you mentioned in your original post. Thank you for sharing your experience, it is clear that I need a new hosting provider, and would be grateful if you could tell me which ones you personally trust? BTW I am in Australia, altough I doubt that makes a difference.

  44. Ken Hamady November 2, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you for doing this. I would also like to know who you currently recommend. From what I have read this is becoming very common in the shared hosting market.

    I started with LP in 2004 and was generally happy with them over the years. When HP took over last year I got my first notice of excessive faults after about 6 months. He suggested an upgrading to a VPS. I explained that my web site volume is about half of what it was 10 years ago and declining. I talked knowingly about my setup and activity and they closed that case.

    Then 6 months later a second rep contacted me with the same offer. I had to do a bit more research the second time. Like Carla, I keep explaining that with LVE these faults only affect my own site, but they disagree. Rep 2 eventually closed the case.

    I just recently started with Rep3. This guy seems a bit more persistent and offered an upgrade to a discounted “PRO” level shared server (I am currently on mid level). He says that would be a ‘permanent’ solution. I’m pushing back for now, but it looks like this is going to be repeated every 6 months. Looking for an alternative if I need to bail.

  45. CarrieS November 18, 2022 at 12:39 am

    I can not believe what I’m reading. I’m also receiving the “upgrade or else” threats after I just literally paid for another 2 years. I’m so frustrated and I refuse to pay one more dollar to them. Has anyone pursued legal action against them?

  46. Rob Wipond November 18, 2022 at 2:39 am

    Hi Carrie, you can usually get your money back with a stern complaint and demand for it. I’d suggest copying your entire site and also getting a new host to formally move your site before you do that, though.
    I wish there was a route of legal action against them — in Canada, where they are based, there’s really only a complaint process and you can get money back but there’s little in the way of compliance, accountability, or enforcement regarding fraudulent actions. I have tried to complain to some policing agencies in Canada, but received no meaningful reply. I do wonder if, because Hostpapa is also active in the US, if the FBI or another more robust agency there might be prompted to investigate. A class action lawsuit would also seem possible, where the company is sued on behalf of all the users who’ve been affected.

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