Is your hostmaster cheating you? Find out!
The need of websites has led to the sprouting of web hosting service providers. Such a provider is popularly called a hostmaster. There are lots of hosting companies on the market and it is really difficult to identify a really good and ethical company from the ones that are just in the business to cheat customers and snatch their hard-earned money by exploiting them.
If you are going to get a website for yourself and have gotten into discussion with a few hostmasters, be careful. I would like to share a few things to be noted before you sign the check. Firstly, avoiding paying cash for any such services. Look for the following when speaking to the hosting company.
• Too-good-to-be-true offers: Are they offering you a package of services at such a low cost that is too difficult to be true in the real world? Remember, no one does charity in business. They need to make a profit from their investment. Then how can a company offer some gifts, freebies or heavy discounts that would push it to bankruptcy in a few weeks? Such offers should send an alert to you of the possibility of malpractice.
• Insisting that you make an immediate purchase: While an ethical hostmaster would give you their best quote and would like you to review it and follow up in a few days to let them know if you have made a decision, unethical companies won’t. They would like you to make an immediate purchase. They will tell you that they have an offer going on for customers who purchase immediately and some leniency in subscription renewal, a few additional top-ups or services. They would insist that you give them the money now. They may even arrange for someone to collect the money from you. Stay away from such companies.
• Lingering attitude towards paperwork: Unfortunately, if you are trapped unknowingly, and signed the check, ask for the invoice instantly. Any statements like “we will send it to you later”, “we will send the invoice by post to your home/ office address”, “you need not worry, you are in safe hands”, are the excuses given by unethical and fraudulent hostmasters. So if you sense any laid-back attitude towards execution of paperwork, billing, contract, cancel the transaction and look for a substitute. As said above, never ever pay in cash. Cash belongs to the bearer.
• Fake identity: Fraudulent and unethical hostmasters use fake identities. Their employees represent themselves as employees of renowned and ethical hosting companies. Also, they post bad feedback about rival companies to mislead customers about them and get them diverted to the wrong hosting company. When people search for hosting companies and search for popular names, they also view the fake complaints posted by these unethical and fraudulent folks and look for other options.
So look for the history of the hostmaster, research about them, contact their existing customers and then put your money in their hands. Do not jump headfirst into deals too good to be true.
About the author: Ted Garza is a professional teacher. He has worked at kindergartens in USA and abroad for most of his professional life. In his free time he likes to write texts and articles on the topics of technology and also its implementation in everyday life for different websites (for example for the Danish “UnoEuro hostmaster” campaign). He is always excited to share and comment his views on modernity with other people interested in such discussions.