Posts about web hosts sucking are very common. There are so many that I try to stay away from those types of posts, but Dreamhost’s customer service (or lack therof) motivates me to write this. I mean, they have to be #1 when it comes to ranking worst Customer Service experiences. If everybody had a web host, they would even beat Verizon in bad service. It wasn’t always this way with Dreamhost though.
I first started buying hosting from Dreamhost in 2006. Everybody recommended them because of their excellent service. I quickly found their Support staff to be very responsive when it came to handling my requests. One time I emailed them on a Saturday at 3am and they had a problem fixed within 30 minutes. For years, I enjoyed the excellent service and better than 99% uptime. Then around 2010, something changed. Dreamhost was no longer quickly solving problems. In fact, they would fail to solve problems at all in many cases. I still have files on my server that I don’t have access to remove.
I found myself having to constantly repeat myself in my Support messages. Their incompetent staff would often respond by saying “Everything looks good. I had a look here and the sites are loading normally.” even when there was still clearly issues with my sites.
This past year things have gotten even worse. I was down for 3 days and had no response from Support. Desperate for a quick fix, I signed up for their support via phone since. Dreamhost doesn’t provide phone support unless you pay for it. Even after paying for support, all I got was a call saying that their admins were working on the issue. Another 3 days went by before the problems were completely solved. So much for Dreamhost’s 99% uptime guarantee.
The problems have only continued to pile on. This past week my database has been intermittently going down, providing my visitors with a nice “Database not connected” error message. I didn’t receive a response for 3 days, and once again they responded with their patented “We don’t see a problem…” answer.
That was finally the last straw. After a 3 years of thinking about moving to a different host, I’ve finally done it. So far things are working great. I feel less stressed out about keeping my websites operational. I didn’t know it until I switched, but I think I always had a feeling in the back of my mind that something horrible might happen to my sites and Dreamhost would be absolutely useless in helping me. Thankfully, I was smart enough to switch before something like that happened.
If you’re currently with Dreamhost, grab your files and database now and run away from them like your running from a nuclear bomb. It will save you a ton of headaches in the future.