So I look after a dedicated server for somebody that I’ve known for a few years. Now I’m definitely not anywhere close to a server “administrator” but I know enough to at least manage a website and create/remove stuff when necessary.
Rewind back a few years and I started doing small time work for this individual. Eventually things grew and I helped move an old Vanilla forum install into vBulletin. At the same time I also decided to look for a better hosting provider to help plan for future expansion with the vBulletin forum.
From my previous experience with hosts I ended up going with and trusting HostGator at the time. I’d always had their small cheap hosting plans and their support was awesome so I figured a dedicated server from them would be great and cover what was needed at the time. Fast forward until a few weeks ago and everything was going ok (minus that server outage 2 months ago). I say was because I was messing around on the server and noticed it only had 4GB of RAM.
Back when I first bought the server this is what was advertised on their dedicated server ( http://www.hostgator.com/dedicated ) page. However, I had recently visited that same page and noticed that for the Pro Dedicated Server it should contain 16GB. Now, I’m not great at math but I know that 4 is less than 16. Curious, I decided to pull up the HostGator live chat and see what the issue might be.
After asking my question and waiting for a representative I was greeted with a response. I didn’t save the chat which I should have but the response I got was that the site had just been updated to 16GB within the last week and that the servers were in the process of being upgraded. I then asked how long the upgrade would take and was told there isn’t an estimated time frame.
This struck me as a bit odd as after paying for a dedicated server for 3 years I had my doubts that just within the last week of me checking they decided to quadruple the amount of memory on the server. I thought that within the span of 3 years the server would have been upgraded to 8GB and then eventually to 16GB. However, this is where the story goes downhill.
I decided to do some research with archive.org/web to see if they had any juicy tidbits and they delivered.
The latest archive I could find for the dedicated server page was May 19th, 2012: http://web.archive.org/web/20120519224342/http://www.hostgator.com/dedicated
Hmm, that’s odd. I can read pretty well and the Pro Dedicated server shows as having 8GB of memory.
Jump forward to November 12, 2012: http://web.archive.org/web/20121112211502/http://www.hostgator.com/dedicated
16GB showing here but I was initially told that the site was just updated within the last week? Armed with this information I decided to contact HostGator again for a response and mentioned these issues and entered the chat. This time I saved the transcript and will post it below:
(3:24 pm) [System] Customer has entered chat and is waiting for an agent.
(3:24 pm) [Carlos Z.] Welcome to HostGator.com live chat. My name is Carlos, I will be happy to assist you with your inquiry.
(3:24 pm) [Carlos Z.] Please allow me a minute to review your question.
(3:27 pm) [Carlos Z.] For security purposes, I will need to verify your identity by having you provide your account’s billing credentials in the popup that will soon follow this message. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
(3:28 pm) [Carlos Z.] Thank you for cooperating with our security procedures.
(3:28 pm) [Carlos Z.] Would you mind waiting 2-3 minutes while I research the issue?
(3:29 pm) [Jarret]: sure
(3:33 pm) [Carlos Z.] You may have misunderstood. The servers were updated after you signed up. You can sign up for the current dedicated server offer and transfer over if you like. We do not update the old servers to new specifications.
(3:34 pm) [Jarret]: why wouldn’t you offer to upgrade your clients automatically? seems like something they would appreciate
(3:38 pm) [Carlos Z.] It is our policy for dedicated servers. I do not know why.
(3:39 pm) [Jarret]: Alright, I guess I’ll be looking for a new host then that will care enough to upgrade their old clients. Thanks for the information.
(3:41 pm) [Carlos Z.] You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today, Jarret?
(3:42 pm) [System] Chat closed by customer request.
Well isn’t that just a bunch of bullshit? So because the server was purchased awhile back for some reason they don’t bother to upgrade it along with their current offerings?
I’ve long been away from HostGator for my own personal domains as I moved over to a VPS with WiredTree. By the way, WiredTree has upgraded the specs on my VPS several times and they didn’t even raise the price so maybe I’m just spoiled and assumed that other hosting providers would care just as much.
I guess that isn’t always the case.