Product Reviews Site Owners and Leaders

BlueFur: Web Hosting Review, Bad Conduct, Content Wiped Out: Part 2

This Bluefur Review, User Review, former Customer Review, segmented Web Hosting Review about their Canadian web hosting bad conduct is a cautionary tale. As I mentioned in BlueFur: Web Hosting Review, Bad Conduct, Content Wiped Out: Part 1, my movie website was previously hosted by BlueFur. While with BlueFur, the movie site was down from most of December 2008 and a portion of January 2009.

As was promised in the previous segment of this series…

The Pain

It all started on November 30, 2008, around mid-afternoon that day. One moment my site is online, the next a dreadful: This Account has been suspended. Please contact the billing /support department as soon as possible screen had replaced it.

Woman Screaming

Woman Screaming

I immediately emailed Bluefur.com Billing (email title: Account Suspense /*********.com4:14pm), asking: “Why has my account been suspended? I was assured almost 100% uptime. What is this? I just paid my bill this month on time as always.” I was told by Ms. X in Bluefur.com Billing (at 4:24pm) that: “Support is investigating why your account is using up the server resources and crashing it 2 times in the last several hours. That 100% is dropping because of your site. What have you done recently that would cause a higher load on the server?” After going through what it could be from the Flickr badge I had recently added in the footer of Film-Book dot Com to a particular image getting a lot hits, I was finally told by Ms. X on December 1, 2008 (at 11:17am): “The problem is not with Flickr it is with your site.” I immediately asked (at 11:19am): “How do I fix the problem?”

I received no response to this question.

When I tried to access the Footer php of Film-Book dot Com a little before 11:20am, I received this message:

Warning:fopen(xxx.php) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in xxx.php on line80
Warning: fread(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in xxx.php on line 81.

I reported this problem (email title: *********Com / Access ProblemTicket ID: MNJ-564646, 11:20am) to Bluefur’s Blog Support.

I received no response.

Instead, the conversation from Account Suspense / *********.com was continued, which was now adorned with Ticket ID: VRB-548513, at 1:45pm. BlueFur.com Support said that: “There appears to be an issue with the images. There is a lot of traffic loading the images. Is there something you know of that would cause this?” I replied (2:43pm): “I use regular SEO to get as much attention on posts and pictures that I post as possible.
[Ms. X] from billing support suggested that there was a problem with my Flickr badge in the footer. Then I was told there was a problem with the site itself.” At 3:02pm Mr. Y from BlueFur.com Support, whom I have dealt with many times for WordPress upgrades and plugin assistance, said: “Your site brought the server down again. I tried turning off the badge. Nope still an issue. I tried turning off the images. Again still an issue. I am left with plugins. Is there any plugin you have installed recently?” I replied back (3:43 pm): “I install the newest update to Aksimet (spam plug-in) and I upload a polling plug-in but I haven’t activated it yet.”

I received no response to this reply.

I then emailed Mr. Y (6:28 pm): “So what is the verdict?”

I received no response to this question.

I emailed BlueFur.com Support on December 2, 2008 at 9:23am (email title: *********Com / Account Suspended, Ticket ID: NSZ-289379) and said: “My account is still suspended. When will I be back online?” I received this response to Account Suspense / *********.comTicket ID: VRB-548513 from Mr. Y at 10:20 am: “I am sorry but I have found the cause yet. Everytime I unsuspend your account your site brings the server down. I can not have the server go down it is not fair to the other users on the server. After I replied and was not responded to, I emailed BlueFur.com Support (email title: *********.com/ Account Suspension, Ticket ID: PRY-900533) on December 3, 2008 at 8:15 am: “What is the status of the investigation and my site?” At 11:20 am I received this response to Account Suspense / *********.comTicket ID: VRB-548513 from Mr. Y: “I have been monitoring your site on the server for awhile and noticed it is using up to many server resources. This is causing issues as it is a shared server and the other users on the server are having issues with site reliability due to your usage.
We will need you to upgrade to a dedicated server so that you will not be affecting our shared hosting customers moving forward. If you have any questions in regards to this please let me know.” I replied (12:04 pm): “I just looked at your dedicated server packages and the lowest one is $79.95 a month. I can’t afford that. I don’t make enough cash for my site in the slightest to afford that. The site is just a hobby for me, not a job like John Chow. Its just a weblog. I don’t need 80gigs of hard drive space for it. A few gigs yeah but not 80.” At 1:27 pm, I received this reply from Mr. Y: “Sorry but we can not afford to have your site bring down our server. Here are your files: http://***** /********.tar.gz. I replied back without even looking at the files: “You have no alternative that will not cost me $79.95 a month?”

I received no response to this question.

I contacted and secured another web host, who offereed far lower hosting costs without the need for a server. At 6:09 pm I emailed BlueFur.com Support (email title: ********* / Pointing the Domain Name / Comments/ cPanel Access, Ticket ID: HNY-435571) and asked: “1.) Do the files that you made available for me to download contain all of the Comments on my posts and the Formatting changes I made to my weblog? 2.) When can I have access to my email address on cPanel? 3.) The new host for my weblog needs you to point the site here:..” I then tried to unzip the zip file they had provided a link to in Account Suspense / *********.comTicket ID: VRB-548513 and received these three error messages: Unexpected end of archiveRead error in the file and CRC failed. I informed BlueFur.com Support of the fact on December 5 at 12:09pm (email title: Zip File Corrupted-Need new zip or cPanel AccessTicket ID 418146). I stated in this email: “I need a Fully Operational Zip of all my site files or I need temporary access to my cPanel so that I can download the content of my Public HTML folder myself. Thank you.” The next two corrupted zip files I received (December 5, 2008, at 5:37 pm,Ticket ID GTZ-84427 and December 8, 2008, at 2:29 pm [email titled File and Database transfer – cPanelTicket ID WLB-924019]), were followed by phone calls from me to Bluefur (Toll Free Phone: 1-877-377-9020 Ext. 3). I even offered to give BlueFur.com Support temp access to my new cPanel account to transfer my site files themselves (Ticket ID WLB-924019). I finally received a zip that was fully operational and that would unzip without errors from Ms. X on December 9. I had emailed her this at 11:37 am before receiving the operational zip file (abated): “Please thoroughly look over the Tickets I have illustrated Ms. [X]. I am being truthful. The files provided have all been corrupted. I have put almost a year into my site and the files your company is holding. I have promoted your company on my website in posts and through affiliate links. All I want are all of my files (uncorrupted) and for my site to be completely intact.” After receiving the zip file, I thanked her for her patience and efforts on my behalf.

Upon unzipping and looking through the contents of the files supplied in the zip link by Blurfur I found that it was missing the /public_html folder where all my content is stored. I was informed that this should not be the case in a normal backup and it was 100% empty in terms of the files normally contained in the “home” folder within the archive. I noticed it myself, how small the file was versus almost a year of various uploads, especially considering the size of some of the images and banners I had uploaded. I informed Ms. X of this on December 10, 2008 at 11:04 am (Ticket ID JSX-611935) and asked that BlueFur.com: “open my account temporarily so that I can download all of my content. If you allow me FTP access to the server (via IP) I can download the site in a matter of minutes. The DNS is not longer pointed at Bluefur so there should not be a problem with downing your servers any more. My domain name is pointed to its new host.” Ms. X emailed me back at 8 pm that she was: “Sorry but what you have is what we have. We will NOT be unsuspending your account. You have violated our TOS and will not allow your site to bring our server down again. There is nothing more I can do for you at this time.” I asked her on December 11, 2008 (6:09 pm): “Did Bluefur do the backup using /scripts/pkgacct?”

I received no response to this question.

I emailed BlueFur.com Support on December 12, 2008 at 11:44 am (email title: Upgrade to a Dedicated ServerTicket ID AOK-965361) and told Ms. X that I would like to: “move my site over to one of your dedicated servers. I do assume my site will be unsuspended on the dedicated server in exactly the form it was before the suspense took place on November 30, 2008 and that I will regain access to my email accounts that I established under my domain name. Basically, everything would be exactly the same as it was before the suspense, its content (written posts, comments, images, etc.) and my email addresses, correct? I need to know this before we move forward. Will my site be exactly the same as it was before the suspense? If that is not the case, please let me know that as well. Let me know what the procedure is for acquiring the use of a dedicated server: Pointing domain names, etc. My site has been offline for almost two weeks. I would like it back online, as it was, as soon as possible. Thank you.” In his reply to Upgrade to a Dedicated ServerTicket ID AOK-965361 on December 13, 2008 (2:25 am), Mr. Y told me: “Passing you to billing to answer these questions.” I replied (2:51 am): Alright. One quick question though [Mr. Y]. Did you back up my site using /scripts/pkgacct? If not, what did you back it up with?

I received no response to this question.

On December 14, 2008 at 11:15 am, Ms. X contacted me regarding email Upgrade to a Dedicated ServerTicket ID AOK-965361. She said: “We have all your files still on the server so copying them over is not a problem. Step 1 is to purchase a server. Note that to migrate over you will need a server with cPanel. Let me know once you have purchased so I can provide you details on the next step.” I emailed her back on 1:36 pm: “I need to know exactly what you mean by ‘all your files’ Ms. [X]. Do you mean what is contained in http://*****/********.tar.gz, which is devoid of the contents of my public html folder, or my a.) 658+ modified images, b.) nearly 400 posts (my site archives going all the way back to the beginning of my site), c.) all the post Comments, d.) my modified php files, e.) my plug-ins, f.) my cPanel email addresses with all drafts, sent and received messages and contacts, g.) my WordPress version. Please be specific. Are you referring to http://*****/********.tar.gz when you say ‘all your files’ Ms. [X] or a.) through g.)? Will my site be exactly the way it was before the suspension? I’ve attached a picture to this email so you know exactly what Film-Book dot Com looked like before the suspension.” She replied (10:42 am): “Yes we will be restoring the account as it is on the server. Not the backup.” I responded (12:25 pm): “I do not understand what you mean by ‘restoring the account as it is on the server.’ What is on the server and what will be restored? a.) through g.)? All the contents of my public html folder before the suspension? My site archives, including all associated media and files, all the way back to the beginning of my blog (February 7, 2008)? All my posts, my images, what? Please confer with Blog Support and give me specifics on what is on the server and what will be restored, in detail.”

I received no response to this email.

On December 17, 2008 at 11:43 am, I emailed BlueFur.com Billing (email titled: Server Questions): “Ms. [X], did you receive my last email? If you did, could you please answer my questions specifically, not with a generality. That is the only way we can move forward.” Ms. [X] replied (12:17 pm): “I did and I replied. Your account on the server will be copied over as is to the new server. The account has everything in it as it was prior to it being suspended.”

Faced with:

  • The movie website being wiped out, in its entirety.
  • 670 modified pictures gone.
  • 11 months+ of modified php files gone.
  • 404 Posts gone.
  • 1,017 Comments gone.
  • SEO built up to the suspension point, gone.
  • Links-in from other sites gone.
  • PR of 4 gone.
  • Email contacts gone.
  • Sent and received messages in the cPanel gone.
  • Modified WordPress plugins gone.
  • Hundreds of hours of hard work destroyed.

and starting over from scratch again, I decided to take Bluefur up on their offer of purchasing a dedicated server, specifically BlueFur Xdev for $79.95 on December 18, 2008. Since this server did not come with cPanel, which I needed to migrate my site, I paid an additional $35 to have that installed in the Xdev dedicated server. On December 18 at 3:55 pm, I was told by Ms. X that: “It should be available by latest Tuesday”, Tuesday being December 23, 2008.

I gained access to the server and Film-Book dot Com on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 but my 670 photos were not in the site’s public_html folder, had been deleted by Bluefur.com (or permanently misplaced) and were unavailable for viewing in the site’s 404 Posts.

Poof. Gone.

Charlize Theron, Smoking Cigarette, Black Lingerie

Charlize Theron, Smoking Cigarette, Black Lingerie

 

What we have learned so far and about BlueFur in general:

  • Rookies make mistakes.
  • Backup your site, stem to stern.
  • Get it in writing before you make a business deal and spend money.
  • BlueFur has no credibility.
  • BlueFur has nightmare customer service and support.
  • BlueFur harbors and condones liars and profits from them. They didn’t even attempt subterfuge for their felonious conduct.

Until the next part of this series, a question:

  • What would you have done in this situation?

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this situation below.

About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started ProMovieBlogger to educate others on what he had learned through trial and error. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook (http://film-book.com), he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He also created and runs Trending Awards.com.

  • Go to my website and check out my website guide! It has a section outlining how to pick out the best host for your needs, and I also give a recommended web host that grants 100GB bandwidth.

  • Thank for the post!
    @Disco: Can you give me the link of your site? Thanks!

  • hello my friends
    I want to buy good re seller hosting, a friend of mine recommended me. have you ever heard about them. i have checked there web site and it seems that they offer chip prices and good performances unlimited web hosting space and unlimited bandwidth.

Traffic

Increase Traffic to your Website with a widget like this from Zergnet.

Send this to a friend