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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 01/01/2012

TMDHosting

Phone: (888) 771-5990

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Customer Complaints Summary

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints1

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)
02/04/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
They over charge, offer terrible service and their systems are unsecure.
(1)In April 2010 they auto charged my credit card for extra amount. Glad I caught it and it took them two weeks to refund. Initially they tried to support their extra charge but after I defended with the historical data on file, they gave a refund. Lot of time wasted. They don't have phone support, response is slow through emails.The 15min response time they boast on their website is misleading, it takes weeks to resolve an issue with them. Reference Ticket ID: 33610
(2)Since they auto deducted extra money the previous renewal cycle I took off auto renewal. On June 5, 2012 I noticed they suspended my website. They neither sent me emails nor called on the phone on file nor sent a letter to the home address on file. When contacted through support tickets (again they don't offer phone support as they boast on their site), they said the account was due for renewal and I didn't get a renewal email was due to an issue with my own email id. However I didn't have any issues with my yahoo email on file. Also I didn't understand why they didn't call my home phone or sent me a letter. After lot of discussion they renewed my account but with extra charges for domain name.Refrence TickedId: 123408

(3)On Nov 7, 2012 I noticed my site is down. When I could not log in into my control panel on their website. When contacted they said they blocked my computer since I couldn't log in after 3 attempts. They unblocked and gave me instructions to change my password. When I followed the instructions I found that my password has been changed and all my files that I ever put on my website were gone. This they say has happened through some hacking scripts that they cannot find the root cause for. Above that they don't have back up for my data and the reason they say is they resynced my data after it was hacked meaning after all the data was deleted they copied empty data to their backup! Now I lost all my data and I don't have backups. Their hosting is useless to me since they are neither trust worthy nor pro-active in preventing failures/hacking and site down situations. They keep the password in an unencrypted manner. Since they are not encrypted their support people literally can see the passwords of the clients. Due to all the above issues with them I want to stop hosting with them and ask for a refund which they are denying.
Reference TicketId: 149748

Desired Settlement
Refund my hosting charges for the paid duration ever since my site was hacked and all my content was deleted. The site has currently nothing on it. According to TMD that's from September 29, 2012.

To protect other innocent customers from the same issues I had TMD should make these efforts:
(1)Make it obvious on your website that there is no technical phone support. TMD website is misleading
(2)Notify your customers that you will not protect them from site hacks or have any tools to monitor suspicious activity and proactively notify customers
(3)Notify your customers that you will not contact them through phone or paper mail before bringing their site down in case they never receive emails from you for whatever reasons.

Business' Initial Response
In response to: BBB CASE#: XXXXXXXX, case opened on 11/12/2012 by Mr. ****** ******, customer of TMDHosting, Inc. , hosting website with domain name lotusfeet.ws.

The below document constitutes official position of TMDHosting, Inc. regarding the following demands of Mr. ****** ****** posted in this case:

(1)Make it obvious on your website that there is no technical phone support. TMD website is misleading
(2)Notify your customers that you will not protect them from site hacks or have any tools to monitor suspicious activity and proactively notify customers
(3)Notify your customers that you will not contact them through phone or paper mail before bringing their site down in case they never receive emails from you for whatever reasons.

Regarding Demand #1, on our website it is nowhere stated that we are providing phone support. Technical support process is explained precisely in the agreement, which Mr. ****** has signed upon purchasing hosting services with us. The section this is described is "Providing Technical Support Policy" and the paragraph clearly states:

The Customer can request technical support only by opening a ticket trough the ticketing system located in the Client area. The Company will have no liability to provide technical support if it is requested in any other way, different from the ticketing system.

This agreement available on our website, as well as every our Customer is required to read it prior to signing up for our services. It constitutes the relationship between the two parties - we, as a service provider and the customer, as person using it. This agreement can be found publicly available at the following address:

http://www.tmdhosting.com/terms.html.

Regarding Demand #2, the issue, which Mr. ****** has experienced is caused by vulnerabilities in the software that he has chosen to build his website with. The software is named WordPress and is distributed under Open Source license, meaning that everyone can see its programming specifics and contribute to them. Unfortunately, this is usually a standpoint used by people with bad intentions to find code weak spots and attack them. This is what happened in this particular case.

Open Source software systems are constantly maintained by their communities and companies that develop them - security patches and updates are being releases on a regular basis. It is wide spread principle in the web hosting industry , and in the IT at all, that it is sole responsibility of the website's webmaster, to keep his software up to date and security threat-free. We are offering assistance in such occasions, in case that we are requested by the Customer. This type of service is being provided for completely free of charge, as advertised on our website. We provide free updates and installations of software as soon as they are requested by the Customer. In this case, the Customer has never requested such assistance.

When the Customer requested assistance, there was no backup of his files available, however, different disaster recovery copies of his database were still available. This indicates that the issue has occurred more than 7 days prior to the Customer notices that there is something wrong with his website. We are keeping 7 copies of each account's databases and do backup copies of files at least two times a week. Having the backup for this account empty means that it represents the account's state by the last time when the backup has passed through it. In this case the account was empty, thus the backup copy was empty, as well. Unfortunately, it is not technically possible to keep infinite amount of backup copies, as this means to support infinite storage of data, which on its side is not feasible. This is not something, which someone provides, nevertheless the size of the company and is called backup retention - backup copies are being overwritten over time, in order to (1) have fresh copy of the data, (2) to preserve space and use it in optimal manner.

Regarding Demand #3, the official correspondence and communication between our company and its Customers is being performed in two ways - via the ticketing system and by email. In our initial agreement, Mr. ****** has agreed that:

It is The Customer's sole responsibility to provide The Company with an email address that does not belong in the domain authority of the domain(s) that is being signed up. It is sole responsibility of The Customer to keep the primary email address up to date at any time.

Notification emails regarding upcoming hosting account renewals were sent with very fair advance, repeatedly. A notification that invoice is generated for account renewal was initially sent to Mr. ****** on 03/30/2012 at 12:07PM ET and from that moment on, additional 4 emails were sent to remind him on the invoice that is being due. Account suspension email was sent on 04/14/2012 at 12:28PM ET and from that moment on, we have sent 52 different email messages to remind Mr. ****** that his account is due renewal. As per our agreement, we cannot be held liable for him providing wrong or not properly functional email address, as well as we have put enough and visible (through his Client area > Emails) effort to notify him on his account being suspended. After all, it is sole responsible of the account owner to keep its accounting.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The business has neglected to respond to the desired resolution. 'Refund my hosting charges for the paid duration ever since my site was hacked and all my content was deleted. The site has currently nothing on it. According to TMD that's from September 29, 2012.'

Additionally below is my response to the 3 points
(1)If you click on 24/7 support on TMD page it has a well written page that boasts 24/7/365 support. No where does it say this support is limited to email. Clarity has been tactfully avoided and it misleads people. They should make it clear enough. Below is the text from that page:
"\
More than just a regular support
Fast

We, at TMDHosting, have strong beliefs that our Customers' time is their most valuable asset. The more hassle-free time our Customers' have, the more time they are spending focused on their projects online, without having to bother about technical and other stuff. TMDHosting's technical support team guarantees 15 minutes response time.

Precise

We have a very comprehensive support team hiring process that guarantees that only the best technicians in the industry are involved in resolving every issue you might possibly have. The work of our technicians is being daily evaluated and supervised by a team of very knowledgeable experts, which were participating in the quality assurance of the webhosting industry from its early dawn.

Friendly

Having a full understanding of what you are seeking, we are fully specialized in providing it on a daily basis. Nevertheless you are a proficient programmer, an average user that knows what to do or a complete starter -- you can leave all the technical support hassles you might have to our experienced and highly qualified technical support team. A friendly professional will be always awaiting your inquiry and will be glad to guide you through.

24/7/365 Available

No matter what day of the week or which time it is, no matter if it is Independence day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's eve -- we always have our team on duty. You can reach them 24/7/365, literally.

"
(2)The company hasn't shared any records with me that prove that the issue had happened due to word press. Blaming wordpress is just a theory at this point. If they had mechanism to detect wordpress security and breach activity they should have immediately notified me of such activity and provided me the back up data prior to attack.

(3)The email I had on file was correct and functional. It was a yahoo address and yahoo is still a popular email service provider. I still use the email address today with no issues. The notices they mentioned are there in their software but they never reached my email. Just for TMD purpose I started using a gmail address. If they should start sending paper mail for serious issues that would help customers from unexpected surprises.

Business' Final Response
Hello,

Since we never received a request through our system and the case is still opened, we went ahead and refunded the full amount paid by Mr. Palakala for the last year, as an act of a good will. The refund will be available in his account within the next 7 business days. The other inquiries were carefully reviewed and answered in the previous reply, which along with the full refund that was issued shows our effort to resolve the case satisfactory to the Customer.

Sincerely,

Angie Dale
Customer Care Senior Supervisor
www.tmdhosting.com

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