Name and URL of hosting company:
Monte Carlo Hosting (www.montecarlohosting.net
No longer hosting with them.
Description of service used:
Shared hosting (silver plan).
How long have you been using the service:
Just over a year.
I signed up with Monte Carlo Hosting having found them on another forum, where the owner, I now find, is a moderator. I specifically stated the need for phone support and was told that they just didn't 'advertise it', but sent their phone number to signed up customers. They did this: they gave me the owner's cell phone and home phone number, however, they continued to press for me to use the email support function, which for smaller problems, I did. The company appears to be run by just the owner and his wife. There appear to be no other employees.
Around August of 2010 I started noticing a lot of downtime, not only when I was trying to access my pages, but also through FTP, into the control panel and through WatchMouse reports. I was told it was because they found people using too many mods on their forums and they had 'taken care of it.' However, the downtime continued.
Then came a day when we weren't getting our email. I called the numbers provided, and the owner of the company was gone. His wife told us that they had done an audit, and found that we were on the wrong plan and that I now was over my disk usage limit, so without notice, they switched us back to the plan they initially recommended, which effectively cut off our email and my link to my clients. I don't know how long I was down.
She attempted to give tech support, but was clearly not a qualified technical support advisor, so I asked to speak with her husband. She said he was unavailable, and it appears if he is unavailable there just simply is no qualified tech support at all, since just he and she run the company.
I finally convinced her to raise my disk limit until I could get this resolved with her husband. I then, repeatedly, requested a call from her husband. I never got it. I wondered if he was waiting until after the holidays to deal with it, and then on Christmas Eve
, they reversed it again, thereby shutting down my email, having never have given me the call which I had repeatedly requested. To reiterate, prior to my signing up with him, he swore up and down I would have phone support. We finally reached him when we found our email cut off on Christmas Eve. He presented the situation as if he had done some sort of grand favor to me by having had me on the wrong plan for a year, even though I was unaware of that fact. And to reiterate, when they discovered *their* error, they simply downgraded me without any kind of notification, which effectively cut off my email.
Both he and his wife however, were quick to tell me I needed to 'upgrade'. I've since seen a post elsewhere from someone saying how she 'quickly outgrew her disk space and was told she needed to upgrade.' I, myself, know that my disk space was virtually the same going in as when I left. (I had even showed him a screenshot of it when asking what plan I needed to be on before I signed up.) I also found it was very convenient that this 'audit' took place right after I had paid for an entire year.
The bottom line is that, prior to signing up, I showed the owner of the company how much disk space I used and asked what plan I needed to be on. Based on the information he told me, I signed up. He initially put me on the wrong plan, allocated with unlimited disk space, without my knowing he had done so. My disk usage never significantly changed from when I first signed up with him. I was not responsible for him putting me on the wrong plan and once he realized the mistake in his 'audit', I feel I should have been notified and offered the option to either upgrade, or leave with a pro-rated refund, instead of them just switching it to a lower plan which, certainly, they had to know would affect my email, which is the life blood to my clients, especially my international ones.
I am now out a year's worth of hosting because he refused to pro-rate my plan for the 11 remaining months, but that money is a small price to pay to get out of what I feel is a highly unprofessional host which showed no concern for the idea that my business was being affected due to the email problem, and one in which I'm not comfortable with the way in which this 'need to upgrade' came about. It doesn't sit right with me and I would not recommend this host to anyone.
Pros: Brief outline of company's positive characteristics.
-- You work directly with the owner of the company, if that's an important point to you.
Cons: Brief outline of company's negative characteristics.
-- Increasing downtime as of late, to which they take no responsibility
-- Servers don't appear to be adequate to handle allowing people to place mods on their forum (this is surmised between the things they have told me and reviews I've read about them elsewhere.)
-- Live chat was only staffed once out of all the times I tried to use it over the course of a year.
-- Phone support woefully inadequate, *if* you can get it.
-- They seem to promise anything just to get you to sign up.
-- Made un-reversable errors in migrating and merging a forum. (At least he said their irreversible, I'm not sure if that's true or he just didn't want to fix the problem.)
-- Unprofessional in handling a problem.
Would you recommend this company to your best friend?
-- Absolutely not.