Jan 052009
 
Part of the Top Hosting Center Series - Previous in series         

Top Hosting Center is once again offering their Rudolph web hosting plan for “lifetime web hosting”.  This time around they’ve got two different Rudolph web host plans, but it’s still the same scam they were running last year (and which I, unfortunately, fell for).

They’re up to the same old tricks they were running last time around – having employees pose as independent bloggers, etc, but they still can’t seem to keep their servers online.  If you don’t believe me or think I’m just bitter try reading the comments section of any of my past posts on Top Hosting Center.  They simply can’t handle the load they have now, but are looking to sell more space on their already overloaded servers.

Oddly enough, my old nemesis “John Raul” never wrote about the new Rudolph plans.  He’s the THC employee who was running all around the internet last year claiming to be a satisfied customer when he was, in fact, on the payroll.  Top Hosting Center’s CEO, Eric Vanier, even replied to his various John’s various comments as if he was a customer while sending him a regular monthly paycheck.  Those of you who have followed this story here at Philaahzophy will recall that John claimed I got him fired a few months back.  Well, according to his latest blog posts not only is he still working for THC, but apparently he has fallen in love with Eric Vanier as well.  Very strange indeed.

BTW, THC has finally stopped pretending to be the “#1 Budget Hosting” company and is, instead, touting their “Top 10 Fastest Growing” award from HostReview.  Knowing how much Eric likes to make things up out of whole cloth I looked into it and it turns out that the “fastest growing” category is compiled completely by votes solicited by the web hosting companies themselves.  HostReview still has not reviewed the company itself and does not endorse it in any way.  Rather, this “award” is just a matter of Eric, John, and their cohorts gaming the system by repeatedly voting for themselves from various IP addresses.  Not very impressive as far as awards go, but very sad indeed for a company that tries to project a profesional image.

As for the word “scam”, regular readers know I don’t use it lightly.  But what else can you call a company that regularly advertises “Guaranteed 99.9% Uptime”, delivers around 85% uptime, and refuses to even acknowledge, much less grant, their users request for compensation?

If you’re just looking for a cheap place to host your own domain, then Top Hosting Center may serve your purposes.  But if you want to know that your website’s going to be online whenever anyone wants to visit it, I’d consider any of the thousands of other web hosting options out there.

Part of the Top Hosting Center Series - Previous in series        

  18 Responses to “Top Hosting Center Rudolph Lifetime Web Hosting Scam Returns”

  1. I’ve been with THC for a while too. Agreed, their uptime has not been that great recently.

    I read your older entries regarding THC and I’m wondering if you’re so unhappy with their services why don’t you just move to another host?

    Yeah, we paid for the lifetime hosting, but honestly what are you expecting when you only pay 95$? Any company with some business savvy would oversell in order to keep costs low – especially when they are charging you at this price.

    Sure, THC didn’t fulfill what they promised, but the blame should not be borne just by the company. We, the customers, had and still have the choice to make informed decisions. You could’ve chosen not to host with them, and you still have the choice to leave, if you’re not happy with them.

    And no, unlike John Raul, I don’t work for TopHostingCenter. I’m just a customer; and like you, I am quite angry about their consistent downtimes. However, I don’t think it’s fair to personally attack their staff because of hardware failures.

    As for the awards, anyone who has done their research would know that these are just paid advertising schemes. Many web hosts do it – including reputable ones.

  2. @Ivy:

    Welcome to the conversation. If you’d actually read my other THC posts you’d have the answers to your questions, but since you haven’t (weblogs don’t lie, sorry) I’ll address your few valid points here-

    1) Their uptime has been below 90% every single month since I joined up with them in December of 2007. That’s not exactly “recently”.

    2) Just like you, Ivy I have moved my most vital sites (including this one) to other web hosts.

    3) What do I expect for my $95? Only what I am promised, no more. However, THC has continually failed to provide even a fraction of what they promised. My previous posts ar efull of their failures and lies but a quick list would include: advertising PHP5, providing PHP4; ignoring tech support requests; being publicly attacked by THC employees; and, of course, failure to follow through on thier advertised 99.9% uptime guarantee. I’ve sent repeated direct emails to CEO Eric Vanier asking that he honor this guarantee and he has refused to respond. Same from the other customer support and tech support representatives. When I ask in the chat they say to email Eric.

    4) The company isn’t to blame for its failures? Say what? Maybe things are different in Singapore, but here in North America we expect people to honor their contracts. I did my research, I made an informed decision. But then THC changed the rules. They continually refuse to honor their half of the agreement.

    5) Who have I personally attacked? If you’re referring to my outing of John Raul as an employee masquerading as a customer, then that’s not a personal attack, it’s merely bringing the truth to light. Other than that, please provide me a quote or link to where I’ve “attacked” anyone from THC.

    6) Frankly, I’d love nothing more than to pull my final sites from THC’s servers and never have to discuss them again. However, I do feel an obligation to help others make an informed choice. As long as Eric and THC refuse to honor their guarantee (by either meeting their advertised uptime or offering me some sort of compensation). Eric and his staff have been told this repeatedly. Apparently they’re far more interested in hanging onto my money than in shutting me up. So, I’ll continue to post about them whenever I notice the continued downtime and when people come here to complain about THC.

    Meanwhile, THC will keep paying more and more bloggers more and more cash to make false claims about their services in an attempt to kick me out of the SERPs for their company name. If they’re really so worried about their reputation they should simply honor their guarantee and thus get me out of their hair. Better yet, they could actually provide the service they advertised to me and I’d go back to singing their praises as I did in the beginning.

  3. I saw this post’s incoming link to my blog and I’m quite surprised with your new writing.

    I agree with your technical complaints with THC’s web hosting service that in the past months, there have been issues with uptime. As far as you know, people behind THC are not robots to ignore your grievances. They protect more things than just their business, they work hard on correcting their mistakes. They have been trailing this series and worked hard to honor their guarantee — you cannot see now since your sites are not running from THC servers. Attacking my feelings on personal level and using that to attack a business is way below the belt. I sincerely ask that you remove that portion if you have respect of me as a human person, regardless of who I am or what I feel. Certainly, that’s not your business. I highly respect you as a person and blogger, you do sponsored posts too as I do, and I know you are entitled/you have the right to express your own opinion. So do I.

    If there is such a thing that I want to tell you about THC and the people behind it, they have been consistently working hard to respect their obligation to fulfill their guarantees and promises through their services. Certainly, I can say on personal level, and I would bet my own name, life and reputation, that their hosting plans are never scams.

    John Raul Joven IIs last blog post..Top Events Of My Life In 2008

  4. @John Raul Joven II:

    I’m not sure why you were surprised, John. It’s not much different than what I’ve been saying for 3 or or four months now – because nothing seems to have changed at THC. They have all the same problems now that they had then and they refuse to honor their guarantee. Perhaps the problem is no one there understands the word they throw around so lightly – it means that if you don’t do what you promise, you’ll compensate the person. THC admits they have not kept their end of the deal, yet they have offered no compensation and ignored repeated requests for some.

    And I DO still have sites on THC’s servers and see all the downtime. I also have personal friends who use the service (because I recommended it to them in 2007) and I hear form them each time the service falters as well. I stood up and said THC is a quality webhost, and they feel betrayed by what they have received after acting on my promise.

    As for the supposed “attacks” on your feelings I must profess ignorance, just as I did earlier to your friend Ivy. There are no attacks on your feelings anywhere in this post. If you’re offended by my referencing your apparent love for Eric, that’s not an attack, dear sir, it’s a simple observation based on information you shared publicly (and proudly) on your blog. Frankly, I’m impressed by a man in your position coming out at all (if Filipino culture is as dogmatically Catholic as I’ve been led to believe). That takes a lot of guts. If you feel that mention of your affections is an insult of some sort then you need to work on your own self-esteem and security issues.

    Unfortunately for you and THC you would lose your bet. By very definition of the word I have been scammed by THC – they offered something, guaranteed that offering, then when they couldn’t follow through (for whatever reason) they refused to honor the guarantee. That is, by definition, a scam. Not to mention your own (and Eric’s) deceptive actions in the past which we covered in great detail the last time we communicated. Having employees pose as customers and give testimonials is textbook fraud.

    All I’ve ever asked from THC is compensation under the guarantee they freely offered. Should that be forthcoming I will remove my final sites from their server and none of you need hear from me again. Until then, I’ll continue to be a victim (as opposed to being a customer) and will continue to air my grievances publicly in order to inform others so they don’t fall prey to the same tactics that I did.

  5. @Aahz

    Okay, at least your demands are very clear: to get compensated under their guarantees with respect to their Terms of Service. I will help you pass that message to them, but I can’t talk more on that since I don’t have authority nor I have the knowledge about the deals that you have with them.

    I understand that you had negative experience and I’m personally sorry to hear that. Likewise, I would personally vouch that they were never happy seeing their own servers down due to unforeseen issues nor they were happy dealing with unsatisfied customers. It may not be apparent to you, but they’ve done many many things to prevent downtimes and worked hard with issues in timely fashion in a way that their staff ended up with sleepless nights to respect the obligation to give the best hosting experience to their customers. Know that all personnel at THC work hard 24/7 to give their customers good service. Seeing a series of blog posts written in a few minutes that defeats the their good faith without giving them a chance to improve is never fair. Anyway, your points are laid out and I understand you now. I suggest that you communicate with them and be direct in asking your demands. It is a little unfair for me because I bore with my whole self in all my comments as a person. You just bore with name Aahz, we don’t even know what you look like or your credentials. Regardless, on behalf of my friends at THC, I feel ultimately sorry for your bad experience. Believe me that all your posts have made them motivated to work even harder and changes are already underway so give them a chance. I will help you.

    FYI, Ivy is not a friend of mine. Also, I’m vindicated that you mentioned me in all your posts now. Just know that my feelings have nothing to do with the quality of web hosting THC gives. So please, I ask personally, spare me the right to mention that only in my blog and you can comment from there.

    Thanks a lot for understanding, Aahz. Your blogging for a cause is noble. Let’s move forward to constructive ways where everyone wins.

  6. My request has not changed in the last 9 months that I’ve been making it: for THC to live up to its advertising and deliver on its guarantee. You understand that part perfectly.

    What you still don’t seem to get is that it doesn’t matter to me how much they are trying to keep things running and offer good service. These people are not my friends or relatives. They are a business with whom I contracted for a specific service under a specific agreement. They couldn’t provide the service they advertised – fine – but then live up to the guarantee you offered. That’s all I’ve ever asked.

    If you go to a restaurant and eat a hamburger that makes you so sick you can no longer work to pay your bills are you going to be satisfied with the restaurant saying “you don’t understand how hard we worked to not poison you”? No you’re not. THC poisoned my online earning opportunities and has done nothing to make restitution. That’s all I’ve been asking for.

    And I didn’t post “series of blog posts written in a few minutes“. I’ve written one blog post about THC in the last 3 1/2 months! And that was only after several weeks of problems that led several people to my old posts in order to voice their complaints (because they weren’t hearing anything from THC). Those old posts were written in September – six over a series of two weeks because this site was still hosted there and I couldn’t get any answers from THC. The first three posts in this series were written in December of 2007 and were praising THC – no one was complaining about how many posts I wrote back then.

    I’ve tried communicating with Eric and THC through every manner available to me (other than calling Eric’s cell phone). This post has been read from THC’s servers at least half a dozen times and by you numerous times as well. There’s no mystery here. Eric has my email address (which is the same as my PayPal address). A little compensation and there will be one more post about THC (acknowledging that they honored their guarantee) and 48 hours later (so there’s time for DNS changes to propagate) they can shut down my account forever. Then I’ll never need mention them again (assuming there are no new attacks thrust my way).

  7. Can I read clients’ testimonials? I prefer to know more about the company before purchasing their services.

  8. Um, you just read one. I’ve been a customer for over a year now. Just check back through the other posts in this series and you’ll see my history with them as well as comments from many other customers (and a few employees).

  9. I can strongly recommend NOT to get hosting with TopHostingCenter. I have spent the last 5 days TRYING to get my sites back up, as something failed in their hardware and their ‘recovery’ was to move our files to a different server, everything completely in default (down to leaving the under construction index.html)
    DNS and email settings – all gone
    IP = changed – previous one not responding, everyone getting no answer while new DNS proliferates (a week?)
    Just TODAY I have had one of my websites deleted 4 times, and 4 times I have recreated them.
    I am very willing to openly discuss this feedback with any customer thinking on buying this service.
    Reply here or Twitter @CostaRica
    We are moving to HostGator – hoping that the DNS replication days pass quickly…

  10. […] service and don’t want to ever pay for web hosting again in this lifetime. From what I saw at “Top Hosting Center Rudolph Lifetime Web Hosting Scam Returns”, they have been in business for more than 2 years, which is pretty good to me. About the bad review […]

  11. Damn! If I didn’t have to get ready for work right now I would read all of these posts. I will have to put your link on my desktop for when I get back home..

    I’m a THC victim too. I’m actually waiting for them to fix my site now. They’ve lost all my posts. 6+ years worth. (2nd time in two weeks)

    I’m still a victim because I just can’t afford a monthly host at the moment. Otherwise I would cut them clean off like a Jewish foreskin!

    I’ll be spending some time reading your other posts. This one I was screaming in my head, “THAT WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH ME!!”

    Just wondering, who your hosting with now? (Aside from your I’m a Victim site) I need something that can handle high traffic, and has lots of Memory and high CPU usage limits. BUT, cheap. I’m poor. LOL

  12. Read all the posts from your sign up date till now.

    I’m so surprised that there arent many other posts like this about THC. They’re terrible. Up time is below 709%, multiple SQL data base problems. Mail server problems. Every day there are issues.

    Every time they have problems they blame the user. They’ve even threatened me in their support tickets (Which are crap IMO) that if i didn’t use professional language they would stop supporting me. I spouted off at the mouth at them after having lost all my wits and patients with them with the constant downtime and repeated canned responses blaming ME for THEIR down time.

    I would NEVER recommend them to anybody. Not even for a static HTML page. They don’t deserve any referrals from the customers they already have because they’re screwing the shit of of them as it is.

    Sure I would leave, but I’m stuck with them until I can financially afford to get away from them. Also finding another host, as you put it, is a pain in the ass to do also.

    THC (Top Hosting Center) Sucks!

  13. got this in inbox:

    We would like to take this opportunity to inform you that starting March
    1st, 2011, you will be invoiced an administration fee of 35$ per year ( yearly renewal).
    The purpose of this invoice is to be able to continue to provide you with support.

    This administration fee will give you the opportunity to receive the same
    level of support as our shared paid hosting customers. This includes for
    example : upgrading your Word Press, Joomla etc.

    This administration fee will also contribute to keep up your lifetime hosting
    ,domain registration and your limit of 10 domains in your personal Rudolf
    shared hosting plan.

    Should you choose not to pay this invoice, you may still receive support
    for basic control panel functionality by openning a ticket under the general
    questions department. Example: How to create a subdomain? etc. Any further
    support will require a payment to your account of 5$ per ticket.

    Thank you very much for your understanding.

  14. I got that too simplicity. I e-mailed them asking if I had to pay for their shitty up-time and frequent outages? they said they would reply within a week and it’s been over 3 weeks now.

    I’m ditching them. Unfortunately I can’t seem to export my WordPress so I can transfer it. I want to use the WordPress export feature so nothing goes wrong, but Top Hosting Center seems to be fucking that process up too.

  15. I am also a THC Rudolf customer, and I ordered the Rudolf 95$ plan way back 2009. As the blog owner says I get also consistent downtime in my blog, actually right now it is down. I truly believe that Rudolf did not fulfill their promises in giving their customer a good service for almost 4 years now.

  16. I recommend you ditch them as soon as you can, it will NEVER get any better.

    I got rid of them and went to another host (Link on my home page if you’re interested) and things have been so sweet with my new host. No downtime, and lightning fast!

  17. THC = ADISHOST = SCAM SCAM SCAM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. WHAT ABOUT ATTEMPTING A CLASS ACTION SO WE FIGHT BACK THIS KIND OF SCAMMER INSTEAD OF MAKING IT EASIER TO ANY A$$HOLE TO DO THE SAME AGAIN AND AGAIN… AT LEAST WE HAVE TO BE REFUNDED!

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