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My HostGator Horror Story

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by JasonZ10, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. JasonZ10

    JasonZ10 Regular Member

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    So, I've relied on HostGator as my host for the past 7 or so months ($70), been an affiliate of theirs and made a couple hundred referring people, and been relatively satisfied until I got home from school a few days ago and found I was suspended.. So here's my story.

    Get home from school, do a Google search for the site I set up the night before, see it's already ranked 5th on the first page, so I get excited and click it just to admire my achievement. I see "Webmaster please contact support.. blabla" So I try to login to my CPanel and see some error message. I email their support, ask them what the deal is and get this response:
    So by now I'm very confused, I haven't done anything close to clickjacking, so I email them back telling them that and asking for more information. They send me back this message
    Below that message is a giant log of everything I've done in the past month, which shows me absolutely nothing other than my IP address.

    I'm tired of dealing with their incompetent staff, so I tell them all of that is useless bullshit and I'd like a backup of all of my files, they send me an email back saying something along the lines of "Due to the nature of your violation we can't provide you a full backup of your site". So I ask for three sites, CLP, site1 and site2, and they send me backups of all of them. I then send them another email asking again why I was suspended, first it was for Phishing, and then Clickjacking. They reply saying this:
    So now I'm very confused. I reply again saying that the website was made for a client and the only people that visited it was him and me, and it's one single page, no others. I get another message back saying this
    Now I'm even more confused, I reply with this:
    Then big surprise, I get this back..
    I ask what the complaint was for, and they tell me site1 is "a possible phishing site."

    After that, fairly frustrated, this was sent two days ago, without any reply:
    So there it is, HostGator suspends without reason and doesn't give a fuck about the money I was giving them and all of the traffic I was sending with their affiliate program. They still owe me around $300, so I'm going to get that and then never deal with them in any way.

    Any suggestions for PHP 5.3 CPanel shared hosting with fantastico? :p

    Also a Jr. VIP now. Thanks for everything BHW! <3
     
  2. tabore11

    tabore11 Newbie

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    you can try kualo.co.uk
     
  3. jammie

    jammie Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Sorry to hear about what happened,

    luckily you didn't loose too much money by the sounds of it, otherwise I'd be taking legal action for damages!

    Bite your lip, find a new host, keep calm and carry on.

    It's unfortunate but it happens! Hosting companies never learn unfortunately.
     
  4. Tensegrity

    Tensegrity Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That is your problem right there.

    Chances are you're going to deal with this problem anytime you put control of your website in the hands of someone paying you affiliate money who isn't a CPA network.

    I'm going to assume that you are telling the truth here and that there are actually no misleading links happening on your site. If that is the case then I see 2 issues going on here:

    1. The way HG probably sees their affiliate program is that they can get some extra sales by paying affiliates a commission for them. Those are sales they otherwise wouldn't have and so paying the affiliate cuts into their profit margin. So what happens when an affiliate starts bringing in tons of sales? Those are sales that HG would have otherwise made 100% profit on, so now they see you as a threat to their business model because they now have a large expense every month (your affiliate check). And I'm sure you are not the first person to rank high for a HG related keyword so just multiply your earnings by X (X being the number of affiliates doing what you're doing) and that expense gets huge. This brings me to the next issue..

    2. Ranking for HG keywords may be the actual problem that pisses them off (assuming that is what you are doing) for reasons that you can probably imagine on your own. Consider for a minute that you are HG and suddenly you're getting sales from a site that ranks higher than you for a keyword related to your business and that site isn't entirely deserving of that rank because it's getting the rank through black hat means. Shouldn't really be a problem if you are ultimately getting the sale, right? Well, what if you see a website that is not well-formed, well-designed and/or otherwise making HG look bad (not saying your site was, just saying)? You would probably think twice about paying them for advertising, from a marketing and branding perspective. HG doesn't want to be associated with black hat techniques.

    What this all comes down to is you shouldn't put the control of your site in the hands of HG or any company when they are paying you affiliate checks. That is putting all your eggs in one basket. You could have kept your site live and ranking high but removed the HG links if they decide not to pay you. Instead you're left with them killing your business.

    Just some thoughts. Sorry to hear, though, that is some bad news.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  5. dirtbag

    dirtbag Senior Member

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    Always keep as local backup of everything. Always...
     
  6. Donkey Kong

    Donkey Kong Regular Member

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    Your story freak the shit out of me, I guess it happen to more people but they didn't expose it out. Sorry for your lost, bro. Better luck next time. For relaxing and contribute to this thread, can you tell us more about CPA and stuff?
     
  7. therealmadhatter

    therealmadhatter Regular Member

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    I Got This Today

    Hello Affiliates,
    We have some very important announcements to included in this newsletter:
    Two Terms of Service Policy Changes (the TOS is located here: http://www.hostgator.com/tos/affiliate-tos.php)
    TOS Changes:
    We are modifying our PPC policy. Please review our TOS here: http://www.hostgator.com/tos/affiliate-tos.php and note the new terms in section 5 regarding our PPC policy. Please note that the bolded sections are the changed sections. Essentially, we are prohibiting any trademark/brand name and trademark/brand name + bidding (i.e. HostGator coupon) on PPC search engines.

    You are free to bid on PPC networks for keywords related to web hosting with the intent to direct traffic to HostGator. We do NOT allow any brand name / Trademark bidding (HostGator) or Trademark + bidding (I.e HostGator Coupons). Some examples of prohibited keywords:

    You are prohibited from bidding on any HostGator and HostGator KEYWORD (example: coupon, etc.) terms on any PPC search engine. When setting up the display advertisement in a PPC campaign, it is not permitted to use the display URL "www.hostgator.com" or "hostgator.com", and ad text in a display ad may not contain the "HostGator" trademark. We do NOT allow direct linking from PPC campaigns.
    The goal of our guidelines regarding pay-per-click advertisements is to preserve the integrity of the HostGator brand name and reputation. We do not want affiliates, or for that matter, any third party, representing themselves as HostGator or presenting themselves in a way that could be confused with HostGator.
    Please note that organic search listings and results are permitted for the above terms.

    New TOS Section:
    Minimum payment threshold (Section 6 in our TOS). Due to the increase in cost associated with management and processing of single sale referrals as well as the amount of fraud associated with 1 off referrals, we have implemented a minimum payment threshold. This is something that is seen industry wide and will be beneficial for all affiliates in the long run allowing us to continue to payout large amounts per sale referred.

    Minimum Payment Threshold:
    Affiliates must earn a minimum affiliate account balance of $100 or more before their account is eligible for payment. Commission amounts earned for less than $100 (for example, 1 sale for $50) will remain pending until the full $100 minimum balance has been earned. All sales still pending due to the minimum payment threshold must remain active and in good standing according to our TOS requirements in order to be eligible for payment. Sales that are found not to be valid according to our TOS requirements at the time of the additional sale and earnings will be marked as invalid and not payable. Therefore there will be the requirement that 2 sales, or $100 in minimum earnings be valid according to our sale requirements listed in our TOS in order for payment to be sent.
    Both of these policies take effect immediately.
    Once again, please review these new TOS changes and please feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

    Thank you for your continued referrals.
    Best Regards,
    HostGator Affiliate Team
    affiliates@hostgator.com
     
  8. cecle

    cecle Regular Member

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    This explains things perfectly, and corresponds to the recent affiliate email I received about PPC, domains and hostgator.

    Affiliates are only your friends for so long, once they start to dominate they are going to be taking a huge percentage of your profits.
     
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  9. goinviral

    goinviral BANNED BANNED

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    if you are going to push hostgator affiliate offers.. NEVER use their servers for this! use another hosting company. Same goes with any of the other big guys. Invariably they get the shits with you and shutdown your account! If you are hosted elsewhere there is little they can do. If they suspend your affiliate account you can then send the sign ups elsewhere.
     
  10. trustedfire9

    trustedfire9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    damn ... bad news I'm affiliate with them ..... i will not send customers for them anymore
     
  11. silentthunder

    silentthunder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Ruthless logic but it makes sense "corporation sense". Sorry for your lost OP.

     
  12. JasonZ10

    JasonZ10 Regular Member

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    Thanks for the help, everyone, really appreciate it!
    If they never pay me my affiliate commissions I'll open a fraud report and try to convince others to do the same.
     
  13. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

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    So, in layman's terms, the OP was selling Hostgator better than Hostgator was, so they killed his sites, then made up a new set of rules and applied them retroactively to the OP?
     
  14. lanbo

    lanbo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That's unfortunate - what are you going to do about your data now?
     
  15. Dumper

    Dumper Supreme Member

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    Yeah sorry to hear that, i know how it is when you have a good think going and then log-in to see it's been ripped out from under you. I was kicking ass with a adwords campaign and login one day and it's been suspended for no effen reason.
     
  16. Tensegrity

    Tensegrity Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    FWIW, I know HG pays on something like a 60-day thing. Not fun to wait for that, but the payments do usually come.
     
  17. MLMGUROO

    MLMGUROO Regular Member

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    Try
    Code:
    http://www.247-host.com/
     
  18. tanger69er

    tanger69er Junior Member

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    I haven't had this happen to me yet. I hope it never does. OP, have you heard anything else back about this?
     
  19. JimmyConway

    JimmyConway BANNED BANNED

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    I have a question, did you use commision junctions way of referring people in or did you use their little referral program that's in the cPanel?