Saturday, April 24, 2010

About the Endurance International Group (EIG)

After being stuffed around for weeks by WebHost4Life and the (mis)management team that bought it, I have been reading the Endurance International Group's web site more closely. It has been an interesting read, mainly because of what they don't tell you. Take, for example, the following:
"Acquisitions are a key component of our growth strategy. Using a proprietary methodology, we have completed acquisitions with more than 30 hosting companies and migrated more than half-a-million customers onto our platform since 2001."
They omit to list all these acquisitions. I wonder why? Here is a list I compiled, using Google to search for the fax number used by their legal department. It seems that David C. Bryson, General Counsel, is a busy man with all these clients.
If my experience is anything to go by, the only way they are going to grow is through acquisitions, and even then they manage to persuade a significant percentage to change hosting providers during the process. According to www.web-hosting-top.com, WebHost4Life's hosted domains grew for 2007-2009 from 62,076 to 70,669 domains. In 2010 the decline has set in, so that by April 19, 2010 they are down to 63,379 domains, a loss of 11.5% in just 4 months. My guess is that most of those 7,290 domains are sites that were screwed up by their "migration" process.
Speaking of migration, here is the "Migration Experience for Customers" spin
Through the migration "wheel" technology, the vast majority of accounts can be moved to the Endurance platform with minimal customer involvement. We don’t just move files, we activate accounts on our system — paying attention to the smallest of details — even changes to settings and scripts are handled automatically.
In fact, we’re able to move 95%+ of accounts without customer participation — and, we offer intuitive tools for assisting the remaining customers in their transitions.
They fail to mention what percentage of those "migrated" web sites actually work after they have been moved. Also, they state that they move 95% of the accounts without customer participation before the move, because most of the customer "participation" happens after they realise their web site is no longer working, the database is corrupt or old, or the settings are completely screwed up.
While we will see an increase in support traffic during this time, the vast majority of contacts are simple customer-education issues that our agents are trained to coach customers through.
What they fail to point out is that the only "help" they actually are capable of providing is "customer-education issues", because they are unable to do any technical changes at the "technical support" desk themselves. They simply log a call and leave it to overworked and incompetent technicians to "fix". Often this takes so long that the customer has already left by the time they get to attend to the problem.
During the "migration" process a number of other changes occur, such as the imposition of a $35 "cancellation fee". Unless you specifically kick up a fuss, this fee is deducted from money you may already have paid, and the remainder is refunded. Spot the ripoff. Now contrast this with the statement
At Endurance, our mission is to "Delight customers and help them succeed by profitably delivering superior solutions and an outstanding customer experience." This holds true for all of our customers, and especially those who go through the migration process.
If this is the case, why does the call centre not have any of the contact details of EIG, such as the name, email address and phone number of the CEO? Because the last thing the CEO wants to do is listen to the complaints of outraged customers whose web sites and data have been destroyed, and whose businesses have been impacted by the callous avarice of EIG.
I checked on the Web Host Directory Awards page and not a single EIG company is listed in their awards. I guess that's no surprise, really.
Update: The Better Business Bureau lists some of the hosting companies shown above. I have marked them with a star (*)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

webhost4life has gone from somewhat annoying to utterly incompetent. Avoid them at all costs.

Julie Moffat said...

This whole article is spot on. I was with Startlogic back when it 'migrated to the new platform'. What an absolute nightmare. I was also with easycgi. I've tried probably 20 different hosting companies. Every one of them has had some glitch or other. But I've now had my accounts (my own and my clients') strung out for the past several months while EIG ate up webhost4life. A bunch of Keystone Cops. One disaster after another. I've had the top techs from each company try to help, but to no avail. I often told them 'If one more clown jumps out of the volkswagon I'll scream.' They finally persuaded me to change to a reseller account on StartLogic. That was 5 days ago, and they haven't managed to get even one website working on that new account. Their defense is that none of their tech supports knows squat about Windows servers. That's fine, don't offer Windows plans. Most companies don't. I'm still shopping for another host where I can move all my people. The first thing to do is to call the tech support number to see how long it takes to get answered and who picks up the phone - Florida or Virigina [ :) ] or the Philippines or New Delhi or Mumbai [ :( ]. Anybody have any suggestions?

Donn Edwards said...

My suggestion is Arvixe

They aren't perfect, but they are pretty good. See
My Experience of Arvixe so far

Anonymous said...

My experience with Endurance International Group has been nothing short of criminal. They crashed my site with add on files and once I signed on the dotted line I found no less than 12 counts of wire fraud and investigated further constituting fraudulent advertising under 18 USC 1343. I approached the FBI with my factual documentation and was advised that they did not have the "resources" to prosecute this case in Charlotte, NC. They have given their tacit approval to lie and cheat their way to the top. Caveat Emptor folks, this company cares nothing for the consumer, but only the bottom line. There are over 75 EIG companies with financial support from Accel-KKR, another company without a conscience unless it relates to revenue. Avoid these folks at all cost, you will rue the day you ever trusted them and expected them into fulfill their legal obligations.

Chris said...

Was with Netfirms for over 20 years, and then these jackasses from EIG came in there with their migration crap, and screwed everything up beyond recognition.

So rather than deal with any more stupidity, our domains were all moved out of Netfirms. The only problem was they were moved into FatCaw.

It is at this point impossible to describe all the amazing screw-ups. Basically you get unlimited file storage, and bandwidth until you actually use it. Then you get this cute terms of service violation e-mail that basically tells you you can't upload images, videos, audios.

What does that leave? Plain text web pages. They tell you if photo, and media files are not deleted, your account will be closed.

So we said fine, and deleted all of the files like they asked.

Then we decided to publish pages on each domain exposing the bait-and-switch fraud perpetrated by EIG. Guess what? They closed the account anyway.

Not only that, we can't even get access to our domains to change the dns information. They froze them because of, wait for it, fraud and abuse. Are you ready for that?

Have complained to the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission, but don't think they will do anything about it.

In the mean time Netfirms may be trying to gank our domain names, they are quite good.

EIG sucks & blows at the same time.

Phil said...

Every webhost I move to seems to be bought out by EIG. you should update this post, or post a followup, there have been more sites that have been acquired, and forced to use their proprietary platform.

Fatcow, ipage, netfirms are 3 companies I transferred OUT of because of this acquisition. avoid EIG.

stick with dreamhost, I doubt they'll sell out

Sreejesh said...

Reading all the above comments I'm deparate to move my sites from Hostgator to a VPS soon. I don't want to take chances. I don't want to hear sorry after they crewup the whole site

Donn Edwards said...

I'm still very happy with Arvixe. I had some technical issues with Fishwisepro.com, and we moved it from personal hosting to their business hosting server. The transition was painless and the site is working well. It requires more RAM than most personal sites, which is why the move was necessary. They credited us for the personal hosting, and were very helpful.

Sanjeev Tomar said...

We are hoping same trust and quality by EIG for Hostgator.

Deo said...

Don't Worry. Host Gator is big and successful enough to leave alone for now. Interestingly enough EIG has gobbled up Dotster, and Domain.com... Homestead is next on the chopping block as it was recently aquired from intuit.

As of right now, their market share now exceeds that of GoDaddy. To top it off.. Do you think that they care if they lose a couple customers here and there? They just end up switching to another property that EIG owns anyway, so no skin off their back.

Hosting companies beware! This monster is now backed by Goldman Sachs, and is not showing any signs of slowing down. They wont stop till they have swallowed up all of the competition. (Because that is the only way they can come out on top)

abdel berr said...

ADD HOSTLAKER.COM

Paul said...

Add the following to any EIG acquired host domain:
/legal_useragreement.bml#cancel-policy

Nabil said...

It's with a big sadness that I learned that Hostgator was acquired too. Now let's so if HG will beat the world records in terms of user frustration.

I moved to site5, I hope that site5 won't be sold as well.

Fred Morgan said...

Sorry to say but I believe Hostgator have now gone the way of all the others. I've just been "migrated" which had caused outage and now slowed responses and page loads. Thanks for the list of EIG sites to avoid - I'll have to keep check of the growing list.

corkky said...

Ok, this explains why after 6 years of being a happy HostGator customer they have now become totally incompetent, the support is now terrible with wait times higher than 1 hour, their tech support is useless and rude, and tickets take forever to process if at all, and after the migration my server is so slow all my reseller clients are complaining! I am leaving HostGator, this is totally unacceptable. This EIG company is the worst. They have taken the best hosting provider and turned the company into a sham! Horrible!!


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