The web hosting industry is full of misleading advertisements, unfulfilled guarantees, and shady middlemen that are willing to charge extra at every opportunity they have. If a host is piling hidden fees onto the cost of setup, you may want to look out for more hidden charges on future monthly bills. Unscrupulous hosting providers use a litany of excuses to charge more and boost their profit margin. Being able to recognize when you should be charged web hosting fees and when you’re being swindled will help you deal with only the most reputable and trustworthy hosts.
Disputing Fees and Charges
So how do you respond when you realize you’ve been taken for a ride and have to pay a fee for something you weren’t even aware of? The first thing to do is contact your hosting provider immediately and demand an explanation. If they tell you that you exceeded a limitation or restriction, or violated their terms of service, you should ask them why they didn’t make these limits clear, and demand a refund of the additional fees. The problem is many consumers don’t realize that they have the ability to take action against hosts that charge hidden fees and conduct dishonourable business. There are many sites online that let you leave your review of a hosting company, so if you’re ever overcharged you should begin spreading the word about that company’s unfair practices.
Most hosts list limitations within the control panel of your account along the left pane. These limits typically have to do with bandwidth and disk space, but may also pertain to MySQL databases and email accounts. You should be able to see when you’re approaching predefined limits by viewing a graph bar that indicates how much resources you’re using. Many people are surprised to find out they have any limitations at all considering the fact that they were told they would have unlimited bandwidth and disk space. When you start to exceed your limitations you may begin to notice a gradual decrease in-service performance indicated by slow page loading times, errors, and even downtime. You may also receive notification emails telling you that you’re approaching or exceeding your plan’s restrictions. If your host promised unlimited resources and is now charging you extra for exceeding limitation that you weren’t warned about, you have the right to request a refund, and you should exercise your right to freedom of speech by sharing your experience with others through consumer advocacy forums.
Knowing your Rights
Now that you know what the hosting company can and cannot do in regard to charging your extra for hosting services, it’s time to examine your own rights. You are not obligated to continue paying web hosting fees for a hosting service it fails to meet up to the minimum promised performance levels indicated within the terms of service, usually these guarantees gives the user assurance that their server will be in working operation 99.9% of the time. If you can show that the downtime has been more significant than the limits promised you have the right to cancel service. However, if you paid in advance then receiving a refund may prove to be a difficult and drawn out process. With that said, instead of cancelling a poorly performing hosting service and losing their money in the process, many webmasters choose o switch providers and use their old host as a backup or for less important projects. You also have the right to inquire about actual limitations if you feel fees are being hidden.