We’ve received the following communiqué from the trenches of the Dreamhost billing apocalypse:
I need help—or at least, just to kvetch. You remember that big $7.5 million snafu Dreamhost made? Well, I received an invoice the day before and trustingly paid it with my credit card. Then, I learned—from Consumerist, no less, not from Dreamhost—about the billing mistake. Nowhere did Dreamhost mention that legitimate invoices were *also* sent out. I looked at the invoice they sent me and noted the error in the date:
This is just a notice that your DreamHost Account [redacted] (“jasmin’s Account”) has a balance of $119.40 (including any charges not due until 2009-01-15), with $119.40 due (since 2008-12-15).
You also have $119.40 past due (owed since 2008-11-15), and if by 2009-01-15 you do not pay at least the $119.40 part, your account will be automatically suspended until payment is received.
I waited a couple of days—no e-mail from Dreamhost, no refund, so I took matters into my own hands and called my credit-card company to reverse the charge. Then, I got this lovely note from Dreamhost the next day:
From: DreamHost Billing Department
Subject: ccard Chargeback
We have received a notice from your card service stating that there was a chargeback made by the owner of the card that you paid for your account with. This is a very serious matter. I have deducted the amount of the chargeback, $119.40, from your account and added our standard fee of $25.00 as well.
This is a time sensitive issue and must be resolved promptly at the request of the card service. Please email the billing team using the link below or using the Web Administration Panel with information about how you are going to deal with this situation. I have disabled your account on the basis of fraudulent charges and non-payment. I thank you for your time and hope to hear from you soon.
Turns out it was a legitimate charge; my account was up for renewal, despite the screwed-up dates, but this was never communicated to me in any form, until the above pass-aggressive e-mail. Oh, and my account was suspended immediately, without any dialog whatsoever, which could have prevented a lot of agitation. I called my credit-card company again and reversed the chargeback. I e-mailed Dreamhost again … and again … and again. It’s been a week and I haven’t heard one peep from them, which is proving exceptionally frustrating. And to make it worse, even though a brief phone call would have resolved this whole issue, you can’t call Dreamhost unless you’re one of their VIP accounts.
I’ve been a customer since 2001 but I’m now at my wit’s end and this close to closing my account and taking my URLs elsewhere.
Thanks for reading this far at least. I really appreciate it. And thanks for the great site.
Yikes. Dreamhost obviously thinks that someone is fraudulently using your card, rather than realizing that it was you who disputed Dreamhost’s apparently fraudulent charges. It’s probably going to be pretty difficult to explain this to someone without using the telephone.
Anyone have an email address or other contact info for Jasmine? They’ve sealed the base and she really needs those recall codes.