Perhaps You Don't Owe GoDaddy $6,579

GoDaddy demanded $6,579 from Adam Fendelman after his disk usage skyrocketed to over 250 GB without warning, vastly exceeding his account’s 150 GB allowance. GoDaddy’s security department launched a “full-scale investigation” and quickly determined that Adam was responsible for both the data binge and the extraordinary bill. Adam refused to let the matter drop…

The massive data splurge was apparently caused by a third-party backup module Adam installed alongside the widely-used open source website management software Drupal. Like a cancerous tumor, the custom module was unstoppably copying thousands of temporary files into Adam’s account. GoDaddy agreed to slash Adam’s bill to $969, supposedly the maximum discount they could offer under special circumstances, but because of the bug, they explained, Adam was going to get a bill next month for another $6,579.

Adam considered canceling his account and eating his prepaid hosting fees. GoDaddy claimed that they wouldn’t send the matter to collections, but refused to put the guarantee in writing.

Adam started chronicling his issue on the Huffington Post, drawing the attention of GoDaddy’s President. He directed his executive team to wipe out the $969 charge, and promised to kill any additional obscene bills that might pop up.

While GoDaddy’s second resolution was the only action that made sense this week, will its billing system pour salt on the wound a month from now? What caused the influx of data in the first place? Was the refund a result of the Huffington Post blog or would it have come without it? Most important, will GoDaddy listen up, learn and install processes to prevent this situation and others like it in the future?

I’m on the fence whether I’ll be around to see GoDaddy through to my 2010 hosting renewal date. On Thursday, I said it wasn’t a pleasure to meet you, Bob, and I’m sure you can understand why. Now that it’s Friday, we’ve somewhat kissed and made up. Consumers deserve and demand more, Bob, and it’ll take you and your machine time to earn back my trust and your credibility.

In the meantime, I know one lesson for sure: If you’re in the right and you’ve been wronged, people hear you so long as you’re loud enough.

As a result of Adam’s experience, GoDaddy may now warn customers when their accounts are set to exceed their allowances, a basic precaution you’d think any responsible web host would have already implemented.

Adam’s story reaffirms one of our core strategies: when reasoning fails, get the attention of the executive office and watch your previously intransigent problem melt into a surprisingly satisfactory resolution.

Update: Drupal offered an explanation for the surprising data use:

The user, Adam Fendelman, installed a third party contributed back-up module, and set it do infinite back-ups, a reasonable default for people who don’t want to lose their data. The configuration of GoDaddy hosting server timed out the backup process, so back-ups were never completed and the temporarily created back-up files were not cleaned up. This led the failed back-ups to exceed the disk server limits.

Why I Don’t Owe GoDaddy $6,579.51 (or $969) [Huffington Post]
Why GoDaddy Refunded My $969 (and Will Be Making ‘Significant Changes’) [Huffington Post]
*Urgent!* Drupal creating thousands of 75-meg temp files! [Drupal]

Comments

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  1. pmcpa2 says:

    Is the overage a result of software the OP installed, or GoDaddy Installed? If it’s the OP, then you should learn to watch your usage, as Credit Card companies don’t warn you when your about to go over your limit. Also, You Get What You Pay For, and with GoDaddy, you get cheep hosting. Pay a Little More for a quality prouduct.

    • panzerschreck1 says:

      @pmcpa2:
      it was a script installed by the OP, but that malfunctioned.

      unless the user agreement from the software states that it is not liable for damages caused by it, i would say the developers are liable for this.

      there isn’t much godaddy can do to cap this, and i dont think their policies should necessarily change because of it. the only change i think would be appropriate is to forgive incidents where the customer didn’t authorize something like this. at the very least, the cost incurred for bad security or bad choice in scrips, the only thing he could reasonably be charged for is the actual cost incurred by godaddy. in the case of going over the space limit by 100gb, the cost was nothing.

      • mewyn dyner says:

        @panzerschreck1:

        It’s GPL software. In the GPL it specifies that there is no warranty express or implied and the author is not liable for any damages direct or indirect caused by the use of the software in any way, as intended or not. *phew* such a mouthful, but many commercial products carry a similar warranty disclaimer, and the author has no responsibility for damages due to the use.

        Frankly, I’ve seen Drupal used and I’ve never seen a problem like this arise. He should have been watching the system, no server is a set-it-and-forget-it system, and they all require some basic monitoring. That being said, I disagree with egregious overuse charges like this, I mean, he went over by 100G, sure, but that costs them *very* little, and it wasn’t double what he was allotted anyway. Personally I don’t think that overuse should ever be more than, oh, about 4 times what you pay for the base service involved.

    • @pmcpa2: Credit Card companies don’t warn you when your about to go over your limit.

      Some do (e.g. American Express). It’s a good analogy though, because it’s just like how I don’t like “courtesy” over-limit fees. I’d rather be “embarrassed” by having my credit card declined than paying $35 so that I don’t have to get out cash to pay for my cappuccino.

      So an over-disk-usage fees is crap. If I try to upload a file that exceeds my quota, it should be rejected. Computers have that technology. It’s total bullshit to let him go 100 GB over his 150 GB limit.

      But, of course, that would close off what’s probably a nice source of revenue. I guess it’s nice that they pledged to improve the system.

    • KatieKate93 says:

      @pmcpa2: Not really sure if this counts for anything, but Drupal is one of the content management applications that GoDaddy partners with and allows you to install straight from their Hosting Connection site. It seems to me that, in lieu of actually taking some responsibility for their partners, they would at least have a bit more sympathy for Adam’s plight.

      I’m in no way blaming the OP here, but from my experience, WordPress is the way to go in the future. I’ve had nothing but good luck with it on several different projects, and they push security updates and bug-fixes all the time :)

    • Ajh says:

      @pmcpa2: Unfortunately I have a friend that runs a site off of godaddy..they install scripts like that…her photo gallery stopped working and it took them 3 weeks to get it back up.

      Maaan am I glad I host elsewhere. The interface of the site is horiffic and hard to navigate, and I spent more time trying to find where to find the problem than poking at it to determine they screwed it up and write them a message.

      @KatieKate93: WordPress is definitely a better system. I recommend it also.

  2. mythago says:

    Hey now, all those GoDaddy ads don’t come cheap, you know!

  3. tedyc03 says:

    First, I’m not blaming the OP. Seriously.

    I do have to say that as a web developer, I know that misconfiguration web applications can cause huge problems. If you’re one of my clients and you have some sort of problem that we later determine to be due to a configuration error on your part, you get billed. Plain and simple.

    How am I not blaming the OP? Because I’ve worked with Drupal a lot. A lot. And I’ve never heard of this happening. Also, the GoDaddy “response” sounds too terribly fake to have really been a person conducting a realistic investigation.

    GoDaddy is one of the worst hosts I’ve ever had this misfortune of dealing with and I encourage people to stay away. Domains are cheep; buy one from a registrar, and get webspace elsewhere. If you can’t figure out how to properly point a web domain you’re not trying hard enough.

    • midniteslayr says:

      @tedyc03: I think you are correct here. Working with Drupal at my job (hey, I am a Web Developer too!), I know that GoDaddy’s PHP configuration can cause Drupal (and another open source CMS, Joomla) to work funky. The best way to run Drupal on GoDaddy is to have them install it. This way, they know what the ideal configuration is for their servers. Shitty, I know, but that is the best way.

      @panzerschreck1: unless the user agreement from the software states that it is not liable for damages caused by it, i would say the developers are liable for this.
      Since the software is Open Source, I believe that the GPL has a protection for individual software developers. Plus, this sounds like a problem of the OP misconfiguring Drupal for GoDaddy.

    • Canino says:

      @tedyc03: These kinds of problems don’t just happen at discount hosting places though. I run sites off a Verio MPS and had a similar situation. Log files showed insane amounts of traffic for my machine. Verio offered to lower the charge, which was something like $9K for the month, down to $5K for the one month only. It took escalation to an upper level support tech and two weeks of time for them to figure out the monitor assigned to my account was monitoring the entire rack and not just my machine. The stupid thing was that I couldn’t make them understand that the amount of traffic they said my machine was running wasn’t physically possible. It was more than the NIC could do in a month. Then it happened again about a year later, but luckily I just forwarded them the incident number from before.

  4. drjayphd says:

    Next, Bob’s gonna do Adam’s mother.

  5. insertcoin says:

    I’d have to side with GoDaddy on this one. It’s the client’s responsibility to watch for overages. Whether that overage was unintentional or not, it was caused by software installed by the client.

    The only reason you’re seeing a reduction in price/refund is due to the bias that is usually placed on companies implying that the customer is always right. Consumerist is biased in this way.

    It would be oh so refreshing if Consumerist posted an article blaming the consumer for using Drupal in the first place.

    • tedyc03 says:

      @insertcoin: @uberbucket: Truth be told the usage that occured was astronomical. You’d think they’d have security detection to see the increase in usage. No, GoDaddy is not a babysitter, and yes, the OP should have been paying attention. But really now…250 GB is a *lot* of data for a typical consumer website.

      I think the best response for GoDaddy would have been to say “Ok, we’re waving the charge this time. And we’ll take a look again next month to make sure you don’t get hit again. But after that, it’s your fault and you will have to pay.”

      Forgiveness, mixed with stern warning, and you’d have a winner.

    • @insertcoin: By “side with GoDaddy” you mean that you agree that they should have cancelled the charges and pledged to improve their disk-usage system? Because that’s what they did.

      So I side with both GoDaddy and Adam. Everybody wins!

    • @insertcoin: It would be oh so refreshing if Consumerist posted an article blaming the consumer…

      Also, that’s the quote of the day. Comedy gold.

  6. uberbucket says:

    The OP should be thankful he’s getting a dime back from GodDaddy, they didn’t install the offending software and misconfigure it.

    GoDaddy is a host not a babysitter – you screw it up you pay for it.

    • mythago says:

      @uberbucket: So if GoDaddy offers ‘software installs’ and their configuration for their servers is screwed up, it’s the customer’s fault?

      • SomeoneGNU says:

        @mythago:

        If *THEY* install it, then they are liable for misconfiguration within certain limits. For example, if they install it and then the end user just goes through and blindly changes settings that are marked, “DO NOT CHANGE ME”, well that’s the user’s fault.

        In this case, from what I understand, the user installed the software though GoDaddy offers an install of it.

        Try it from this perspective – your mechanic will either install your oil filter for you or sell you the oil filter. If you buy only the oil filter and make a mistake installing it, is he liable? Probably not.

  7. HPCommando says:

    I’ve had a similar meltdown with my domain registrar, who processed my eleven renewals, then deleted the eleven domains.

    I’ve apparently gotten all but one back, which a squatter nabbed in the seven-hour interruption.

    To get it back, I have to go through dispute resolution, but now the registrar is playing dumb, saying that they have no records to provide as proof of the situation.

    They’ve offered to refund the registration fee, but are missing the point; there is a branding issue on the disputed domain, and I need the billing snafu documented so I can prevail.

    I’m about to post this to CONSUMERIST if they do not adequately respond to the next conversation appropriately.

  8. Tysto says:

    This is hilarious. A guy’s script malfunctions and copies a measly 100 GB of useless data, and GoDaddy charges over six thousand dollars, and Consumerist readers want the guy to pay? A 100 GB drive is what, 50 bucks to GoDaddy? What’s the other $6,529 for, pain and suffering? Pfft. Fix the bug, delete the files, and forget the ridiculous charge.

    By the way, Consumerist readers, I charge 500 bucks for walking on my lawn ’cause, you know, lawn care and all. Careful where you step when you’re jogging.

    • Tallanvor says:

      @Tysto: Is $6000+ rather extreme? Yes. But claiming that providing an extra 100GB of space will cost only $50 is naive. GoDaddy’s servers, like any decent host, probably run on RAID arrays, and possibly (probably, actually), a SAN. Adding drives takes time, and you would never add just a 100GB drive these days. It could even require them to migrate that site to a new server.

      And yes, at the end of the day, it is the customer’s responsibility to make sure that the software they installed is working properly. GoDaddy is only going to step in if the additional storage use starts to cause a problem that affects other customers (same if memory usage or processor usage starts spiking). –Most people running websites don’t want their provider mucking around with their data, after all.

      • @Tallanvor: GoDaddy’s 150 GB plan is $6.99/month. Their 300 GB plan is $14.99/month. $14.99-$6.99= $8. They tried to charge him $6,579, i.e. 82,000% more than it would have cost him to upgrade his service for a single month.

        So you’re telling me that his failure to pay $8 in advance justifies a 82,000% penalty? Absolutely not. Even their concession to a mere 12,000% ($969) is absurd.

  9. JasonR says:

    GoDaddy doesn’t apply disk quotas to user accounts? How bizarre, not to mention foolish. [en.wikipedia.org] Quotas are a common way to ensure that one user’s disk space doesn’t get out of control and have a negative impact on other users or the server itself. They’re also a good way to ensure that a script doesn’t fill up the whole freaking server if it gets out of control, remotely exploited, etc.

    From reading a little about GoDaddy’s hosting accounts, it seems that Drupal can be installed from their web interface. In that case, GoDaddy really should take the responsibility for providing the application which ended up causing the problem. And even if the OP installed it himself, GoDaddy still didn’t do their do diligence to prevent the account from consuming far more resources than he was paying for.

    • SomeoneGNU says:

      @JasonR:

      And let’s assume he had a legitimate increase in storage, if GoDaddy cut him off at his max we would be listening to how their “overprotective nature” cost him business.

      If Drupal was installed and maintained by them(patches, etc), then by all means this is their fault. If not, there’s not much of a leg to stand on.

      • JasonR says:

        @SomeoneGNU:
        You make an interesting point, but as someone who’s been on GoDaddy’s side of the issue, I would have to disagree. Quotas are an industry standard. They serve primarily to protect the server from the users and their scripts, and from one another.

        Running without quotas is just asking for trouble, and blaming the results of their own negligence on a customer is unconscionable. Scripts get out of control, or get remotely compromised by script kiddies. It happens.

        Had the user uploaded a few hundred gigs of content to the server in an effort to host them, I’d at least see the argument for charging the customer. I can’t see actually doing it, but I could buy the argument.

        In this case, from reading more about the issue he had with Drupal, it sounds like a cron job was configured poorly by a Drupal module and was generating frequent backups of the MySQL database. Each one was saved, so he rapidly had many 75MB DB dumps with nearly identical data. I’ve had users do things like this – they used the system wrong and accidentally filled up their quota and the system stopped allowing more data to be written to disk by that user. The system quotas can keep a small mistake from becoming a very large one.

        As for analogies like car leases, I’m not sure an easy analogy exists. In this case, the user did not purposely use the resource, and once the cause was established, the use was removed. He deprived no one of resources in the process, and no product was depreciated as a result.

        I’m sure Google’s contract would protect them, but they’re the ones letting their customers fly without nets, and then blaming them when things go wrong. Perhaps that’s just the more profitable way to run a hosting company.

        Random aside – I recently had a problem with a server, and I wrote a little script to dump the date and time plus some status info into a text file once per minute. I had intended to run it for about a day or two. I forgot about the cron job once the problem was resolved about a week later, and only realized that my script was still running every minute about a month later. I noticed it because I had filled a nearly empty server with 50GB of log data. Sure – boneheaded move, but it happens. In my case, I had the excuse that I had to run the script as ‘root’ (the administrator) but I failed to write some code to rotate my log files or otherwise partition them away from the rest of the system. Even the admin can screw up a cron job, so I certainly couldn’t hold a user to a higher standard… especially if there was no damage and no intent.

        • Brontide says:

          @JasonR:

          Last I checked quotas can be configured with soft and hard limits, it *sounds* like he had a 150gb soft limit and a 250gb hard limit which would be completely reasonable… don’t you agree?

  10. Marshfield says:

    How can a web service let you exceed your “quota” and then bill you for it?

    Like the banks letting you go a little overdrawn and then charging you I suppose.

    There oughta be a law….

  11. Meathamper says:

    I use a free service and use my own domain. Works all the time.

  12. pmcpa2 says:

    I’m not saying what GoDaddy did charging him is right…. but…. I bet it was clearly spelled out when he signed up.

  13. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    This is why you should *never* have your domain name and your website with the same company. If Adam refused to pay or did a chargeback on the hosting bill, and his domain name was registered at GoDaddy, then GoDaddy would cancel or hold his domain hostage. I’m not singling out GoDaddy, any host would do this on an unpaid bill.

  14. SomeoneGNU says:

    What if this was a auto lease – should the dealership warn the customer that they are running out of miles and that there might be overages? No. They warn you once when you sign the contract.

    I’m not saying the consumer is wrong here but I am saying Go Daddy probably covered this on the day of signup.

  15. STrRedWolf says:

    The true lesson here is: Be very paranoid with Drupal. If Godaddy can tell you what their server setup is, and it’s Linux, you can try to replicate it to see how things will go bonk.

    The lesson for Godaddy, though, is: IMPLEMENT THOSE DAMN QUOTAS, WHY DON’T YOU!!!

    • howie_in_az says:

      @STrRedWolf: Why should GoDaddy implement quotas when they can bill users for overages? Makes more financial sense for them to not implement quotas, as quotas would take away a potential ‘revenue stream’ (ohgodimtalkinglikethemnow).

  16. Every host has overage fees-but while it is easy to blame the customer in this case, there’s one thing that simply make’s GoDaddy’s actions unacceptable. It cost them nowhere near that much money to process that bandwidth. It was nothing. For them to demand that much money from the customer is insane.

    I’m a web designer, by the way. I deal with web hosting all the time.

  17. MassimoMatchu says:

    I think what everyone is missing is in the picture posted above. If you notice, the bottom of the picture says he’s only seventy five dollars away from saving five percent. If he could generate just a little more web traffic, he could push himself $75 higher and get a generous discount! You’ve just got to look at the bright side!

  18. Justifan says:

    reminds me of wamu’s “service”. if you go over on your debit card they generously loaned you money for each additional use at 20 dollars a pop instead of telling you that somethings wrong.

  19. OttoPoe says:

    I had a recent problem with some software I was running on my website and GoDaddy actually contacted me and let me know my usage was getting high and told me what my options were. Sorry to hear that Adam just got a huge bill. I’m staying with GoDaddy but I’ll be monitoring my usage more closely from now on.

  20. BubbaPhat says:

    First I am a former GoDaddy Employee who now works for another large hosting company. They DO have a way to monitor your usage but most people don’t know or care to use it. This is common place. People go over every day. People get shut down EVERY DAY! Those who scream the loudest get it resolved. I host with someone else but GoDaddy has all 8 of my domain. I keep up on renewals since they are there for Bob’s Pocketbook not mine. GoDaddy like anyone else is out to make the money. Your mistake bud. You didn’t have to pay.. Great but use the tools and don’t expect to get off next time.

  21. dmuth says:

    I run several Drupal sites and have written several Drupal modules. I’ve *never* heard of anything like this happening, and definitely not to the tune of 250 GB of temp files.

    While I suppose a misbehaving module could have been the culprit, I’d love to know more about the root cause, and if as a heavy Drupal user, I should be concerned.

  22. JayDeEm says:

    How timely. I’m literally in the process of *trying* to upload a site to my new GoDaddy hosting account via FTP. Not only is it incredibly slow, but has timed out, disconnected, and retried literally dozens of time in an hour… and it’s only a 2MB site. The parts that have successfully uploaded are up only intermittently.

    So tell me, former or reformed GoDaddy hosting users. Am I catching them at a bad time or is this pretty much the norm? The features were awesome for the price, but it appears once again that ‘You Get What You Pay For’.

    That being said. Does anyone here have a recommendation for a good ASP.Net host?

    • Spinfusor says:

      @JayDeEm:
      I’ve been uploading to Go Daddy over the past week and I haven’t had any problems.

      It’s not the norm, and if it’s that bad, it’s probably a problem on your end.

      • JayDeEm says:

        @Spinfusor: Things are pretty good on my end. I built and manage a co-located server for another client and FTP speed is great. Just out of curiosity, are you on a shared, virtual or dedicated plan?

    • SomeoneGNU says:

      @JayDeEm:

      Crystal Tech – probably the best I’ve dealt with.

      [www.crystaltech.com]

    • joel. says:

      @JayDeEm: That’s pretty much the norm. I don’t remember any timeouts or disconnects. But their ftp is slow as hell for uploads.

      I switched to Lunarpages. Given, I’m not using ASP.Net (they do offer it, I believe), but so far the last two weeks of new hosting have been pretty good.

  23. EdenLagman says:

    Adam Fendelman here. Following my Huffington Post story, the Drupal community has a very helpful thread going (http://drupal.org/node/313496) to attempt to find the culprit. I believe we’re close.

    So far, several different people are pointing at a Drupal backup module being the culprit because the huge temp files are actually comprised of MySQL database content. GoDaddy helped me figure that out.

    Separately from the Drupal issue, you can bet I’ll be staying on this with GoDaddy to see what “significant changes” they actually do put into place.

  24. BrendaBurlington says:

    For those that care to follow the issue – it seems the technical cause was an out-of-control backup configuration or bug. A full site-copy being made every cron run instead of just monthly or whatever.
    http://drupal.org/node/313496#comment-1031901
    The software malfunctioning IS the clients responsibility, so we’d have to own up to that, and pay up. That’s fair.
    BUT the charge should in turn be commensurate with the service provided, and cannot suddenly blossom into thousands of dollars overnight.
    I can’t see the goDaddy plan that supplies a base of 150GB disk space as described in the article (you sure about that? that’s HUGE for a website) but they DO supply an additional allocation of 50GB for … $10 per month.
    So a sane estimate would be that mistakenly using 250GB would be penalized to the tune of +$50. Heck, plus 20% penalty for being on the wrong plan, call it $60. Not $6000.

    As tysto says above, goDaddy STILL could have bought a whole new disk that size for the price of one months rent.

    I had a similar situation with my local ISP – domestic bandwidth usage, not hosting, but the same whacky maths. For the first 10GB I paid $60 per month. Pretty normal here. For an extra 9GB they bill me an extra $900! I knew I’d have to pay extra, and I would have – if the overage rate didn’t come from a different universe. It took me 4 hours on the phone and eventually a demand to set up a court date with their lawyer before I was escalated to a manager who was able to say “hang on, that can’t be right!” and it was all over.

    Anyway, good news is that it got sorted appropriately in due course. Make some noise, and escalate. All good.

  25. WestonKablamy says:

    That’s why I have been with pair networks for 8 years. Sorry no ASP hosting though

  26. donnie5 says:

    Godaddy does allow the installation of apps, but I know for a fact they will install Drupal for the customer. It seems like cellular companies have put together the business model for godaddy. Why is there no warning that this customer has exceeded his paid for limit? Or why is there no block on the website that stops files from loading over a certain amount. This would be very easily implemented. Instead they just charge overages…

  27. wcnghj says:

    Can’t he just upgrade his account for next month?

  28. Godaddy is a terrible company to deal with. I used to register my domains with them, and host them elsewhere. When I decided to consolidate and move my domain registrations to my host (all on one bill that way) a godaddy rep told me this wouldn’t be a problem, and that I should issue the transfer request from my host, and they would seek confirmation from me, and then approve the transfer. My domain was about to expire, and they said this wouldn’t be a problem, and they’d make a note on the account. So, I followed their instructions, and sure enough, they sought my confirmation which I promptly gave. Then, they denied the transfer. Again and again the cycle would go, request, confirm, deny. Periodically I would speak with a godaddy rep who would assure me everything would go as it was supposed to next time, and eventually, after three months, they did in fact……….. sell my domain to someone else at a high markup. Ever since, I’ve avoided them at all costs. I highly recommend anyone taking their website seriously do the same.I lost a domain with a good reputation and high alexa ranking due to their incompetence.

  29. digitalgimpus says:

    If he installed it himself, I’d say he’s responsible for the charges. GoDaddy like other hosts provide the tools to monitor (du -sh isn’t a bad option either).

    Ignorance isn’t a reason to not pay the bill.

    Your responsible for what you install. End of story. If you can’t handle the responsibility, you need to find someone who can.

    Millions of website owners have managed just fine for over a decade. 1 guy can’t.

  30. HomerIno says:

    I’ve been using Drupal for years on multiple sites. I’ve never heard of a “bug” doing anything like this.

    I’ve also never heard of such a large charge for 100GB of storage. The whole explanation has an other-worldly quality to it…

  31. Trencher93 says:

    Do they send Danica to collect the money?

  32. SulochWabba says:

    Actually, it appears to be a contributed module causing database dumps… i.e. NOT the fault of drupal:

    http://drupal.org/node/313496

  33. canuckster says:

    I’ve only recently had to deal with godaddy’s hosting checking a new client’s site), and what a mess. Long story short, it turns out we only had “partial” php support because we weren’t on the right hosting package (I’ve never heard of “partial” support — either php should work or it shouldn’t … and it took several emails for them to admit this.)

    For what it’s worth, I will plug the host I’ve had personally for 4 years, and can not speak highly enough about: unitedhosting.com. If you’ve got a good host then stick with them; if not, check out UH.

  34. SerenaGabrys says:

    Similar thing happend to me! I was using about 500GB bandwidith on my dedicated server per day and was prepaying it at $20 per 500GB. It was for experimental live streaming I was doing. Since I was only doing it for about 15 days I didn’t want it to rebil next month. So I canceled the rebilling which canceled all my prepaid BW as well! Godaddy blocked my server and extorder me to pay for bandwidith I already used although I already paid for it! They said it was my fault that I canceled it, but I got the instructions to cancel it from them!

    They refused to unblock my server, so I had to pay another $360 for the bandwidith I already paid! What’s even worse, that bandwidith REBILLED again when the billing cycle was over.

    I needed a month of constant emailing to them (they never replied) and telling them I will take the matter to BBB. They returned the money, but they still owe me $40 that I won’t bother with.

  35. newfenoix says:

    OP bashers explain this: If this service is so cheap, why is this 6900+ dollar bill appropriate? As someone that has over 15 years in management, I know that the customer IS NOT always right and many people want a free ride but come on!!!!!!!!!! If I went by this thinking I should pay Sprint the $340 that they say I owe because some stupid csr placed services on my account that I DID NOT ORDER. Well, I’m not and I filed federal fraud charges against the company.

  36. newfenoix says:

    @newfenoix: Sorry, 6500+ dollar charge.

  37. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Godaddy is pretty well known for taking actions without notifying the customer first. If they suspect your domain or hosting account is being used for spam, they’ll yank your account instantly. Even if you manage to prove you’re not a spammer, good luck getting your domain name back.

  38. Godaddy should have warned him about the extreme data usage. I host with godaddy and have for several years and I like them and would hope they get this resolved the right way.

    I know if the configuration messes up but they have one click install for Drupal so if he used that then its their bad totally and not his. I don’t know drupal and would have no idea it was doing that until it was too late.

  39. captbob says:

    Hmmmm….the only module that I know that might cause this kind of temp. file explosion is if the Flashvideo module was working with a misconfigured version of amfphp and was trying to convert uploaded videos that were too large to be converted in a single run. This isn’t a Drupal issue per se. I’m sure there will be a discussion on this over at Drupal.org and a fix by days end though. However, GoDaddy (and most cheap hosts) have some nasty overage charges that don’t make them very cheap when something untoward happens. But there are lots of alternatives out there….

  40. gotbock says:

    I went to high school with this guy here in St. Louis and if there’s one word to describe him, it’s tenacious. Good for him for getting his story out and this ridiculous situation corrected. Too bad it required the use of his Huffington post to get it done.

  41. zangis says:

    I hate Godaddy with a passion. I remember selling a domain to someone once, and the transfer failed. There was a 3 month lock on it that they wouldn’t remove. 3 months later, I called support to walk me through to guarantee it would transfer. Support gave me wrong directions over the phone, which locked my domain for another 3 months, and they said, “Sorry about that, but we can’t unlock it”.

    Screw Godaddy.

  42. mknoll1 says:

    I had this same issue with Go Daddy. I have a pretty small site with pics for friends and family. One month for no reason my Bandwidth usage went up a hundred fold. This put me WAY over my limit and Godaddy began charging me for the overages at extraordinary rates. I ended up paying a lot more to settle it than I think I shoudl have and closed the account. I was extremely unpleased with their handling of the issue. The most annoying part about the whole process was that everyone I talked to at GD tried to upsell my hosting plan. Granted I would have avoided the overages with a bigger plan but there is no way that my site got anywhere near the traffic they claimed it did. As soon as I coudl I cancelled my accoutn with them and moved to google apps and have had no problems since.

  43. Dave says:

    After all the discussion at [drupal.org] it was narrowed down to a problem with the third-party Drupal Backup_Migrate module and a server configuration, not the Drupal software itself. Always goes to show that any third-party modules should be tested before pushed to a production site.

  44. GilroyEleusis says:

    Would be nice if GoDaddy offered users an option to have their disk space limits as “hard limits” or “soft limits” – “Hard limits” enforcing the space limitations and preventing any new content/files from being saved if they would breach the quota, and “Soft limits” allowing for the quota to be exceeded, but at a penalty rate.

    That way, for people who were sure they wouldn’t go over the limit, they could set a “Hard limit” and not have to worry about being stung with overuse fees. Whereas some users who may want the flexibility to go over the limit if needed could opt for a “Soft limit” and bear the consequences (with forewarning).

  45. BubbaPhat says:

    Note the “Former” employee.

    Really glad not to be there. I found them more interested in the dollar than the people they are in business to provide service for or their employee’s.

    I still have numerous friends there.

  46. captbob says:

    Doesn’t look like many commenters here read the diagnostic thread on Drupal.org. It looks like the original problems was caused by a combination of how the 3rd-party backup module handled interrupted backup sessions conflicted with a GoDaddy setting for transaction timeouts, combined with the size of the databases backed up (>75GB).

    Basically, there were three key variables in play: a backup program that didn’t delete incomplete backups if they were interrupted; a host configuration that interupted the backup process, and a large backup. GoDaddy’s configuration (either PHP or Apache I couldn’t figure out which) is in part responsible for the improperly terminated backups. Drupal core isn’t part of the issue (as far as anyone can figure).

    GoDaddy techs figured out a short-term fix for the problem, but the long term fix (don’t use that particular method for backing up the databases) will work. It sounds like GoDaddy ultimately acted appropriately and will be addressing the disk quota issue in future configurations of their hosting environment.

    So bottom line: if you’re playing system administrator, know what that means and pay attention to the variables that will give you grief. Just because the software is free, and the host is cheap, doesn’t mean you can abdicate the basic responsibilities of running an information system.

    All that freedom and power stuff is complicated: unless you really understand what’s happening, it can bite you in the ass. Just saying.

  47. zlionsfan says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure they’re addressing the problem with all their customers. It looks like at least one other person has had the exact same problem recently.