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ZipHosting Issues

Discussion in 'Web Development' started by CyberClick, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. CyberClick

    CyberClick Membership: Trader

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    Hello everyone,

    I have a few domains and hosting with ZipHosting (NetRegistry) and have recently experienced an issue I believe worth warning others about.

    The issue started with ZipHosting taking it upon themselves to opt me in for auto-renewal of website hosting. I used this account as email for a number of years but no longer needed or used it. The website was hosted elsewhere, but ZipHosting sent me a $70 bill for 12 months hosting.

    When I disputed the bill, they offered to settle the dispute if I paid $23.49 within 7 days. I responded giving them some options: either remove the bill or if not, I'll happily pay the $23.49 and warn others about the practice. They opted for me paying the $23.49, which is fine.

    Fast forward 6 days.

    ZipHosting sends me an email advising that they have terminated my account due to non payment of the above. The email also includes a number of threats re debt collections and nominates Dunn and Bradstreet. Typical bully tactics.

    I log in to pay the $23.49 (as agreed) but they've locked the invoice amount at $70 and I can't change it. I'm unable to pay the agreed amount.

    For those interested, please find the correspondance below:



    6/6/2013 [ZIPHOSTING]
    Good Afternoon,

    Please note that since your -----------.net.au cancellation request was submitted more than 30 days after the renewal of the Economy Hosting subscription service, there is an outstanding invoice --------- for the amount of $60.95 on your account.

    As a sign of good-faith, if received within 7 days of this email, we will accept $23.49 as full and final payment of the outstanding amount.

    Please notify us via reply email once you have made the payment so that I can organise to have the remainder credited off. If this amount is not received within the advised time frame, then full payment will be required. Partial payments can only be made by credit card via The Console or via cheque payment.
    Kind Regards,

    Koji Quitevis
    Ziphosting Customer Support Team


    6/6/2013 [ME]

    Koji,

    Thank you for your email.

    I'd be very surprised if automatically opting your customers into services without their consent is regarded as good business practice. In fact, I expect ASIC, Fair Trading and the telecommunications ombudsman would be particularly concerned with such a practice.

    Regardless of any caveats or small print you may have on a webpage somewhere - I didn't choose to renew the hosting; you did. This is a fact. You renewed it, why would you expect me to pay for it?

    As a sign of good faith, please find my counter-offer below:

    1. You cancel any and all claims you have and delete any and all referrals or claims of any and all outstanding amounts or default notices to any and all 3rd parties immediately.
    2. You cancel all auto-renewals you have placed on my domains and hosting. This should be opt-in only.
    3. You apologise for the inconvieniance and stress caused .

    If you do not agree to the above terms, I'll will:

    1. Happily pay you the $23.49 you are wrongfully claiming

    2. Gradually shift the domains/hosting I own and/or control on behalf of clients away from ZipHosting and NetRegistry.
    3. Post a warning regarding this incident and ZipHosting's practice of auto-renewing without consent at on domaining and web development forums I participate in
    4. PM collegues and partners a warning regarding this incident and ZipHosting's practice of auto-renewing without consent
    4. File a formal complaint regarding this incident and the practice of auto-renewing services without customer consent to the telecommunications ombudsman.

    Please let me know which way you'd like to proceed within 24 hours. If I don't hear from you within this time I will assume you've elected option 2.

    Thank you,

    Troy




    7/6/2013 [ZIPHOSTING]

    Hi Troy,

    We apologise for the inconvenience and I'm glad to assist you.

    All the services that we provide are automatically renewed on the scheduled service renewal date. If the service is no longer required, an online cancellation request must be submitted prior to the scheduled service renewal date.

    Before the service was renewed, an email was sent to the email address ------------ on 18/03/2013 regarding the automatic renewal of the service on the ---------.net.au domain on 18/04/2013. This email has instructions on how to cancel the service with as cancellations submitted after the denoted renewal dates are not eligible for credits or refunds but no online cancellation request was submitted between 18/03/2013 and 18/04/2013. You may confirm the details of the email once you see the Notification History page.

    Account Notifications
    http://support.ziphosting.com.au/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=230

    Since there was no online cancellation request submitted prior to the renewal of the service, the service was renewed and the invoice number -------- was generated. The online cancellation request was submitted on 04/06/2013.

    As per terms and conditions, services are required to be cancelled prior to renewal, for cancellations submitted after the scheduled date of renewal there are no credits and no refunds.
    http://www.ziphosting.com.au/info/term-conditions/

    The invoice became valid and must be settled. On 06/06/2013, a settlement offer of $23.49 was provided for the invoice number -------- a sign of good faith. If this amount is received within 7 days from the time it was offered, the amount will be accepted as full and final payment of the outstanding amount. Otherwise, the full payment will be required.

    Regarding your requests, unfortunately we are not able to process it as all the service is automatically renewed on the scheduled renewal date. If you do not wish for them to be renewed on the scheduled renewal date, the online cancellation request must be submitted before the scheduled date and select allow the service to expire. By doing this, the service will be automatically cancelled before the renewal date comes.

    If you have enquiries, feel free to contact us.
    Kind Regards,

    Brian Roy Gorza
    Ziphosting Customer Support Team


    12/6/2013 - 1:36pm [ZIPHOSTING]

    ACCOUNT TERMINATION NOTICE

    Dear Troy,

    Account Reference: ----------
    Customer: ----------

    You currently have an outstanding invoice with Ziphosting Pty Ltd. Due to non-payment your services have now been suspended. Please settle the invoice to resume the services.

    Ziphosting has used reasonable commercial efforts to notify you as to this matter, including but not limited to two (2) emails and (2) phone contacts.

    Failure to pay the invoice could result in your debt being passed to our collections partner, Dun & Bradstreet.

    As part of the process of handing the debt to them, your account at Ziphosting will be terminated, and all data removed from our servers. Please note that all email data deleted is non-recoverable and is permanently lost. Hosting data can be recovered for a short period after the cancellation; however this recovery incurs a fee of $150.00. If the material is non-recoverable, Ziphosting is, as per the Terms and Conditions, not liable for the loss of data.

    Debt passed to our collections partner, as per the Ziphosting Terms and Conditions, will incur a collections levy which is presently calculated as 20% of the total debt value, and excludes additional court costs should the debt be pursued through the court system.

    INVOICE DETAILS:

    Invoice Number: ---------
    Total Amount: $60.95
    Outstanding Amount: $60.95

    PAYMENT OPTIONS:

    1. Pay by credit card online and securely, go to http://theconsole.ziphosting.com.au and login. Please do not email credit card numbers to Ziphosting.
    2. Post a cheque made out to Ziphosting Pty Ltd to: P.O. Box 270, Broadway, NSW 2007. IMPORTANT: Please include your account reference and invoice #.

    Note that if you have submitted a cancellation request and have received a tracking I.D. number, your service will be cancelled as instructed. However, all amounts outstanding as of the date of this email are still due and payable. You may review our Terms and Conditions at http://www.ziphosting.com.au/support/index.php?page=terms

    If you have any questions, please send an email to accounts@ziphosting.com.au. Please include your account reference and details.

    Once again, if you have already submitted payment, please disregard this notice.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Please note: Ziphosting currently does not provide telephone support, this is how we are able to provide the cheapest prices in Australia.

    E-mail support however is provided 24/7 via our support centre http://support.ziphosting.com.au/ by our customer care team in the Broadway office, Sydney NSW

    Average response time for customer queries is 24 hours. Note that if you have submitted a complicated technical issue where escalation is required, the response time is proportionately increased as our staff await a response from the appropriate technical team.​
     
  2. helloworld

    helloworld Membership: VIP

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    I cbf reading their t&c but this is the same in 95% of cases. They can't read your mind. How are they to know if you are still using the hosting or not, storing files on the server.

    Imagine having a telstra account, not using the home phone and then expecting them to cancel it. It just wouldn't happen. The onus is on the user.

    I run a small web hosting company and clients change hosts, don't inform you etc etc and expect you to just cancel their account for non payment. Which they would never do with an offline company. In most cases, once I see they haven't paid, have changed nameservers etc I do just close the acccount, but I totally understand why other web hosts chase their money...and until you cancel it is their money.
     
  3. CyberClick

    CyberClick Membership: Trader

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    Thanks for your comments helloworld.

    In my experience, purchasing 12 months of web hosting means you purchase 12 months of web hosting. If the customer doesn't renew the hosting it isn't renewed.

    Yes, we can all make up terms and conditions in small print and hide them somewhere away from the purchase process. Auto-renewal should be opt-in only and where it isn't this should be very clearly pointed out in the purchase process. Ideally, this would be a 'hosting subscription' whereas the name implies ongoing fees.

    Do you support their termination of the account in 6 days (where I was given 7 to pay) and their not allowing payment of the agreed amount?

    While ZipHosting have not honoured their own settlement I remain true to my word. This post and several domains already transferred to VentraIP this moring. Many more to go. I'll also be lodging a complaint with NSW Fair Trading today. All for $23.49!
     
  4. CyberClick

    CyberClick Membership: Trader

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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Justine Tan via RT
    Sent: 06/13/13 01:32 PM
    To: ---------
    Subject: [Ziphosting-Accounts #-----] Correspondence: -------.net.au: Invoice Dispute


    Hi Troy,

    Thank you for your feedback. I will be happy to assist you.

    I checked your account and have seen that the outstanding invoice is for the service Economy Hosting on your domain -----.net.au.

    Basically, you are actually allowed to edit the amount of payment you wish to be made inside console. I provided instructions below and a screenshot for your reference.

    To pay an invoice:

    1. Login to your account
    2. Click on the Billing and Invoices tab
    3. Click on 'Invoices Online'
    4. Click on the invoice number to pay the invoice
    5. At the bottom part of the page, please locate Amount Field.
    6. Edit the amount from $60.95 to the settlement amount offered $23.49.

    If there is anything else that I can help you with, please let me know.
    Kind Regards,

    Justine Tan
    Ziphosting Customer Support Team




    Justine,

    I attempted to do this last night and was UNABLE to change the amount field despite numerous attempts and methods.

    Troy
     
  5. CyberClick

    CyberClick Membership: Trader

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    What do you know - Just logged into ZipHosting and tried again and STILL can't change the amount. Go ZipHosting!
     
  6. helloworld

    helloworld Membership: VIP

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    to clarify, I am not siding with zip hosting. I'm just giving you the perspective from the web host that if they terminate an account on the day it is due then they're going to have a lot of angry/upset customers. It's been mentioned on here before, but you can send a client a dozen overdue notices and they won't renew a domain until it's expired and then it's still your fault. It's a no win situation. As a company grows it also looses the personal touch. Some hosts, such as Zip (possibly) may already have processes in place to deal with this ish. Again, I'm not saying that is right and I nearly always just let it go but money hungry companies aren't the same.

    Best of luck with your situation. Personally, I'd just pay the $60 and move on. Or at least ask for an alternative method of payment and just pay what they said. You already have it in writing so no point stressing out with customer service folk who normally don't care
     
  7. CyberClick

    CyberClick Membership: Trader

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    To me the key the issue is putting forward a 'good will' settlement offer with 7 days, then terminating the account and making threats within 6. Not to mention that they've made it impossible to pay the amount on the system they nominated.

    Let's be clear, I didn't post anything until I received a termination notice on day 6. I had already agreed to pay the $23.49.

    In such cases, the handling of the dispute is ultimately more important than the dispute itself.

    And all for $23.49 - amazing!!!!
     
  8. CyberClick

    CyberClick Membership: Trader

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    Another clanger from my favourite team at ZipHosting last night. A new domain and hosting but same service from ZipHosting/NetRegistry.

    The hosting has been placed on their auto-renew (without approval by me again). Renewal is due but they don't send any correspondence about it. Nothing. On the due date they try to grab money from my debit card but it rejects them - they then send a notice advising they've suspended the service immediately and taken it off the net ! The account wasn't even overdue!!!

    This is a website I've had with ZipHosting/NetRegistry for probably 8 years. Amazing. I've now moved the hosting away from ZipHosting/NetRegistry.

    If your with ZipHosting/NetRegistry keep one eye on your credit card and another on your websites.