simpsons fat finger DreamHost hasn’t exactly been known as a leader in web hosting service. While they are in fact cheap, the saying “you pay for what you get” is generally true here.  Their users often complain of uptime issues as well as terrible customer support with the only benefit being the price. So when I heard about their latest debacle, and their follow-up response on their blog, I couldn’t help but think that their reputation is only going to get much worse and they may have a hard time recovering from this one.

The latest issue (and those that use them know that this is just one of many, many issues!) is summed up as this: DreamHost managed to mistakenly bill their users for a year in advance! At the time of their blog post, it was at least a $7.5 million dollar mistake! And DreamHost’s response? “Um, Whoops.” They went on to explain what it was that happened, how they’re going about fixing it, and tried to throw some humor in there saying it was a fat finger that caused the issue. However, those who got charged for a year in advance and went over their limit on a credit card or didn’t have enough money in the bank to cover a year’s worth of hosting fees aren’t even going to want to hear, “Um, Whoops,” or see a cartoon of the Simpson’s.

If you’re curious as to what happened, they explain it all here in detail.  Essentially the problem came when they manually ran their biller for dates like 12-31-2008. They should have entered the year as 2007 and since the biller noticed that it was apparently December of 2008, it thought that it needed to catch up and collect money from a bunch of people for the year of billing it missed. To the system, it appeared as though no one had been billed for the entire year, so it went back and charged people their hosting fees for all of 2008.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of upset customers, and the comments on their blog post reflect this. One commenter said “it is time you realized when the light “jokey” style in which you run this business is NOT the appropriate tone” – my thoughts exactly.  While their style has always been humorous, there are times it’s best do do without. Another commenter said “Thanks for the jokes.  I’m out of here.” This is one huge mistake, and some customers are reporting that not only did they receive one charge for every month in 2008, but they received two duplicate charges for the whole year and some even got charged for 2009.

So for those of you who use DreamHost (if any) – is this enough to make you switch to a new host? For those of you that don’t use DreamHost, had you been in this situation, would you be ditching them at this point or would their humorous way of dealing with the situation help?

Source: Download Squad