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Negative Reviews – Would You Like to See Them?

Date/Time: January 26, 2010 @ 12:45 pm, by LowEndAdmin

What the title says.

Interestingly I spotted LowEndBox got mentioned on one of the WHT discussion thread here, when someone asked about “reliable reviews of VPS providers”. I have tested out more than a dozen VPS providers over the years and many of them are in the low end range — however many rarely got posted here.

Why? Because they are most likely negative reviews. Providers that die on me while I am testing them. Those that provide bad services. Or simply bad configuration all over the places that make my little virtual server unusable.

Providers hate it. I have previous experience (not this blog, but something else I’ve reviewed) that the merchant stalked me and chased after my back after a mixed-but-generally-negative review. Maybe it could be a question for the readers — would you like to see negative reviews posted here?

If you have some reviews that you would like to share with other readers on LowEndBox, also feel free to email that to me (contact at lowendbox.com) if you like to have them published.

The original owner of LowEndBox known as "LowEndAdmin" or "LEA" for short founded LowEndBox in 2008 and created the concept of hosting applications on low resource "Low End Boxes". After creating the roots of the community that we know today, "LEA" stepped aside and allowed others to carry the torch forward.

23 Comments

  1. Uncle Bob:

    IMHO:
    It least it should be separate page for such reviews, not the main one
    It will be great if negative reviews will be not unfounded/with explanation
    “My VPS is down about 10 minutes! Damn!!! VPS_Company_Name is suxx!!” – this is bad review :-)

    January 26, 2010 @ 3:32 pm | Reply
  2. If I’m a VPS provider, certainly I will never be willing to see any negative reviews, but that’s impossible.

    As a customer, I’ll go with honest VPS providers like ramhost and ServerComplete, because they’re responsive and always ready to help.

    January 26, 2010 @ 4:06 pm | Reply
  3. How about a test-framework which you would use to review all hosts. That way you would have some “numbers” to refer on your review. For example, recently registered domain would get lower score than a domain which has been active many years. Then it’s just matter of adding scores together.

    A shell-script which would perform a series of tests on the VPS would make testing really fast and easy… :)

    January 26, 2010 @ 4:57 pm | Reply
  4. I think negative reviews are an important part of the ecosystem. I’ve had a few less than ideal interactions with low end providers.

    That’s really unfortunate about your previous experience but, sadly, not surprising. Perhaps you should post any communications from vendors or describe any actions they take. This may actually be the most useful information. If I knew a vendor contacted someone who wasn’t satisfied and worked with them to correct the issues, I would definitely want to do business with them. If I knew a vendor attempted to silence their critics, I definitely would not want to do business with them, regardless of what their product was.

    January 26, 2010 @ 5:41 pm | Reply
  5. Negative reviews? Yes, fully support this. Will at least keep some of the providers honest.

    January 26, 2010 @ 6:29 pm | Reply
  6. innya:

    I think we already have good review on the vps host provider when lowendbox posts the provider in here.

    What we need in here is two reports or reviews(Per, my opinion).
    (1) Quarterly review or report cards:
    that should be input from users and tester of their vps experience. We should include the vps host listed in that quarter and progress or continue report of any good vps that previously listed on LEB.

    (2). Annual review and report cards:
    It should be like or similar to the one we have for the “What’s Your Best Low End Box Experience in 2009?”.

    So, LEB is not only post Low End VPS providers, LEB also grade then for their commitment and honesty {to prevent users from seasonal vps provider :)}. Of-course quality should be included.

    January 26, 2010 @ 7:23 pm | Reply
  7. innya:

    Ok I forgot something. Instead of negative reviews, LEB should do only positive or good review. Because, for (-) you can get a lot everyone can complain about anything, for (+) you can get a few good one.
    Unless, you want to make LEB’s Dodgy list and Yes another reseller list:).
    So, LEB will have positive reviews and LEB Dodgy list for reference for any one looking for budget vps.

    If you want to do that, LEB should allow to input users opinion on their tested host providers a week before posting. Base on the users input and LEB ADMIN review, grade the good and best host providers of current quarter and annual.

    January 26, 2010 @ 8:18 pm | Reply
  8. Indeed I am also sick of whinge and complains on WHT that are clearly users’ fault — especially on the low end side where users’ expectation and the actual delivered product can wildly vary.

    Still. Some providers are just crap. Period. I am usually a tolerant user that can put up with hosting provider’s incompetency — but if even after I tested and found the business dodgy, maybe someone would like to know about it.

    January 27, 2010 @ 10:40 pm | Reply
  9. I think if you’re planning on doing negative reviews, I think you should give the host a chance to respond. At least to defend themselves.

    January 28, 2010 @ 8:04 pm | Reply
  10. snyper:

    Hi LEB,

    Been using this site for a long time now and I think you should not do any negatively based reviews. Harbouring such pages/information only creates a whirlpool/whingepool of bad and good feelings and gets all mixed up. i like LEB the way it is :) the negative reviews are itself automagically done via comments by users (i.e. see boxvps review).

    you might want to update reviews of hosts that you find unreliable, scrupulous etc. where you have reviewd them. a warning of some sort.

    January 29, 2010 @ 6:57 am | Reply
  11. I think it would be a very good idea to post reviews of less than seller providers, but I agree that there needs to be some sort of testing framework that can be applied to all the reviews. This would ensure that no-one can point the finger and say a certain review was biasd (not that they ever are here).

    January 30, 2010 @ 2:59 pm | Reply
  12. I’m all for it!

    January 31, 2010 @ 7:48 pm | Reply
  13. I like reading both the good and bad reviews, although it would be nice if there was a easy way to distinguish between the two (eg. red headline instead of green) as I sometimes just look the the plan details rather than reading the full post.

    February 1, 2010 @ 1:52 am | Reply
  14. I’m all for it too!
    That would be great also to put a record of individual VPS Services & Installation in here:)

    February 3, 2010 @ 11:53 am | Reply
  15. I’d like to see the good and the bad as well.
    But yes, I’d get the host’s side of the story too.

    February 7, 2010 @ 12:48 pm | Reply
  16. Webmister:

    Without being disrespectful to the owner or community of this blog, which I most value and always rely upon as a good source for the low end VPS market, I really must say that NO I do not want negative reviews… I just want HONEST reviews — and it really shouldn’t be a question whether or not to post honest reviews.

    If the provider is dodgy, has hidden usage restricting settings or just plain sucks I do want to know it. That is called HONESTY not really negativity.

    I do know this is conservative way of saying the exact same thing, with good reason to be conservative.
    Believe me when I say that I do know how hard it can be for anyone to be honest and do a negative review. Our reputation can be slandered, sour-grapes of the reviewees do tend to stay for long, suddenly we are on a PR war that no one can benefit from and our readers count along with the much needed site income starts to decline as we are more and more attacked by spam, constant DDoS and struggle to stay afloat across the board.
    That is the price of honesty and I am glad the Admin is willing to extend his commitment to staying honest.

    Keep up the good work. Bring on those honest reviews! ;)

    February 7, 2010 @ 2:59 pm | Reply
  17. I prefer to read good reviews but when its time to choose a provider bad reviews might be as important as our base to make a decision.

    A bad review once saved me from choosing a bad provider. Just 2 months after I decided not to choose the provider to host my site(s), when I check back the site, it is no longer active and the domain name is parked.

    I agree with Webmister that the most important is an honest review, and I am happy that there are still honest reviewers who’s willing to take the risk of being honest.

    Thanks LowEndBox

    February 22, 2010 @ 7:42 am | Reply
  18. Hi,
    I would like to write a negative review about NeoSurge (http://www.neosurge.com/).

    I have signed up and payed first invoice at 30.12.2009. Since then I didn’t get the inital mail letter with connecting details. I right away opened a ticket in their ticket system (i did have an access to the web interface control panel. However, even that I could get the root password and an IP address to connect via ssh, it didn’t work, and I wrote about it too. No response.
    I’ve wrote more and still got no response, not with email, not through the web interface.
    Then I’ve wrote them that I would like to cancel the service and got no response again.
    Then I’ve opened an issue with paypal. And even then they didn’t show any response, even in the paypal resolution center.
    They took 7 dollars just for nothing and didn’t find any time to explain what happened.
    I’ve checked my spam directory on the gmail mailbox and letters didn’t get there.
    If I would live in US I would definitely try to sue them.

    February 24, 2010 @ 2:35 pm | Reply
  19. If Paypal gives you back the money, I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think a judge would take kindly with a lawsuit for seven bucks.

    February 25, 2010 @ 1:23 am | Reply
  20. Go on sue them. Pay $$$ in legal fees just for the sake of $7. Better yet, fail at it and then they will sue you for $$$ in legal fees. Fun.

    February 25, 2010 @ 5:17 am | Reply
  21. Yeah. At the end it’s the lawyer that wins and pockets all the fees.

    Well. Thanks to all who have contributed the discussion and I have already decided. Honest review is a MUST, and I probably won’t touch negative reviews because I can see how much it hurts the provider from some of the idiotic reviews on WHT. Although when I detected something fishy or experienced something bad with the setup it’s usually the case (damn I am trying to explain that I am not the average WHT whiner). I might drop a hint here and there, but won’t do a full on bad publicity on incompetent providers — except if they are really scammers.

    February 25, 2010 @ 6:10 am | Reply
  22. Hosting is a very-very tough business. One bad mistake and you’re out of the field, and yet there always new players in the market. Some have good technical, managerial and marketing skills with adequate capital, some only have technical skill with limited capital no managerial or marketing skill but some are newbies who’s trying to make extra money and some are just script kiddies who does not know what they are really doing.
    It does not matter how big or small the company is, but I believe that the most important thing is good honest communication between the customer and provider to make things right.
    Aside of dirty competition technique, most negative and bad reviews are outcome of an unresolved communication. From the best of my knowing, many customers sticks for a long time with a provider (even if it sucks) because of good communication and PR from the provider.
    To me, LowEndBox and the community here has been very helpful in passing new information. Thanks to you guys.

    February 25, 2010 @ 6:48 am | Reply
  23. Well, Paypal said they don’t refund money for digital goods. And the thing is not 7 dollars, the thing’s the overall ugly feeling. The idea is to have response. Even an ugly one is better than no response at all.

    February 25, 2010 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

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