LowEndBox

Hosting Websites on Bare Minimum VPS/Dedicated Servers

VPS Provider Customer Support Review

We review some of the active hosts in the LowEndBox and LowEndTalk community. We all know that LEB hosts mostly provide unmanaged service – this means that support is minimal. But for a dirt cheap price, it is very interesting to know how far they will go. Hopefully our readers will understand better the industry with this review post.

The idea started when I was trying to sign up with a specific host. I was surprised that MaxMind thought that I have a Japanese IP address, when it’s clearly not the case. Most databases correctly identified me as coming from Manila. The result was that I got flagged as fraud. Rather than being frustrated, I came up with the idea of having an experiment with several host – to test which will listen to my reasoning and let me through. I added other questions as well to test if they will help me setup my machine, even when the service I bought is unmanaged. I also tried to make my grammar difficult to understand, to test their patience with their clients.

Below are some of the host that impressed me with their ticket response. I have other host who handled me great too, but did not want me to publish my experience with them.

Disclaimer: The hosts listed below did not give me any gift or compensation to be included in this review. I did this experiment on my own initiative to help our readers in their research.

1. DrServer

dr.Server_-_Custom_Virtualised_Solutions_-_Home_-_2014-04-20_07.23.00

The host that impressed me the most is DrServer. Before signing up, what I only know about them is that they are very active in LowEndTalk. I have no idea that the one replying to my tickets is the owner himself. As I got rejected with other hosts, I was surprised that Andrej listened to my argument and let me proceed with my order.

But the thing that separate DrServer from the rest is that Andrej was really willing to go the extra mile with their clients. As I was trying to talk him into helping me setup a VPN connection, he did what I thought was unthinkable. He offered me out of the blue to upgrade my service as a compensation for the MaxMind trouble. What an amazing guy! I can say that I am now a DrServer believer.

I only have 2 tickets with them and here is our conversation:

drserver-ticket1 drserver-ticket2

After introducing who I am and explaining the situation, I had a brief chat with Andrej. Below are some offers from his new brand Viking Layer. I highly encourage our readers to try this service!

Farmer

  • 1 CPU cores
  • 128MB RAM
  • 5GB RAID10 SSD space
  • 256GB traffic
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 1x IPv4
  • OpenVZ
  • Buffalo, USA
  • €1/month
  • Order here
Hauld

  • 2 CPU cores
  • 256MB RAM
  • 10GB RAID10 SSD space
  • 512GB traffic
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 2x IPv4
  • OpenVZ
  • Buffalo, USA
  • €1.50/month
  • Order here
The Chieftain

  • 2 CPU cores
  • 512MB RAM
  • 20GB RAID10 SSD space
  • 1TB traffic
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 2x IPv4
  • OpenVZ
  • Buffalo, USA
  • €2/month
  • Order here
The King

  • 3 CPU cores
  • 1024MB RAM
  • 40GB RAID10 SSD space
  • 1TB traffic
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 2x IPv4
  • OpenVZ
  • Buffalo, USA
  • €4/month
  • Order here

2. Prometeus

prometeus net 2015-05-22 16-52-43

My second favorite experience is with Prometeus as uncle Sal’s careful selection of support staff is indeed very good. I could say that my respect for them has increased after this experiment. Even when I’m trying hard to be unreasonable, support staff remained very professional and helpful with their replies. They were trying very hard to give me advices without going beyond unmanaged support. When I insisted that they setup my VPS for me, they only gave a minimal €5 quote for the extra service. This fee is very low and I believe that they only put this fee in place to avoid being abused.

When I told them that I gave up and asked for refund, I got my money back within minutes! Here are my tickets with them:

prom-ticket1 prom-ticket2 prom-ticket3

I found that they still have some leftover stock with their birthday special:

XP18

  • 1.8GB RAM
  • 4 CPU cores
  • 180GB HDD space
  • 1.8TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 1x IPv4
  • 2x IPv6
  • XenPV/SolusVM
  • €6/month ($6.90)
  • Order here

Runner-Ups

Here are the other hosts where I had very good experience. The sequence is in no particular order.

  • BuyVM – I have two reasons for liking BuyVM. First is that they offered me to help installing a blog website. My only problem is that they were very strict with frauds. Aldryic did not let me through unless I provide a government issued ID. This is actually a good thing. This means that they are very selective of who you would be neighbor with. Letting in problematic clients will only give troubles to neighbors. And so I feel that this is very positive.Here is my ticket conversation with their support:
    buyvm-ticket1And here are some plans from their website:

    256MB KVM

    • 256MB RAM
    • 30GB Diskspace
    • 1000GB Bandwidth
    • 1Gbps Port Speed
    • 1 vCPU Core
    • 1 IPv4 & 16 IPv6
    • KVM / Stallion Panel
    • $5/Month
    • Order Link
    250GB Storage KVM

    • 256MB RAM
    • 250GB Diskspace
    • 2500GB Bandwidth
    • 1Gbps Port Speed
    • 1 vCPU Core
    • 1 IPv4 & 16 IPv6
    • KVM/Stallion
    • $7/Month
    • Order Link

     

  • Inception Hosting – similar to my experience with BuyVM, Anthony was very professional in his replies but did not let me through unless I produce a valid ID. Again this is a good thing because it protects existing client base – as customers flagged with fraud usually brings trouble to a node. Kudos to Inception Hosting for being patient with me. Here is my ticket with them:inception-ticket1Here is an offer that was posted in LowEndTalk
    XEN HVM (Linux/Windows/BSD)

    • 1GB 100% Dedicated Ram
    • 4 vCPU Core
    • 55GB Raid 10 HDD Space
    • 1TB Bandwidth
    • 1000mbit Port Speed
    • 1 IPv4 & 1/64 IPv6
    • KVM / Stallion Panel
    • €5/Month (Code: ukhvm1024)
    • Order Link

     

  • CloudShards listened to my reasoning and let me order a service from them. They were very consistent with their stance that the service I bought is unmanaged but maintained professionalism in their replies. I got my refund within minutes when I asked for it. I was very pleased with how they handled my tickets as well.
    cloudshard-ticket1 cloudshard-ticket2 cloudshard-ticket3

    Here is a plan from their Sydney location:
    1GB OpenVZ

    • 1GB RAM
    • 2 vCPU Core
    • 21GB RAID10 HDD Space
    • 300GB Bandwidth
    • 1gbit Port
    • 1x IPv4
    • 8x IPv6
    • $5/Month
    • Order Link

     

  • Virtora (A Nodisto IT brand) is a brand from Oktay’s Nodistro IT. For those unfamiliar, Oktay also owns the following brands: Winity.io, Backupsy, VPSDime, and Cloudive.Similar to my experience with CloudShards, Virtora was firm with their unmanaged stand but remains professional and patient with their replies. Full refund was also processed immediately upon request. My only complaint is that the CSS of their support page is broken on my browser. Here are my tickets with them
    oktay-ticket1 oktay-ticket2

    Here is a plan from Virtora’s website:
    1024MB OpenVZ

    • 1024MB RAM
    • 2 vCPU Core
    • 50GB HDD Space
    • 500GB Bandwidth
    • OpenVZ
    • $7/Month
    • Order Link

     

That’s it. We hope you enjoyed this review!

Note: Please do not contact us to have your service reviewed. We have no intention of doing this again in the near future.

38 Comments

  1. Tickets opened by “Marcos” and post written by “Jonathan” claiming they are his own tickets? Care to clarify why you’re using different names and the tickets appear to have been opened by somebody who didn’t have a clue what a VPS is or how the internet works?

    July 22, 2015 @ 3:54 am | Reply
    • And a follow-up question, how does somebody who writes for a popular VPS blog not know you cannot use RDP (Windows) on an OpenVZ VPS? This thread is definitely a low point for LEB.

      July 22, 2015 @ 4:05 am | Reply
      • snape:

        Oh, come on, there have been lower points, I’m sure. Like the “VPS provider” featured here that was run by the Iranian intelligence ministry, for instance…

        July 22, 2015 @ 5:08 am | Reply
        • hostnoob:

          who?

          July 22, 2015 @ 6:11 am | Reply
        • I’m not saying this is the worst thing ever posted. After seeing it for what it is, a test of VPS provider’s support, I’m not nearly as upset as I was before. The consensus on IRC was that this was either a poorly executed joke or masterful trolling, but I guess this post does have its merits to see how unmanaged providers handle clients who need managed services but honestly I think it would be more beneficial if it actually tested the provider’s technical knowledge, honesty, and transparency (i.e. asking “Would a 32bit or 64bit OS be better for my VPS and why?”).

          Jonathan, I apologize for misunderstanding the purpose of this post and viewing it differently than you intended.

          July 22, 2015 @ 6:47 am | Reply
    • Jonathan Tan:

      Hi, KuJoe.

      I thought it is obvious without explaining. I have been a member of this community for many years now. How would I get a fair review if I will use my real name? The point is to know how they would take care of an average client. Of course I need to use an alias for this.

      I am pretending not to know anything because I was trying to be annoying, as explained in the post. This is to know how would they react to a total newbie client.

      As I stated, there is nothing wrong with not giving a helping hand, because services are unmanaged.

      July 22, 2015 @ 4:14 am | Reply
      • You should have put that in your post. It confused a lot of us on IRC because the tickets did not reflect your writing style in the post and the tickets made it seem like somebody was trolling the providers and it seemed like it was not taken seriously.

        July 22, 2015 @ 4:20 am | Reply
        • Jonathan Tan:

          I apologize for ranting :)

          July 22, 2015 @ 4:22 am | Reply
  2. I’ve also used Cloudshards and still is. Great service, uptime and brilliant support team. Would definitely recommend them too.

    July 22, 2015 @ 3:54 am | Reply
  3. TheLinuxBug:

    This is the saddest piece of garbage to ever be posted on LEB. I am not sure what this is supposed to be other than a advertisement for DrServer. If you really opened tickets like the ones in this post you don’t belong in this industry or using a VPS, I don’t care if you were just doing it as a ‘test of their support’ or not.

    As far as I am concerned this is just FUD for the hosts and I am even sure some of them already wish you hadn’t included them.

    Cheers!

    July 22, 2015 @ 4:02 am | Reply
    • Jonathan Tan:

      I did a similar review years ago for 96mb and no one complained. I did it now for LEB and boom!

      July 22, 2015 @ 4:35 am | Reply
  4. Jonathan Tan:

    If any of the host in the list don’t feel comfortable with the post, I would be glad to remove. Of course I did ask for permission from all of you, without telling my real name and the blog I write for. But if you feel it is not right, I do apologize.

    July 22, 2015 @ 4:17 am | Reply
    • simonindia:

      i think it is fare to review from a common man point of view that way you can distinguish the professionalism and support from one host to another @Jonathan

      As we are the member of the LEB community most of us know about VPS how handle or manage a one

      When a newbie or someone who has no knowledge of VPS or how to manage one buys some un-managed service by reading good reviews from a post in LEB we should see how they will be treated which providers can go Extra mile for the customer

      Then i can recommend the service to any one regardless of their knowledge for their service

      July 22, 2015 @ 6:49 am | Reply
    • simonindia:

      From this post i can recommend any service provider from above to my non-tech savvy friends i have faith the above providers will go extra mile for non tech savy person

      This Post Good from my point of view @Jonathan

      July 22, 2015 @ 6:57 am | Reply
    • Damian:

      Who did you ask for Virtora?

      July 23, 2015 @ 7:47 pm | Reply
  5. Jamie Yorkshire:

    This sort of post is brilliant, I think the people who are reacting badly to it need to grow up, it was clearly explained what he was doing in the post.

    July 22, 2015 @ 7:19 am | Reply
  6. :) haha.

    Honestly I just KNEW that was a fake account, it was not just the fact that your IP was listed in another country.

    But I think its more troubling the fact that you got through with any host to be honest as such I am proclaiming myself ranked number 1 because I did the right thing by denying your order :)

    Anyone that let it through is in part responsible for the volume of crap the rest of us have to deal with.

    Good post though I don’t see any problem with it, its just content and anyone that knows Jonathan will know that this was just meant to be a change of pace he would not do anything malicious.

    July 22, 2015 @ 8:26 am | Reply
  7. Maounique:

    I was a bit worried when I verified the payment, but I thought is some friend of yours which asked for a recommendation and had no verified paypal so you helped with the payment. It was highly unlikely such newbie to be able to hack your account.
    We also do not ask for pictures of documents and whatever because we believe they can be easily forged and pose a security risk to be stored online. This might change, we are investigating the opportunities of accepting other means of payment and the necessary verification of identity will also be handled differently. This is a tough nut to crack, the legislation in Italy may become even more restrictive, too.

    July 22, 2015 @ 8:48 am | Reply
    • haha, it was a fake name, different paypal account and IP from a different country and you let it through?

      July 22, 2015 @ 8:52 am | Reply
      • Maounique:

        I dont know what your case was, the IP was from the right country and paypal was from someone I knew, the first order did fail when he used a proxy. Frankly, I am used with people complaining we are too strict in letting orders through when we are featured here, not the other way :P
        I judge every case on it’s merits, the best I can, I go as far as checking google maps and phone directories, of course, this does not stop criminals, only legitimate people trying to protect their identity, however, the law requires we make reasonable efforts to ensure they are who they claim to be, I go above and beyond that, nobody will be able to prove intent or colluding with criminals if a thorough investigation is done. IMO, while it may work with some suits to convince them you were not sleeping on the job, documents and bills are so easy to forge, even a kid can do it for his game server.

        July 22, 2015 @ 3:42 pm | Reply
  8. JasperNL:

    I love this kind of stress-tests :P
    For all hosting providers in this test the result is that they’re handling clients right and sometimes there may be a minor problem. I understand that you may have left hosting providers with bad support away, because you may not agree with bad marketing on these providers.
    Did you also come across providers with terrible support, that you left away in this topic?

    July 22, 2015 @ 12:56 pm | Reply
  9. Thank you for your review.
    We are really trying to keep our support top notch.

    July 22, 2015 @ 1:25 pm | Reply
  10. I’m confused here.

    So we were a runner up because we were strict about you using bad details? O_o

    Anyway, it’s pretty well known that we’re pretty strict. There’s a reason that we see < 1 chargeback a month over a 12 month period. ;)

    Francisco

    July 22, 2015 @ 6:40 pm | Reply
    • Maounique:

      We are not that strict and have lower chargeback levels, but you probably have 100 times more customers.

      July 22, 2015 @ 7:54 pm | Reply
  11. Volker:

    Hi,

    anyone else with the problem getting 500er errors when trying to order those Viking Layer plans?

    Volker

    July 22, 2015 @ 9:23 pm | Reply
    • drserver:

      DDOS is solved now. It should be fine now.
      We are pounded big time. 5th day of attacks is today.

      July 22, 2015 @ 11:56 pm | Reply
      • Volker:

        I was now able to place the order.

        July 23, 2015 @ 8:03 pm | Reply
  12. “VPS VPN not same?” hahaha you were trying pretty hard to annoy them ;) but interesting to see how the different providers reacted and thanks for reposting Prometeus’ offer, already forgot about it.

    July 23, 2015 @ 10:25 am | Reply
  13. Gzero:

    Next time, please try something more in depth and relevant to industry.

    Asking support about non issues and whether or not they decide they are too busy to answer the question or fob you off isn’t a real test of support nor a real review.

    A real test would be asking questions to do with performance, or configuration of the host node. I’ve seen many tickets ‘resolved’ by reinstalling the OS… didn’t realise it was still 1998…

    I’ve yet to see any host featured on LEB give credit or refunds for downtime/degradation of service or issues they have caused though!

    July 24, 2015 @ 12:02 am | Reply
  14. Prometeus incredible for me (xenpower)
    last month I apply vps use paypal account belonging to a friend
    approved and active in a few minutes without phone verification
    yes, I am an open ticket in this case

    note: I am newbi & translate by gogle

    July 24, 2015 @ 7:04 am | Reply
  15. Dave:

    I had good experiences with Inception and BuyVM for customer service, and also cloudshards was not bad either – always heard good stuff about Prometeus but never had a reason to get an instance.

    July 24, 2015 @ 3:19 pm | Reply
  16. Max88:

    Why do I feel that a kid wrote this review? Too shallow for whatever test you’re trying to do. Your audience for what you wrote seems to cater to less than a beginner, honestly what you did is like shopping for shared hosting. I feel embarassed for the more mature community members whose primary concern is to get quality detailed and technical reviews from LEB.

    July 26, 2015 @ 3:14 pm | Reply
  17. be a fair
    this is about Customer Support Review
    it’s very useful for consumer like me

    if technical “detail” review for machine and network
    it’s another field

    July 27, 2015 @ 2:54 pm | Reply
    • Gzero:

      If you are asking for Support with questions such as in this review, then you have chosen the wrong product.

      Support is for when things don’t work / break / stop working (not the same as break).

      You don’t want to deal with the technical side? Get a managed product, that’s what the hefty fee is for.
      Want to know how to install something on their product? Again it’s not actually for them to advise.
      Want to know which OS you should use and which version? Unless they have custom images that they have supplied, I don’t see how it is up to them to explain which is best for you.

      Want to get a better understanding of how to use a vps? Use your own equipment with virtualbox/hyperv. Your vps is likely to just get hacked and used for spamming otherwise.

      July 27, 2015 @ 7:13 pm | Reply
      • hi, i am capable to handle vps, don’t need technical or managed support.

        and I still think this review is very useful

        July 28, 2015 @ 4:42 am | Reply
  18. Gzero:

    Oh and Jon, don’t let my negative comments put you off, I would like to see more reviews. :)

    July 27, 2015 @ 7:35 pm | Reply
  19. B:

    For heaven’s sake what’s with all the heavy bashing? I thought the little experiment was great, simply reporting who had the most professional and accommodating customer support. There’s a lot of surprising bitterness and anger in a lot of these responses and I can’t entirely determine why. I’m going through several weeks of terrible support right now (ChicagoVPS of course) so I really appreciate this kind of report.

    July 29, 2015 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply

Some notes on commenting on LowEndBox:

  • Do not use LowEndBox for support issues. Go to your hosting provider and issue a ticket there. Coming here saying "my VPS is down, what do I do?!" will only have your comments removed.
  • Akismet is used for spam detection. Quoting webhostingtalk.com URL seems to get binned consistently here, but I do peek into the spam box frequently to publish those comments.
  • Use <pre>...</pre> to quote the output from your terminal/console, or consider using a pastebin service.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *