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Too good to be true then it probably was. Cyber Monday Deadpool

Sun, 15th December 2019, 17:54

Just when you thought you’ve seen everything in the world of web hosting someone always comes along and shatters the myth that ‘it just couldn’t get any worse than that’.

In the latest wtf moment, a whole slew of web hosting providers notified their clients using what could only have been copied and pasted dear john email announcements. (editor’s note: “sorry but things are just not working out... but hey it’s me, not you”) ...

Dear Customer,

Over the past few months we have been met with many challenges within the hosting business. Some that have not been overcome.

As result of this we will be closing our doors.  We will be shutting down this Monday 12/9/2019. We are taking this time to let our customers know so that they may backup and retrieve all of their data before then.

We deeply apologize for this inconvenience.

Thank You.

Management

So the web hosts were planning to shut down services within hours. Clients were given 48 hours to download data from their accounts before the servers were to be shut down and wiped clean. Using a descriptive term like ‘whole slew’ doesn’t really do this deadpool post justice. There appears to be a list of 25 different providers that have notified customers using this exact same message about their impending demise. The list includes:

ArkaHosting, Bigfoot Servers, DCNHost, HostBRZ, HostedSimply, Hosting73, KayHosting, KudoHosting, LQHosting, MegaZoneHosting, MyHostingSrv, n3Servers, ServerStrong, SnowVPS, SolvedByData, SparkVPS, StrongHosting, SuperbVPS, SupremeVPS, TCNHosting, UpbeatHosting, UMaxHosting, VPSFortune.com, WelcomeHosting, and X4Servers

All the entities listed offered cheap low-end virtual private servers (VPSes). Furthermore, all the websites featured a similar page structure, similar text on the site, use the same CAPTCHA technology, and have notified customers using the same email template.  The hosting companies also appear to be using the same ColoCrossing server(s).  

ColoCrossing has released the following statement:

ColoCrossing learned over the weekend that a former client notified his customers that he was shutting down their service today, Monday, December 9. ColoCrossing had provided dedicated servers which were used to host this client’s content, and the content of this client’s customers. To help customers impacted by this former client, ColoCrossing is keeping the servers active for the next ten days so impacted sites can move their data to other providers. We will provide more information as it is available.

When pressed for further comment a ColoCrossing spokesperson responded “Unfortunately we are not able to comment on the situation, we have made a public statement that we were going to keep the servers on for 10 additional days to help customers move data”.

It’s anyone guess as to how many customers, and how much money might have been involved. Just days ago these companies were marketing heavily with deep discounts on annual accounts for Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales. 

So while the initial knee jerk reaction screams of ‘scam’, it would be pure conjecture and speculation to deduce the actual motivation behind this obviously elaborate scheme. Some of those affected clients may be able to get refunds by instituting chargebacks through paypal or their credit cards. Others will just chalk it up to life experience, make a resolution to be more attentive to the web hosting reviews in the future,  and then get on with celebrating the holiday season!