Internet Design 2000 (InetDesigk2k)

Update: Their site doesn't exist anymore. Maybe they went out of business. I know that their inclusion in the Suck List cost them at least 3 customers, and they couldn't have had very many before that... this probably cut their business in half.

When I first purchased the domain name, I elected to purchase an account with an inexpensive hosting company. After a very detailed search, I simply could not find any service plans that came close to what InetDesign2k was offering. $4.95 a month (if paid by year) with all of the server-side options I would want, 100 MB of space, and 2 GB of monthly bandwidth. I knew that I would never use that. I don't have bandwidth numbers, but the current site is about 25 MB... that means that 81 people could download the entire site (including every single post on the discussion board that has ever been created) every month, and I'd still be just under the bandwidth limit.

So I signed up for one year of service at $59.40. This paid for hosting from August 2000 through July 2001. During setup, I had a few questions, mostly regarding minor configuration issues like permissions and file extensions. They always responded to their "support" email account within a few hours - even late at night. I was very impressed.

Throughout the year, the service was decent. There was occasional downtime, and it would unfortunately occur at peak internet traffic times, like a Friday afternoon or a Sunday evening, for intervals between 15 minutes and 3 hours. And there were some limitations - while I had 100 MB of space, only 15 MB was allowed for images, videos, sounds, programs, ZIPs, and other non-HTML files. There was also a policy stating that every file on your site must be linked to from another page on your site, and it specifically prohibited the hosting of images used in auctions. So if I posted an eBay auction, I couldn't use my 100 MB of space and 2 GB of transfer to host a 20 KB picture of the item for 7 days. This made it fairly difficult to use the site for many purposes beyond a simple static site. But I tolerated these inadequacies because, after all, it was only 5 bucks a month.

One day in June 2001, the second-to-last month of the service that I purchased, my bulletin board stopped working and gave permissions-related errors. I emailed the support team and asked them to reset the permissions, and they replied saying that they had disabled my bulletin board because it was "causing our server to crash almost daily."

Now, in June 2001, the bulletin board had its lowest traffic ever. And it was running the Infopop Ultimate Bulletin Board, which (at the time) was the de-facto standard for online bulletin boards. I knew that it wasn't my board that caused the server crashes, but they would not budge. It angered me even more that they didn't tell me when they disabled the board. So now my site was sitting there, practically useless (worse than usual), and I no longer had CGI functionality that I had paid for. I backed up the site to my computer and posted a notice on the front page that it would be closed for a little while.

Two days after they disabled my bulletin board, their servers suffered a 13-hour downtime. (Guess their problems weren't my fault.) I pointed this out to them, but they insisted that my script was causing the crashes.

I emailed them again, asking to refund my money for the current and next month (June and July, the last months of my paid service) because I was denied basic functionality that I had purchased. I also clearly stated that I was NOT going to renew my account after my paid period was over. They replied saying that a refund was out of the question.

After that email, I could no longer log in to my site. They disabled my account a month and a half before it was due to expire! (Good thing I backed it up.) I emailed them again, asking why this was done, and never got a response. Then I emailed the Sales account, asking the same thing (I gave them the benefit of the doubt, assuming that maybe the Support team couldn't deal with account payment issues), and never got a response to that either.

I wasn't being nice anymore. I looked up their Administrative Contact phone number in the WHOIS database and called, only to be greeted by voicemail. I left a message threatening to involve the BBB and the FTC if they did not call me within 48 hours. As I expected, they didn't, so I filed the proper complaints and received stupid automatic form emails in response. ("We have recieved your complaint and will do our best...")

In July, when my service was due to run out, they actually had the nerve to charge my credit card for another year of service! This auto-renewal process was not stated anywhere in their terms of service or billing information, which is therefore illegal. My attempts to call or email them about this were completely futile, so I explained the situation to Visa and got a chargeback. For those of you that don't know, a chargeback completely refunds the customer, and Visa withdraws the money from the merchant account, but the merchant still pays all of the service charges for both transactions. It really screws them over, and there's nothing they can do about it. I figured that it was well deserved. I never received any further communication from InetDesign2k, the BBB, or the FTC.

I decided to commemorate my InetDesign2k experience with the Suck List, and they have earned a permanent position. Over the last few months, two complete strangers have contacted me about this, both basically saying "I wish I had seen your Suck List before signing up with InetDesign2k." They both had severe problems with the service, and found my site by searching for their name. One even filed a BBB report and received a response saying, "We cannot find any way to contact this business."

All I can hope for is that more people see my site before signing up with InetDesign2k.

Rated 0/5


Illegal credit card practices will charge you for more time than you want.

Rated 0/5


The BBB can't even contact them.

Rated 0/5


Not very useful if they're disabled.

Rated 0/5


I can't imagine a worse hosting company.