LOL at Web Hosting TOS

Posted: May 31, 2010 in Technology

I was doing a little research today on secondary webhosting services for the purpose of expanding my vast network of websites and blogs. I keep my main websites on a very reliable host – DowntownHost.com, great service by great people over there, can’t say enough good things about them. But I regularly throw up “supporting” sites and throw-away domains on other hosts to spread linking across multiple C-blocks, you know how that goes (please don’t tell Google). Well, I had a chuckle at the terms of service of a couple of web hosting services today.

JustHost was looking like a reasonable second tier hosting company to add to the stable, until I got to this line in their terms of service:

“Safe lists” and “double opt-in” will be treated as spam. Any user who sends out spam will have their account terminated with or without notice.

LOL, you know of course that double opt-in is the antithesis of spam. It’s the only 100% sure way of proving that you are not spamming because someone must signup for you to send them email and then confirm that they signed up by clicking a link in a confirmation email. So you have a clear record of them doubly opting in that they can’t really dispute and claim you are spamming. I was kind enough to email JustHost to point at that either their TOS contained a glaring error or that they don’t know what they are talking about. Well, maybe I wasn’t so kind in my email after all, but the lulz were good.

So I moved to the next candidate, WebHostingPad, and they were looking ok, too. Then I got to this section of their TOS:

Credit Card Disputes/Chargebacks
WebHostingPad has a zero tolerance policy for chargebacks. Any customer who disputes a credit card payment is subject to a fine, suspension and account termination at WebHostingPad discretion. A charge of $25.00 per chargeback will be assessed to all accounts that receive a chargeback.

Ok, don’t get caught in a recursive loop there just because they seem to be. If I read that right they are going to charge you if you do a chargeback. Which means they would charge the same credit card that you just did a chargeback on? Well, then you would chargeback that charge, right? And then they would charge you again for the second chargeback? Infinite loop it seems, at least until the credit card company decides they are complete fools and does a Ctrl-C on their merchant account. This must be one of the funniest terms I have seen. I didn’t bother mailing them to let them know that I thought their terms were too funny to take them serious as a hosting provider.

Maybe I’m bottom feeding and need to move up the food chain a little for secondary hosting providers.

And an update: JustHost emailed me back and said no, that is not a mistake, they really do consider double opt-in spam. I think that is double lulz.

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