Bluehost Exposed!

Posted by – January 15, 2008

When I was looking for a new web hosting company, the first thing I did was surf the net to find out who was rated the best. I wanted a hosting company that had great customer service, 99.9% uptime, lots of space, reliable, easy to use, and plenty of band width. Everywhere I looked on the net I saw so many companies which were rated 5/5 & 10/10. Wow, it made it very hard for me to decide which one I should choose. The more I searched and contemplated, Bluehost came up in more search engines and with higher ratings. So I chose Bluehost.

Who, how, what, and why are the ratings generated?

Then I discovered the following:

mattheaton.com @ box34.bluehost.com

hostboom.com @ box34.bluehost.com

webhosting-topten.com @ box34.bluehost.com

zaneheaton.com @ box34.bluehost.com

webhosthelpline.com @ box34.bluehost.com

Wow! Look at the good reviews that are hosted on the same server as the one Matt Heaton uses for his blog! So what are the odds of this happening by accident? It is really interesting the bottom three all have the same theme “WebHosting-TopTen.com.” And the graphics and contents are very similar.

Go to http://serverstatus.bluehost.com/ and type in mattheaton.com

Matt Heaton Busted

In the drop down directory under mattheaton.com, we find hostsafari.com (parked), hostboom.com, webhosting-topten.com, zaneheaton.com, zachheaton.com (inactive), and webhosthelpline.com. So mattheaton.com is the main domain name and the rest are addon domains in the same account.

So it looks like what we found here is a rating and review factory, right in the office of Matt Heaton to promote Bluehost and Hostmonster. The reviews are written as if they were created by an unbiased third party, but in reality they appear to be written by Heaton and associates. In the review areas, Bluehost or Hostmonster are both rated either #1 or #2, with a 5/5 or close to a 5/5 rating, showing positive stats of 97% to 100%. Business techniques like this border on false advertising and should be illegal. Such deceptive business practices are amoral and is one more reason to avoid Bluehost and Hostmonster like the plague.

Their uptime is extremely unreliable, email has many problems, and you cannot run any reasonable dynamic content without getting an exceeds cpu error. Plus promoting fake third party reviews, when in reality Heaton & staff generated them. Bluehost and Hostmonster are dishonest and unethical concerning many aspects of the way they conduct business. Matt from your own words, “When you stink you stink!!!

31 Comments on Bluehost Exposed!

  1. Mike says:

    Not to say that hosts don’t write their own reviews, or even that it isn’t the case here, but…

    All hosts are home to host rating sites, since there are thousands of them out there. Their purpose is to make money, mostly off of hosts that have CJ programs. Some of them are even admittedly owned by hosts — that seem to like making affiliate money when they lose a sale to a competitor.

    The reason many look similar in the “top 10″ appearance is because they’re generally ordered from highest affiliate payout to lowest–not by quality, (real) user reviews, etc…

    So, you could make this same accusation towards every single host that has an affiliate program. The problem with that, is that it’s a good way to get sued for libel if you don’t have anything to back it up with.

    If you wanna see just how low a crooked host will stoop, check out Lunarpages. It doesn’t get much lower than that.

  2. Jim says:

    I saw a link to this site on WHT and since BlueHost is my webhost I thought I should see what you had to say. While looking through this I noticed that all of the sites there are VERY outdated. Using the waybackmachine.org I did some snooping to find when the last time HostMonster.com offered 20GB of space and it was August 23rd of 06 – http://web.archive.org/web/20060823051742/http://www.hostmonster.com/index.html

    Looks to me like an idea that was never really promoted as I can hardly find any of those sites linked to, indexed etc. which normally happens if you use PPC or other promotional methods. Interesting read though. I think I will email Mr. Heaton to see what he thinks about it all.

  3. James,

    I am glad you are going to email Matt Heaton about the content of hostboom.com being outdated. It bothered me as well. I just checked all other links in the article and they all seem to display current information.

    I did a bit of looking around myself. And I found you have hostslide.com (this site really looks like crap in Opera), websiterates.com (very nice outdated info from 08/2004.), dollarjar.com, vontastic.us, vontastic.ca. hostslide.com and websiterates.com are registered by James Grierson of Grierson Affiliate Services. Next, I find a James Grierson VP of Business Development – BlueHost Inc. What a coincidence? It seems to be a very small world down in Oremville.

    Does Praedo Properties sound familiar to you? Because I find a James Grierson at Praedo. When I look up praedohomes.com with netcraft it shows that the web hosting company is HostDime. For what ever the reason, I find it comical that you are using HostDime and NOT Bluehost. Headline news at six, “James Grierson, VP of Bluehost, uses HostDime and NOT Bluehost to host praedohomes.com.”

    Have a good day,

    Crazy Penguin

  4. Matt Heaton on this topic at Web Hosting Talk forum.

    The thread topic is, “Do You Think This is Ethical?”

    Originally Posted by mheaton View Post

    What a bunch of cry babies. For the record Bluehost or Hostmonster doesn’t own ANY of the sites you mention. They are all affiliates of ours and the reason they promote Hostmonster and Bluehost high on their list is “surprise”, they make the most money from us. Notice I didn’t say we paid the highest affiliate commission. I said they made the most money.

    So, how about you first check your facts about who owns what before you accuse and convict Bluehost or Hostmonster of something “Unethical”, and second go out and get some signups yourself instead of getting angry that someone is “working the system” in a way you find distasteful. Enough is enough!

    Oh really!

  5. [...] someone for a client, and we don’t send staff in to make fake reviews on forums, or create fake sites telling everyone just how great we [...]

  6. [...] HostMonster are put ahead of others in hosting reviews quite frequently. But as you can see from this post on inetintegrity, many of these review sites are hosted on BlueHost’s servers by some guy named Matthew [...]

  7. FTR, Matthew Heaton is BlueHost’s CEO. His remarks strike me as very tacky.

  8. Thomas says:

    I completely agree – the reviews about Hostmonster.com MUST be faked. The system performance sucks, the maximum I get out of them for a FTP upload is 8 Kbps – that is about twice as much as with a dial-up connection. Their first level of support is staffed with incompetent idiots and does not have any clue about what they are doing. The availability is terrible as well. A six hour ping to their gateway showed only 5 packages lost, the server running the web services behind that had 300+ packages lost, try yourself and run only a constant ping to the one of the there hosted machines. Even if the server is pingable, it does not mean that you would be able to retrieve information from your website – the apache server is constantly (about every 54-10 minutes) rebooting because of a “user signal 1″ – which is a user defined signal – most likely their “overload protection”.
    This company stinks big time, and I will get in contact with the BBB to complain and will move on to another provider.

    The only positive thing I have to say is that their first level support was decently responsive (within a day).

    Thomas
    (R_3 a t gmx.net)

  9. To Whom It May Concern:

    Please tell this side of the story regarding Bluehost. If you use too much storage space and too much bandwidth they close your account. Matt Heaton is not ethical.

    My account is being deactivated due to a Terms of Service violation. Heather in the abuse department informed that you do not allow copyrighted material to be displayed on your hosting site. Matt Silbert from Nimbit recommended that I use your Hosting site. Nimbit is an affiliate of yours and has sent many customers to Bluehost. All of these contain music and remain hosted by Bluehost.

    I am the owner and publishing administrator of a catalog of music registered with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. I have a contract with every writer in my library and have the legal right to administer every composition. I am willing to sign a waiver if that is something that will keep my site on Bluehost. It took me three weeks to upload all of my music (at a very sizable cost). When I registered with Bluehost I informed the individual with whom I spoke that I had a music publishing business and needed a lot of space to host my music library. I also asked if it would be possible to send a hard drive with my music library on it to Bluehost in order for it to be uploaded. My intentions were clear.

    I have a legitimate business. I am a music publisher and have been so for over twenty years. My business is registered with the Secretary of State in North Carolina (Editors Choice Music, LLC).

    Please inform me what I can do to assure the fine people at Bluehost that my business is legitimate and that I have the legal right to administer all the music that is currently on your hosting site. I am willing to provide copies of contracts, get letters from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC (performing rights organizations that represent copyrighted material), and sign a letter that indemnifies Bluehost.

    Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

    Gary Fitzgerald
    Editors Choice Music Library
    6015 Fordland Drive
    Raleigh, NC 27606
    Tel: 919-803-3678/919-803-3679
    cell: 718-446-3857
    http://www.editorschoicemusic.com

  10. [...] this out at first, I wouldn’t be complaining. In the meantime, a little research told me that I was not alone in my experience. Piss-poor customer service seem to be par for the course with this [...]

  11. I don’t know much about Bluehost, but any time I see “unlimited bandwidth” I RUN. Gary’s experience doesn’t surprise me.

    “Unlimited”? What is that supposed to even mean?

    I’m a bit baffled by the HostGator phenomenon as well. I do have friends who seem genuinely pleased with them, but I canceled in under a month – now that was nearly 2 years ago, so maybe they’ve changed.

  12. Jane says:

    I had a similar rude awakening. First, I have to agree with their deceptive advertising: They say “voted best” but they never say who voted them best. Now you’d think that if it was legitimate, they’d say who, right?

    So my big beef – and everybody should be aware of this – is because they shut me down too, with no notice, just like that. I went online and there was an email from them that I’d been shut down, and lo! and behold my whole website was gone! And I too am a legitimate business, educational software, and have been using them for almost 4 years now. I have no porn, no smut, no foul language, nothing immoral or unethical; every photo and every audio file was either created by me or has appropriate attribution. And they were going through my files and “decided” on their own that some of them were not related to my website! And just shut me down! They handed me over to the “abuse” department when I phoned, which is really nice and made me feel really great. Along with the porn and other abusers.

    I explained that they have an administrative process that is inappropriate, that I would like to talk to somebody about that, and asked whom to speak to. The guy didn’t want to give me any contact info for administrators. I suggested that they should at least, if they think there is a problem like storing files unrelated to the website, send an email and request contact within 48 hours. But no, he didn’t even want to hear that. All the guy kept saying was “YOU VIOLATED THE TERMS OF USE”.

    So I say clearly that if you are dependent on your website for your business, do NOT absolutely do NOT get fooled by their low rates because in the end they can really screw you and your business and have no moral compunction against it or even good business sense that it is not a good way to treat long-term and loyal customers.

  13. Megan Kruschke says:

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

  14. I can’t change the lack of ethics Bluehost / Hostmonster choose to use in their marketing tactics. If that is not a problem to you so be it, however such deceptive methods are not acceptable to me.

  15. Andy says:

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/webhosting-topten.com

    Ahem, so let me get this straight? BH does not own any one these sites but the registrar of “webhosting-topten.com” IS Bluehost? Does that mean they concealed the actual owner because of their so-called “BlueHost Privacy” service or they are the actual owners? Why is “Matt” not clearing this up? Why all the anger?

    I don’t have a web site at all at the moment, so if someone is using “BlueHost Privacy” could you check if the wording “BlueHost Privacy” is added to your whois record or not? Would be interesting to know.

    Btw: I’m glad I found this page before I thought of signing up with BH, and I’m glad I found Matt’s blog, and saw he was a “missionary” once. And BH is registered in Provo, Utah. Go figure. I’m in Kiev, Ukraine, and I often see these little “missionaries” walking around in their suits. I hate to say this: But if you’re so brainwashed to think your religion is the only “true one”, it’s easy to lie to others and not be bothered about it. If there’s something I don’t like it’s mixing business with religion. Only a mess can come of it.

  16. eco man says:

    i signed up with bluehost and was suspended 12 hours later, with no email to me to question any problem, they just hind behind there terms of there contract, the problem was they put the wrong country code to my mobile #! after a lot of stress and 2 days chasing my tail around they said,
    Your account has been re-activated. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. We want to protect your security.

    what kind of confidence do i have with a company that treats its new customers this way, GREED its no wonder there had to be a world financial crises with companies like blue host . com around

  17. eco man says:

    now i just email them everyday asking questions about there terms, keeps them busy and me satisfied, im sure they will suspend me again but im taking a stand and going to bother them till the end of time. lol

  18. Joe says:

    May 25th, 2010

    R. Clayton: [1:51:56 PM] Welcome to our real-time live chat. Please have your domain, password, and a detailed description of your problem; please note that I am chatting with several other customers as well, so my responses may be delayed.
     
    CCMurphy.com: [1:51:56 PM] phpmyadmin?????? whats up with the login for phpmyadmin when you click on the link from cpanel? No matter what PW is used – the database or the account, it will not login
     
    [1:52:36 PM] we used to just click on that link from cpanel and go right into phpMyAdmin
     
    [1:53:44 PM] also, went to setup a new hosting account soft-vision.com – said you already had soft-vision.com. Impossible, I own the domain and have since 1996
     
    [1:59:59 PM] 7 min 50 seconds – no response?
     
    [2:01:26 PM] 9.00 min no reply Arvixe is starting to look like a good choice for me and future referals
     
    [2:03:43 PM] I will post this chat save on any site I setup that compares hosting accounts and service, along with other chat sessions I have saved to show this is not an isolated experience with Hostmonster.
     
    [2:04:14 PM] 12 minutes and no reply…
     
    [2:05:00 PM] Just took a screen shot
     
    [2:07:12 PM] 15 minutes – no reply
     
    [2:13:31 PM] 21 minutes
     
    [2:16:57 PM] is Matt Heaton in?
     
    [2:17:24 PM] 25 minutes and no reply?
     
    [2:22:59 PM] 30 minutes I just emailed this transcript to Matt at bluehost.. I hope it’s a wakeup call and your sorry butt is canned.
     
    [2:27:44 PM] 35 minutes
     
    [2:42:36 PM] 50 plus minutes
     
    [2:52:04 PM] Now monitoring “prabhareddy.com” (the primary domain for “hostmonster.com”).
     
    [2:56:20 PM] 1 hour and 4 minutes

  19. Joe says:

    problems with support is not uncommon at hostmonster/bluehost.  we are still waiting for a reply to the above as I type this.

  20. WhoAsks says:

    Brilliant detective work around maan :)
    Just saved me from falling into BlueHost.com’s abyss … and glad other customers shared their pain (tho, sorry to hear about BH’s rip-off).
    Thank Ya all for keeping my $$ (and am sure may others’ too) from Matt’s pockets (and heck! I learnt about BlueHost from Frank Kern’s (now! now! I just see FK’s antics – just so to learn the hooks these Internet marketers throw in the pond – pretty pathetic bunch IMO)
    So, Crazy Penguin – did ya find an above-par Host? Would be very interested to know your suggestions/choices. Thanks again for helping newbies with your post here. Was considering PracticalHost.com – tho find they are resellers for RackSpace *confused*
    Thanks.
    WhO
     
     

  21. Rich says:

    Unfortunately these days this seems to be a common practice amongst the larger web hosts. Quite shady if you ask me, but is there anything anyone can really do about it, other than posting blog articles such as this one?

  22. rob says:

    Thats why I use Mingledhost.com
     
    Not that many people know it, but it sure is better than the big players

  23. Yves says:

    Their marketing may be bad but i am hosting a few websites there and i have to say they are one of the better “unlimited” hosts. For SEO reasons i have like 40 different Accounts at different webhoster and Bluehost is not that bad.

  24. Crazy Penguin says:

    I am more than elated that you are pleased with Bluehost.  However many of us have not had as pleasant of experience as you.

    There is a very fine line between BAD, CROOKED, and DECEPTIVE marketing.

  25. JP says:

    People will always be bitching about something over the internet about something as stupid as a craptastic marketing scheme, all companies out there do it.. There are other things much more important to waste your energy on. Try it sometime?

  26. Schedule says:

    Best you could make changes to the blog name title Bluehost Exposed! – iNet Integrity to more generic for your subject you create. I enjoyed the post yet.

  27. Kevin says:

    NO BLUEHOST!

    I have been with them since 2006 & recently they have been nothing but problems! I found this post while searching for a new hosting company and couldn’t resist putting in my two cents.

    1. I had too many files on the server and had to delete some or my account would be deleted in 14 days. (not allowed over 50,000 files which includes individual email files)

    2. I had too many SQL Databases & they SHUT DOWN MY SITE WITHOUT EVEN CONTACTING ME! (I don’t remember how many I had, but it was less than 50). They claimed that I had “too many tables”.

    I only host 5 websites one of which is an online store and the others are just very basic Joomla sites. Two of which I don’t even use.

    I’m leaving Bluehost as soon as I find a new hosting company & if Hostgator is the same company… NOT going there either!

    If Bluehost is going to treat a customer of FIVE YEARS without ANY I mean NO problems prior to a couple of months ago the way that I have been treated… I can only imagine how they are going to treat others!

    I’m open to suggestions on other hosting companies… Thanks…

  28. Fredrik says:

    I used Bluehost and found exactly everything you say to be true.  We put our company website on their services.  One day the website stopped worked.  It went down.  
    I had given Matt some suggestions, but when I found out from our web developer in Australia that Bluehost had moved our site without notice to a different server build (which broke the PHP) I asked him.  Absolutely no response.  All went silent.  
    Bluehost is just for people who want cheap hosting.  We experienced those CPU overages and so for as well.

  29. Rick says:

    After a few years on Bluehost, I’m seeking another host. Bluehost email arrives…..sometimes. Bluehost websites are going down more often and Bluehost tech support is condescending and ill informed. I;m tired of them telling me that comcast is the reason I can’t login to their Cpanel, even from the office. Bluehost started off small and good but then they got big and bad. Time to move in.

  30. Jason Jersey says:

    The whois says Matt is the owner of the site. He isn’t even hiding it anymore.

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/webhosting-topten.com

    The data in the BlueHost.Com WHOIS database is provided
    to you by BlueHost.Com for information purposes only,
    that is, to assist you in obtaining information about or related to
    a domain name registration record. BlueHost.Com makes
    this information available “as is,” and does not guarantee its
    accuracy. By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree that you will use
    this data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances
    will you use this data to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support
    the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or
    solicitations via direct mail, electronic mail, or by telephone; or
    (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that apply
    to BlueHost.Com (or its systems). The compilation,
    repackaging, dissemination or other use of this data is expressly
    prohibited without the prior written consent of
    BlueHost.Com. BlueHost.Com reserves the
    right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting this query,
    you agree to abide by these terms.

    =-=-=-=

    Registrar: FastDomain Inc.
    Provider Name….: BlueHost.Com
    Provider Whois…: whois.bluehost.com
    Provider Homepage: http://www.bluehost.com/

    Domain Name: WEBHOSTING-TOPTEN.COM

    Created on…………..: 2006-05-08 20:25:04 GMT
    Expires on…………..: 2014-05-08 20:25:04 GMT
    Last modified on……..: 2013-05-09 20:25:08 GMT

    Registrant Info: (FAST-14658089)

    Matt Heaton
    2777 North Foothill Drive
    Provo, Utah 84604
    United States
    Phone: +1.8018367666
    Fax..:
    Email: matt@bluehost.com
    Last modified: 2010-07-14 16:19:52 GMT

    Administrative Info: (FAST-14658089)

    Matt Heaton
    2777 North Foothill Drive
    Provo, Utah 84604
    United States
    Phone: +1.8018367666
    Fax..:
    Email: matt@bluehost.com
    Last modified: 2010-07-14 16:19:52 GMT

    Technical Info: (FAST-12785240)
    Bluehost.com
    Bluehost Inc
    1958 South 950 East
    Provo, Utah 84606
    United States
    Phone: +1.8017659400
    Fax..: +1.8017651992
    Email: whois@bluehost.com
    Last modified: 2012-06-11 18:50:50 GMT

    Status: Locked

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS1.BLUEHOST.COM
    NS2.BLUEHOST.COM

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