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I just wanted to let people know of a very interesting billing issue I had with Bluehost recently. I was overcharged for my hosting, but when I enquired into the billing problem they bullied me into stepping down my enquiry or else they would shut down my website!
I was invoiced via email for $329.88 but Bluehost actually billed me for $353.76 through paypal. I did not realise this at the time. I trusted the invoice and didn’t log into paypal to check the actual amount deducted. It was much later when I was doing my renewals for the next year that I noticed they had billed me for more than they had invoiced me in the previous year.
I asked for a refund but Bluehost refused to refund the amount. I said I would take this matter up with PayPal.
“You cannot invoice me for one amount then bill me for more. I will take this matter up with paypal if you do not do a full refund of the difference.” [Wayne]
This was the Bluehost Billing Department reply…
“You are more than welcome to do that if you would like to but please note, we do contest all chargebacks that are issued and the hosting account will be deactivated while the chargeback is being resolved…” [Bluehost]
Can you believe that? I am free to contest their charges, but if I do my entire site will be deactivated while they look into the matter. I have never come across a company before with such aggressive behaviour to it’s loyal customers.
In Australia we call this ‘bullying’. It is like a playground bully saying ‘Don’t tell the teacher or I will punch you’.
I can’t afford for macinothshowto.com to go offline for an extended period of time. I have 100,000 readers per month. So I swallowed the extra charge and let it go. In Australia I would have taken this issue up with the department of fair trading but I am unsure how to progress this issue in the USA.
I am passing this on you because in the past I have publicly endorsed Bluehost. They have been hosting me for about 10 years now. I am somewhat stuck with them, despite their billing ethics, because it is a very complicated process to change hosts. But even though I am still with Bluehost, I would recommend a different provider if you are looking for a web server.