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Cybercast Intl Hosting Bans Site for Bad Review Threat
This past week my latest website was complete and ready for launch when an unexpected problem arose when I found out that it and all other sites hosted on Cybercast Intl. servers were timing users out after just 20 minutes. This was unacceptable, but paled in comparison to how they responded to my support ticket. The problem affects ASP.Net web applications hosted using their shared Windows hosting service. The server has a block in place that prevents developers from being able to set the session timeout in their web applications beyond the default ASP.Net 3.5 setting of 20 minutes. This makes it impossible for anyone to provide an online publishing service for end users because none of them would have the time to write anything requiring more than 20 minutes worth of thought without losing their work by being automatically logged out when hitting the submit button. Developers normally have the ability to set the timeout to anything they would like between 1 minute and 5000**** minutes. This can be done by adding a small bit of code to the Web.Config file in the application. I like to give people 1000 minutes with sliding expiration enabled. Writing the code should have been the end of it and has always been the end of it on every other hosting service that I have ever used including Negox, Network Solutions, Domain.com, and Shinjiru (also a ripoff). Unfortunately as I found out the first time I tried to write a report this is not the case with Cybercast Intl. I checked my Web.Config to make sure everything was in order and then I submitted a support ticket expecting it to be a quick fix for them. Their response was a request not to "set huge values for session timeout" because it would "create a burden on the web server" before telling me to set the timeout value "20". I couldn't believe my eyes that their response to a glitch was to set my timeout to an unreasonably low number, but I also wanted to make sure his statement about the session being too long was true, so I tried 240 minutes and that did not work either. At that point I was already late to market by over a day and furious. I wrote them back pointing out how unacceptable their response was, gave them 24 hours to fix the problem, and informed them that I would write a negative review of their service if they failed to provide a reasonable level of service and they said that the issue would be escalated to senior management. I was still pissed, but patient with the impression that some larger technical malfunction was involved until I became unable to login to the client are of their website and attempts to reset my password resulted in an error message stating that my account did not exist. My sites were still online at this point, but I couldn't make or respond to tickets, so I contacted them via their online chat support. At first they told me that they would look into the matter and get back to me, but never did. Then I contacted online chat again, was told that an error had been made, and that an update would be made to correct the error. I decided to drown my sorrows that night and the next day I woke up less than refreshed, but eager to see if my account had been fixed. Instead I discovered that my sites were offline, that sites hosted on other servers couldn't access the database hosted at Cybercast Intl., and found an email saying "we determine to cancel your account due to your misconduct". At least they said that I can look forward to a refund, but since I only signed up for a month at a time at just under $20 I really couldn't care less about the refund. I am loosing far more money then that by having my cyberbully reporting service late to market by at least a week and other services going offline by at least a couple days all because they not only failed to provide the basic level of service expected of a hosting company, but also couldn't respond responsibly to an honest threat of criticism. As a result sites like Cyberbullying Report sit offline and unable to help victims fight back against the people who are harassing them on the internet. Conclusion Cybercast Intl. should not be used under any circumstances to host ASP.Net web applications because they do not intend to provide a reasonable level of service. No reasonable person would expect a timeout restriction of 20 minutes to be placed on them by their hosting company. In fact the very idea of 20 minutes as a default setting for anything except a financial institution is so absurd that when Microsoft released ASP.Net 4.0 they changed the default timeout from 20 minutes to 2880 minutes. CCI should at the very least disclose this restriction to the customer before purchase.
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