Clara.net SUCKS

by oneafrikan on November 10, 2005

I’m never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to use Clara for hosting for myself, or anyone else. Ever, I wouldn’t even wish it upon my worst enemy.

On a suckometer, Clara.net seriously suck IMHO. I’m not in the habit of throwing mud in general, and I don’t even like doing it when things get messy. My mom always taught me to be the gentleman, so that’s how I try keep karma, but I feel that this is so, so, so bad, that I have to warn you, just in case you ever need to look for hosting in the UK.

Think of it as a public service announcement.

In the last two weeks, I’ve been on the phone with two seperate issues for a total of about 3 hours, and troubleshooting on my own for about a day or so. As yet, our second and current support issue has not yet been resolved.

Here’s why I wouldn’t use them:

  1. Their tools to manage a domain, in my opinion, are badly designed (especially the User Interface) and have limited functionality for the price you pay, in comparison to other similiar service providers
  2. I’ve found that their 1st line support people don’t seem to know what they are doing in much detail, or at best that there are a few good support guys and more bad support guys. When you start asking technical questions you get put on hold a lot. Even worse, they assume that you know nothing, which is a bad assumption to make.
  3. I’ve had to fax them a signed letterheaded document to get MX records (that’s geek for a domains email records) changed. At the same time I emailed the docs to the support person. When I called to check why it wasn’t working, the support guy read the MX record as .daemonmall.net as opposed to daemonmail.net – this was ‘cos the fax wasn’t clear enough to spot the i! When was the last time you sent a fax? You’d think that the support guy would make the association since it was an MX record, or would at least email/call back to check
  4. When I’ve called support, I’ve been told that they are moving to a new server platform. When I asked which one, I wasn’t given a straight answer, so I’m starting to think that the story is smoke and mirrors.
  5. Like any decent password, the mySQL database password had a few upper/lower case combo’s to keep hackers at bay. When I tried to access the phpMyAdmin interface, I couldn’t get access. The support guy changed the password to “testing123” and told me all was working fine. So I changed it back to the more secure password and it didn’t work again. Another support call later, I was told passwords for mySQL have to be lower case, but you don’t get told that on the database creation page. If you want to change the password of the database, you have to do it in a form titled “Rename MySQL database”… The support guy did, however, agree with me that it should be changed to make it more useable…
  6. I then had to send an email to escalate the support issue to their “more technical support guys”… I thought they were going to ask me to send another fax ;-)
  7. After a helluva lot of telephone music, I can say with authority that it is really bad. The “voice” should also tell you that you have moved up the queue, not that you’ve remained at position number 10…

Has anyone else had any other hosting horror stories that they can relate?

Update: Turns out they have a specific domain that you are supposed to use when using a MySQL database on their system, yet they neglect to tell you that when you actually create the database itself. Nice to think they’ve thought the process through, and that it took an escalation to a “system guy” before someone flagged that as the problem, even when I had asked the support guy to confirm that the Db Host is in fact “localhost”… You live and you learn I guess.

17 comments

You are NOT wrong. These people are scum.

We had to run around the houses to get OUR OWN domain transferred away. Faxes, emails, and the rest.

And of course, for every email to support, we had to wait DAYS until they could be bothered responding.

They have wormed themsleves into a position and are simply exploiting customers (ex-customers in our case). Nominet and other registrars must bear some responsibility for appointing such a cowboy outfit to this position.

STAY CLEAR OF THEM.

by Malcolm on February 15, 2006 at 12:32 pm. Reply #

Yea, I can’t believe that they still use faxing for confirmation – I mean, we use email to get away from that…

Agree with you there – I will never willingly or out of choice use their services again…

by Gareth Knight on February 15, 2006 at 2:44 pm. Reply #

um – you wouldnt know what the mysql db hostname actually is for Claranet mySql ?

Claranet manged to update the site from html to mysql but forgot to move the dns – bit of an oversight there

my client insisted they went with them :-(
been waiting for an email response for six hours

(but hey I just got defeated by add 4 and 6)

by Mark on June 26, 2006 at 5:42 pm. Reply #

Sorry – don’t have the files I was working with anymore. I do remember that the name was something exotic (not the normal localhost) for what it’s worth.

Yea, I’m not surprised at all about the DNS changes – seems that the old adage “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys” is still true…

My client also insisted – know what you mean! Waited for like two days to get a response, so don’t hold your breath!

And I wounldn’t go around telling people you got defeated by add 4 and 6 – they’re strong man!

by Gareth Knight on June 27, 2006 at 2:43 pm. Reply #

added the two numbers correctly – phew

ok their mysql name is mysql.clarahost.co.uk

now you’d think adding an htaccess file might be only moderately problematic
1) everything I try doesn’t work – use php to get directory path – odd structure – nada…
2) phone support says root to server is /public/www
– have my doubts as this is ftp directory for http files
– support is insistent – doesn’t work
3) get email response 24 hours later showing link to a help file – I must use their utility to generate the password file – instructions are unclear as to whether this should be named with a preceding dot – file is saved in security/crypt/

you think it works? you think they can clarify?

their prices aren’t peanuts – client is paying £200 pa – I host most sites with a medium size host – all answers are clear, email replies within an hour – and other hosts are faster

web hosts seem to think it’s a license to print money – they are worse than second hand car salesmen

by mark on June 27, 2006 at 11:33 pm. Reply #

follow up to claranet htaccess: after trying their method extensively gave up and called support – for once got someone who knew what htaccess was – long phone call.. promised call back and did so within the hour

basically the help page neglects to say you must add group users and specific users to password file (I dont understand that bit really) – and file must be chmod afterwards – “it was fine on our old server but the new one is different” – its like they havent really done this before – how come they don’t know straight off? support was good there but really it shouldnt be this painful

by mark on June 29, 2006 at 10:56 pm. Reply #

YOUR A WANKER!!!!!

by unknown on September 20, 2006 at 12:55 pm. Reply #

And so are you for not identifying yourself when taking the piss out of me!

Must be a Clara employee or something… maybe even a shareholder?

;-)

by Gareth Knight on September 20, 2006 at 1:09 pm. Reply #

Funny Shit

by Lol on September 20, 2006 at 1:27 pm. Reply #

Clara Net is not a publically owned company and therefore does not have sahreholders.

by RAndom Person on September 20, 2006 at 2:22 pm. Reply #

You people bitch so much, claranet are lame, but there’s worse like BT (who will just tell you to get lost) or AOL (who just eat up all your resources), but with claranet

1) At least you can talk to someone who talks English and is sitting in the same country as you. (and not in India)
2) Lots of companies require a fax or letter so they have a HARD COPY to cover their ass. This is nothing new, and you should not really be complaining about this, it’s still the norm for many.

If its important, then fucking call clara support, don’t email hoping to get a response straight away, Name one private sector company that offers support that will answer a email straight away, you FUCKING can’t can you?

If you actually call you can speak to someone straight away!! IT IS LOCAL RATE CHARGE and NOT PREMIUM RATE!!! whats your excuse for not calling if it’s important.

by Fucking angry for no reason on September 20, 2006 at 4:28 pm. Reply #

Hey dude

Thanks for swearing in my house… and the dude before you (unknown) called me a wanker…

Anyways, if you’d read my post fully, you would see that I did in fact call them, as well as everything else that was asked of me. I seem to remember my ear being quite warm after being on the phone for quite a while.

Bottom line – it shouldn’t take a few days to get a LA(M)P domain running;
and, there are other providers who offer much better support, so why stick with Clara?

Anyways – chill dudes, it’s not the end of the world now is it? ;-)

by Gareth Knight on September 20, 2006 at 5:09 pm. Reply #

There is too much talk about wankers on this blog…Come chaps keep it tidy!

I have never used clara, but from the sounds of things they don’t seem to be too jacked up. I have heard also bad reports from relatives that BT and Bulldog have also got really poor customer service.

by steve on September 20, 2006 at 5:12 pm. Reply #

Mark mentioned that the dashboard for the sql on clara was mysql.clarahost.co.uk and I can’t seem to access it. Is it possibly because I’m a tad dense?

by Cliff Boobyer on September 22, 2006 at 2:01 pm. Reply #

Don’t think so Cliff – if I remember correctly, mysql.clarahost.co.uk is an internal thing that they use for their domains to find mysql on…

by Gareth Knight on September 22, 2006 at 2:54 pm. Reply #

The support staff at Clara may be good people, and some may have good knowledge, and they do have a hierarchy of suppoert, and escalators that your problems can go up and down – but mostly dont move if it is a weekend. I have increasingly found that Clara have been sleeping, their shared platform is good for a 4 page HTML website – but once you start using scripts, using bandwidth, getting visitors then their systems colapse. It is true that in the last 6 months Clara Host shared cluster has ground to a halt daily – they have had to wait days for components to be sourced from USA and now the same problem is showing its ugly head… how many days till they wait for their superglue to dry… if you want 4 page HTML website got for Clara – but if you want anything more then look elsewhere – there is great value service from other hosts for the same money. I think Clara need to make a big hardware investment if they want to continue to service existing clients and their web aspirations, let alone those of the new customers. I yearn for the day that I dont have to deal anymore with clara as they yearn for the day they will no longer need to deal with me and my clients problems. Find out more at http://www.clara-host-is-shit.com – only kidding….. bye ;)

by Tony James on November 29, 2006 at 7:17 pm. Reply #

Thanks Tony – yup, they’re going to have to sort out there support time and infrastructure if they’re going to get in on the next wave of stuff happening on the web…

by Gareth Knight on November 29, 2006 at 7:30 pm. Reply #

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