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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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…
- 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 ;-)
- 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.