Dreamhost has been running through bumpy downs for quite a while now. Their customers have been complaining about frequent downtimes, but that’s just a common thing to happen for such a huge web hosting company (let’s just blindly presume this one). Earlier this week, they did something which would virtually kick any web hosting company out of the game.
They mistakenly billed all their customers a year in advance. This whole mistakes sums upto $7.5 million, but their PR folks decided to go through their usual, old-fashioned humors way to apologizes with a blog post entitled "Um, Whoop? Here’s an excerpt of their post:
"We had a teensy eensy weensy little billing error last night… my first clue something was up when I saw this morning’s daily billing report (so far): $7,500,000. It turns out due to my excessively fat fingers, nearly every one of our customers has been seriously over-billed in the last 12 hours"
The mistake happened because they accidentally ran the biller for 31/12/2008. It should have actually been 2007. This wasn’t a machine error, but a human slip-up!
After reading the comments which follow their blog post, it doesn’t look like the humor worked. I would have been totally pissed off, if I was a Dreamhost customer. Last time, when Lunarpages changed the 404 page of every customer who had a default 404 page, Dreamhost ridiculed them on their blog. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other web hosts do the same to Dreamhost. Bad! Too bad!
Update: They’ve asked a better apology in their next blog post. They are willing to pay your bank fees, if you were running on over draft or had your cheque bounced. Those willing to shut their Dreamhost accounts will also get a full refund for the unbilled period.