Saturday, August 26, 2006

Is Dreamhost Trying To Piss Me Off?

I found this message in my inbox:


In an effort to lower the load on your server I disabled mt-trackback (that's often abused). There's still a lot of processes running under your user for the blog index so I am going to also go ahead and move you to another server. It should be seamless but just in case here is my direct email address:

[address omitted]


I've responded:

Trackbacks were disabled on my blog ... and I don't like that!

I do NOT like the idea of features (and, yes, TrackBacks are a feature of my blog) being disabled without prior notice.

If it is your policy to not allow me to accept TrackBacks, I'd appreciate your letting me know in sufficient time to move my blog to a host that is acceptable and not encounter any downtime.

I eagerly await your response.

What the heck were they thinking? Trackbacks can be abused? You're telling me they just now, in August 2006, discovered that TrackBacks can be abused? What's next? Cigarettes cause cancer?

And do they think that Akismet and Spam Karma (yes, I'm running both) is not sufficient?

Perhaps there is a problem that needs action taken. That's fine. I understand.

But just turning off TrackBacks?

Not a good move. Not a good move at all.

If they think I ought to move to another host, they could just let me know. Give me time to find one and move everything over. Heck, I can host it from the house if I need to. I did before.

Dreamhost needs a better customer service process. Or better customer service personnel.


John wrote back. Remember I mentioned I had two spam filters (including TrackBack spam) running?

If you have spam filtering that should be all right, I just noticed that process eating up a fair amount of resources (when trying to get the load down on a server it's sometimes necessary to disable processes that ordinarily wouldn't be as big of a deal). Just rename it without the '.Disabled' but please keep an eye on the uptime of the server if you do so as you should be able to see if it jumps up.


So, I renamed the file back. I wouldn't do it without speaking to them. Common courtesy. I just wish I had the same.

Still, like other Dreamhost customers have noticed, they usually do respond pretty quickly to issues. Whether they cause the issues or not.

John: Thanks for writing back.

Everyone else: TrackBacks should be working again. Pingbacks seem to have worked the whole time.


John wrote again:

I apologize - when we're in the middle of triage we usually don't wait for replies (to be honest very few customers are aware enough to have taken measure to protect their trackback and I did not realize you had done so, if I had I would have probably left it alone... again I am sorry for the inconvenience of that and I'll try to be more thorough next time by knowing how to check if someone is taking the necessary precautions).



Again, working support issues myself, I understand where he's coming from.

Sure, I understand. Thanks for taking the time to make things work right. It is appreciated.

So, yeah, we had a hiccup here. But it's all better now.

They did suggest a robots.txt file to decrease Google and others stress on the server. Quite honestly, I thought I had one. And I did. When I was self-hosting. I never moved it to the Dreamhost site. So, my bad on that. It's in place now.

Again, I'm thankful everything's working again.


  1. I was wondering why the trackbacks were bouncing. How unprofessional that they would do this without notifying you - or ASKING you. You ARE paying for the service.

    I use liquidweb and like it (so far). I haven't really priced it, I just used it cause it's what I use at work. But it's loaded with bells & whistles. Most of which I'm clueless about how to use! lol

    I hope you get it straightened out.

  2. I wrote John myself. Dreamhost is looking to be a Knucklehead award winner in a day or two.

  3. Beth: Thanks. I'm checking into hosts now. Plus verifying the server in the back is ready to go.

    Bill: Thanks. Let's see if there's another piece of the puzzle that makes it all make sense. Who knows? I might end up being the Knucklehead when it's all over.

  4. Basil,

    I was awaiting you getting some resolution first. Monday is a slow knucklehead day, I was going to told off till then.



    PS- You're never a knucklehead.

  5. Bill: Yeah, they should have responded by then. I'll have an update when they do ... and we'll find out if they or I are the knucklehead here.

  6. I like hosting matters but I don't know how they price out. other than a certain someone managing to get the entire network down once it's been a good place.

  7. [...] Basil wrote back with a link to this post of his. Is Dreamhost Trying To Piss Me Off? [...]

  8. Hosting matters turned off your trackbacks? Really?

    Wow. I can't imagine. Then, they have one good support person and the rest are idiots.

  9. [...] Basil wrote back with a link to this post of his. Is Dreamhost Trying To Piss Me Off? [...]

  10. Argh. One of the reasons I moved from Movable Type to WordPress was to avoid Dreamhost pestering me to reduce my cpu usage. And now they're still going affter bloggers and shutting off services without consent?!

    Boo Dreamhost. Not the best call, given all the downtime you've made us suffer through lately.

  11. I've been trying to send a backtrack from and it kept bouncing. Now, I see why.

    Sure hope they get the problem fixed, or you do. Can't believe they would do that to you without notifying you first.

  12. [...] Dreamhost, which hosts my blogs, is still doing its damnedest to piss off its customers. Come on, guys - work with us, not against us, eh? Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  13. Unbelievable way to run a business...unbelievable.

  14. Cigarettes can cause cancer??? Say it ain't so!!

    Hope you get this worked out soon. Sounds like you're dealing with some pretty bright folks...

  15. That sucks, Basil. I'm interested to see what they say.

    They have been pretty responsive to me so far with any issue.

  16. Thanks to everyone. They do seem to be making efforts to get it all fixed. And I think it's back working properly now.

  17. Yeah, but since I didn't get to trackback your blog last night, nobody has seen the delicious Catfish dogs I cooked in your honor. What a gyp. My daughters cried themselves to sleep when I kept having to tell them, "No, sweetie, Mr. Basil won't take our trackback ping... Yes, little darlin', I'm afraid that means he hates you... No, sugar, you shouldn't pray for Jesus to do that to Mr. Basil, pray for something nice instead..." And so forth.

  18. Considering how much bandwith and stuff they offer in the package each month, I don't get their problem.

    Don't we pay for that?

    At least they replied and fixed.

  19. I guess I'm the lucky one: DH never bothers me with anything.

    Of course, hardly anyone ever visits my site, either. :)

  20. review: dreamhost = suck...

    I run my own server but I need to use dreamhost servers in the course of my day and in dealings with people and I would like to relay some of the pain: Most profession hosting is good but for anyone out there who are having issues with their hosting th...


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