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Business News, Commentary, Departmental News

Second Day Of Blackouts at Webs.com


For the second day in a row, WWPM MediaNet website viewers there has been an empty white spot on the header of our website. Apparently, for the second day in a row, the servers at Webs.com has been down and yet they blame the Internet service providers.

Of course, I’m not the only person having issues (although I only host website files there – like the Flash elements).

Customer Tommy Pham gave us this current update of outages (but there are more than what’s reported):

The reporting ISPs (although there are more than reported) include: Comcast, Qwest, TIES, Charter Communications, Windstream, BellSouth, INSIST, VERIZON, Vianet, AT&T, Cogeco, Clearwire, Canonwave, Buckeye Cable, Pioneer Internet, Blackfoot Telecommunications, Bell, Rogers, Telmex. There are also reported outages in Mexico City, the Philippines and South Africa as well.

Users got very few solutions (all of which failed), mainly blaming it on the above (and other) Internet service providers. The problem seemed to intensify no thanks to a user named Corey, who claims to be a forum Champion for Webs, for most of the day today. However, during the early afternoon hours, Alex Phy, has made the entire situation even worse.

Many customers are far beyond irritation and are threatening to move their business elsewhere.

I will be making update posts and responses as they become available during this impending issue.

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Discussion

18 thoughts on “Second Day Of Blackouts at Webs.com

  1. Update 5:18 PM: I am no longer hosting my website files on Webs anymore.
    (A great minority of them are still on file.)

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 5:19 pm
  2. Update received about 7:02 PM:

    Hi guys, its Stephanie from the webs postings.

    This issue has gone way out of hand on the forum and the administrators are digging themselves a huge hole. “CT” informed me there is no way to have access to previous posts so I have no way of seeing his replies to mine. He threatened me on a comment thread that I attached below that if I didn’t provide specific contact info for someone at the little IT department I call at Bell then he will take “further action” against me if I continue to post. I posted anyway, and he continued to answer me (an empty threat which is making me more mad).

    Bell Canada is a a HUGE corporation, I called them after reading that and they just don’t do this. Their stance is that if a website is not able to configure with their clients’ ISP’s it is an issue NOT for a customer to be involved in, and that if Webs claims to be such a big company themselves (I remember the claim that they’re one of the top 150 websites visited in the world), they should be taking action. I was also explained that Webs and similar web-based companies usually have specific contact information for major ISP’s and that it is normal for web-based “hosts” to communicate with them directly, or at least be in the know about the restrcitions regarding any ISP’s.

    In my opinion the content in the forum itself could crumble this company if made more public. I wrote to the “consumer report” division of CTV (Canada’s largest TV network), they do a 4 or 5 minute national report every night that airs on the local news across the country. I recieved an email back saying that they have interest in the story but wanted more of the dialogue from the forums – the dialogue that was “truncated” and no longer available, as CT says. I was able to cut and paste some things but was wondering if either of you have saved or recovered any of the dialogue today. The producer at CTV hinted that the more I can dig up on exactly what they’ve been telling us today they will investigate more…. Kind of put the onus on me to give them a story they can put in print right away without waiting weeks to get the info from Webs themselves I guess.

    But I am so shocked at the way they are talking to people on there,…. In the last half hour it’s resorted to hinting that free users should not be wasting WEBS time, that their ISP should figure it out. FREE users only though.

    Let me know if I can help you guys in any way as well.
    Stephanie

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 7:11 pm
    • I was a Comcast Rep (east coast usa) for 5 yrs. I have a free webs site. It took me a while to find the forum on the outage, but when I did I felt the same way you did. I posted a few comments which weren’t irate, and they took them off. All I basically said was that it was basically a wait it out situation. After seeing the rep comments though I started to get a little angry. They were terse with the customers. To be fair they were more direct in their approach by sticking with problem and resolution oriented material, but they were selecting certain users and comments for deletion that they found speculative. It’s understandable that they wanted new posts not to be swayed negatively, or in a direction that wasn’t what they wanted. I feel now that the problem is with Webs, it is their responsibility to fix it, and that they need better customer care. The fact that so many ISP’s are affected doesn’t necessarily mean that Webs is the problem however. A common path may exist for all the providers to Web servers. What’s interesting is how quickly the path is interrupted. My feeling is that it is a problem with Web servers for that reason. All the traces seem to terminate at the same point regardless of where their origin is. Almost as though it’s a nonexistent server. That is my uninformed reaction.

      I really am bugged at the way Web reps handle customers. I can point out about 4 different comments that I didn’t enjoy. I especially don’t like the way they view free accounts. The company markets their products primarily through free accounts. Those accounts are in essence paid accounts in my opinion. A certain percentage will convert to premium accounts after they are “sunk” and reach their storage limit. I believe they should stop referring to “Free” accounts the way they do (ie. rename “Free” accounts “Standard” for instance). It’s just not a professional way to do business.

      I could expand on this further (site more examples) of poor customer interaction if you need it in some way.

      Thanks for listening.
      Best regards,
      Rob Tafarro

      Posted by scribbleX | January 15, 2011, 9:35 pm
  3. Update 7:54 PM (from Stephanie):

    To warn other potential webs scam victims: Post your complaints about the webs.com scam at RIPOFFREPORT.COM and COMPLAINTSBOARD.COM. Tell others how webs screwed you, and as usual, webs.com blamed anything BUT webs.com for your losses!

    So other prospective Customers will see your complaints, and to make sure we PAY WEBS back a little for costing us TIME and $$$$$$$. Make sure to use the right “tags” in the title line of your comment: “webs.com complaint” — “webs.com website builder ripoff” — “webs.com Silver Springs, MD SCAM!”

    The lowlife webs A-HOLE censors will delete this soon. Copy and repost this note here ok?

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 7:55 pm
  4. Update 8:30 PM from customer support rep “CT”:

    The following email has been sent to an email address used by AT&T’s security team:
    Ticket number given for this response – 011511-212307-46311-00

    ———————————————————————————————-
    Hello,

    As you guys may know by now, there has been a situation in which ATT has blocked websites built via Webs.com Hosting services. I am the Tech. Support lead and looking to find a resolution. I am not sure of the cause but gather from several traceroutes, given to us by users, you guys may employ a filter which is stopping access beyond your network. This is particular to a path used to access sites that follow the format of username.webs.com. Your customers have no issues accessing any other aspect of Webs.com besides username.webs.com. Therefore all details point to the issue being with a Filter.

    Please review the following traceroute:

    AT&T Customer here and here is my traceroute. (Information omitted for security purposes.)

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 8:31 pm
  5. I am very aware of the Webs Outage and agree that something is just not right!!
    Please go to the following link and report this to CNN News as if we can get enough people to do this then we can get a ton of Media Coverage that will surely get us some answers as to what is going on at Webs!
    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/newstips.html

    Posted by jeffery66 | January 15, 2011, 8:39 pm
    • Thanks – while we get all of that taken care of, refer people to this article. Stephanie B is in the middle of writing a post herself and I’ll tack her post on my blog when it’s finished.

      Tweet it on Twitter, post it on Facebook……anywhere to spread the word that Webs.com is nothing more than a company run by frauds!

      Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 8:47 pm
  6. Forum comment around 9:07 PM from Jerano:

    CT, your network engineer cant dismiss the fact that this is affecting over a dozen ISP’s

    You mean to tell me all those ISP’s are gonna filter *.webs.com subdomains, but allow the http://www.webs.com subdomain? They arent going to filter bombmaking sites, just *.webs.com

    This has GOT to be an uplink/routing issue at your colo!

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 9:08 pm
  7. Forum response from cecgagnon about 9:19 PM:

    Even if it is an IP address problem. What you have to realize is that our clients who try to access our websites can not either. Which means that all the advertising I have done for my business over the past two months is gone down the toilet literally. If I can’t access my site neither can my customers. I still can’t believe that after this many hours your still only looking into an IP address issue. What do you propose to do with all the millions of people online who can not acccess any of the webs.com websites?

    And it’s not just an ATT issue either. Earlier there were about 20 servers that were posting up here that were seeing the same issue.

    I’m sorry webs you are still not doing a sufficient job. But as you said earlier, were not really customers are we, cause we’re free users.

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 9:20 pm
  8. Forum comment from Shad about 9:38 PM:

    I am a little concerned that webs.com is not taking this very serious. They say its up to us to contact our isp to get the fix. I have contacted Clearwire and have reached level 2 support. The tech told me they were contacted about the problem by other users so were aware of the problem. He also told me that he emailed one of webs.coms support contact yesterday to try and get some vital information he needed from webs.com to fix the issues with his IP. As of today he still hasnt got a response from webs.com. I emailed the same person from webs.com and they never replied to me either.

    Guess when i read the that webs.com staff is doing everything they can to resolve the issues, yet they wont respond to an actual isp technician requests. I did email links to some posts by webs.com about the issue hopefully he can get the information he needs from that.

    webscarolyn@yahoo.com is suppose to be a contact according to another webs.com member. Maybe if enough people email her she miight take the time to respond to the appropriate isp providers trying to contact her. I realize it is the weekend and most people are working but this is affecting many people in the webs.com community.

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 9:43 pm
  9. This is the email about my removed comment.

    This reply has been removed by Webs:

    I really do get angry about these responses about free versus paid service. It’s all paid service. The company’s main marketing thrust is GET A FREE WEB SITE. Do you think that is because they are just wonderful benevolent souls? It is an enticement to get us involved, use the limited storage and features, and eventually upgrade. The free members have a dollar value. In essence they are paying members on percentage. They should change the name. (Standard service, Premium service). It’s degrading. The service person used the words (since you claiming having a [aid account)..in response to cashisfantastic like he might be lying. No offense, but I would have worded that differently. I just miss being able to access my site. I use it for everything. It’s not a money maker (yet). lol Replies can be removed by community moderators if they contain inappropriate content or private information. This was the reason given in this case:

    Webs: “Please do not post unless you have factual information or reports of speaking with your ISP.”

    If you disagree with this change, you can dispute it here.

    Posted by scribbleX | January 15, 2011, 10:01 pm
  10. This is what doesn’t make any sense:

    I’ve been a website programmer since 1996 (yes, I was 10 years old and already knew how to create websites!)

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 11:14 pm
  11. Forum response from Ian about 11:00 PM:

    A similar problem happened at Webs.com in November 2009 when most but not all sites went down, traffic was re-routed by Webs through an alternative source to get service back up and running until normal service was restored.

    The cause of the downtime then was because a Construction Crew cut through a cable leading directly to one of Webs Servers.

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 11:14 pm
  12. cecgagnon’s official complaint on Webs.com through ComplaintsBoard:

    Well were do I begin with this complaint. I had a very nice website with webs.com I was very happy with it. I invested lots of money into advertizing this website as it’s my business. I direct all my potential customers to my website through all my advertising.

    For the past 24+ hours all webs.com sites are down. Which means that none of it’s users or operators can access their sites. Which also translates to our customers not being able to access our websites either.

    Now webs.com team’s way of dealing with this issue is for us, to contact our internet providers. Because apparently by some magic force their is an issue with all of our IP address.

    When we (the customers) on the forum would push a webs.com team leader to look into the matter further. This team leader would delete our comments, make a rude remark to us or simply blow us off.

    The webs.com tech. who was supposed to be dealing with the issue, even had gone as far as saying that we were not really customers anyways because we are free users. Now just to clarify, yes they offer free web hosting. However, not only the free websites were down, but their premium sites as well. Those who paid fro premium sites, did not get treated any different then us.

    I truly feel that webs.com is scam company, they had too many free users and had to shut it down somehow.

    I strongly urge everyone not to go with this company if it ever gets back up and running again.

    I would also urge anyone who is seeing this and who has experienced the same issue to contact a lawyer and lets laid down some lawsuits on these guys. They have cost so many of us small business owners so much money and heartache.

    I appreciate anyone who has come and listened. Please do not deal with the webs.com free web hosting company.

    Posted by Jake Leonard | January 15, 2011, 11:21 pm
  13. Webs.com has really ruined a good thing.I can completely understand the complaints and the fact that everyone is frustrated especially when businesses and paying customers are involved.I’ve checked into things as well and Jake is correct that it’s not just the Free customers,but the paying customers as well in the states and countries mentioned.I think Webs is going to end up doing one of two things.Either going under for good or will come back and charge everyone an arm and a leg for their services.Either result I see major lawsuits in Webs near future.Keep up the good fight Jake.

    Posted by juice4prez | January 16, 2011, 1:09 am

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