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7 year review of ChicagoVPS
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7 year review of ChicagoVPS

mencargomencargo Member
edited February 8 in Reviews

Executive brief:

Their service is average, their support is horrible and getting worse.
They lie in their sales promises and support.

Full review:

We are clients since mid 2013, with multiple VPS and a couple of dedicated servers.
Created a DNS cluster with their VPS, several web hosting servers with cPanel and stuff like that.
Their service was ok, the support was a little slow but with a good attitude, felt like personal attention.

In 2015, ChicagoVPS was acquired by it’s primary supplier, VSNX (ColoCrossing).

We immediately started to notice changes, mostly in their support staff, their attitude and knowledge of the services.
Their ticket response turned into painfully slow (aside from the quick and useless automated response), started to have trouble communicating what we wanted, always having to explain in detail, almost felt like teaching their craft.

We had some major issues with some VPS and their response was always something like:

  • Your server is sending spam, we had to take it down.
  • Your server is being attacked.
  • There was a hardware failure at the underlying server.

Never really explaining in detail, no logs, no evidence. So, because of the service interruptions, we started to migrate to another provider until we ended up with only one dedicated server.
Struggling to find a reliable provider for dedicated servers and thinking that the bad experience was due to the transition in the company acquisition, we kept it there.

Last month something happened that sums up everything that is wrong with ChicagoVPS, here's the support ticket summary (that can gladly provide to any admin to verify):


2020-01-24:

  • The server is not responding to any attempt, ping, web, ssh... nothing. We triggered a reboot from your panel and still aren't able to get in. Please help

Support: We have detected a large volume of email being sent from your IP. Your machine appears to have been used to send SPAM. We have null routed the source IP, and will continue to monitor this situation. The null route may remain in place for up to 48 hours. Please investigate this issue with your customer and resolve this matter immediately.

  • 8 hours without service and no signs of spam from blacklists. Block the 25 port to prevent any spam and let us investigate the issue.

Support: We have removed the null route

  • We are still unable to access it, ping, ssh, web, nothing. Almost half a day without service.

2020-01-25:

Support: One the drives in your RAID 0 array has failed leaving the data unrecoverable. Please advise how you would like to proceed.

  • In your website, Dedicated Servers, it's clearly stated: "As an extra layer of protection we have implemented daily backups so we are always prepared." What's the fastest way to restore our service from your last backup? Replace the broken hard drive? Move to a different server?

2020-01-27:

Support: We do not provide backups on self-managed services, especially bare-metal as we have no access to the disk and the smart servers are the same case there. We will let the web designer know to edit the site if there was an issue from a duplicate page.


The ticket was automatically closed.
No solution was given.
The server is still unavailable.

** Edit, details added to clarify: **

Before they actually replied that the hard drive failed, we had already migrated the service elsewhere since I knew that it would be faster than trying to come up with a solution in ChicagoVPS.
The issue I'm trying to expose is that they where feeding us lies for almost 24 hours while the server was unavailable and the ticket was closed without a solution.

Thanked by 2uptime lukesUbuntu

Comments

  • vyas11vyas11 Member
    edited February 8

    Ugh. That sounds bad.

    How bad is the Stockholm Syndrome?

    Thanked by 2dahartigan imok
  • All love has vanished @vyas11 we are getting over it

  • vyas11vyas11 Member
    edited February 8

    @mencargo said:
    All love has vanished @vyas11 we are getting over it

    Feb 14th is round the corner. I am sure you will find 'new love' ..so to speak. Thanks for the post, and feedback about ChicagoVPS. Best, cheers.

  • Is provider-initiated daily backups on a dedi an actual thing?

    Purveyor of high quality potassium

  • There are many other reliable options to migrate to. Once is a mistake, twice is a choice.

    Thanked by 1dahartigan

    Deals and Reviews: LowEndBoxes Review | Avoid dodgy providers with The LEBRE Whitelist | Free hosting (with conditions): Evolution-Host, NanoKVM, FreeMach, ServedEZ | Follow latest deals on Twitter or Telegram

  • TheLinuxBugTheLinuxBug Member
    edited February 8

    @dahartigan said:
    Is provider-initiated daily backups on a dedi an actual thing?

    @mencargo ,

    I mean, I get ColoCrossing is shit and so is ChicagoVPS, however...

    I agree with @dahartigan 's sentiment here, to expect a provider to run any type of back-ups for you without you specifically providing them access and having an agreement in place to protect your privacy, such as a management agreement or similar agreement where you know they have full access to the server, is silly. If you didn't set up some type of managed service agreement or specifically provide them access to the server when it was first setup and it is an unmanaged service, then for once, their response is valid. If you were using raid0 (no redundancy) and were not taking your own back-ups, then really it's your fault for not making sure there were back-ups or a plan in place to have back-ups (confirming what was on the site was actually the case) in case the hardware failed.

    Additionally, not try to give you a hard time here, but why would you use raid0 in a production server environment to begin with? This implies you had multiple drives anyways, so it seems like a sane person would have chosen to raid1 the drives instead.

    TL;DR:
    If the server wasn't managed and you didn't make an effort to make sure it was, then expecting them to have back-ups of your server is silly and an unrealistic expectation. This would be your fault as you should have been keeping off site back-ups you self anyways, regardless of their being a supposed back-up service in place. It isn't uncommon to occasionally experience corruption in back-ups anyways, so any logical person would also keep their own copy just in case. Their only obligation to you is to replace the failed hardware and bring the server back online, past that, they don't owe you anything in this case.

    This coming from someone who would love to jump on the ChicagoVPS bashing bandwagon too. It's a sad day when someone actually has to defend ChicagoVPS.

    my 2 cents.

    Cheers!

    Thanked by 1dahartigan

    Have an Allwinner H3 device? Android? Check out H3Droid! | Lichee Pi Zero - The 6$ SBC | #SYSarm - Get It! | Atomic Pi - $35 x86 SBC
    21+ Years IT Experience in Linux/Windows Hosting, Administration and Development Services

  • @poisson said:
    There are many other reliable options to migrate to. Once is a mistake, twice is a choice.

    Yep, we already had all other servers in Linode and Vultr.

    Thanked by 2poisson dahartigan
  • @dahartigan @TheLinuxBug
    I agree and I understand, we had manual backups and the server is up an running in another provider.
    The issue is not only about the claim of daily backups that is not fulfilled, is also about lying about a SPAM issue in the server (that obviously was down to begin with), about setting a "null route" and "monitor it", removing it, taking more than 24 hours to actually review the server, ending the ticket support without offering a server replacement, hard drive replacement, nothing...

  • @mencargo said:
    @dahartigan @TheLinuxBug
    I agree and I understand, we had manual backups and the server is up an running in another provider.
    The issue is not only about the claim of daily backups that is not fulfilled, is also about lying about a SPAM issue in the server (that obviously was down to begin with), about setting a "null route" and "monitor it", removing it, taking more than 24 hours to actually review the server, ending the ticket support without offering a server replacement, hard drive replacement, nothing...

    Gotcha. Just the way you worded things it sounded like your biggest complaint / expectation was about the back-ups in what you wrote. I basically expected the rest of the stuff from them outright -- the poor support quality and slow responses, thus why the back-ups was the item that caught my attention. Don't get me wrong, as I said, they are shit and you have many valid points. However, as far as back-ups... you really can't blame that on them.

    my 2 cents.

    Cheers!

    Have an Allwinner H3 device? Android? Check out H3Droid! | Lichee Pi Zero - The 6$ SBC | #SYSarm - Get It! | Atomic Pi - $35 x86 SBC
    21+ Years IT Experience in Linux/Windows Hosting, Administration and Development Services

  • @TheLinuxBug I just read it and you are right, added some details to clarify that.

  • TheLinuxBug said: you really can't blame that on them.

    Well, one could blame them as they claimed they would be doing it. It should just be really obvious they're lying and one should make their own arrangements - which he did. :)

  • sonicsonic Member

    How could you go with them for 7 years?

    Shared: Smallweb| VPS: NexusBytes, FlowVPS, VirMach, InceptionHosting, Linode
    Gapps legacy 100/200 users cheap 4 sale. PM

  • @sonic said:
    How could you go with them for 7 years?

    Had a handful of bad experiences around the acquisition (2015) that led me to move all VPS to Linode, but the dedicated server was difficult to move and the providers that I trusted with didn't offer dedicated, so that one remained there until now.

  • No doubt CC Hosts are sh**t best of luck with your new provider

  • @mencargo

    Congrats on your first thread with your first five comments

    Thanked by 1vyas11

    "Linux will run happily with only 4 MB of RAM, including all of the bells and whistles such as the X Window System, Emacs, and so on." (M. Welsh & L. Kaufman, Running Linux, 2e, 1996, p. 32)

  • If your service was unmanaged, how did they know the drive had failed? How did they know you had a RAID0 array? Did you provide them your root pass? Or can that information be obtained from IPMI without logging in (didn't think that'd be possible).

    HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
    Location: https://talk.lowendspirit.com

  • MasonR said: If your service was unmanaged, how did they know the drive had failed? How did they know you had a RAID0 array? Did you provide them your root pass? Or can that information be obtained from IPMI without logging in (didn't think that'd be possible).

    Likely hardware raid and if you have seen any professional rack mount servers, most have indicator lights on them to indicate failure -- for example, DC can walk up to my server I have and look right at the chassis and know if I have failed drives, they don't have to use a crash cart and attach just to find that out. As for the raid failure, they likely used hardware raid and the raid card reported the failure, at boot, on screen. You don't have to have access to the OS for that.

    my 2 cents.

    Cheers!

    Thanked by 1MasonR

    Have an Allwinner H3 device? Android? Check out H3Droid! | Lichee Pi Zero - The 6$ SBC | #SYSarm - Get It! | Atomic Pi - $35 x86 SBC
    21+ Years IT Experience in Linux/Windows Hosting, Administration and Development Services

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Provider
    edited February 8

    @MasonR said:
    If your service was unmanaged, how did they know the drive had failed? How did they know you had a RAID0 array? Did you provide them your root pass? Or can that information be obtained from IPMI without logging in (didn't think that'd be possible).

    That's possible and actually if a provider has some control panel to reboot, boot, shutdown and reinstall dedis that uses the ipmi protocol too. So yes it's obtained from there.

    On our HP blade systems, we have a Administrator module, we can select the server from a graphical interface, it's showing us front and rear view of the system, we select the server and then have all health info about the server, including RAID info etc. We also can login into ilo4 from there.

    Most enterprise grade systems are very smart sir. In case of my HP systems, they report me aswell if some HD/SSD of customer servers is about to fail, so we can replace before it does

    You can control your hardware like your in front of it. It's a rare case that physical access is needed to fix something.

    Thanked by 1MasonR
  • LeeLee Member

    mencargo said: We had some major issues with some VPS and their response was always something like:

    Your server is sending spam, we had to take it down.
    Never really explaining in detail, no logs, no evidence. So, because of the service interruptions, we started to migrate to another provider until we ended up with only one dedicated server.

    I mean, if a provider says your server is sending spam, surely you can check yourself, not all providers will provide evidence or logs. It's hardly a difficult one to check and if they are wrong to show them.

    In any event, you lasted 7 years so it really couldn't have been that bad.

  • @Lee We can and we did.
    As stated in the ticket, there where no signs of spam from blacklists providers.
    Without access to the server itself is hard to diagnose, that's why we asked to only block port 25 and let us access the server...
    Anyway, if you continue reading you will see that the server was in fact not sending spam.

    We lasted too long and regret it, all VPS were migrated in 2015, only this last dedicated server remained after that.

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