My web hosting with Bluehost (a US-based web hosting provider) came to an end mid-February. The renewal price was exorbitant, so I decided to switch provider.
First, I spent about 3 weeks trying to get hold of my blog files. Every time, I’d be told by Bluehost’s Technical Support team to follow a series of steps but the instructions provided did not work. I tried from different machines. I cleared the cookies. Their control panel remained unresponsive and I couldn’t download my files. I must have tried over 10 times and despite the results being no different, I was asked to perform the same steps over and over again. I explained ‘that procedure does not work’ about 5 or 6 times but the Technical Support Robot kept on repeating ‘try again’.
I suggested alternative solutions (e.g. send the files via email or a free FTP service like https://www.wetransfer.com/) but the so called ‘Engineer’ was uncooperative.
In short, Bluehost was refusing to hand over my site files, which meant my blog was down for over a month. Eventually, another Bluehost Engineer emailed:
I apologize for the earlier miscommunication. In order to gain access to the files on your account, you’ll have to reactivate the hosting account. There is no other way to access these files. We do have a 1-month renewal option at a rate of $14.99 per month. You should be able to contact our billing department to make this happen.
After all the faff and time wasted, I must pay to get hold of my files? I complained and it was eventually agreed that the 1-month renewal will be reimbursed. But then, nothing happened. I had to prod Bluehost again. Only to receive vague email responses such as:
Thank you for contacting support and I apologize for the delay in replying to your email. You will need to renew the account before you will be able to create a backup or download files. Here’s a quick guide on how to download files/create a backup: https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/735
It took another 10 days for Bluehost to set up the 1-month renewal…Finally, mid-March, I was able to get hold of my files.
Then I decided to go British this time and chose TSO Host to transfer my blog to. The price was a fraction that of Bluehost and their customer service was a breeze of fresh air. They sorted out my blog migration for me (for free!), they responded to emails promptly (most of the time the same day), and most importantly, they responded with a genuinely useful and thought-out answer when you have a query! This time, Great Britain’s service wins with flying colours.