Dishonest Internet commerce practice (ServerPronto.com)

serverpronto-logoThis is a story that has been going on for a long time now, but it has blown to proportions that I thought were no longer tolerable. I hope that by writing this article, other people will be able to benefit from it and avoid the same mistake I made.

About a year ago, I rented a server with ServerPronto.com. The subscription process went pretty good, even though they gave me a server in Panama in the first place (although I asked one in the USA specifically). I wanted to be able to watch some US shows over the Internet, by streaming through that server, so the fact they gave me a panama server was a problem for me. They did move it pretty quickly though, so I must say I was OK with that.

After trying it out for 2 months, I did not manage to make it work correctly. The power of the computer was just not enough to get a normal streaming video going (the Flash videos were way too laggy). I forgot to resign the contract, so I got stuck another 3 monts, which is completely my own fault. Then, however, I sent a support ticket saying I wanted to cancel my account after the 3 months paid were finished. This is where things got nasty.

They told me that in order to cancel my account, I had to fill-in a form, sign it, send it to them by mail (not e-mail, regular post mail) and attach a photocopy of my credit card and my passport !

This had never happened to me before and I surely didn’t trust the company enough to send them a complete copy of my ID and credit card so I told them I did not want to proceed this way. They simply answered that during my sign-up, the conditions of sale (CoS) stipulated exactly these terms and that I agreed with them.

The simple fact that they accept the creation of an account by using my e-mail and credit card and then ask for 10x more to cancel it is purely dishonest business. I live in Geneva, Switzerland and sending a photocopy of my passport to the other side of the world is NOT something I want to be doing, especially when I have no idea what will happen with it.

I called-up my bank and decided to block my credit card and ask for a new one. This happened without any problems and I thought everything was finished from that point on.

That was not counting on the fact they sent a copy of the conditions of sale to my bank, stating that I signed them, agreed to them and that they would be billing my account until I actually went through all the steps as detailed in the CoS.

I am currently talking to my bank to figure out what my next step would be and if all of this is actually legal, but in any case, it has been the worst business I have ever done over the Internet (and I have done a lot).

I would advise anyone against using their service. Many other services exist on the web, are better and honest about their business. I hope that by writing about this, I managed to save some problems to others that might be considering their servers.

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