An Open Letter to LunarPages

or Why I Recommend Against Using LunarPages to Host Your Website

The last 2 months have been a virtual hell for me (pun completely intended).  Sometime in the middle of May, I started noticing real problems with my website.  I was in the midst of doing a lot of content creation and tweeking to the big overhaul I’d done in February.  But everything was taking so long.  It was hard.  It was frustrating.  But then it got worse.

I started getting complaints from clients, customers and paying Members that they couldn’t access my website.  That it was timing out, locking up, going down.  And so, I filed a ticket with Lunarpages customer service.

Their initial response was to blame my website.  There must be a bad plugin or script causing the problem, because Our server is just fine.  So, I spent time and money, spoke to multiple web programmers familiar with both WordPress and Wishlist Member (the wordpress plugin that runs my ArtistsMBA Program).  And while we did find one bad plugin and deleted it, instead of things getting better, they actually got worse.

In the month that followed, I spent hours and hours on the phone with their “support” team – feeling very UNSUPPORTED BY THEM.  A lot of that time was spent on hold.  Then I had to explain, AGAIN, what the problem was.  After each call, I would get the standard form letter from Lunarpages – blaming my website – there must be a bad plugin or script because Our server is just fine…

After about 2 weeks of this nonsense, I signed up for a tool that pinged my website every 5 minutes – and started sending them  the outage reports – multiple outages daily.  And their response – well, these reports could be false positives, or my favorite – that the testing could actually be causing the problems.  Seriously?

Except that I COULDN’T ACCESS MY WEBSITE WHEN THE REPORT SAID IT WAS DOWN.   Consistently.  And I could tell when it was going down because it would get very slow (it took over 5 minutes to save a post that was under 300 words long).  And then, I’d get the report from the tester that it was down – coincidence – no, I don’t think so.

So, I started complaining on Twitter.  #Lunarpages sucks was my favorite tag.  And then, interestingly, almost immediately on June 21st, (3 weeks after my initial complaint) I get an offer from them:

I would like to offer you a free move to a different shared server. If the issue is indeed with the server itself, moving your account to a new server should resolve the issue immediately.

To which I enthusiastically and immediately replied – YES PLEASE!!!  After which Lunarpages did nothing.   It took 7 more days, 3 phone calls (with wait times of at least 20 minutes each time), several more emails telling me that it was my fault and my problem.  Finally, I happened to get the same support tech who opened the ticket back in May.  And he was shocked – yes shocked – that it hadn’t been moved.  He upgraded it and finally it was moved.

Do you know what happened – as they suggested – moving my account to a new server resolved the issue immediately.  Wow, what a relief.  Finally I could get back to work on what really mattered – running my business, serving my clients.  My virtual hell was over –

NO WAIT – IT’S NOT!

About a week after this happened, in a lull in my frantic catching up now that my website was working, I sent an email to their Feedback department.  Basically laying out what crappy customer service I had received and now that the issue was solved and it was a problem with the server – as I’d suggested when I filed the original ticket – how were they going to maintain their guarantee to me of 99.9% uptime, which had been broken every day for a month.

Coincidentally (?), the next day, fully a week after the website was moved to a new server – I got an email from support:

My deepest apologize for any inconvenience, but when we had your account transferred to QUANTZ I forgot to mention that this is only a temporary solution and you must take actions in order to have your account suitable for our production servers.

WTF?!?  So, I called, again.  And this time, I insisted on talking to a Supervisor.  And he told me a very interesting thing.  On May 8th, the server that I was on was converted to something called Cloud Linux.  And as a result, instead of having access to whatever resources were available on the server, as long as someone else didn’t need them, I only had access to 2% of the CPU processing resources and if I went over that limit the site would shut down.  Well, gee, golly wiz – why did NO ONE ELSE MENTION THIS?  My website hadn’t changed – they changed the rules.  Hmm – did I get a notice about this?  Did I receive an email from them telling me I was using more than their new rules allowed?  Ummmm, no.

Oh, and the reason moving to the new server fixed the problem?  Oh, because it wasn’t a cloud linux server.  So, I asked him to get back to me with a recommendation for a permanent solution and some prices on that. But he never got back to me.  Shocker.

The next day, I get an email from their “Quality Assurance Department” in response to my email to “feedback”.  He asked me to call him, which I did.  In that conversation (which happened on Friday July 8th) he made several promises to me:

First, that I would remain on the working server until further notice, and that I wouldn’t be moved until we had found a permanent solution to the issue.

Second, he would come back to me with compensation for my trouble.  Later that day, he did call me back and gave me 3 months added on to my contract.  (3 days for every day of outage). And should I have any more problems, I can think of him as my point man – just call him and he’ll take care of it.  His hours are Mon-Fri 10:30AM PST (this is important for the next part).   And again – phew – my virtual hell was over –

NO WAIT – IT’S STILL NOT!

Sunday morning, my website was moved back to the original production server that created all the problems.  And immediately the site went down again.  No, seriously.  So, the promises were good for all of about 36 hours.

I called and of course this guy is not working, its a SUNDAY!  I spoke to their service department (after a 30 minute wait on hold) and even though they could see all the notes on the file that said – DON’T MOVE THIS ACCOUNT – they couldn’t move it back.  Sorry.

I had to wait until 10:30 AM PST – a full 24 hours later – and spoke to this guy – and he got the site moved back – and promised (again) that the site wouldn’t be moved – so, I should trust this?  My Mama taught me – screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.

In the 2 months, I’ve spent time and money, lost members (more money), my Google ranking plummeted and my bounce stats went through the roof – after all, if a website doesn’t load, do you stick around?

So, I’ve switched to Hostgator.  Funny, I got an email from Lunarpages about 2 days into the propagation wondering why my DNS had changed?  After all, they promised they wouldn’t move me off that server that actually worked ….

Update – August 16, 2011

Yesterday I received a generous refund from LunarPages.  In addition, I got a call from their VP of Sales.  He’d read this blog and wanted to talk.  I was a bit nervous, but what he wanted was more feedback!  That’s impressive.  A company that actually wants to know why a customer leaves so that they can improve their service.  I still can’t recommend LunarPages, because I think the Cloud Linux system is flawed.  But if/when they fix those performance issues and if/when they address the tech support issues – I may change my feeling.

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  • David Crawford

    Wish I’d read this before we committed to Lunarpages. We’ve had so many of the same problems described in this blog. Yep, as of December 2016, they’re still tremendously underperforming, not to mention blaming the victims!

    • Edward Spiegel

      After several years of good experience with Lunarpages, i am now going through this hell. Pages that have worked like a charm for more than a year have problems because the server is claiming that we have exceed our CPU or memory allocation — even though our traffic is modest and the pages simple. The support people are giving me the runaround and upsell me. A knowledgeable friend told me that they clearly must have recently overbooked the server. I am going to forward the support people your horror story.

      I am hoping that I can get it resolved without having to jump ship. But it has been a nightmare as they try to put the onus on me for what seems clearly their error.

      • Jeff Johnson

        I am having the same problem right now. Contacting support on a weekend? Nobody’s home. On Thubin server. Responding 30 sec to over 1 min and time outs. Yesterday’s down time was in hours and I was about to do a big promo that can not go out because the site could or could not be up. I’ve been with them 10 years! They’ve been great in the past and I was featured on their testimonial pages. I even fielded calls a a reference. Trying dedicated support but I may be using Akeeba restore to move to another host today

      • Get out now, Edward. Trust me, you won’t regret leaving.

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  • mb

    I’m having the same problem !! Crappy Customer Service !!! – I can’t reveal my info right now because I don’t want any of my clients to know the problems I’m facing – they’ve entrusted me with their websites – but jeeese ! after more than 12 years of patronage I don’t understand why it takes over 4 days to get a response form the support team at LUNARPAGES !! don’t expect to do anything that requires email piping over there – in fact don;t expect to do anything REAL – unless you pay them an arm and a leg – just go elsewhere – LUNARPAGES SUCKS !!
    I’m moving on very very soon !!!!

    • yeda_peda

      Their support from 3- 4 months have been horrifically bad. .They have been good for last 7 to 8 years but now from last 3 – 4 months really bad..
      They make us wait on phone for more than 20 minutes and then the support guys acts like he cant listen to us.. What nonsense is going on .. If this is the way it goes i shall have to quit lunarpages. .They really had some good guys before i dont know what happened .. I hope i shall be still with them , I called them thrice all three times made me wait 10 to 15 minutes and the person still doesnt arrive ..
      Are they planning to shut it down , Dont know ..I never like giving negative review..but if i quit i shall explain everything in more detail .I hope i wont quit ..Also i hope lunarpages improve its services.. It was very good the pone wait time should not be more than 4 or 5 mintues now ..seems they have got new inefficient support staff.. who knows.

  • plasticstare

    I’ve been with them for several years, but the past 6 months have been terrible, right after I signed up for another 3 years with them. Every time I try to back up files from my webserver using an FTP client, my IP gets blacklisted, so I have to wait up to 24 hrs for a response from support. They claim that my work IP address has been whitelisted, but this is either a lie or they don’t know what they are doing. The only time I’ve ever used their phone support I spoke to someone who was condescending and blamed me for my issues, and claimed that if they didn’t have these protections in place that my site “would be hacked in 5 minutes” — um ok… Judging from other reviews I’ve seen around, they aren’t well regarded, both for their hosting services and for the amount of spam they and their customers generate…

  • Steve

    My site has been with them for two years, no problems, and I recently renewed for another two years. But it was brought to my attention that Malwarebytes protection gives a “Malicious Website” error for my home page. They tested it and found nothing wrong. I’m still trying increasingly simplified versions, but still getting the error. I’m wondering if it could be that they are some kind of blacklist and Malwarebytes is picking up on that? Or could it be on their end in some other way? I’m not an advanced site designer, I just know how to maintain my site with basic HTML.

    • I’m not sure what to tell you, Steve, I’m also not a web designer. But you might contact Malwarebytes and ask them why they’re giving you that error.

  • Ryan Contois

    I am really glad I read this! I work with a friend’s website hosted at Lunar.. Same exact issues. We get locked out, send them a support email, and wait for 24-36 hours for the most generic response, that blames us and the website…. Saying we were hogging resources, but when you check the resource stats, NO WHERE EVEN CLOSE!!! The customer service is crap, tech support is a joke, and their servers are a nightmare…… If you are looking for a great host Lunar is not it.

  • drumanshoo

    After waiting all day for their technical support to call me back, they refused to investigate a problem I clearly demonstrated as an issue. I installed WordPress through their Softaculous without adding any themes nor plugins and still Media Library grid view would only spin and not show any images, though I uploaded one for demonstration. NEVER EVER USE LUNARPAGES. Yes, Lunarpages sucks!

  • Don Kersey

    I am a long time lunarpages customer. I resubscribed this past July for two more years. I have a shared server, the business version riding on linux. A week ago, they said one of my web sites was sending out more than 200 emails an hour. Lunarpages changed permissions so that it could not do that. I was fine with that. Emails from that site should all come to me. But I wasn’t receiving any and there was none in any of the email accounts. None of the tools will show me how many emails, etc are going out. I get bandwidth numbers. OK
    The next day, they said that this was the second time I had had a problem and they deactivated my account until I removed the offending script. They did not say what the previous problem was. There had been a problem where hackers were trying to get in through the joomla admin. We restricted the admin page to my ip address and that fixed the problem.
    I got a message Sunday that lunarpages was running a scan and they would get back with me. Here it is Tuesday and no getting back. I called several hours ago and it was recommended that I leave my phone number and they would call back. No call back. So, I wrote on ticket # 3385731 .I cannot get into my billing, my emails or my databases. I can’t change vendors if I wanted to, because everything is very integrated into Lunarpages. My Google apps is tied in and will not work.
    Their support is m-f.
    Is lunarpages so far gone that I should consider them bankrupt and make the hard move over to siteground?

  • BarrySolomon

    This sounds typical as I am paying them for hosted services with dedicated HW and monthly bills around 1400$/month. One would think that they might respond when I ask them to upgrade my servers or fix a hardware related issue, but nooo, they still fail miserably at the simple things.

    I was also supposed to move hardware platforms and reconfigure my 2 physically hosted systems (18 VMs) there and they just kept forgetting about it until I threaten them (multiple times) and then they jump, but then drop it the next day. I know of several other large clients of theirs that are also looking to move.

    They have the worst customer service and I have been in contact with their CTO who also promises action to no avail. Their support is non-existent. Their sales guy Wayne does not care and lies about getting back to you all the time. I have been wanting to upgrade systems now for 2 months and they are just oblivious. Only reason I am still there is I have to make the time to migrate a reasonably complex system to a new provider. I have given them opportunity after opportunity to keep me, but they must be making the calculation that it is too tough to migrate to another provider. Well, next month they will find out that I am making the time.

    To get an insider’s perspective, check them out on Glassdoor to read what their own people are saying about them. Then find a new hosting provider as they are bad news.

    If you are considering them as a hosting provider then I suggest you look elsewhere.

  • Calidro Morello

    Got the same feelings, I started with lunarpages back in 2002, but then when you compare, they really throw everything they build up, like customer services overboard, today I decided to purchase in another hosting site an moving the whole site, the same story a issue with a plugin or an script or excess of CPU usage, thenthey block the website, no access at all, not even a temporary server to monitor the website, I am outside USA so a 24/7 support is a must, very sad but really lunarpages sucks! and I feel so aggravated, once I finish to move my site I am sure I did the right thing! Thank you for sharing…you were not alone!

  • Bob

    Actually I am actually happy with Lunarpages right now. But it wasn’t always this way. Took me a while, i.e. lots of screaming at support, to find out that the best configuration for using them is to have a local MySql server versus a separate networked database server. The shared networked database server just plain sucked. Once I switched to Cpanel local database everything smoothed right out for me. Been pretty happy with the ever since.

  • Brad

    Keep this page up, if they actually give two shits about their company they may read it again. Thanks for publishing this, it has answered a number of questions I had about the company.

  • Brad

    I had massive issues with NZ webit. Moved to lunarpages and had no issues for years until now. Massive issues with the sites and next to support. they kept responding to my tickets with stupid comments not related to the issue pushing the ticket further back. It wasn’t until I sent an email to the CEO that prompted a resolution. I got an email the next day from them and the solved the issue. Now the site runs really really slow and there are multiple issues. when back to the same time wasting in support tickets, one took over 30 messages before they actually fixed the problem. Still very slow, just paid for a renewal (Auto pay, have disabled that now) so I will be taking the websites to another hosting company. So bad, I have referred a large numebr of people to them (never received any benefits even though they have a referral program) and never had an issue for years, and I mean years without issues then in the last couple of months, very very poor customer server, and very bad in down time for a stage there. Reading this I can now see why I would have such a slow site. May start the move now.

  • Joseph Arbenstein

    It would be best if LUNARPAGES went OUT OF BUSINESS because that is how it seems when you need their help or support. DO NOT HOST WITH LUNARPAGES. ANOTHER THING They will NEVER give you a prorated refund no matter if you have purchase 10 years of services and then find that they suck and want out. THEY ARE THE WORST AND THEY ARE GREEDY TOO.

  • Ricky Nelson

    Lunar Pages is THE WORST HOSTING COMPANY – AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Terrible support. Terrible uptime. Servers down for days. THE WORST EVER EVER EVER!

  • Jeffrey Wells

    My domain just disappeared (Sunday). I called for service and spent 3 1/2 hours on hold. When I finally made it up the queue, I got an automated message that told me their offices were closed, and…goodbye.

    I seriously was on hold, going from #4 in line up to #1, and then got that message?

    • That’s horrible! They used to man those phones 24/7 – but I guess not anymore.

      • Looney Pages

        Hi Debra,

        Lunarpages has never provided 24/7 support unless you are considering the ability to email support 24/7, but active phone support on the basic hosting side is 7AM-7PM. If you have a basic hosting plan which is 99% of the LP client base, and were to call the dedicated server support line, you will be told you have called the wrong support desk and cannot be helped. The CEO George Natzic and Owner Ron Riddle refuse to cover the phones 24/7. Their reasoning verbatim, “The only calls we get after hours are billing calls requesting credits or cancellations. There is no reason to increase labor costs just to provide a gateway for unhappy clients to cancel services”. Now that is a solid progressive mission statement to encourage growth, if your only incentive is to collect revenue off of unsuspecting clients lured in by cheap hosting and unfounded world class service claims.

  • RyanArmishaw

    I have been with them for 9 years. A month ago I started experiencing the same crap as you. I can’t even do a Joomla software upgrade in the backend without my site crashing. What a joke. I finally had enough and am in the process of switching to SiteGround. Shame on you Lunarpages.

    • Bill Stevens

      lunarpages pays all their american employees less than half market wage and never lets them take any time off. they have been hemorrhaging talent and hiring idiots for about 8 months.

  • Jon J. J. Smith

    While I agree with many of the comments on here, I must say that some of them are a bit ill-informed. One, in particular, caught my attention — if your website does not work with the default mod_security install (and lets be honest, that is probably what they are using,_ then there is a serious security flaw in your website. Aside from that, the comments/ this article are pretty spot-on.

    • Looney Pages

      Lunarpages as a company failed in an overly competitive market. Since the company loses more clients daily then acquired, upper level management determined they could recoup their losses through acquisition. So Lunarpages bought four small hosting companies in order to absorb the client base, but yet again ignored the facts as to why sales revenue is declining.

      As a rule, notifying the new customers who are typically oblivious to the change in ownership, is a preferred ethical policy. Informing the purchased clients prepares for a smooth transition, and affords the new parent company a straightforward means to deal openly with any remaining contractual obligations. Lunarpages opted to ignore due diligence, and the newly acquired customers rudely discovered their services provider had changed only after the services failed.

      Lunarpages doesn’t have the employee resources to support their existing client base let alone the added list of displeased
      customers. The end result, the new clients deserted faster than the Lunarpages high employee turnover.

      Lunarpages is a sinking ship, so wear a life preserver if you choose to host with Lunarpages.

      • andrew

        Lunarpages started to go down hill about the same time that their onhold music changed from the cool 80’s music that the founder loved, to the standard corporate elevator music.

        • Looney Pages

          Hi Andrew,

          I know the former Director of Sales, who originally programed the on-hold music
          from his own personal library of classic rock tunes. The goal being to provide
          clients with forward thinking, inspiring and energetic music that could be
          enjoyed by a wide demographic of people. The LP CEO George Natzic decided Soft
          Jazz would promote a seasoned, and/or mature company first impression. As a
          former employee, I received numerous complaints from clients put on hold for
          several minutes due to the short staffed support queue. George commented that
          those who complain are not the echelon of customers LP is trying to attract. As
          insulting as his statement is, I hope you all feel enthused about exceeding the
          CEO’s expectations of what a viable customer is.

          Enjoy the Soundtrack of Your Life according to George Natzic.

  • SeriouslyNow

    Lunarpages Sucks. I have to deal with them for work. I am working with my boss on getting a new server for our company. They charge for every little thing and more often than not, i’ve had to deal with complete dicks over the phone. I wouldn’t recommend them to my worst enemy at this point.

  • Mickster

    I wish I had read this before I signed up with them. Their support page is RIDDLED with people suffering the same problem– “Your access to this mail system has been rejected due to the sending MTA’s poor reputation”– the MTA being Lunarpage’s servers. I submitted ticket after ticket and nothing. Just some smarmy comments by a moderator on their support page saying a ‘bad apple’ ruined this for everyone (placing blame on other customers instead of LP). Thank you for the recommendation on another hoster. I’ll be more careful next time.

    • Glad I could help – even if a bit late. It’s not you, it’s them!

  • Frustrated

    Lunarpages has told me they were closing my account as requested since Apr 2012. Yet I still get billed every year. This year they refused to reimburse me and I had to cal my credit card and contest it. Also asked to not honor future charges. Shame it takes that kind of action to get Lunarpages to stop taking money for services they are not providing.

    • Yeah, I’d have blocked them access the first time they charged but that’s me. Sorry they’re still delivering such poor customer service.

  • Cheng

    I am so frustrated with Lunarpages.

    I REGRET being their customer.

    You’re lucky that you got a refund. I wish I can get my money back but its well after 30 days. I’ve been with them for years, but I realise after these past 2 days of hell that they seem to really hate WordPress and their own customers.

    The best thing is they are the ones who caused all the problems to my sites by installing mod_security. After they did that, I wasn’t able to log in to my own sites and then they kick me when I’m down, the next day all my sites were down.

    I guess they love security and hate their customers. Funny that.

    And their tech support is bad. I’m on Day 2 and still nothing to show for it but my anger and lots of wasted time.

    Thank you Lunarpages.

    • Sorry you’re having that experience – and sorry they still haven’t gotten their #$% together – even after all these years. Perhaps they could use a business coach? 😉

    • Chaiwat S

      i’m about to move my site to LP. Someone told me that LP is the best hosting.

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I had problem using wordpress with my current host. I couldn’t even login to the admin side and the client side sometimes had a little problems to.

      This article is quite useful to me to consider.

      • Yeah, I’d look elsewhere, it would be sad for you to move from the frying pan into the fire. There was a time (about 10 years ago) that LP was the host to use – that hasn’t been true in awhile.

  • GrumbleGrumble

    I just had my issue with Lunar and it is a mickey mouse company… The “World Headquarters” that I called had no supervisor available because he was at lunch… so a “World Headquarter” runs on only one supervisor… there is no way to talk to someone in charge as they say that the only way to get in touch with corporate is through feedback@lunarpages email… what a joke… I got my issued resolved which as though I am not tech savvy I was able to figure out with logic in about 2 minutes, but they had to shut down my site get me pissed off and then ask me pay them because someone hacked the website they are hosting.

    • Similar thing happened with Hostgator. BUT, since I monitor my site constantly using pingdom.com, I knew immediately that there was something wrong, called hostgator, they investigated, blocked the hacker (the shutdown was an automated safety response), and got me up and running within 30 minutes – no charge..

      • Chaiwat S

        Thank you for info. I will find more detail about hostgator.

  • Looney Pages

    The company is owned by a Hells Angel, the CEO owned a small engineering company with two employees, but due to his friendship with the owner was hired to take over an IT company with hundreds of employees, and the CTO only has a hackers knowledge of IT, so you cant expect much from a company that spends more sponsoring off-road racing and UFC fighting than they do on employment and technical advancements for LP. Work with this company at our own risk.

    • I never knew that! Huh. Well, 2 years on HostGator and I’ve been very happy.

  • EPeters952

    We just went through exactly the same Hell – and made an emergency switch to a new company. I would never do business with these asshats again. Stay way!

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s been over a year – you’d think they’d be working on this. I hope the new company works better for you!

  • After more than a month with Hostgator – one outage lasting less than 5 minutes. Yep – I think this is worth the $1/month more….

  • Rob

    My website with Lunarpages has been out all day. Its the first outage I’ve had, that I know about. But that is enough. I’m going to move to Rackspace. What the hell kind of two-bit hosting provider doesn’t keep backup generators in their data centers?

    • Never heard of rackspace, so I can’t vouch for or against it. My experience is that the outage issues weren’t about actual server downtime. It was about them being incredibly stingy with CPU usage, and if you go over their very small usage allowance, they shut you down. No warnings, no acknowledgement – just down. And then, they deny, deny, deny.

      Yeah, I think they’re going to end up pushing themselves out of business – but until they hire me as a business coach, that’s not my problem, now is it?

  • I’m experiencing the exact same issue. I used to refer clients to LP but I can’t do that anymore. And that’s a shame since I have a dozen clients ready to move. They really screwed up.

    • That depends on how you look at it. I think they figure, that people like me will upgrade to a more expensive package rather than deal with moving servers. And if they’d come back to me after 48 hours of my first complaint and said that’s what I needed to do, I likely would have.

      But their customer service was so egregiously bad, that no amount of incentives would have kept me there.

  • scott ross

    I actually used LP several times recently and have yet to experience any type of issue (knock on wood, theses cloud linux systems are a horrible way to go .

    • I think if all you want is a very basic website or blog, you’ll probably be ok. But if you want to expand into a more interactive site, e-commerce site, or run wordpress with more then the basic plugins, I think you’ll run into problems with LunarPages.