December 02, 2007
Last night I tried to create an account at Blue Host. While I was successful in creating an account, the process left a lot to be desired and as a result I almost immediately canceled the account.
In signing up you are presented with a page, where you input your name, email address, mailing address, and credit card information. Nowhere on the screen are you given any indication what your account name (ID) will be. At the bottom of the screen are two buttons: Next and Cancel.
Like most people who have interacted with web-based signup forms, I took the "Next" button to mean that there was an additional step to complete before the transaction was complete. Perhaps establishing the account name. I was wrong. Clicking next transmits your credit card information and, once the transaction is approved, you are presented with a "Welcome to your Account" page. In a few minutes you get an email with your account information, included a generated account name.
In my case I have two established domains I wish to move, and a new one I need to create. I decided to move the less active domain first. The account name that Blue Host created for me was the first eight characters of the domain name I provided. I was extremely unhappy with this choice. Using their 24/7 online chat help I asked if that could be changed. The answer was no.
I was directed to their online help desk, where I created a ticket asking for my account to be deleted. That page also gave a toll-free number to call for assistance. Upon calling I was fortunate enough to catch someone with the authority to cancel my account immediately, rather than having to wait until the next business day. Even so it will take five days for my credit to appear on the credit card. (That I can spend money in twelve seconds but not get refunded for five days is the subject of another post.)
Now I must reevaluate Blue Host. Do I want to continue with them? Or should I go elsewhere. That a process as simple as creating an account should be handled in such a way as to be upsetting to me, doesn't bode well for future interactions with them. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for Blue Host, there are many, many choices in the domain hosting market space.