I have been a customer of 6 years. After having an outstanding charge of 11$, they emailed my non-primary email address to let me know that after 2 weeks of non payment, my account would be suspended and all data lost. The email fell through the cracks into my spam folder.

One of my sites is entirely static and on Github. The other however was a wordpress site and was utilizing snapshots for backups. Not only did they delete BOTH my sites, they deleted my snapshots so that even after paying this pitiful 11$, I could not recover.

Say what you will, this demonstrates an unreliable cloud provider. A platform that will wipe a production app/site over 11$ does not need to host anything beyond a toy app.


  • 28
    They emailed you, and you fucked up. You also fucked up your backups because you should always also have a local one so that you own your data. You maybe also fucked up because didn't use deposits (dunno whether DO offers that).

    With my hosting provider, I use that way to have funds with one year in advance so that I can't forget to pay, and it would even work e.g. if I found myself in the hospital and would be unable to deal with hosting bills.
  • 23
    @Fast-Nop This is an error on digitalocean's part too. If I have understood this complaint properly he had not paid his bil of 11 dollars and his instance on Digitalocean was directly terminated his instance without giving him time to pay up.

    In my experince with aws they emailed and said I have me a few weeks to pay and did not terminate the instance imeddiately. I paid a few days before the last date and there was no late fees If I recall correctly.

    The comparision with aws is unfair but Digiralocean not giving him even a day and not emailing him on his main email address makes it a mistake on digitalocean's part too .

    You are right on storing backups somewhere else
  • 10
    @Sony-wf-1000xm3 They did give him two weeks, and that's enough time. It's just that he didn't check his spam folder for important mails, which isn't DO's fault.
  • 10
    @Fast-Nop I'd tend to agree with you but I have heard this sort of story many times with DO - mistake happen. Having your entire site destroyed sucks in any case.
  • 7
    @Fast-Nop an email sat in my spam folder telling me they would shut everything down over 11$ with 7 days to reply. If you dont see the problem with this then you have extremely low expectations for a cloud provider. Anyone with a half an understanding of customer experience would agree this is not how it should have been resolved and that an expired CC is not worth losing a lifetime customer. The answer your looking for is THEY fucked up for losing an opportunity for 45$ a month = 540 a year. I was using DO for my two personal sites but was going to migrate all of my clients sites over. That would've been 25,200$ a year in hosting for them. And now Im opting for AWS lightsale. They will never be considered a reliable cloud provider.
  • 6
    @dUcKtYpEd How is DO responsible if you don't read their emails? Managing your emails properly is on you.
  • 1
    On top of this, my pm2 server had gone down every other month with DO. The time that it went down was always at the same time Id receive a notification that a DO administrator was making changes on my box. Its crazy the bullshit I hear people deal with DO. And here they are trying to become the next heroku/AWS mix-up. They need to start with their support and reputation.
  • 7
    @Fast-Nop i genuinely hope you miss a spam email one day or mis-categorized/filtered email that carries drastic results. Apparently you are flawless and never have. DO expects that as well.
  • 2
    There is no cloud, there is only other people's computers.
  • 2
    Also it was my fault for not having backups. One site was static and no biggie. The other was wordpress and snapshots sufficed as long as i could trust the provider with the snapshots. Double wammy.
  • 5
    AWS gives customers 90 days before suspension and you get SMS reminders followed by customer support outreach. Guess who I’m going with.
  • 11
    They should use different domains for broadcasting spam emails and important transaction emails, the fact that it was marked as spam means that they use same email for both spam and important transactional emails. Also, develop a habit to customise your inbox and check spam folder regularly and fix any important email that was marked as spam.
  • 3
    @HiFiWiFiSciFi this rant is about ocean, not cloud
  • 8
    @theabbie or maybe they shouldn't post spam
  • 2
    @electrineer It's a part of marketing to keep sending emails, it's not spam and people should develop a habit to "unsubscribe" instead of marking as spam. Innocent people suffer because of that.
  • 1
    @dUcKtYpEd I have prepaid funds with my hosting provider so that I cannot miss due payments, and I have full local backups, even at other locations.
  • 10
    DO sounds like a company that thinks customers are just flocking to them. Companies should be focused on solving customer problems. You had a problem and didn't know about this problem. If they were customer oriented they would have a method to reach out and help you solve this problem. I would classify DO as "not customer oriented" or "not concerned with retaining customers". Data storage is cheap.
  • 4
    @Demolishun nicely put. This reminded me of working at the bank where if the inactive account letter went to a wrong address, your account would be cancelled and check with all your savings sent to the wrong address. Accept I didn’t even get a zip file.
  • 7
    DigitalOcean is a shit company for hosting.

    Their rates are OK, but their uptime and SLAs are garbage if you want to run a reliable website. Their service & support is sub-par -- Even Google Cloud beats them in communication, and that's saying something.

    We used to have so many issues with them communicating planned maintenance over twitter, poorly documented changes to their infrastructure, and even random removal of instances (without payment issues).

    That's all unacceptable.

    But, in my opinion, it IS 100% your responsibility to pay your bills on time, and to have some kind of code & data restoration plan. Every clock cycle and every hard disk sector costs money. Not a lot of money, but they can't just wait for all their customers to respond to reminders.

    So, Judge Bittersweet rules in your favor, but would advise to improve your payment & recovery strategy as well.
  • 1
    Your fault, not theirs. Reliable deletion, you agreed to the TOS.
  • 2
    I *mostly* agree with @Fast-Nop...

    They gave you a warning in advance that you didn't see, which is not their fault.

    However, in your defense, I personally think they should have send the warning, suspend after two weeks and then nuke after another week.

    Though I suspect more to be at play here considering they don't just say: "hey, you need to pay now or you're gone"...

    This happens after a while of you not paying the bill.

    Accounts become past due if you didn't pay in-time (keeps current resources running, blocks creation of new resources), after 21(!!) days (during which you get a mail each week) your account gets suspended (powerdown resources) then after another 14 days, your account gets terminated.

    So in all, you had about 35 days to take action...

    Some things to keep in mind for next time:

    - backup your data (snapshots are not backups)

    - setup billing alerts

    - enable automatic billing

    - atleast look at your spam folder every week
  • 1
    DO is good. Do you make daily backups and upload them somewhere external? normally the server doesnt count as a good backup. I had servers with other companies like OVH which servers failed twice on me and i was able to recover all the data because of the backups I do daily and download them to my pc.
  • 1
    Why not aet it to auto-pay your bill, removed the hassle or worry of not paying something on time.
  • 1
    To be fair, all hosting providers do this to some extent, and a lot of it is entirely automated. I've been booted in the past from Aruba Cloud for suspicious traffic, and my servers got their network link immediately removed, unable to log in again. For financial reasons.. well the hosting provider can't know if you're going to pay, right. They are subject to a lot of abuse (because who doesn't like free servers I guess).

    Migration to Hetzner was pretty easy since my VPS's only ran reverse proxies to the real servers which are in my home. Absolutely hated Aruba Cloud for the termination but it is what it is I guess... Can recommend Hetzner at least, they don't ask immediately for payment and their admin interface is pretty clean. They've got servers in Germany and Finland.
  • 0
    It might be a good idea to have your new provider text you on your phone. Most mobile phone companies offer email to text. This will get your attention as your reaction will be: Who the FUCK just texted me?!
  • 0
    And this is why colocation and self management is the best of all.
  • 0
    Laughs in unpaid 4.000$ bill for Azure.
    (Well it was 6 months ago and not enterally my fault so may be not comparable)
    No data loss, no service interruptions
  • 0

    Depends on the work.

    If I do a local backup of my production app, it violates security agreement with clients and RGPD ofc.

    Also it is not permitted under iso 27000 (Or you need to have a local data center, respecting all requirements)
  • 0
    @NoToJavaScript Backups of the app itself don't violate GDPR ever, that's nonsense. Backups of the associated personal user data is a different story, but that's not your responsibility because it's your clients' data anyway, so that's upon them.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop Exact !

    But app it self ? If he is coding it somewhere, I would be surprised he is not doing it on local machine

    I assumed the problem was data loss.
  • 4
    @NoToJavaScript Only that the data in this case aren't the data of come client, but his own ones. So he's responsible for backups - which the GDPR doesn't actually forbid.

    The problem in this case was the Wordpress site, and the point of an online CMS is that you don't need the workflow of "update locally, then push". Unfortunately, that's also why you instead need the "update online, pull local backup" workflow if you want to be in control.
  • 0
    Didn't know you can set a non-primary email on DO. I made a habit to check junk/spam and all my other 5 emails. Just to see the funny spam.
  • 1
    Hetzner really is great. Been using it a few years now, and haven't found any problems. A few small downtimes (maybe 1/year avg) but with really good communication and instant Support. Also the prices are awesome compared to say AWS.

    Here's 20 eur credit ;) (i get something if you start on a paid plan after)
  • 0
    Imagine DO had a flat to rent and you got behind on payments.
  • 0
    DO fucking sucks. Enough said. They fucking suck and can’t be taken serious for app development. I wouldn’t host my morning post-coffee shit on their “droplets”.
  • 1
    tbh, I prefer DO and K8s over AWS's Elastic Beanstalk and EC2.
  • 1
    Heroku is dope too. For smaller projects.
  • 0
    @codecrow prefer k8s over any opinionated cloud service. But there are very few things of mine that demand kube
  • 0
    If you're ignorant to tearms of service, do not use cloud computing.
  • 0
    @AtuM I was scaling micro serviced architecture manually with ec2s before k8s or RDMs, while you were still sucking your mommas titties. Fuck out of here
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop you care more about this argument then I fucking do. Get a life
  • 3
    @dUcKtYpEd your mommy dialed my bbs so we could squish that squash if you know what I mean.
    I am sorry you missed that email though. Not having a local backup is a big fail. Cmon... snapshots for backup? In cloud? Seriously? You know it man. Blow off steam and learn the lesson. Peace.
  • 1
    no local backups => total failure.
  • 0
    @AtuM like I said previously, if you don’t understand the lack of customer service, then you don’t understand service as a whole an belong hidden in a closet to crank code out. Digital ocean is the sub par service in our industry and this is an excellent example of why. I don’t give a shit about my Wordpress site that needed a revamp as much as I do a shitty service making no attempt to make it right. A guy in Punjabi reading a script off too me after wiping everything. Even if I had backups, the frustrations the same. Rebooting an instance and configuring my proxy. This review reached thousands of devs. The purpose is fulfilled.
  • 0
    If I remember , AWS does not delete your data after suspending your account. It store data for 1 or 2 week more.

    So if I am going for any other cloud provider, I don't use their backup. Always use google drive or SharePoint for the backup.
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