Unfortunately, although inexpensive, Bluehost.com has turned into a real disappointment for me as a web developer. On several small client sites I experienced repeated problems: slowdowns, unresponsive sites, timeouts, tech support that either denied the problem, did not understand the problem, or took several days to admit the problem and fix it.
Usually the problem was due to another website on the shared server. At least that is what I was told. However, monitoring my sites with Pingdom.com, I found too many sites were down for ten minutes or more several times a day. That is not good for any business related site. Not good for anyone else either, but it is especially TACKY for businesses. Lost money, lost reputation, etc.
I realize this is a bit late for a Christmas Tacky Post, but we had a late snow in April and came by this house that still had its Christmas decorations up…
Hi folks, after years of trouble trying to update and modify my website with my former host, we have moved to Bluehost.com and found that for this small, low volume site, it has been speedy and clean and easy. Quite a change and definitely NOT tacky.
There are times when decorations of excess just leave your jaw dropping. I don’t know what to say about this excess, except to let you see for yourself the Christmas overkill we found near Provincetown, or P-Town, on the Cape earlier this year. The photos look amazing at full size. They are a bit of a jumbled mess at this smaller scale, but perhaps the jumbled mess gives a better feel for exactly what we saw.
BEWARE REDI SET GO SCAM
My son wanted a Redi Set Go for Christmas.
I ordered a “Redi Set go” item directly from the manufacturer (see original cost $56.85). Then they offer free items AFTER you have checked out and confirmed your order and your price, and then they add shipping and handling and fees to your order AFTER you select the free item, BOOSTING THE COST $15. Any mention of additional fees for the free items, if there is one, is way below the scroll bar, and well hidden.
I called the company at (5:13PM EST Dec 10,2009) immediately after seeing the bogus charges but was told that I had to wait 24 to 48 hours to for the item to enter their processing system before I could cancel the order, since it was not visible in their system. However, I saw the order confirmation by email with 10 minutes. I called the company at 9AM Dec 11, as soon as the lines were open to cancel the order, but was told the order was in process and could not be cancelled. I told them I would not pay for the items and had contacted my credit cards. I was told they would â€œtryâ€ to cancel the order but if it is shipped to refuse shipment. However, as I read what others are experiencing with this company, their practice is to deny the return or to continue to deduct the shipping charges, or worse. Apparently they continue to charge your credit card for memberships in the â€œfreeâ€ recipe club after you have asked to be removed from their subscriptions. Apparently you have to cancel your credit card to stop being charged.
See here for many similar tales of woe:
I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH DECEPTIVE CHECK OUT PROCEDURES IN MY LIFE. I work in Internet development and have worked on the web for 10 years. The link at the bottom shows that not only do they have deceptive practices; they continue to charge customers for products they do not want after they have gotten their credit card numbers. They operate out of the Philippines. I have filed a complaint with the FTC. But this problem needs more investigation. The Company is called: Gaiam Americas, Inc. No address given.
ORIGINAL ORDER CONFIRMED
/ ¨Xpress Redi-Set-Go Cooker w/ 3 FREE GIFTS SKU:05-53712
Sub Total: $39.90
Estimated US S&H*: $16.95
Total w/ Est. S&H**: $56.85
AFTER SELECTING FREE ITEM – Automatically charged extra.
Xpress Redi-Set-Go Cooker w/ 3 FREE GIFTS ¨SKU:05-53712 ¨1 $39.90
Cathy’s Easy Eatin’ Recipe Club XPRESS ¨SKU:05-53866 ¨1 $9.95 $
Sub Total: $49.85
Shipping & Handling*: $21.90
Order Total: $71.75BRB
DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS TACKY COMPANY
One Person’s Tacky is Another’s Treasure. There is no accounting for Good Taste or Bad Taste. Pink Flamingos, Lawn Balls, and Blow Up Plastic Snowmen are one person’s delight. For others, the plasticized culture of Americana is a cause for shame.
This is the place to report your opinions of good and bad taste. We make no claim to speak for all – only for ourselves. The rest is up to you!
Our opinion is that is not so much the use of plastic decorations as it is the use of so much plastic. Americana gone wild is evident in the excess of decorations: the disorganized abundance lacking continuity of themes. The fact that most of this junk is perishable and is made in China only adds fuel to the fire of our expendable excesses. We don’t buy things to last; we buy them because they are cheap.
Our latest log of Tacky come to us from Austin, Texas, where the best shots got away. But here we have a blow up Santa in the same yard right next to a plastic creche. On a city square such a blending of commerce, Christ and the secular is understandable. On a single lawn it can be confusing. A plastic baby Jesus is as disposable as a plastic Santa. At least Jesus doesn’t deflate. Another lawn has a Mickey Mouse Candy Cane Christmas.
Contrast our Excess with the simplicity of a Williamsburg Christmas and you’ll see our taste to the natural and the green:
Visit Colonial Williamsburg for Christmas done well.
A German Home Showing Craftsmanship Pride
I suppose we are the way we are because of many factors, but I think I can name a few:
· Our impatient culture ” we want everything quickly, from fast food to short wars.
Â· Our desire for low prices – we want Wal-Mart Prices and quality we can afford. We won’t pay for craftsmanship if it costs us more than a manufactured product.
Â· Our uprooted nature ârather than live in towns for generation after generation, our jobs move us from place to place. So, we have no sense of an enduring legacy or attachment to the land. The land is a place we speed by while we are going somewhere else. It is an obstacle to us. Our disjointed families live elsewhere. We travel on roads that mean nothing to us, and many are littered with billboards and neon, and disposing trash on the berm is convenient.
· Our consumer culture – from product packaging to commercials incentives on television, everything is to meant be used and consumed and not to last. The impermanence of things and the plastic packaging that comes with it all teaches us to continually discard.
Yet it is sad to see everything from cigarettes to diapers to soda cans tossed onto the streets of towns and highways. Where is that sense that the neighborhood belongs to us all, and it takes all of us to keep it clean and nice for others?
When we traveled in Germany, I took this photo. What struck us was that in every town we visited, the streets were spotless and clean. Their corporate pride in the public square was evident. This culture was no “throw away” culture of the fast and the careless. It was a culture sensitive to the need to respect the environment, and not in a political way, but in the sense of common courtesy for others. Would that we would not be such a throw-away culture ourselves!