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Unfair TOS/AUP Discussion

Unfair TOS/AUP Discussion

eastoncheastonch Member
edited October 2012 in General

Hey LET,

Been looking recently at some host's TOS and I've been shocked at some of the "hidden" charges that some hosts charge upon certain actions.

Let's take a snippet from a recently featured host on LEB:

 
Account Deactivations
Any account deactivated due to non-payment will require a reactivation fee of $20.00 prior to reactivation.

Cancellation Refunds
We DO NOT refund partial monthly fees to accounts. We require 30 days notice for a cancellation.

Alright, the former; that's insane. $20 to re-activate an account? What, it's a button right? Surely this doesnt stop users from remaking an account under another e-mail. Silly...

The latter, you'd somewhat expect this for a "long-term" host; but the 30 days notice? That's insane; are they going to 'force' the money from you if you cancel on day one of your second month for your third month? Absolutely insane.

A funny one from an active member of the community

 
We don’t give refunds because we are a free host, if you want a refund, go for a paid host! The following rules are made and all clients are expected to follow the TOS from `hidden` the providers of our Web hosting.

Since when was $1 (cheapest plan) considered free?

Where do you personally draw the line seperating stupid, professional and acceptable?

You may argue that alot of TOS are generic, yes. But personal touches, certain things you can change, and a proof-read now and then doesnt go amiss, surely if you're getting into buisness you have the contacts to see a solicitor / lawyer to proof-read your LEGAL document to see if it's lawfully acceptable and if you're missing anything crucial to cover your back.

Disclaimer: There is no intention to "hurt" or "defame" any hosts that these excerts are from; I'm just querying the amount of silly TOS on the market, not just the LEB one.

Comments

  • Google those two lines. "About 3,060 results" for the 30 days cancellation, and "About 2,410 results" for the 30 days notice. I'm sure a lot of this comes from recycling other hosts' TOS and such.

    (I don't know if hosts read the TOS that they're reusing, but I hope they do..)

    "We are in a prison drama. This is like The Shawshank Redemption, only with more tunneling through shit and no fucking redemption."
  • TazTaz Disabled

    For $20 fee. Well you as a customer should not get suspended cause of non payment anyway. If you are overdue on rent, I bet your landlord would charge you a fee and a pretty hefty one. If you selling dedicated server, sometime it requires manual labor to activate/deactivate.

    Time is good and also bad. Life is short and that is sad. Dont worry be happy thats my style. No matter what happens i won't lose my smile!

  • They are only "hidden" if you do not read the TOS :)

    join us on IRC - #lowendbox on irc.freenode.net

  • Okay wasn't my tos or aup, had to make sure! I didn't remember any fees like that.

  • Personally speaking, our TOS is designed to provide us the proper legal justification for enforcing limitations or terminating service when necessary. The real wording of the terms of service of many, if not most, online services reads very harsh and excessive. What matters the most to me is the character of the people enforcing the rules.

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

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  • JoeMeritJoeMerit Member
    edited October 2012

    @jarland said: What matters the most to me is the character of the people enforcing the rules.

    Sometimes its really hard to judge a host's character, so I pass on any TOS where I see fees/penalties listed...

    join us on IRC - #lowendbox on irc.freenode.net

  • jarlandjarland Member
    edited October 2012

    @JoeMerit Agreed, but some level of trust must always be established. From my memory I only list fees for spammers, which I of course don't charge but I might if the circumstances suggested to me that it would discourage them from attempting to return (not everyone is intelligent). I assume a lot of providers have similar items which are there for the unusual event that they may deem it worthwhile.

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

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  • @24khost said: Okay wasn't my tos or aup, had to make sure!

    Well, uh.. Google the free host one..

    "We are in a prison drama. This is like The Shawshank Redemption, only with more tunneling through shit and no fucking redemption."
  • I think that's ours.

    Our one also says that we reserve the right to charge $1 per SPAM email sent.

    SimpleNode | Minecraft and VPS Hosting | KVM and OpenVZ | Dallas, TX and Phoenix, AZ | PayPal and BitCoins accepted

  • @jarland said: From my memory I only list fees for spammers

    "NOTICE: IF YOUR ACCOUNT IS FOUND TO CONTAIN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, ILLEGAL MP3 FILES, PIRATED SOFTWARE, HACKER PROGRAMS, WAREZ PROGRAMS, OR ANY OTHER ILLEGAL FILES, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE TERMINATED IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT NOTICE, AND A $25.00 CANCELLATION FEE WILL APPLY. ADDITIONALLY, Catalyst Host WILL NOTIFY THE PROPER AUTHORITIES OF YOUR ACTIONS. "

    This is the kind of thing in a TOS that discourages me from signing up with a company, and I may not necessarily ever have any of that material on my VPS.

    join us on IRC - #lowendbox on irc.freenode.net

  • The stuff from the first example is certainly from a web hosting TOS/AUP template, as I've personally downloaded and amended that template in the past, and can specifically remember those lines. Pure laziness if they've not gone through and changed stuff, considering the effort to make their own TOS was never made in the first place.

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  • RandyRandy Disabled

    We don’t give refunds because we are a free host, if you want a refund, go for a paid host! The following rules are made and all clients are expected to follow the TOS from 24khost the providers of our Web hosting.

    http://24khost.com/t-o-s

    BUSTED

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  • @Randy said: http://24khost.com/t-o-s

    BUSTED

    Lmfao, brilliant.

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  • jarlandjarland Member
    edited October 2012

    @JoeMerit Yeah I do try to discourage illegal activity. It's not my client's butt on the line, it's mine. But I always suspend and contact the client and ask them what resolution they would desire. I will, however, defend that policy as both necessary and justified, because I cannot guarantee that I will never have expenses associated with a client's disregard for the law of the state and country in which the content is hosted. Such foresight should be a positive thing for confidence in my commitment to longevity, should it not? May I ask why it would discourage you from choosing a provider? Keep in mind I am neither attempting to market myself or engage in anything but friendly conversation, as I am willfully subjecting myself to the topic of this discussion.

    I think that a US provider should be transparently prepared for the battleground that is copyright law in America, and prepared to deal with abuse should laws require them to crack down on it further. The client always comes first, and a provider's commitment to keeping the service running is important for clients who aren't trying to ride the line of legality. Now, clients who aren't clearly trying to take advantage of a provider and leave them an expensive mess to clean up should always be treated differently than the opposite, but policy should never be left open to exploitation, leaving a provider with no legal recourse. Instead, friendly clients should be treated to an exception. The lack of legal recourse in the terms of service makes your provider a liability, not an asset. It means they either set themselves up for failure or they're going to turn the tables the second they realize that they're going to be punished for something that someone else did.

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

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  • It was from a template company

  • Never saw that

  • @24khost: Even if I personally use a template, I edit it and read through it to make sure everything is up to my standards. Do that next time. Even if you use someone else's work (aka the ToS or AUP), read through it and change what you need changed.

    Catalyst Host - Pie Approved!
  • http://www.webmasters-cavern.com/tools/tosgen/index.php

    No need to reinvent the wheel, just read line by line and run it by a lawyer after you make the changes you want.

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

  • @jarland: Yep, basically said what I wanted to say in fewer letters.

    Bravo.

    Catalyst Host - Pie Approved!
  • My point exactly @Jarland..

    We don’t give refunds because we are a free host, if you want a refund, go for a paid host! The following rules are made and all clients are expected to follow the TOS from `hidden` the providers of our Web hosting.
    

    (@24khost)

  • @jarland said: May I ask why it would discourage you from choosing a provider?

    It just comes off as overly stern and immediately had me thinking that the provider would be regularly spying on my vps to insure I did not have any of the listed questionable material on it. Generally when I hear someone say "If y is found... then x punishment will happen", that means they are on the lookout for something and not passively waiting for someone else to bring it to their attention.

    Now as you have stated recently, you use an automated tool to detect problematic files, so this isn't so bad for customer privacy. This caused me reevaluate your offer/TOS but then I went down further and ran into your no irc policy :(

    join us on IRC - #lowendbox on irc.freenode.net

  • NOTICE: IF YOUR ACCOUNT IS FOUND TO CONTAIN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, ILLEGAL MP3 FILES, PIRATED SOFTWARE, HACKER PROGRAMS, WAREZ PROGRAMS, OR ANY OTHER ILLEGAL FILES, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE TERMINATED IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT NOTICE, AND A $25.00 CANCELLATION FEE WILL APPLY. ADDITIONALLY, Catalyst Host WILL NOTIFY THE PROPER AUTHORITIES OF YOUR ACTIONS.

    I HATE things like this. Define "HACKER PROGRAMS". Would nmap fall under that category? Nikto? Nessus???

    All have very legitimate uses, but call also be used for bad stuff.

  • nunimnunim Member
    edited October 2012

    @xmob said: HACKER PROGRAMS, WAREZ PROGRAMS,

    I've had hosts that for sure considered nmap to be a hacker program because it could portscan, nevermind what you actually use it for. Torrent clients can be a warez program but can also be used perfectly legally, I've pushed 4.5TB of linux ISO's in October. Couldn't wget be a warez program since I can download warez from the internet?

    I forget which host it is, they had linked me to their page from IRC, and had a clause that essentially said, we can terminate your server at any time for no reason.

    Edit - Found it: SpeedMax Hosting Services retains the right to: -Disable your account at any time, without reason.

    Have a read: http://speedmax.net/tos.htm

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  • @Randy thanks for the catch. I read it but must have missed that part. We have removed it. The language was funny though. We used one of those TOS generators, wow really crappy generator.

  • jarlandjarland Member
    edited October 2012

    @JoeMerit said: It just comes off as overly stern and immediately had me thinking that the provider would be regularly spying on my vps to insure I did not have any of the listed questionable material on it.

    Fair enough ;)

    @JoeMerit said: no irc policy :(

    Surprising how little I enforce.

    @xmob said: I HATE things like this. Define "HACKER PROGRAMS".

    Defining that in the terms of service would be the biggest mistake, both for my ability to legally justify actions that are unquestionably necessary, and for my ability to provide quality service for my clients. If I define hacker programs, all you have to do to take advantage of me is fall outside of what I've defined to a large enough degree that it becomes questionable if what you're doing can be defined by a precompiled statement. Such a limitation would force me to either break my terms of service to terminate a clear case of abuse or accept lower standards for my clients. If "hacker programs" was a static, never changing list of programs then perhaps defining it would be appropriate. You've got to think about the well-being of your host, because if they're not looking out for themselves then they certainly aren't looking out for you.

    @xmob said: nmap

    In the right circumstance, this is absolutely an abusive tool. ISPs will go nuts over nmap and what good is a host when ISPs turn against them?

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

  • Another point to this is "my house, my rules". Some providers will institute specific rules because they've had issues in the past and don't want to deal with it anymore. Don't like it? Go somewhere else. No problem. Be happy the rules are spelled out in the AUP/TOS so they're not a 'surprise' later.

    Not the biggest, just the best: IPXcore
  • On another note, this site is genius: http://tos-dr.info

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

  • DamianDamian Member
    edited October 2012

    @jarland said: On another note, this site is genius: http://tos-dr.info

    It's a bit subjective. For example, SoundCloud gets thumbs down on "Use of cookies and third-party cookies (opt-out)"

    ONOZ, not cookies!

    I've been on the innernetz since 1993, I remember when cookies were implemented and the 'controversy' they caused. So far, no one has broken into my house and killed my cat, or whatever heinous crimes cookies were supposed to cause.

    (edit) More discussion about this site here: http://www.lowendtalk.com/discussion/4310/analysing-tos (/edit)

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  • @Damian said: It's a bit subjective. For example, SoundCloud gets thumbs down on "Use of cookies and third-party cookies (opt-out)"

    True. I guess I just like the idea of something like this. The concept could be interesting to see applied to the hosting market. With the right system in place to provide reasonable consensus on the fairness and accuracy of the published data, it could potentially be a positive resource.

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

  • gsrdgrdghdgsrdgrdghd Member
    edited October 2012

    When reading the ToS of a provider you also need to keep in mind that some parts of them might not be applicable/enforceable on you based on your jurisdiction.

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  • @24khost said: We used one of those TOS generators, wow really crappy generator.

    It's even religious

    4b.) We are not responsible for the loss of income to websites caused by the act of god , hackers, exploits. power outages, hardware failure, virus’s ,down time (etc.).

  • @Wunderbar said: It's even religious

    Legitimate legal term. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_God

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

  • @jarland said: Legitimate legal term. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_God

    I know it covers everything that is out of human control. But why not use "out of human control or natural disasters"? Religion has no business in laws or anything legal in a country with seperation of church and state.

  • @Wunderbar said: But why not use "out of human control or natural disasters"?

    Probably the same reason legal systems continue to be arbitrarily married to Latin: there is no reason, other than "because we've used it this long, why change now?".

    "force majeure" would be the proper Latin replacement, which not only covers natural disasters, but wars, riots, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_majeure

    Not the biggest, just the best: IPXcore
  • gsrdgrdghdgsrdgrdghd Member
    edited October 2012

    @Wunderbar sop whining, it's just a generic term. Like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes.

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  • jarlandjarland Member
    edited October 2012

    @Wunderbar said: Religion has no business in laws

    It's not. As you clearly stated, a non-religious term holds equivalent meaning. Religion in law would be something specific to religion that wouldn't be there otherwise. It doesn't force any religion on anyone, therefore holds no offensive content. If the actual word used offends you so much, lighten up a bit. Life is too short to get hung up on irrelevant details.

    Besides, that isn't the problem of the business. Address the legal system. It is a legitimate and legal term that should be used by any competent lawyer writing such a document.

    @Wunderbar said: in a country with seperation of church and state.

    What country is that? Not the U.S. Further discussion here if you want: http://www.lowendtalk.com/discussion/4319/the-cest-pit

    jarland.me | Read about my new hosting experiment.

  • @gsrdgrdghd said: @Wunderbar sop whining, it's just a generic term. Like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes.

    I'm not trying to whine about it, it's something that caught my eye in their TOS and it's something that's not very common here in Europe.

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