Issuing Refunds to Accounts Terminated for Abuse

SenseiSteve

HD Moderator
Staff member
Read a thread elsewhere where the OP was complaining about being denied a refund after their account was terminated for abuse. I'm simply curious how other web hosting providers would react to a request for a refund given this circumstance?
 
Read a thread elsewhere where the OP was complaining about being denied a refund after their account was terminated for abuse. I'm simply curious how other web hosting providers would react to a request for a refund given this circumstance?
Terms of Service should have this particular incident clearly outlined.

For us, we terminated and did not issue a refund, but quoted our TOS in a response/notice to the client.

I did have some incidents where we terminated the relationship due to abuse of staff in which I issued a partial or full refund and provided the ZIP files for their site. But those were very isolated cases.

The TOS should cover nearly every possible scenario, and incidents of abuse should be documented and saved should there be any litigation or disputes with legal teams or credit card companies.
 
Agreed. It's a sad reality that the vast majority of small hosting providers don't dedicate nearly enough time or attention to getting their TOS right.
yes, some I see are just basic copied TOS with little details, and have even seen TOS where they have not even bothered to change the name of where they copied them from.

I asked one of my M8s who was a manager of the local trading standards office (UK) about a point i wanted to add to my TOS, he asked me to send him a full copy of my TOS and he would have one of the staff to go through it.
When it come back it was like me having to do a full rewrite as the number of bits they removed, bits added, and bits changed, but I knew it complied with current legislation.

But going back to the original question.

If i terminated an account for abuse, they got no refund, no matter what terms they had, so if they paid 12 mths and abused after a couple of weeks then tough, no refund, they should not have abused the server.

Regarding site files, this depends on the content, if just a normal website then I would give them 7 days to contact me regarding getting a copy of their files. if the site had abusive content, the files would be removed without them getting a copy
 
We provide no refunds to customers that have received abuse reports or have uploaded malicious content on our servers. We also do not provide them with any backups of the files if the abuse was related to phishing or scam. It's stated in our Terms under what conditions we offer refunds. We don't encourage such activities :)
 
In this scenario, it is important to have a strong and robust Terms of Service which covers this subject, in my case, I have this line:

"We reserve the right to refuse a refund request if we believe the request is fraudulent or violates our terms of service. We may also refuse a refund request if we believe the customer is abusing our refund policy."

That right there covers me in this scenario, and uses the keyword "believe" so no proof is required to send to the client... Although, it is certainly useful to retain any proof of violations just in case later.
 
For me, the best way to handle this case is:
1. Send a mail to the client about the abuse, in most instances it can be solved by contacting the client, allowing sometimes to resolve the abuse
2. If no response from the client, then suspending the account after certain hours of standard time.
3. But if the abuse involves child pornography, phishing, harmful attacks, illegal activity then termination can be done by providing 3-12 hours notice beforehand. But, there maybe some possibility that the website might be hacked or compromised, so I do a full account backup before proceeding with termination in extreme cases.

In conclusion, I always recommend to backup the account before termination and then the backup file to the client.
 
For me, the best way to handle this case is:
1. Send a mail to the client about the abuse, in most instances it can be solved by contacting the client, allowing sometimes to resolve the abuse
2. If no response from the client, then suspending the account after certain hours of standard time.
3. But if the abuse involves child pornography, phishing, harmful attacks, illegal activity then termination can be done by providing 3-12 hours notice beforehand. But, there maybe some possibility that the website might be hacked or compromised, so I do a full account backup before proceeding with termination in extreme cases.

In conclusion, I always recommend to backup the account before termination and then the backup file to the client.
If it involves child pornography, phishing, harmful attacks, illegal activity then a backup will be done and this will be handed to the relevant law enforcement agency along with the clients details (no breach of data protection as it is being handed to law enforcement) and the account will be terminated with immediate effect and the client will not get any refund or backup of the files as why hand them a backup of their child pornography, phishing, harmful attacks, illegal activity files, so they can just set up with another host. Also if it is child pornography, phishing, harmful attacks, illegal activity and you had them a backup of these files then you can also get charged with aiding them.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
81,234
Messages
248,957
Members
20,704
Latest member
Vojta702
Top