I was hosting a couple of websites on BigRock. I was attracted to them after seeing their ads on TV and on the Internet. However, I quickly had to bail out on them within two months. And that’s when the reality of their misleading claims was exposed. The following is a review of BigRock’s domain registration and web hosting service.
What I initially liked about them was the following:
- Well designed and informative site.
- Rates are fair for both domains as well as hosting.
- One-stop shop for all website related services, such as purchasing domain names as well as hosting. No need to purchase different services from different sites.
- Technical support is quite prompt.
Although at first everything seemed fine, within two months I was forced to shift to another hosting service provider due to performance reasons. My website was frequently not loading fully or displaying properly. On further investigation, I found that it was due to MySQL queries getting frequently killed off by the server. As a result, WordPress was not able to serve pages properly leading to display issues.
Now, I had never faced this problem on any of my previous web hosts. But instead of accepting any problems at their end, BigRock simply blamed my site software for it. This was bizarre – I was using WordPress for my website, which is the most popular CMS in the world. Not only that, my theme was a popular paid theme used by thousands of others. Even the plugins used were all popular and downloaded from official WordPress site.
I have since investigated this problem in detail. The real issue is that BigRock has overloaded servers which cause severe issues for high-traffic dynamic sites running on WordPress/Joomla/Drupal, which use technologies like MySQL and PHP. The telltale sign of this problem is the presence of multiple “MySQL server has gone away” error messages occuring periodically in the PHP error_log file.
However, when I cancelled my hosting order and asked for a pro-rated refund, I was told that there is no refund after the 30-day money back period! Now, this goes against the convention followed in the hosting industry, which is to offer pro-rated refunds after the initial money-back period. Not only this, nowhere on the BigRock site is it prominently mentioned that there will be no pro-rated refunds after the money back period. I had to struggle to find a reference in some BigRock policy page.
And of course, since they’re a big organization, they didn’t really care about me moving away. Nor was there any regret or remorse for the fact that I was cheated out of my money due to their policies and poor performance.
What I don’t understand here is:
- Why does BigRock not mention clearly on their website that after the “30-day Money Back” period, there will be no refunds at all? Because even other industry leaders such as GoDaddy have an initial money back period, but after that too they offer pro-rated refunds.
- If there are no refunds, why does BigRock even allow cancelling of such orders? Why would anyone cancel a paid service if they were not going to get any refund? One might as well just leave it running.
Another misleading claim they make is the “free Google AdWords credit of Rs. 8000″ that they advertise as part of their packages when you sign up. But the reality is quite different. All that they do after you sign up is provide a link to the AdWords sign-up page for this offer (https://www.google.com/appserve/fb/forms/bigrock/), and even that only when we ask for it!
Not only that, this AdWords page claims that a Google representative will contact us after we sign up. However, in my case, no one contacted me at all. Furthermore, the terms and conditions on the page say that the Rs. 8000 credit will be given only if we invest another Rs. 8000 from our end. So in that sense, it’s not free ad credit but more like a 50% discount. But then, the same 50% discount offer is even available otherwise, so one fails to understand what is the value addition that BigRock is offering?
Anyway, I have moved to another web host and have no intention whatsoever of returning to BigRock. That’s that for this experiment!
I have since discovered that one way of fixing the problem cleanly is to install the WordPress Database Ping plugin that periodically re-establishes connectivity with the MySQL server and prevents the MySQL queries from timing out.
This worked perfectly for me on SpeedHost, another equally terrible web hosting service that I opted for (and one that belongs to the same promoter, i.e. Directi Group). However, this time, I was alert enough to check for this problem upfront and cancelled my subscription immediately within the free look period once I discovered the problem was present here as well.