What was I thinking? Well, in the beginning..
I became a customer of Virtual Ave back in 1997/1998. The pricing was good, the service had good reviews, and they offered what I needed at the time, which was simple website hosting.
I did not know a lot of information about the internet, but I wanted to have an internet presence. That was important to me, a small business owner.
When I called, they were very helpful, and answered all of the questions that I had.
Over the years, I added auto bill as a feature with them, because I was happy enough with the service to not want to have it interrupted.
As time went by, things started falling apart. Really falling apart.
The first thing to go was support and service provided by native speakers of the English language. I am very multicultural, and yet, it was very hard for me to discern what was being said by the citizens of another country as they struggled with English. The once clear connections were now faint and distorted. The hold times were awful.
Clients called to tell me of slow load times on my NON graphics intense webpages. Friends and family who were viewing private pages would tell me that the images (400x600) would load slowly, or not at all. For those private pages, I loaded the pages with 3 images per page, so it should not have taken the page that long to load. I was keeping the graphics load down out of consideration for an elderly relative who was content with dial up service for herself.
When I would call in to technical support, they would review things, then tell me that they had "reset the server", and then, the pages would work- for a while.
Email became a very big issue. At least once or twice a week, I was getting emails from Virtual Ave, telling of server problems, or host problems. My favorite, that I saved was one between them and Sprint, where, for some unknown reason (yeah, right)Sprint pulled support, and for people affected by this, THERE WAS NO SOLUTION AT THE TIME. Yep, no access to the email, no access to the webpage, and how did they let all of the people who were affected know? By email. I wish I were joking.
The next issue was a glitch in their software that still has not been resolved. Email has only been accessible via webmail. For those who like webmail, great. For those who need to have things on their hard-drive, not a viable solution.
When I called about this one, Virtual Ave tried to make it like the problem was with the programs that I use (Thunderbird and Windows Mail) and not with them, even though my error clearly pointed the finger at Virtual Ave for not getting the error handled. A friend of mine who provides IT support for a major corporation looked at the error, and said "Oh, they need to reset the mail server. Looks like they changed some settings, but did not reset after the change. Simple fix."
I called and told their tech support people this issue, and what the fix was. (after being on hold for over an hour)
I was told that the email was still being worked on, and that they were hoping to have it up within the hour. 8 hours later, no email access, not even on webmail. 12 hours later, I reached someone, and they told me that they did not know when it would be resolved. Finally, I was able to get email access on webmail, but it was spotty, with messages that I had sent as test messages showing up, but many others from friends not showing.
I decided that I had enough, and I looked online for a good host for my website. I decided on Network Solutions and they walked me through the process of what to do to make a smooth transition.
I called Virtual Avenue to tell them the news, and they told me that they were hoping that I would not leave. When I told the lady on the phone that I was leaving for all of the above reasons, she said "Oh, do you think that those are good reasons to leave and not give us another chance?"
I laughed and said that I felt as though the chances I had given them were more than adequate.
Network Solutions has been really awesome, they called Virtual Avenue with me, and helped to get everything going. Virtual Ave shut down my account with the reason of "I did not need it anymore". That closed my access to all of my email. The person at Network Solutions was as incredulous as I was over the whole thing.
The only resolution is to wait until Network Solutions has all of my information. Meanwhile, I am copying and pasting this review to as many people as possible to get the word out about Virtual Ave.
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