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When it comes to web hosting, you usually get what you pay for.
A year ago, I signed up for a year of hosting with Bluehost. At the time, I was creating a website for someone, and needed a cheap way to host it. It was only $25 for the year, and it included a domain name. So, I said why the heck not.
Fast forward a half year, and after realizing Bluehost’s hosting service was really poor, which is to be expected for a shared hosting service, I ended up moving the website off of Wordpress, and rebuilding it as a Hugo website, which runs on Netlify. However, although I do not use their hosting service, the domain name was still through Bluehost.
Two weeks prior to the domain’s expiration, I decided to transfer it to Cloudflare, as I no longer wanted to keep it with Bluehost.
This is where things got rather annoying…
A domain held for ransom
When I initiated the transfer on Cloudflare, everything appeared to be working correctly. I entered in the correct transfer code, got the emails from Cloudflare and Bluehost stating the transfer was initiated.
Things were looking good… until they weren’t.
A few minutes after the transfer was initiated, I received an email from Cloudflare stating that “FastDomain” (the service Bluehost is a reseller for), rejected my transfer.
Hmmm, that’s interesting. So, I tried it again, but to no avail.
So, I submitted a ticket to Bluehost wondering what was going on. Of course, they took four days to respond, with which they told me everything looks good, and to try the transfer again.
Yay, I thought. Let’s try this again… And… same thing. I got a rejection email.
So, I responded with the screenshot of another cloudflare rejection email, and they responded with…
Well, that’s not that helpful… This response took another 4 days, by the way. When I first wanted to transfer, my domain name had 11 days left before expiration. Now, there was only 2 and a half days.
At this point, I’m getting a little annoyed. According to ICANN, the domain registrar should provide a reason as to why the domain is getting rejected. I understand that FastDomain is technically the registrar, but as a reseller, I would think Bluehost would have the ability to find out why it is getting rejected.
Better yet, I attempted the transfer again on both Cloudflare and another registrar, Namesilo, and both where rejected again. So I crafted up a response to the email, with screenshots, and sent it back.
A few minutes after I sent it, I received a response email stating that the ticket was closed.
What the heck? I didn’t tell them they could close it? Not to mention, they stated that if the problem persists, to respond with screenshots. Which is what I did.
At this point, I’m frustrated. My domain expires in 2 days, and I didn’t have the time to wait for them to respond again.
So, I decided to bite the bullet, and renewed the domain through Bluehost. It ended up being $20 for a domain renewal, which was double what I would have spent on Cloudflare/Namesilo. So, I was a little peeved about it.
After this, I called Bluehost, and asked that they refund me for the $20 because they refuse to tell my why my domain is being rejected, and I was forced to renew it through their service. To which they responded that if I keep asking for a refund, they will pull the domain from my account.
After arguing with the “support” rep for half an hour, I finally gave up and hung up.
I was annoyed with them, but I wanted to see if I would be able to transfer the domain now that I renewed it. So, I opened up Cloudflare and initiated the transfer again.
And guess what…
Within 10 minutes after submitting the transfer, I received the necessary emails, approved the transfer, and it wasn’t rejected.
What the heck, Bluehost? Did you seriously hold my domain ransom until I renewed it with your overpriced renewal pricing, and then threaten to pull it from my account when I called and asked to get a credit because of their lack of being able to help me and also provide me with a reason as to why it was rejected, per ICANN’s rules?
So, with that, I don’t recommend Bluehost
Please stay away from Bluehost. Their are a multitude of other hosting services out their that will provide you with a much better service.
Honestly, I should have transferred the domain a lot earlier then a few weeks prior to its expiration, but unfortunately, it kept slipping my mind. Part of this is my fault for waiting so long. But, to be rejected from transferring my domain, without reason, and then threatening to remove the domain from my account, so that I would be unable to manage/renew/transfer it just seems really shady.
My domain is no longer with Bluehost, and I will be deleting my account with them. Hopefully, I don’t have to go through the same thing again in the future.