• Report: #892403

Complaint Review: Main Street Host

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  • Submitted: Sun, June 03, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, June 05, 2012

  • Reported By: smallbizowner — Richmond Virginia United States of America
Main Street Host
Internet United States of America

Main Street Host Blck hat link-exchange program, SEO scam, my site was hacked, unreturned calls, internet raning worse since hiring them Internet

*UPDATE Employee: Mainstreethost Review Follow-up

*Author of original report: Main Street Host rebuttal is not true.

*UPDATE Employee: Mainstreethost Review Follow-up

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Our site has been hacked. I think that it's connected to the SEO work that Main Street Host did in late April/Early May.  The problem popped up after they did a site maintenance and link building on my site in late April/early May, and the only pages infected are the pages that they optimize. When searching for these pages of my site on Google there is a "this site is compromised" message and in the description under the listing is an ad for Viagra and Cialis.  This is only showing up in
Google, not Yahoo or Bing.

My webmaster has done a security checkand code check on my site and he says that there is no malware present,but that there is probably some offending code that is redirecting.  He said it could have occurred when the site maintenance was done or when the links were added.  The links could have been corrupt or someone could have gotten in through a portal during maintenance. Only the optimized pages that they are managing have been affected.

I have already spent several hundred dollars with my web guy trying to resolve and diagnose this issue. My host, http://Register.com also says that the security breech was probably from the back-end.  I will probably have to rebuild or build a whole new website.  I also consulted with a security firm that wanted about $6,000 to diagnose and fix the problem, which I can't afford.

I have emailed their customer service, left a message with them and emailed my account rep about this and no one has returned messages.  I don't understand why I have not heard from anyone else regarding this.

I am left with my optimized pages hacked, so my site has to be rebuilt or replaced.  In the meantime, I'm sure that I'm losing business like crazy.  I wnat this investigated by their tech team ASAP, and I would like to know exactly what work my account person did on the back end of my site so that my webmaster can have access to it.  

On another note, I had not heard from anyone since January 30th until  April 24th.  I have gone several months without any customer service or contacts.  

I paid $2500 up front for a year's worth of SEO service and this is what I ended up with.  I am seeking a refund, but I doubt I will get it.

When I first signed up for their services, I did research online and did not find any bad reviews about them.  After my site was compromised I looked them up again and found tons of bad reviews, and lots of ripped off customers. Apparently they are using some kind of black hat link-exchange that violates Google guidelines and can get your site hacked, like mine, and removed from search engines - pretty much destroying your online presence.  If there is a class action suit against Main Street Host, please let me know because I will join it.

Do not use their services!  They will hack your site!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/03/2012 10:17 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Main-Street-Host/internet/Main-Street-Host-Blck-hat-link-exchange-program-SEO-scam-my-site-was-hacked-unreturned-892403. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Mainstreethost Review Follow-up

AUTHOR: Mainstreethost - (United States of America)

Thank you for the follow up information, this is all greatly appreciated.

Following up on the malware, below are a couple of great resources / forum threads discussing this known issue (affecting literally thousands of websites / 33,212 at the time of this post):

http://www.avgthreatlabs.com/webthreats/info/javascript-obfuscation (notice the steady increase in the threat detections index)

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/231105-wordpress-vulerability-avg-detecting-java-obfuscation-1494 (talks about WordPress vulnerabilities after last update)

http://forums.avg.com/us-en/avg-forums?sec=thread&act=show&id=204769&page=9&type=0

http://forums.avg.com/us-en/avg-forums?sec=thread&act=show&id=205855


Our IT staff has been working around the clock to ensure maximum uptime for our hosted clients during these past few weeks.

In regards to the emails that were sent to you, they are completely unacceptable and the necessary actions have been taken internally to ensure something like this does not arise in the future. Please understand that we are in no way aiming to present false information to our consumers and that all of our communications are documented via time-stamped  CRM software.

We greatly appreciate your feedback and do not take anything you are presenting lightly.

We look forward to getting these issues resolved.
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#2 Author of original report

Main Street Host rebuttal is not true.

AUTHOR: smallbizowner - (United States of America)

The above rebuttal to my complaint about Main Street Hot is completely untrue.

First of all, telling me that you are happy to"educate" me on your marketing practices is condecending and arrogant.  I don't need to be educated on your business practices; I paid $2500 up front for SEO work from a company that I foolishly trusted to optimize my website.  That trust was violated by doing work on my site that caused a serious breech in my website's security and consequential hacking.

The SEO work that you claim was done in June of 2011 is not what caused my site to compromised.  It was the work that Jillian did in late April/early May of 2012 that caused the hacking. 

On April 24, 2012 i received an email from Jillian with my quarterly report. 
On May 5, 2012 I received this email from Jillian: "Just wanted to send over an email to you letting you know that I have conducted some maintenance on your website this afternoon.  I looked over your current optimization, added a few links, as well as took a look at your traffic in Google Analytics."  This is were the breech occurred.  The type of links exchanges that you preform is what caused the hacking.

These were the only emails I have received from Jillian, or anyone from you company, since January 30, which was the last time I heard from anyone at your company until late April.

On January 27, 2012 I emailed Jillian to ask her why I hadn't heard from her since her last email of December 6, 2011.  I received an email from "Ellie" using Jillian's email address, and this was the response:
Dear Linda (not my name - she got it wrong),
"Jill badly broke her wrist and has been out of the office. Due to the complexity of the break she'll need surgery which will put her out of work for a total of 6-8 weeks. A team of us have been going through her client base and completing any open work tasks and addressing anything crucial. Unfortunately, we're only able to devote time before and after hours to her work orders so it's been slow going."

Here's my response, same day.
"Ellie, for future reference, my name is _______:) We are paying your company $2500 a year for SEO work.  We just sent you a check for $1000 to complete the payment on our contract which amounts to about $200 a month for services.

Re: Jillian's medical leave - why should my account suffer for that?  You say  "A team of us have been going through her client base and completing any open work tasks and addressing anything crucial.  Unfortunately, we're only able to devote time before and after hours to her work orders so it's been slow going."

I'm a reasonable person, but honestly, this is not right.  I deserve the same service whether my SEO person is out on leave or not.  To get to our account when you can, before or after others who have paid the same as me, is not acceptable and I will be calling your company on Monday to discuss.

I should have been made aware of this when it happened, which I am to believe happened more than three weeks ago. I knew something was wrong when I didnt hear from Jillian as she contacts me immediately when I email her.  I cant help but wonder if you waited to get our final payment of $1000 before you told me that I will be a backburner client for the next several weeks.

Very badly done, indeed."

I should have cut services with you at this point and asked for a refund.  I didn't hear from anyone from Main Street Host after "Ellie" sent our quarterly report on January 30, 2012. Finally, on April 24, 2012, I received a quarterly report from Jillian, who had apparently recovered from her injuries.  A lot longer than 6-8 weeks.

I received a few phone messages, but certainly not 6 calls, from my office assistant that Jillian had called in late April/early May, but no message was left on our voicemail, and she left no message with my assistant indicating any kind of urgency or discussion a malware on my site.  Jillian didn't even know about the breech until I pointed it out to her on the phone after checking our listings while discussing my quarterly report with her in early May.  There is not way that she was calling to warn me about malware at this point - she's lying. When I pointed out the breech to her she said, "That ("this site may be compromised" message) wasn't there before I did your site maintenance and links exchange."  Then she said she would talk to a technician and call me back. She suggested that I contact my host and investigate, but did not offer to help, or investigate.  I heard nothing back from her until there was a message left of few weeks later, again, with no message or indication of urgency.

You said, "Regarding the malware, again, given that your site is not hosted with Mainstreethost, we advised you to reach out to your hosting company but in the meantime, have been looking into the issue, located the problem and are working to correct it."

Why didn't anyone contact about this to let me know what you were doing?  Because you're lying.

Not only do you preform black hat link exchanges, you also added a page to my site called "Resources" in which you listed links to all of my competitors.  I removed the page as soon I  realized it was there.  What kind of incompetent SEO company puts a links page on someone's site that links to their competitors!

I have consulted many people on this issue, and they are all quite certain that the problem came from your SEO work.  I have a security company working on resolving the issue and I will give a full report here when it is completed.

Readers:
Don't use SEO companies - period.  Google is changing their search techniques to a syntax based system and moving away from keywords.  Just write good content that has "meaning" for your business and save yourself the money and all the trouble I've been through.


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#3 UPDATE Employee

Mainstreethost Review Follow-up

AUTHOR: Mainstreethost - (United States of America)

First and foremost, we thank you for your feedback and value it tremendously. Mainstreethost has been in business since 1999 and has thousands of satisfied customers. You can view some of our customer testimonials here - http://www.mainstreethost.com/testimonials.html. If you would like a personal reference, please contact us directly.

Mainstreethost does not partake in any blackhat SEO practices or link building as you have mentioned in your complaint but again, we do value this feedback and are more than willing to educate you on our marketing practices, both on site and off.

I was able to locate your account based off of an email you sent into our customer service department on 6/1 at 5:02 PM EST. After reading thoroughly through these notes, the SEO work was completed on your site back in June of 2011. In April and May of 2012, your marketing consultant was attempting to reach out to you regarding both the security issues and information on your sites statistics / SEO work. In total, throughout April and May of 2012 (beginning on 4/4/2012 through 5/25/2012), Mainstreethost attempted to reach out to you 9 times (in total, 5 voicemails were left, 3 emails were sent and a message was left with a person on 5/10/2012) with no success and was eventually able to connect with you on 5/14 (at that time, we made you aware of the malware issue and advised you to contact your web hosting company).

Regarding the malware, again, given that your site is not hosted with Mainstreethost, we advised you to reach out to your hosting company but in the meantime, have been looking into the issue, located the problem and are working to correct it.

Thank you again for your feedback, our customer service team should have reached out to you by this time with some information about the above issue and Mainstreethosts response.
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