A Small Orange turned to Sour Grapes


It was almost too good to be true when I moved my website and other services to A Small Orange back in 2014. Not only were they extremely helpful in migrating everything from my old host, but things just worked. I mean worked flawlessly without any problems whatsoever and the response time and speed of the website was excellent.

Over the next year I only had one problem and this was actually caused by myself as I messsed up an update to the Linux core and it broke my VPS. Again A Small Orange showed exceptionel customer service and they loaded a system backup and got everything up and running again within an hour.

Then slowly things got worse.. My VPS started randomly going down for no apparent reason. It was only down for 10-15 minutes and then auto-rebooted itself and restored all services. It was a bit annoying, but it only happened a couple of times a month, so I figured I would look into it when I had some more time on my hands.

Then came December 2015… On December 25th, I got the following email:

This is an automated message from SiteUptime.

Alert Type: Site Not Available
Result: Failed
Time: December 25, 2015 10:10:58 (GMT +00:00)
HostName/URL: cpguru.com
Monitor Name: CPguru
Service: http

Initially I just thought it was one of those weird reboots, but after 8 hours the VPS was still not up. I then opened “Cloud Commander” which is used to reboot VPS servers but I was met with a “403 Forbidden”. Hmm.. logged into A Small Orange control panel and initated a Live Chat session.. After waiting for 50 minutes I gave up and logged a ticket.

The ticket was answered by on Monday, December 28, 2015 at 09:24 EST with a general notice stating something like “Sorry – bla bla bla.. We are still working on the problem”.

At this time my VPS (meaning my website and my @cpguru.com emails along with some other services and sites I have) had been down for 3 days. That is a really long time..

I tried the “Live Chat” option again a couple of times but after waiting for hours all they said was “Sorry for the inconvenience – we are working on the problem”.

It wasn’t just my VPS that was down – It was affecting lots and lots of their customers and judging from the comments on the Facebook page for A Small Orange, they were not happy.  People were loosing money and had no access to sites or emails. Customers who use a VPS are typically people who run a business or a website in a professional manner, so A Small Orange was causing losses to tons of their high-paying customers.

That wasn’t actually the worst part.. My site got back up again after nearly 5 days downtime but the worst part was the complete lack of proper communication. Explain to your customers what is happening.. Explain why it is happening and why it is taking so long time to fix. Ensure customers that their data hasn’t been lost. Ensure customers that they will be taken care of and ensure customers that they will be compensated for at least the service fee.

Don’t just write:

We thank you for your continued patience. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the delays. We are continuing to work around the clock to get all affected VPS instances online.

My site got back up again on January 30th, 2015. On January 1st, 2016 it went down again and was down for around 5 hours. On January 5th, it went down again and was down for 8 hours.

On January 6th, I started looking for a new host. At A Small Orange you prepay services for a year so I still have 9 months left of my current contract. I have requested a refund on the 9 months, but their Terms of Services explicitly states that this will never happen. Right now my main concern it to move my stuff far away from A Small Orange and to a host which is not affiliated with Endurance International Group (https://www.endurance.com/our-company/our-brands) at all.

I guess that if A Small Orange will not give me a refund for the 9 months I have left of the contract, I can always use the VPS for a site that warns people about A Small Orange 🙂

If you sent me emails to any @cpguru.com address in the period December 25th to January 6th and I have not yet replied, chances are that I never received them. In that case please resend the email.


Here is my uptime report for December 2015..  86.96%..


Dear Michael,

Below is your monthly uptime report for December 2015

Please do not reply to this email.
For further assistance, please contact support@siteuptime.com.

Thank You,

Service: CPguru
Outages: 10
Downtime: 95 hrs, 30 mins
Uptime: 86.96%




  1. Well, for what it’s worth, I really like webfaction. Been using them for a number of years now. It is developer-centric (started, I believe, as a service specific to Python developers, which is why I started with them). I’ve hosted numerous Drupal, WordPress, Django, and other applications as well as of course static sites with no issues.

    It’s $10 a month (no contract) for a good amount of RAM, SSD, etc. for a shared account. Not sure about VPS.

    • Hi Mark,

      Thank you for the tip. I will add them to my list. For now I moved everything to EuroVPS, which seem to be pretty good but I simply just wanted to get as far away from A Small Orange as possible. I just read on their status page that they still have clients who have been without access to the VPS since December 25th. That is a really long time to wait 🙂


  2. Michael,
    If they have a up-time guarantee, you can probably use that to leverage getting your money back. The second issue to raise, if you have a lawyer, is a breach of contract since they were not providing the service for which you specifically paid.

    • Hi Chris,

      They did have an up-time guarantee, but it doesn’t apply to their VPS product as the customer has the power to mess up their account and server settings themselves. Due to that they don’t provide an up-time guarantee, which is actually fair enough. However – when the downtime is system-wide and not caused by the customers, then it is not fair that no compensation is being offered.

      It actually ended with me getting a refund for the 9 months I had left on the contract. I guess they got tired of me in the end, but it did take 2 months for them to actually pay out the money.

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