Can I sue hostgator for potential loss of earnings?

37 replies
A couple months ago I had about 1200 people on my website at once and it had only been half the day and I've already made $500. Hostgator then shutdown my website making the 1200 current visitors to 0 and I made absolutely nothing the remainder day. Can I sue hostgator for potential loss of earnings? If I can, how would I do so?
#earnings #hostgator #loss #potential #sue
  • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
    Probably not. Check their (hence your) Terms of Service.

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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by yamanabuibaid View Post

    A couple months ago I had about 1200 people on my website at once and it had only been half the day and I've already made $500. Hostgator then shutdown my website making the 1200 current visitors to 0 and I made absolutely nothing the remainder day. Can I sue hostgator for potential loss of earnings? If I can, how would I do so?
    Even if an attorney well versed in this area of law were reading
    your post they wouldn't have near enough information to give you
    a serious answer.

    That... and why in the world would you seek this kind of information
    from a bunch of anonymous forum posters? Call an attorney.
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Vincent Denali
    If your on a shared plan, you cannot constantly use more than 25% of the cpu resources. If you do they have the right to limit your account or even shut you down. It's in the Terms of Service. Of course you could always moved to a dedicated server. But it's not cheap.
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  • Why anyone uses Host Gator is beyond me.
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    • Profile picture of the author kk075
      Originally Posted by We Sell Sunglasses View Post

      Why anyone uses Host Gator is beyond me.
      Great commission structures for folks in IM.

      To the OP, you can sue anyone for anything...regardless what's actually in your contract. That doesn't mean you'll win, mind you, but you absolutely have the right to sue. The real problem comes in where it looks like you lost $500-1000 in income for the day and you'll spend that just getting a decent attorney to write a demands letter for you and making the initial filing.

      So unless you lost out on $500 a day income for months because of HostGator, it's not even worth considering...unless you're just filthy rich and want to get your day in court. If that's the situation, then sue the poo out of them regardless whether you have a case or not. And even though you'd probably e in the wrong, they may just settle to avoid the legal fees...it happens every day in the USA.
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  • Profile picture of the author Riccur
    I imagine the terms of service which you accepted when you are using them will have the protection they need in the contract. I would consider using a different hosting service if this will continue. How much money do you think you really lost for it being down for a day?
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      Just move on and be glad you're away from HG.

      It will be very difficult to accurately prove the potential amount of sales/earning for the time period in which your site was down. Even if you're talking about tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands in revenue lost (in which case I'm pretty sure you're not) then it's not going to be worth your time to seek out legal help for an issue which is likely to cost more in legal fees than what HG will ever give you.

      That $500 you made in half a day is what some attorneys charge for a single consulting session. Just move on and pick a better host next time (who hopefully isn't EIG related).
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  • Profile picture of the author OptimisticGrin
    If, hypothetically, you had a strong case and your damages were presumably $500, the legal fees associated with a lawsuit would likely exceed your recovery.

    Alternatively, you could have an attorney write a demand letter, threatening a lawsuit unless you receive [enter dollar amount]. You'd need the facts and the law to be strongly on your side for this to be successful.

    If you haven't already, you should probably just take your business to a host who can more reliably meet your needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author JosephC
    You can sue whoever you want to sue, but it doesn't mean you will win.
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    Have a website that makes nothing? Let me do the work, you sit back and profit. See my JV thread here!

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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    You can sue anyone for just about anything. But will you wn is probably what you are more concerned with knowing.

    First, it would never be worth it....even if you did win....which you won't., because you agreed they could shut your site off if you used more resources than you paid for. Which you did.

    Secondly, prove to me that you would have made xxxx dollars later that day. That's impossible. You almost certainly don't have enough data to prove you would have continued to make that much money. You just think you would have, but that's not gonna fly in court.

    You made a bad business decision to host your site at on a server that didn't allow for traffic spikes....that's all on you. Man up and accept you made a bad decision and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Xochitl Shat
    Sure, It will cost you $1,200 to $1,500 in filing and attorney fees, with nothing to say you would win, and it sounds like you don't have that amount of cash laying around as disposable
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  • Profile picture of the author chaotic squid
    You had 1200 people on your site at once and expected cheap shared hosting to be enough? There's a reason that it's only $5-10 per month. Shared hosting is really meant for small sites with consistent regular traffic. If you're running a business then make sure you're investing properly in technology that can withstand your needs so that it doesn't happen again.

    I'm sure in some cases you might get by, but if you're expecting to have regular traffic spikes, your only taking a gamble. Think about get a VPS or even a CDN. A CDN can help take some of the bandwidth weight off hosting as well.

    Regarding your question about suing Hostgator, I'm pretty sure that you have no legal grounds, because they specifically state in their TOS that they have authority to shut down any site using more than the allotted resources. It's there to protect the other sites you share with on your server. Just because it says "Unlimited" that doesn't really mean unlimited, you have to read the fine print.

    Honestly if your so ticked off, then find different hosting, there's tons of other companies that will take your money and treat you better, but you have to be willing to invest a little more than what you're paying now too.

    Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author ED1190
    Yeah, you can't blame Hostgator for this. I'm willing to bet a lot of other hosting companies would have done the same.

    If you were using Hostgator's VPS service, you wouldn't have been shut down.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      It absolutely boggles my brain to think anyone would sue over the loss (or in this case, presumed loss) of a few hundred dollars.

      Your time and money would be far better spent in other ways, even if you did win your lawsuit (which sounds extremely unlikely in this case).

      Btw, if this happened 2 months ago it seems odd you'd be asking about it now...
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        First Question: Why did they shut you down?

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        • Profile picture of the author Slade556
          Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

          First Question: Why did they shut you down?

          al
          This is the question!
          Other than using up all bandwidth, I don't see why they would shut you down... Did you get some sort of explanation from them? Or better yet, did you ask for one?
          In any case, I suggest you just switch to another host, these guys are known for offering a bad service lately.
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          • Profile picture of the author discrat
            I would move on and not be distracted like you seem that you are


            - Robert Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by ED1190 View Post

      Yeah, you can't blame Hostgator for this. I'm willing to bet a lot of other hosting companies would have done the same.

      If you were using Hostgator's VPS service, you wouldn't have been shut down.
      Exactly right. I've been using HostGator since I started my business in 2008 and I have only had one problem where my account was hacked and I lost all of my websites (this was early on in my "career" and I knew nothing of taking and keeping your own backups, etc.)

      I was angry at HG at first because when they tried to restore the backup they take weekly, there was nothing there. I was outraged and blamed them and was very rude because they could not restore my backup. Once they explained to me what happened I realized it wasn't their fault. The hacker was smart (or very lucky) and wiped out all of my website files minutes before HG took the weekly backup. This means that when HG did their backup, they backed up my account which had already had all the files deleted, so in effect, there was no backup to be restored.

      I realized that was MY FAULT and had nothing to do with HG. I should have been taking and keeping my own backups at least weekly (which I now do religiously).

      Every time I have had any issues and requested customer service they have always been very professional and courteous and 99% of times were able to resolve the problem in less than 30 minutes (even after they were sold, which I had no idea about until recently).

      The issue here is that you used shared hosting and blasted your website with a lot of traffic in a short amount of time. I do not know of any shared hosting company that would not disable your account in the event this occurred. My guess (and it's only a guess) is maybe they were concerned that it was a DDOS attack or maybe they just had to do it to be fair to the other customers and to ensure that everyone on your shared hosting account had equal resources.

      If you are going to have a lot of traffic coming in on a daily basis and you are able to make that traffic produce more than $500 in revenue for a half day, then I'd be willing to say you could afford VPS or a dedicated server.

      I'm no attorney so I cannot give you any advice on a lawsuit. I can only say if it were me I would chalk it up to a learning experience and adjust your business practices accordingly to avoid the problem from occurring again. It's not worth the time, money, aggravation, and all else that comes with legal proceedings over some revenue you may (or may not) have lost on one half day.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    It's going to cost you more out of your pocket to sue them.

    Just look for another host and move on. Also, make sure you learn your lesson so that it never happens to you again.
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Asking for legal advice on a IM forum almost as dumb as giving legal advice on an IM forum if you're not qualified...
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by salegurus View Post

      Asking for legal advice on a IM forum almost as dumb as giving legal advice on an IM forum if you're not qualified...
      if you replace the word "legal" with "marketing" this statement still holds true, yet everyday hundreds of unqualified people give their opinion here regarding marketing advice.

      over the years, the bad marketing advice given on this forum has cost people exponentially more dollars than the bad legal advice given on this forum.

      legal advice is no different than marketing advice. you dont need a degree to have an educated understanding of legal things no more so than you need a marketing degree to have an educated understanding of marketing related things.

      bad advice is given on both subjects around here. it just so happens there is countless times more bad marketing advice given as opposed to legal advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author stavroscanlon128
    Originally Posted by yamanabuibaid View Post

    A couple months ago I had about 1200 people on my website at once and it had only been half the day and I've already made $500. Hostgator then shutdown my website making the 1200 current visitors to 0 and I made absolutely nothing the remainder day. Can I sue hostgator for potential loss of earnings? If I can, how would I do so?
    No you can't as per their terms: VPS Terms of Service - HostGator

    What you "can" do however is leave a review through various review sites sharing your personal experience. If enough negative reviews pop up for them then maybe they'll clean up their act a little. Here's hoping!
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  • Profile picture of the author Pratikk
    I used to be with hostgator, Its a bit complicated, their website is crap, service is crap.

    I kicked out of depression once I switched to bluehost lol, it looks better, way user friendly in website and service.

    Just my opinion from my experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by yamanabuibaid View Post

    A couple months ago I had about 1200 people on my website at once and it had only been half the day and I've already made $500. Hostgator then shutdown my website making the 1200 current visitors to 0 and I made absolutely nothing the remainder day. Can I sue hostgator for potential loss of earnings? If I can, how would I do so?
    I'm sure you could try, chances are they have a few clauses in their service contact which will get them out of any liabilities. Also how much do you think you lost? A lawyer is going to cost you a ton to fight a company like host gator.
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  • Profile picture of the author RonBartling
    In my opinion it wouldn't be worth the effort time and aggravation to pursue. In most states $500 is small claims court. You'd hace a difficult time on such a small sample proving you would have made substantially more. I'd move on and find a different hosting plan.
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  • I highly doubt you would win even if you did sue them. I wouldn't even waste my time. Just give a bad review and encourage people to stay away from them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      Originally Posted by ProfitFromMyDomain View Post

      Just give a bad review and encourage people to stay away from them.
      Not really fair to give a company a bad review if someone is violating their TOS and doesn't like the consequences...
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      If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
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      • Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

        Not really fair to give a company a bad review if someone is violating their TOS and doesn't like the consequences...
        You're right! Don't give a bad review, share your experience with everyone.
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        I would have invented Google and Microsoft if I was born earlier.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kherk Roldan
    if you are using hostgator in your money site | Business sites. then you are losing all the potential to grow your website traffic and sales. I would recommend traffic planet hosting ( not affiliated)
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  • Profile picture of the author tonymartinez
    I never have any problem with them. Check their Terms of Service.
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  • Why don't you just move when things are not going well? There are thousands of hosting companies!
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    soon people... Relax...
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    • Profile picture of the author kpmedia
      Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

      There are thousands of hosting companies!
      I don't know about that.
      There are lots of "hosts", but many are NOT companies, and just amateurs and kiddies in mommy's basement.
      Be careful who you trust and rely on for your business.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        At the $500-$1,000 level you are talking about, any decent lawyer would laugh you out of her office. You're looking at small claims court.

        Even then, I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that the TOS specifies a jurisdiction where all suits/complaints must be filed.

        And even if you get a judgment, you still have to collect on it. The courts will not help you collect.

        So even if you win, and you value your time at zero, you're still going to end up spending more to collect than you (maybe) lost.

        Here's what I'd do, if I were you. (Actually, I'd stop at step 1 because I have better things to do with my time).

        1) Take my business elsewhere.
        2) Post your experiences and leave reviews.

        If you do decide to post reviews, put on your asbestos underwear. Loyalists and affiliates will attack you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
    In the Us, as mentioned above, you can sue anyone for anything. Whether or not you'll win is another question. Here's the biggest question - do you have more funds to allocate to litigation than they do? If not, hang it up & find yourself a better provider.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    I would consult with a lawyer,that's the best piece of advice I can give you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greaney
    Originally Posted by yamanabuibaid View Post

    A couple months ago I had about 1200 people on my website at once and it had only been half the day and I've already made $500. Hostgator then shutdown my website making the 1200 current visitors to 0 and I made absolutely nothing the remainder day. Can I sue hostgator for potential loss of earnings? If I can, how would I do so?
    I'm sure you could sue if you really wanted to but for $500? Pulease

    Here is a fun little site I like to visit when Hostgator has been down for me in the past.

    Hostgator.com - Is Host Gator Down Right Now?

    The thing is they really haven't been down for quite sometime.
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  • Profile picture of the author jordantyj
    really sorry for the loss. I didn't know they can shut down a website like that without warning. But like the above advice that is mentioned, you can either move on or contact a lawyer. For $500-1000 it might have been a big loss, but you have to also think before you proceed with the lawsuit if there will be one. Just be rational.
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