how to answer to a bizarre hosting customer request

Started by Лара, Jun 19, 2022, 09:12 AM

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ЛараTopic starter

The customer had rented a dedicated server and firewall web hosting service, which had been provisioned, installed, and set up to protect their server. However, they have now cancelled the server and are requesting the return of the firewall and server since they paid for it.

It seems that the customer may not fully understand that web hosting is a service and not a form of property ownership. Does anyone have experience with this situation or possible suggestions? The fact that the infrastructure belongs to the ISP is self-evident in hosting.


One possible response to the customer's request to return the server and firewall could be to avoid using the terms "sell" or "selling" that may have caused confusion in the first place. Instead, focus on emphasizing the rental aspect of the agreement.

For instance, you could say something like, "We apologize for any misunderstanding regarding the Rental Service we provided you. Similar to renting a car, house or apartment, we own the Server and Firewall and only allow you to use them until your Rental agreement ends." This approach may help clarify the nature of the service and avoid any further confusion.


When analyzing Google search queries related to server acquisition, it becomes apparent that the phrase "buy a server" is more commonly used than "rent a server." However, it's important to note that "buy a server" does not necessarily indicate that the user intends to purchase a server for personal use; in fact, this only applies to about half of all queries. It is likely that the customer in question falls into the other 50%.

To avoid future misunderstandings, jonburnaby has offered a helpful suggestion. Additionally, one alternative approach could be to offer a subscription service rather than a dedicated server.


Our support team assisted a client last year who needed to manage over 10 product websites. The contract included administering the servers where the sites were hosted, in addition to regular website maintenance. However, the client insisted on keeping their current host and not migrating to our virtual webservers.

Initially, we had no issues with the decision and respected their preference. However, when we began setting up basic site monitoring, we ran into trouble. Notifications flooded all channels due to various problems, and we had to investigate and draw conclusions, which will be detailed in a longer article.

It's worth noting that classic webhosting, which we define as shared hosting that is becoming outdated, will be referred to as "hosting," while virtual servers will be simply called that. The root of the problem with the client's websites was that they were hosted on shared hosting rather than a virtual server. Later, we will discuss the primary problems associated with using such hosting services.

It's important to mention that each case is unique, and other clients in different hosting environments may not encounter similar challenges.


In this situation, it would be helpful to have a clear and transparent conversation with the customer about the nature of web hosting services. It is important to explain that web hosting involves providing access to server infrastructure and associated services, rather than transferring ownership of physical equipment.

Here are some suggestions on how to handle this situation:

1. Communicate clearly: Explain to the customer in a polite and professional manner that web hosting services do not transfer ownership of the hardware. Emphasize that they are paying for the use of the server and associated services during the agreed-upon period.

2. Refer to the terms and conditions: Provide references to the terms and conditions or contract that the customer agreed to while signing up for the web hosting service. Highlight any clauses or sections that explain the non-transferable nature of the hardware.

3. Offer alternatives: If the customer is adamant about receiving physical hardware, consider offering alternative solutions. This could include assisting them in finding suitable server or firewall equipment to purchase, or suggesting other hosting services where they can have full control over hardware ownership.

4. Provide exceptional customer service: Despite the misunderstanding, it is important to maintain a high level of customer service. Be patient, understanding, and willing to listen to their concerns. Offering explanations and exploring alternative options will help ensure a positive customer experience.