Web Hosting ISP Battle


Ever have problems with your web hosting ISP? I am having one now with one of the hosting accounts I manage (not this website). Way back when, in 2004, things were fine. I had FTP and Telnet access. Then, sometime late 2004 or early 2005 they decided to turn off Telnet and allow their Telnet-customers use SSH - a good movie in security terms. However, my account could not connect. So, back in April of 2004 (the 15th to be exact), I sent this email (via ther website support ticketing thingy) (note, names have been replaced with public-friendly names…):

Client Name: Chris Drumgoole
Email address:

Username: username
Domain Name:
Account Platform: Sun Solaris
Account Type: Other

Subject: SSH Access - URGENT

I need to have SSH access to unzip a file i am uploading for our website.
You guys took away our telnet access without giving us SSH. Not cool.

I get a prompt reply the next day:


Well, telnet and SSH are actually the same thing from a technical point of view. The only thing I did was turn off the telnet server so that telnet connections are no longer accepted. If you were able to log in using telnet, you can log in using SSH. There is no reason that you would not be able to log in using SSH. In order to help you, I’ll have to know more about the problem you are having.


First of all, Alana, you’re an idiot. You might want to read what Telnet and SSH are before suggesting they are the same thing from a technical point of view. Careful with your words, Alana - not everyone is tech-novice. Any way….. So, about a month later when I have a chance to test it, it didn’t work. Big surprise. I send an email back to support:


Does it look like SSH works? See below. I don’t think so. Telnet used to work. We need SSH turned on. I used the same password for SSH and FTP. It doesn’t work.

`monitor [~] [1]> telnet
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused
monitor [~] [2]> ssh’s password:
Received disconnect from 12: Authentication method disabled.
monitor [~] [6]> ncftp -u username
NcFTP 3.1.8 (Jul 27, 2004) by Mike Gleason (
Connecting to…
ProFTPD 1.2.5rc1 Server ( []
Logging in…
Password requested by for user “username”.

Password required for username.

Password: **************

User username logged in.
Logged in to
ncftp / >
Chris Drumgoole

And guess what? No response. Come June 23, yesterday, I send them a nice little email, cc’ing their billing and sales departments, as I can’t find any other email addresses or phone numbers on their website:


No one responded to this email.

I expect to have a response today!

What is the telephone number of technical support? Your managers?

Someone is not doing their job.

And of course, I get a prompt reply from the billing department:


I have contacted our technical manager about this. It will be fixed ASAP.

You can reach us at 1-888-555-1212.

Thank you.

I come into work this morning, no other emails. I try SSH, nope, doesn’t work. I reply with this (again, CCing everyone):

Nope… Not yet…. And, no email from tech support…

monitor [~] [1]> ssh's password: Received disconnect from 12: Authentication method disabled. monitor [~] [2]>
Note: I am using the exact same password I use for ftp, which works fine.

We’ll see if they ever respond to me. I am seriously considering dumping them…