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Tried to Purchase Hosting and the Sale Failed?

Published on 6/28/2011 by

Here’s what to do

If you’re like most, you’ve invested a significant amount of time trying to find a new web hosting company that can support your website and help fuel your future online success. You read web hosting reviews. You checked in with a few online forums to see who others were hosting with, and why. You may have even skimmed complaints at the Better Business Bureau.  And then you made a decision, signed up for a web hosting plan and disaster struck:  you received a letter from your perfect new host telling you that the sale of your new hosting package fell through. What happened and how do you fix it?

Step 1:  Contact the web hosting company

Due to rampant Internet fraud, all web hosting companies have some form of fraud protection in place. For some, this may be as simple and transparent as utilizing PayPal’s anti-theft tools and for others, complicated server-end programs are put in place that are meant to push good orders through and bad ones out.  Unfortunately, even the best systems sometimes mistake good orders for fraudulent ones, so your first course of action is to contact the web hosting company and show them a copy of the email you received declining your sale. If the hosting company has their own payment gateway they may be able to put the sale through themselves or they may ask for further identification, like a copy of your driver’s license, to complete the sale. Either way, it’s an easy fix and you should be able to get your domain online yet that day.

Step 2:  Reach out to the payment processor

In some cases, your web hosting company’s hands will be tied because they’ll be at the mercy of their payment gateway—the one that flagged your account as possibly fraudulent. In this case, you’ll need to call or email the payment processor directly. (The contact information will be found on the bottom of the email you received.) Because of the number of customer service issues such companies need to deal with daily, this problem could take a little longer to sort out. With a little patience and some time spent with customer service, you’ll have your website up with your new hosting company in a day or two.

Why are good transactions flagged as bad?

The most common reasons why your transaction may have been marked as fraudulent include:

  • You inputted your credit card numbers incorrectly.
  • Your address does not match the registered credit card.
  • Your name does not match the credit card.
  • Your IP is in the same range as known fraudsters.
  • Your order timed out before it could be processed.

The easiest part of web hosting is the signing up process. Unfortunately, a few people get caught up in the mess that is the false flagging of actual, legal sales. If you find yourself in this situation, a little patience will go a long way. Give your host and customer service representatives as much information as they need to complete the sale, and you’ll be up and running in no time.