Dreamhost mistakenly charges every customer hundreds or thousands of dollars!

I’ve been using Dreamhost for a while now – a very happy customer in every possible way.

Tonight I received a call from my credit card company that a suspicious charge had been made in an odd amount. It’s a card I very rarely use, so I told them to block the card, suspend the account, and issue a new card. I started receiving odd emails from Dreamhost stating that they’ve rebilled my account (despite already having a positive balance). I believe they’ve charged about $240 accidentally. Not cool.

So I logged into their site and checked my account – sure enough there were multiple false charges made. I now have a large positive balance on my account. I just happened to view their “status updates” and sure enough, no less than 150 people have left comments with the same problem. Some of them have been charged over $4000!

Many people have been caused to go into a negative balance, therefore causing overdraft charges or bouncing checks. Many others have canceled their cards (as I did), and many are hitting their credit limits.

Luckily this will pass without drama for me as long as they reimburse the full amount in a very timely manner. However, this isn’t the case for the vast majority of people who’ve posted comments. I’d like to see how a company such as Dreamhost (with their notoriously laid-back communication and ultra-chilled newsletters), will handle such a discrepancy.

Will I remain with them? Sure – as long as they resolve this properly. They’ve been an exceedingly wonderful company to host with. It does, however, beg the question of financial security even in 2008. I only hope they will find a way to retain or regain the trust of their loyal customers.


Reading their blog this morning, they’ve posted the following:

We had a teensy eensy weensy little billing error last night… my first clue something was up when I saw this morning’s daily billing report (so far): $7,500,000.

It turns out due to my excessively fat fingers, nearly every one of our customers has been seriously over-billed in the last 12 hours.

Ha, the joke is on you! I guess. Um, okay, no, not really, I’m sorry.

Luckily I wasn’t dramatically impacted financially by their mistake, but for the other thousands of people who may have been, their joking nature may not prove to be a welcome way of addressing such a situation. Oh, there are now over 1100 comments on their initial news site.