A quick scan of the company's DreamHost Status blog shows that it has encountered a steady stream of system outages over the past month or so.
Deal said the company has been having recurring system outages and problems for the past year. In fact, it was during a recent outage that Deal cracked a joke about the situation to a DreamHost representative via e-mail who, in turn, didn't find the comment funny and told Deal that his account would be terminated in 30 days.
"My 30 days to migrate to another host is up in a few days. I guess I should thank my lucky stars at this point," Deal said.
For Deal, it's ironic that DreamHost can be so sensitive about one customer's attempt at humor when the company has made it a trademark to make its official communications on its Web sites funny. In fact, a number of customers on Tuesday faulted DreamHost for trying to make light of the billing problem, as exemplified by the posting to the Official DreamHost Weblog , which opens with a Homer Simpson image and features several jokes about the situation.
"It's especially amusing that I was asked to look elsewhere for hosting because of an attempt at humor that one particularly humorless DreamHost representative found hostile. Now, in perhaps what must be an incredibly sobering time for DreamHost's affected customers, DreamHost is posting these juvenile, unprofessional attempts to lighten the mood, which, as you can imagine, isn't going over well with people who now have overdrafted accounts and broken websites," Deal said.
Deal's offending comment to the customer service representative several weeks ago -- "DreamHost is obviously intent on inflicting emotional distress on its customers" -- today sounds less like a joke and more like a prophecy.
This story was updated on January 15, 2008