Frozen Midnight: Defrauding Customers

30 comments

On the 2nd of July (this year) a friend of mine received an e-mail from “Frozen Midnight, LLC” hosting. The e-mail contained threats of legal action and the involvement of local law enforcement because my friend’s account had apparently been caught breaking the Frozen Midnight terms of service. In a fluster, my friend agreed to pay a set price each month providing FM could prove that there had been malicious activity from the account concerned. At the same time, she posted a public cry for help because this was not something that had happened to her before.

After some delay FM got back in touch with some PDFs, claiming that my friend owed them hundreds of dollars, that she must reply within 3 days and pay within 3 months. However, upon closer inspection of the PDFs it seemed that while — yes, one of FM‘s servers had been used to execute a DoS attack (amongst other things) — the server IP that my friend was originally on did not correspond with the IP of the exploited server or show any connection whatsoever.

Now, at the time this incident occurred FM didn’t actually have any policies which place liability in the hands of their clients in the case of unintentional damage, so even if the evidence against my friend had supported FMs wacky claims, they’d be clutching at straws to try and do anything about it. Furthermore, FM‘s existing Terms of Service policy states that they are in fact an “Inc” rather than an “LLC”, but there seems to be no mention of FM in any official online business databases. This is not a surprise when you consider that the owner is one ‘Jamie Timbre’; a high school junior aged only 171.

In preparation for the dispute of FM‘s accusations, my friend’s new host (and knowledgeable aide) discovered further evidence claims against other FM customers. One young woman from the UK is being charged $267.84 for “phishing” despite — to her knowledge — running “only a personal blog site with [her] photoshop icons, banners etc.” blissfully unaware of what phishing even is!2 Her e-mails to FM have gone ignored, left unable to contact anyone because of the cost of international phone calls.

During my own research, I uncovered an old thread at The Fanlistings forum where another FM customer was accused of sending “over 1000 emails” and given a bill of $98.643, as well as another thread from earlier this year where several customers had paid for goods (hosting, domains, etc) that they had to wait weeks to receive (or in some cases, didn’t receive at all)4 and this delay was simply to hold them past the 30-day money back guarantee period. Other customers are constantly complaining about MySQL downtime causing massive data loss and site-wide errors. Elsewhere, one customer was charged $81 for uploading illegal material despite having submitted repeated support requests because she couldn’t access her FTP5 and in the same thread another mentions her bill of $300 for phishing and DDoS attacks against their server despite also not having access to her account.

The evidence is mounting up, showing repeated threats of prosecution and demands for large sums of money and yet with no proof to back it up it seems very likely to me that these claims are nothing more than fraudulent. My advice: if you’re a FM customer, move your hosting to someone more reliable. If you’re not, consider yourself lucky and DO NOT under any circumstances take on their services. If you’ve been accused of anything by Frozen Midnight LLC/Frozen Midnight Inc feel free to get in touch (jem@jemjabella.co.uk) and I’ll forward your details on to someone who can help.

Sources

Other Complaints

Update: This post has a follow-up, Follow-up on Frozen Midnight, which is also worth reading.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

30 comments so far

  1. Jordan said:
    On July 13, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    What I also found odd was that in his interview with WebHostDir.com where he states ” We currently employ over 200 staff members at Frozen Midnight, Incorporated

  2. Bubs said:
    On July 13, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    OMG… what a scam! I can’t believe someone could stoop so low. I also can’t believe that no legal action has been taken against this Jamie guy.

  3. Harkey said:
    On July 13, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    What a terrible company.

    “The policy violating customer will be held responsible for any damages to Frozen Midnight, including but not limited to, Frozen Midnight’s system, servers, connectivity, reputation, business, service, network, operations, or equipment. This includes coverage for financial restitution for damages incurred by our data center, time spent resolving technician issues by our staff, and any legal time clocked during this process.”

    and such a crooked TOS. I think that we should make an effort to get as many people to transfer hosting from this place as possible. The problem with the policy is that it does not specify what constitutes damages. A sever can handle 1000 emails, in fact it can handle more than 10,000 in a few seconds without long-term damage. A DoS attack that is not substantiated doesn’t mean a thing, and a user cannot be held responsible for actions they did not commit. One of these persons should find a lawyer and get a hefty settlement for this type of BS.

  4. Han said:
    On July 13, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    no offence to anyone but ‘frozen midnight’ sounds like an ex blog/personal site domain turned reseller host. I was charged $50 for sending excessive emails (which I didn’t send) this is getting to be a trend amongst hosting companies, some I’ve heard even hack their clients and charge them for the damage.

  5. Bobbi-lee said:
    On July 14, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Wow that is just pathetic and a total scam. But any “company” that goes by the cliquey name of Frozen Midnight, I know I wouldn’t trust, the name sounds too personal-blogger-gone-host. I can’t believe some companies it is so wrong and downright stupid, hopefully they get caught out. It’s funny the first thing you see on the main page of their website is “Why are our customers so happy?” pft!

  6. Rhys said:
    On July 14, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Forgive my suspicion bordering on racism, but I always host in the UK. I dunno, something reassuring about a hosting company that I can drive to and throw bricks at. Also, I wouldn’t go for a hosting company that doesn’t have a postal address. Largely for similar reasons. Frozen Midnight sounds like a horror.

  7. Belinda said:
    On July 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    *dugg this article* Well written, I like the referencing and sourcing. I hope something can be done about this terrible company, at more people get to know of it!

  8. Sara said:
    On July 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    When I was hosted at Frozen Midnight, I used to experience lots of MYSQL errors because they were always deleting your databases. Further more, when sales tickets were left ignored, the excuse was that “we were having a meeting”. They sound really nice in their index page. Wish they didn’t give false information.

  9. Michael said:
    On July 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t know what country he lives in, but I know that here in Australia you need to be 18 to register and operate a company because there are a whole spectrum of legal responsibilities associated with it. I’m pretty sure you also need to be of legal age to sue somebody. This Jamie guy sounds like a fat pasty pimply nerd that gets a kick out of exploiting money from innocent people. Speaking of rotten hosting companies, but have you read any reviews about Netrillium Webhosting? I’ve heard they like exploiting/backmailing people too.

  10. Teresa said:
    On July 15, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    The first year I was hosted with FM (with an older domain), it was ok. Not too many problems. However, after ordering a second domain and after about 4 months of it being hosted there.. things started to go downhill. The website got hacked a few times, them saying I hadn’t paid for my invoices, though it was through Paypal and receipts were given to us both and oh, let’s not forget that I paid 2 months ahead of leaving for a trip and getting settled there to find out my entire site had been deleted and suspended for “non-payment”. I argued for several weeks about this and when it was finally reinstated, they had lost everything and I had to start all over from scratch. As soon as I returned home, I moved the site elsewhere and haven’t looked back. Jamie reminds me of that “Dom” guy from pinchpenny. I’m glad you put this out there and I hope more people read it and decide to move to a legitimate and reliable host!

  11. Louise said:
    On July 16, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I’m pretty sure you also need to be of legal age to sue somebody. no you dont. I remember a boy of 10 suing his parents for sexual abuse he encountered when he was little, most of the time the kids have an advocate of some sort who helps them out a bit like a lawyer, more of a parental advisor i suppose. I know Ataraxy Hosting is pretty bad as well as netrillium and frozen midnight. I was with Ataraxy and encountered nothing but them taking money from my bank account (was actually my mums) and have heard bad things from many people too.

  12. Chien Yee said:
    On July 16, 2007 at 10:09 am

    You should see FM’s site now.There’s an Announcement about “Illegitimate Accusations”. I’m wondering which is more illegitimate, their scams, or revealing truths about them? So far I think everything on the site is a lie, and a scam. I quite think that its this Jamie guy who’s in charge of everything and is just using different names. On the forum thread that you put there, I half believed that this Laura was Jamie himself. Honestly, I think this person is just threatening people to get quick $$$ Its stupid if you ask me. I only go with hosts who are personal, as in those I know thanks to the nice old blogosphere and contacted with in MSN or something. I like hosts that are friendly and you can actually communicate often instead of those who you don’t even know how they are like. At least a blog will let you know a bit about them.

  13. Jordan said:
    On July 16, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    @ Louise, any issues with FMH need to be taken in the county that Jamie lives in; This is how most civil suits work in the US. Suing him won’t work either, because if FMH is actually LLC, that he’s not liable personally. Either way, I still want to see if he’s been filing taxes for this.

  14. Nile said:
    On July 16, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    May I add more information to the lot on sources to this matter. First off, this is not a LLC, not even registered and not even a member of the Better Business Bureau. Funny though, this business retains an unsatisfactory report with the BBB which is VERY important. Shame Shame! http://www.vegasbbb.org/rptrel.asp?bbbid=73019 Admin contact: 18882192440 extension 307 jtimbre@frozenmidnightmail.com Domain registration information: Registration Service Provided By: InfluxHost Contact: sales@influxhost.net Visit: http://www.influxhost.net Domain name: FROZENMIDNIGHTHOSTING.COM Registrant Contact: Frozen Midnight, Inc. J. Timbre (Admin@frozenmidnight.com) +1.5125330537 Fax: +1.4402967684 5100 Padua Way Las Vegas, NV 89107 US Administrative Contact: Frozen Midnight, Inc. J. Timbre (Admin@frozenmidnight.com) +1.5125330537 Fax: +1.4402967684 5100 Padua Way Las Vegas, NV 89107 US Technical Contact: Frozen Midnight, Inc. J. Timbre (Admin@frozenmidnight.com) +1.5125330537 Fax: +1.4402967684 5100 Padua Way Las Vegas, NV 89107 US Status: Active Name Servers: ns1.frozenmidnightnetwork.com ns2.frozenmidnightnetwork.com Creation date: 20 Dec 2004 15:04:10 Expiration date: 20 Dec 2007 15:04:10 Other information on Domain: http://whois.domaintools.com/frozenmidnighthosting.com

  15. Bud said:
    On August 27, 2007 at 2:46 am

    I tried to get service years ago with Jamie. I know him through A friend, Who went to high school with him. My friend gave me his name while he went to the international academy in bloomfield, Michigan. He was kicked out of IA last year after he “hacked” into the school computers to change his grades. I remember when I tried to get service with him for a website that I had to go through a lot of hoops to get ahold of someone and there were really only a handful of people in the business. I know he is a registered LLC in michigan ( big deal- his DAD paid the 50.00 if anyone cares to look at his articles of limited liability corporation). I know he also bragged about employing several of his friends at the high school.

  16. THales said:
    On October 15, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    I worked with Jamie for a while at InfluxHost. When FMH first started out they were hogging a shared server at IFH, eating up resources and moving according to their own agenda. I was promoted to be his manager and had to discipline him several times for poor support. I had hundreds of complaints regarding his rude, disrespectful support. He ignored tickets/IMs, backtalked, insulted and harassed customers. The only thing about this that surprises me is that FMH has any customers. Jamie wouldn’t know a webserver from a coffee machine if they were clearly labeled. Now if IFH would just buckle, they’re another backwater, unscrupulous host.

  17. Vikee said:
    On January 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    im now on freewebs after my reseller, personal and mb just vanished from the web with then no replies! all my work vanished, no-one ever buy from this company!

  18. Marie said:
    On January 10, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Also, did you notice that on their frontpage testimony, this “Laura” girl is not even hosted by them? I looked her website up under WHOIS and it says she’s hosted under HostMonster.com, not by Frozenmidnight hosting. I find that odd. Especially if she transferred her website from their hosting, why do they have her testimony up still?

  19. Janet said:
    On January 11, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I was hosted with them for a few years, and then last year all of these complaints started showing up. I have to admit that I personally didn’t have any real problems until around the summer of last year. Everyone from the host pretty much disappeared. There was no support and I stopped being able to access my account all together. I’m now without a host, and what good is a webdesigner really without an online portfolio? So you can understand how frustrated I’ve become. I’m really glad that you wrote about this though. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through these problems.

  20. Justin said:
    On May 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    wowwww… I never thought Frozen Midnight could be that harmful! I always liked their hosting plans. I even planned to move to their hosting.. Now I know why frozenmidnighthosting.com is gone..

  21. Ryan said:
    On May 24, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    They are really good, and haven’t screwed up anything of mine yet, except the server down-time within the past week or two has been horribly annoying. I think they are a good company but I think they need some brand new servers and need to clean up they’re act a bit. And I don’t think FrozenMidnightHosting.com isn’t really gone, they host their website on the same servers that keep going down as far as I know because every time my site is down so is theirs.

    I think the only reason that people are saying bad things about FM is either FM did give them a bad time or they are just people full of it, cause people do all sorts of stuff to try and get back at people for some really stupid reasons.

    Take this one time, I ordered some pizza from a local pizza place after I had moved into my new place, it was really good pizza, for a really good price, so after I had finished eating I went online to give it a good review on one or two of those online sites, a review on the first site said that it was outrageously priced, that the service was lousy, and that the pizza tasted like ass. Which I know to be bullshit.

  22. Jordan said:
    On May 26, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Ryan, while I’m sure that you might disagree with a lot of the comments, you have to realize that a lot of the negative reviews come from their old clients. They have been screwed over every angle possible… Some have been scammed with outrageous fees only to have FMH turn around and say “Oh wait nevermind!”

    People are saying bad things about FMH because FMH have been doing nothing short of earning the title. It’s not because they’re over exaggerating or lying. It’s the truth.

  23. Netrillium Sucks - Avoid Netrillium — jemjabella.co.uk said:
    On May 29, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    […] 10 months ago, I wrote up my findings on Frozen Midnight. Some time this month, FMH disappeared into oblivion and I’ve seen quite a few of its […]

  24. Blue Moon Hosting said:
    On June 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I too was scammed by FMH not once, not twice but three times!!!!!!!!! One would think I would have learned the first time huh? They kept sending me outrageous bills for ‘spamming’ or ‘phishing’ or someone hacking into my site and causing their servers to go down. The funniest thing is the ‘spamming’ was supposedly coming from a site that I hosted but had been inactive for a long time. I checked the logs and no e-mails regular or ‘spam’ had been sent for months. I don’t even know what ‘phishing’ is and if hackers got through their security it was not my problem. It was their security problem. At one point hackers had added a TROJAN (3x)that would download from FMH home page! I told Jamie this right out but he denied that(but it was true). The last incident happened in APRIL, 2008. I decided then and there to find new hosting. I didn’t even tell Jamie until after I had moved all my sites and data bases. I then told him NO WAY am I paying 600 US because your security is lacking. Period end of story. He mumbled something about suing and I said go ahead, my lawyer has been informed of every transaction you fraudulently charged me for and BTW Jamie I am thinking of suing YOU. He hung up on me…lolol
    Apparently they are out of business or something because I can no longer get their site to display.

    I am just glad to be rid of them!
    Blue Moon

  25. Will said:
    On June 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Does Frozen Midnight Hosting still exist? They owe me money but it seems that they no longer have a website…

  26. Frozen Midnight Staff Confession — jemjabella.co.uk said:
    On July 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    […] I first posted my theories on Frozen Midnight a year ago, I had no idea what kind of reaction it would get (from the company or its users). […]

  27. Alyson said:
    On July 19, 2008 at 5:45 am

    I’ve had problems with FM too! I paid them twice for a .nu domain (that’s $120) and they never registered them, nor have they given me a refund. I’ve complained several times, after a month, two months, three months, until up to a year when I finally gave up. They would keep saying they would forward my complaint, that it would be taken care of right away, etc. and did nothing about it. Since my first payment was cash they apparently didn’t have any record of it so I couldn’t even complain about that, since my first complaint on record (where they did say they received my first payment) was deleted when they switched the ticket system.

  28. thewasp31 said:
    On August 10, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    I was burned for $93 for apparently spamming. I left on the threat but stupidly paid the fine fearing the legal action. Filled a dispute with paypal but basically I’ll never see that money again – sticking with the big name providers from now on.

  29. Rebecca said:
    On August 23, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Wow that’s frightening. I mean opening a website is scarry enough because you don’t know if anybody will try to harm it, so without having faith in your host. I mean my site’s are my babies basically (yes I’m not joking my poorly designed sites are my babies) and I wouldn’t know what to do if my site had THAT happen to them. I can honestly say I would break down and cry .. and cry some more!

  30. Jennifer Robinson said:
    On October 14, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    I had hosting from Frozen Midnight and i didnt have any problems at all. only reason why i didnt renew it was because i didnt want my website anymore!