gandi.net – disappointing and untrustworthy! – concl’d

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

On June 14, Gandi customers received an email announcing a price list change and the end of the GandiMail offer, which offered two free emails with the order of a domain name. Dissatisfied, several customers speak of “breach of contract”, and some seek to change suppliers.Mathilde Saliou

A breach of contract?

According to an article1 published in Next INpact, Many consider this to be a ‘breach of contract’. Here is a post – from another dissatisfied customer – detailing how gandi.net was seemingly in breach of article 27.2 of their service conditions:

https://koalie.blog/2023/07/14/gandi-another-dissatisfied-customer/
TL;DR: Their entire procedure had been validated by their legal department.

In keeping with the aforementioned article from Next INpact, this evolution of supply and tariffs is one of the first results of the recent merger and acquisition of Gandi by Your.Online. Indeed, earlier this year, gandi.net merged with the Dutch group Total Webhosting Solutions (TWS) to create Your.Online, which has a bad reputation according to some.

Here is what Mathilde Saliou, the author of the above Next INpact article, wrote (in another article2) after the acquisition: Acquired by Dutch investor Strikwerda Investments, Gandi merges with Total Webhosting Solutions, creating a new Your.Online brand. The operation raises concerns about maintaining the quality of the host’s services.

The operation raises concerns about maintaining the quality of the host’s services.

And she continues, It worries, too, because […] TWS […] buyback policies sometimes prove unfavorable in terms of the quality of services provided to customers. A perspective that would contrast with Gandi’s historic commitments to affordable services and a web accessible to all. Before concluding: The buyout is worrying. TWS’s previous operations have had an impact on the prices and quality of the service offered by the hosts under its leadership..

Gandi is an exceptional company with a strong ‘no bullshit’ culture recognized in our market for its innovation and specialization in safety. We are honored by the trust placed in us to realize this partnership and look forward to supporting Gandi’s management team on their growth journey.Abe Bakker

Should the above statement and the other one by the now former CEO of Gandi Stephan Ramoin – we ensure that Gandi remains autonomous while teaming up with like-minded people. – be reassuring? Or is this just pure bullshit!

What did happen to “No bullshit”?

Many people became Gandi customers because they were sensitive to their “No Bullshit” policy.

Believe it or not, but they have already removed their Why “No bullshit”? page. Now, the link (in the footer of their website) redirects to their About page. I had to use Wayback Machine to access it and, because it’s important (not only for the sake of this article), I will share its content with you.

"No Bullshit" page from gandi.net's website
Former “No bullshit” tag line and company culture of gandi.net
Unfortunately, Gandi’s reputation has been more than tarnished in recent years.Antoine Catton

Yep, it looks like gandi.net went from “No Bullshit” to unfair commercial practice since its acquisition by TWS. Their recent email (see gandi.net – disappointing and untrustworthy!) adds to the list of Disturbing precedents expounded in Next INpact2 indeed.

What are my options?

For the moment I no longer have confidence in this company at all! How can we tell a customer “It cost zero euros for 3GB of Mailbox in the second quarter and in the third, we charge 10GB mini at 57.46 € even if you use 200MB. “. Why not 1000€ in December??Yves du 31

As alluded to in my previous post, not only is the hike in price (just for the domain name) beyond reasonable, but the 646.64 % increase in the price of my expenses (that I would have to suffer if I stayed at gandi.net) is not manageable.

Wait and see

OVH had wanted to impose the end of free email addresses, even for contracts already subscribed. It was such an earthquake that they had given it up.gg40

According to the above person (gg40; commenting on the aforementioned Next INpact article), it is not impossible that gandi.net could change their mind like OVH (another French company) did. Given the number of unsatisfied – “unsatisfied” is an understatement – clients who threaten to change suppliers, there is a slight chance that gandi.net might indeed come to its senses. They might have given up on their “No Bullshit” company culture, but they will still need clients.

“Not impossible indeed, but too risky! I will not gamble on this slight chance.”

Pay

This option is not even an option; I can simply not afford it!

“Next.”

Use my hosting provider’s email service

Although migrating [e-mail] can be from tricky to awful, SiteGround makes it easy for you to transfer your emails from a previous host.

The easiest way to transfer your email accounts and messages from your previous host is to use our special mail migration tool located in Site Tools > Email Management > Email Migrator. It will automatically copy your mail messages onto our server.SiteGround

“This would be the easiest (and cheapest) of all options!”
But not necessarily, the best.

As explained in Self-hosting: a hard egg to crack, there are quite a few reasons to keep your e-mail separate from your web hosting.

TL;DR: Move to the He that would have eggs must endure the cackling of hens header for a list of four reasons against hosting your e-mail on your website host
Even though for most people the e-mail that comes with web hosting is adequate, if you want the best e-mail management solutions, storage capacity, among other things, it is better to have a separate e-mail server.CogitActive

A third-party service

As a replacement, Gandi offers a new MailBox offer, at rates that users have a little trouble swallowing. […] At these rates, you might as well prefer a real e-mail specialist, which Gandi is certainly not. Especially since you simply have to change the DNS records of your domain name in the Gandi interface to point the mail to a new provider.Arobase.org

Because e-mails do not have to be handled by either the registrar or the hosting provider – it is a separate service – I could choose any third-party email service. I did not opt for this option back then for three reasons. First, I did read that it is good practice to keep [e-mail] and domain names under the same provider, not to mention that many registrars offer dedicated e-mail hosting and some excel at that. Second, this solution is indeed convenient in many ways (despite some tricky manipulations; see Pointing my domain name to my website). Third, but not least, the offer by gandi.net was unbeatable!

A different registrar

“Should I even stay with gandi.net?”

In keeping with the aforementioned “good practice”, not to mention the direction gandi.net is going, I could look for a new registrar with dedicated email hosting. I could simply look back at my top three candidates (see gandi.net) and pick one of the other two contenders. However, things have changed and I will have to do some search again – I would indeed not pick gandi.net anymore with their new “Bullshit” commercial practice.

Conclusion

I don’t have that many options at the end of the day. I still want to believe in gandi.net, i.e., that they will realize that they made a mistake, but the chances are too slim. Paying the insane price they request is not an option! Migrating my mailboxes to my hosting provider would not be a wise move. Looking for a third party might be a good solution, but might be only a half-baked one. Looking for a new registrar, which means going through a thorough research process again, is probably the best option, but it is very time-consuming; something I do not have the luxury to afford either!

Either way, I have two months!


1 Mathilde Saliou (2023) Gandi passe les mails en payant, des utilisateurs cherchent des alternatives. Next INpact. ^
2 Mathilde Saliou (2023) Gandi fusionne avec Total Webhosting Solutions (TWS) qui devient Your.Online, et cela inquiète. Next INpact. ^

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