Billing nightmare for DreamHost customers

DreamHost customers woke up to a nightmare on Tuesday after the web hosting company made a major billing mistake overnight that has resulted in many getting their credit cards charged automatically for hundreds – and even thousands – of dollars.

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DreamHost customers woke up to a nightmare on Tuesday after the web hosting company made a major billing mistake overnight that resulted in many getting their credit cards charged automatically for hundreds – and even thousands – of dollars.

In an official blog posting, the company said that Monday night it ran "a standard billing cycle to clean up stragglers from 2007" but by mistake set the overdue-payment parameter for the end of 2008.

"This caused everyone to be billed as if today was 2008-12-31, wreaking the havoc that we are so sorry you had to be put through," the posting reads.

The wording on the posting seems to indicate that all of DreamHost's customers were affected by the billing mistake. DreamHost hosts more than 600,000 domains, according to its website.

WebHosting.Info, a research and statistics portal focused on the web services industry, lists DreamHost as the 11th-largest web hosting provider in the US and the 15th-largest in the world.

DreamHost, which has been in business since 1997, didn't immediately reply to requests for comment.

In a subsequent posting to the Official DreamHost Weblog, company official Josh Jones provided more details about the mishap and revealed that DreamHost has incorrectly billed its customers for a total of $7.5m (£3.75m).