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  • Bait and Switch

    On Friday I signed up for Debian Linux VPS. One of the reasons I signed up was because their website says that anti-spam and anti-virus is included in all VPS plans...

    But when I tried to switch on SpamAssassin in Plesk Panel, I got an error message saying that SpamAssassin wasn't installed. I contacted support, and they said that I needed to buy an additional license in order to use SpamAssassin.

    I verified that I've already bought a license by logging into the Control Panel and clicking My Account > Subscriptions > Virtuozzo Linux Debian x64 and clicking on the "Resources" tab. I showed them again (again) that I've already paid for anti-spam and anti-virus. Now they are saying that I need to upgrade to the "Plesk Power Pack" in order to use what I've already paid for.

    So, basically I've been sold a car without keys. If I want keys, I have to pay extra. And apparently it's my fault, too - because I've 1) should have known better that cars don't come with keys, or 2) learn how to hot-wire it myself.

    I've learned that this type of scam is similar to a bait and switch. Similar, that I was drawn in by the 'bait'. But more sinister, in that I've actually bought the 'bait'.

    Anyone thinking of signing up for VPS with should exercise caution.

    Last edited by sgoodman; 2010-08-25, 03:00 PM. Reason: spelling fix

  • #2
    hey shane thanks for the concern. I am looking into this now and should have a solution for you soon!


    • #3
      Hello Shane,

      I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way. I would like to start off by saying that it is definitely not our intention to "Bait and Switch" our customers. Unfortunately I believe the problem you've encountered is due to confusion in the wording on our website, and we hope you will give us the opportunity to rectify the situation.

      Regarding the item "Managed Services: Anti-Virus & Anti-Spam System Setup", this item refers to the Anti-Virus/Anti-Spam filtering that exists on our network. For our VPS servers, it is only applied to outgoing email. This is in place to protect our network from Spammers trying to exploit our servers. It is entirely managed by SoftCom, and as such you cannot actively access it. To alleviate potential confusion around this item, we will be removing it today from the VPS pages.

      Regarding the SpamAssassin service within Plesk, there are 2 features which are required before it can be enabled in a VPS server with Plesk; (1) The Software and (2) The License. The software is pre-installed with all Servers that have Plesk. This ensures that should you want to add SpamAssassin support later, it is relatively easy to do. All that you have to do is add the license.

      However, as you know the Plesk Power Pack license is not included with the base Plesk Licenses. All of the different Plesk licenses we sell are provided through Parallels. We try to keep our prices as low as possible to remain competitive, but there is still some cost to us. We will be updating the content on our website today to make it clear that SpamAssassin features are only included with the additional license.

      To further prove our commitment to you, I would like to extend the offer of a free Plesk Power Pack license for your VPS account. I will send you some further instructions via PM. Also, if there is any other messaging or content on our website which you feel isn't clear, we would welcome your feedback so we can correct any inconsistencies.


      • #4
        Software and Licenses

        Thanks for the free Plesk Power Pack offer.

        I see that the VPS Features page has changed. "Anti-Virus & Anti-Spam System Setup" are no longer "Included in all VPS plans", and SpamAssassin Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus now "Requires Plesk Powerpack".

        I was wondering if you could clarify a few things for me...

        If I log into the Control Panel and click My Account > Subscriptions > Virtuozzo Linux Debian x64 and click on the "Resources" tab, it says that .plesk9-spamassassin.debian-5.0-x86_64 has 1 unit available. Does this refer to the software or the license?

        Outgoing Mail
        Do I understand that all mail sent by customers is already being scanned by anti-virus and anti-spam?

        Incoming Mail
        Once SpamAssassin is set up through the Plesk Power Pack, does it only scan mail downloaded by customers? Also, would I be correct in assuming that there's no anti-virus scanning for incoming email?

        I appreciated your quick response in this matter.



        • #5
          Hi Shane,

          Thanks for your reply. Please let me answer your questions point by point.

          1. Yes, the item you see ".plesk9-spamassassin.debian-5.0-x86_64" is the software that is pre-installed with Plesk. Once you activate the license for Plesk Power Pack, then you can start using SpamAssassin.

          2. Outgoing Mail - Yes, you understand correctly. This is a security procedure so we can prevent against malicious activity. However as I mentioned this is not configurable by our customers. Generally the "Spam Score" is set fairly high, so its much less likely to result in false-positives.

          3. Incoming Mail - You would configure SpamAssassin within Plesk in such a way that it will scan incoming mail to all the mailboxes configured in Plesk.

          Also, you are correct, it does not appear that SpamAssassin has any built in Anti-Virus scanning. But it is possible that you might be able to make use of ClamAV (available as a third party plugin). However I'm not 100% sure about this, I will have to look into it in further detail.

          There are also other Anti-Virus options including Parallels Premium Antivirus and Kapersky Antivirus, but these are an additional license fee. I will try to find out more for you. But since you point this out, it is probably more accurate for us to remove "Anti-Virus" from the wording of the SpamAssassin feature.

          Please let me know if you have any further questions or require any further clarification. Once I have more info about the Anti-Virus options, I will let you know.


          • #6
            Just a quick follow up. It appears that ClamAV isn't officially supported, but it doesn't mean that it won't work. Its possible that you could install it within your server. You would need to configure ClamAV outside of the Plesk Panel however.

            When I have further information about the licensed AV solutions, I'll let you know.


            • #7
              As an observer of this thread, I do admit that I like how this was handled and things were clarified! I'm feeling confident in my hosting choice!