It's hard to find a decent hosting provider. I used Textdrive for a while, but my rails processes kept on getting killed due to some limitation on memory consumption. I'm sure I was doing something awfully wrong (besides using fcgi), but I switched to slicehost (with apache mod-load-balancer and mongrel, a big improvement already). Still, it feels horribly slow, and again, being a bit of a rails newbie, I'm sure I'm doing something wrong.
So, to get to the point, I looked for a hosting provider in France to see if I could blame the network instead of me. Ouch. One look at the webhostingtalk review discouraged me from ever going near OVH. Dedibox, on the other hand, didn't seem to have such reputation issues, and their offer looks really good (physical dedicated server, 2GB RAM for EUR30/month compared to Slicehost's 256MB RAM VPS at $20/month). They have an absurd restriction on selling only to French residents, but I have a workaround for that. So I started the signup process, expecting to type in my name, email, credit card number, and choice of plan, and then be up and running in a few minutes. Slicehost sets the bar very high in this area. But no - they needed my phone number too, which they needed to confirm by sending me an SMS with a code I needed in order to proceed with signup.
Credit card? No - they want your bank account. With a severe warning in red that they will sue you if you deliberately offer false details. And then you have to print out your bank details and sign an authorisation for Dedibox to charge your account, and mail it to them. Surprisingly, they don't have an option for payment by sheep or goat. I was a little bit uncomfortable typing in all this bank information without numerous assurances in the surrounding text that no charge would be made unless and until I had my server, but I had little choice if I wanted to give these guys a chance.
Ok ok now you're thinking well what do you expect, that's French bureaucracy for you. Well for once in my life I figured I would click on that pesky "terms and conditions" link that I was about to claim to have read, understood, and accepted. Pretty quickly, I had read, understood, and totally not accepted that they "guarantee" that my server will be ready in a maximum of 35 days.
35 days ???? !!!!
"Wtf?", one might think. And: if they fail to deliver in 35 days, I have the right to cancel the contract - by sending them a registered letter to that effect. Double wtf.
So the long and the short of it is, I didn't click on the "I have read and accept the terms and conditions blah blah blah" box, and I didn't click on "proceed", and I'm not getting a Dedibox. I wonder who does? Do you have to hate your customers in order to be successful in France? Is that what they teach in business schools?
Now that the US is falling to pieces, the rest of the world is going to scramble to take its place on the top of the economic dunghill. Does anyone know where I might get my CV translated into Chinese or Hindi?