All web host promise you a money back guarantee. But the question is how many of them really keep their promises? Some of them will make it very difficult for you to ask for a refund. Some will tell you that you are not qualify for a refund because of some funny reasons. Some will take weeks or months to process your refund. Some will only give you a partial refund.
How does BlueHost fare in their money back guarantee? Well, as a reviewer, this is an important thing for me to experience myself first hand so I can let you know.
Do They Make It Difficult For You To Ask For A Refund?
Well, it is just too easy. When you are in BlueHost helpdesk, all you need to do is open a ticket and you will see the "Cancelations" request available in the form! They are not hiding the cancelation form. They even show it to everyone using the ticket system.
There is nothing fancy in the form either. Unlike other host, they will usually ask you for a reason, beg you to keep staying with them or even lure you by giving you more offers and discounts. BlueHost is plain and simple, it is just a normal support ticket. You just need to enter 4 items - your email address, your full name, your domain name and a message.
What's Next After Submitting The Cancelation Form?
BlueHost cancelation request are processed by the billing department. They promise to process your your refund request in 1 working day. Billing department are not working 24/7 like the technical support department but they work long enough to serve you.
Monday - Friday 6 AM - 10 PM (MST)
Saturday 8 AM - 10 PM (MST)
So please don't expect someone to reply to you if it is Sunday or in the midnight!
I submitted my request in the working hours and within half an hour, I received the following reply from Robin.
To cancel your account and have a refund issued, please verify you are the account's owner by replying with the password on the account or the last four digits of the credit card -- this is for security purposes.
When a cancellation is processed, we delete all of the content from the account. This includes all emails, files and databases, and once they have been deleted, there is no possibility of restoration. I know you probably haven't had time to upload anything, but we do need you to please confirm you have backed up all necessary files before we process the cancellation.
This email is interesting because it is not a canned reply. Robin wrote, "I know you probably haven't had time to upload anything..." which means he did notice that I asked for a refund within 24 hours without uploading anything! I felt guilty to sign up just to ask for a refund!
So I replied with the last 4 digits of my credit card number. The next email came back in 2 hours. The email is titled "BLUEHOST.COM CREDIT COMPLETE".
So that's it? That's it? Yeah, that's it. Everything's done. Cancelation completed and money refunded. This is really an exceptional experience. BlueHost is really keeping their promise on their money back guarantee.
Waiting For My Money Back In My Credit Card Statement
While credit card purchases appear in our statement only 1 to 3 days after the transaction, so as with refunds. And for my case, both my purchase transaction and cancelation transaction actually appeared in the same day! LOL.
My purchase and cancelation was done on 20 June (Saturday) and the transactions was reflected in my credit card on 22 June (Monday), which is pretty fast even though Sunday is a holiday.
If you eyes are sharp enough, you may notice that I have another transaction of $142.20 from BlueHost again on 24 June. Why? Because feeling guilty, I went back to repurchase a new account after my cancelation request! I will use the new account to show you more about BlueHost later.
Summary and Conclusion
If you haven't know it yet, BlueHost offer a 30 day money back guarantee in which within 30 days after you account is opened, you are qualify for a full refund. If you are taking their free domain name offer and registered a new domain when you sign up, then a $11.95 domain registration fee may be deducted from the refund depending on which day you ask for a refund.
If you asked for a refund within 3 days (72 hours), the $11.95 domain fee will not be deducted because the domain registrar allows you to release a domain name back to the registry in 3 days. But after that, you will have to pay the $11.95 fee but you will still own the domain name for the rest of the year. You can even host it with another web host such as HostGator. All you need to do is just to change the DNS configuration of your domain name in BlueHost control panel all by yourself.
EVEN if you cancel your account after 30 days, you will still receive a pro-rated refund! That means if you sign up for 24 months and cancel after using the service for 10 months, you will STILL receive 14 months worth of the hosting fee in your refund! This is really a good business practice.
As you can see, BlueHost money back guarantee is not an empty promise.