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I tried to get Digital Ocean working but my account was auto-locked, never received replies on my tickets, and after a month, I deactivated my accounts. I know there are others like Linode or Vultr, but I’d just been planning to use DO that I haven’t really researched competitors. Anyone use anything other than DO? Is there even a big difference in the “$5/mo I’m just setting something up for fun/learning/family” realm? Thanks!

Personally I have used BitFolk for 13 years. It’s a small outfit based in the UK. They’re friendly, reliable and knowledgeable. When something (rarely) goes wrong, they’re transparent with their users on what happened on a public mailing list. They also canvas the userbase now and then to help decide new features and changes to the services. They’re very small, but the personal touch is great. Disclaimer, the owner is a friend of mine, at least in part because I’ve been a customer of his for 13 years.


Were they asking you to send in personal identification to unlock your account?

I use Linode.

if a account is locked, why wouldn’t they want to make sure the owner of the account is the right person?

My personal experience with Digital Ocean the last two times i’ve attempted to create an account for clients (on their individual PC’s over non-VPN Internet, the 2nd time not using a promotional code) has been an account lock applied by default upon creation. Digital Ocean then asks for identifying information to unlock the new account.

If this was the case with @snorlax i’d guide them to contact Digital Ocean and ask for the removal of the lock without this information very nicely as this worked for me although I made it clear I didn’t want the free credits, just the ability to start paying for an instance.

To answer your previous, yes they were. The problem is, they never contacted me back after auto-locking it. Like I said, I opened a ticket and kept asking for updates, then opened another ticket. First ticket went one month with no reply and the other went almost a week with no reply, so I went ahead and closed the accounts.

@snorlax was this your experience? Was it a new account where the control panel was never unlocked to do anything with?

If not about how old was the account and did you have things set up like a running instance?

Had you started using a VPN or did you move location? I ran into a similar situation with AWS when I started using my own ec2 instance as a VPN, ironically the reason i’m on Digital Ocean is because I gave up with their customer service over the resulting lock out.

If you don’t mind (because it may really help someone in a similar situation)… copy/pasting the exact messages you sent to customer support or at least giving a summary of how they were worded.

Knowing the details turns this story into information that may really help someone and the more I know the easier it is for me to pass on.

Thanks @snorlax and apologies for all the questions :slight_smile:

No, I like a thorough takedown of it! I bought a domain about a week before making a DO account. When I did, I did so I could get the credits. Went through, setup a new account, set the payment to come from Paypal, got the initial holding charge to go through. I refreshed the DO page to login, the page simply said “Account locked” right there - I never could login to see a dashboard or setup anything.

I searched their forums, saw a few people had similar issues, and opened a case. There’s a way on there to open a case due to Account Lock, I chose that, and got an email about a case being opened. So I replied to the email summarizing the above and sent it. I waited a few days, checked the ticket status, and the most recent update had my email I’d send them all jumbled into some auto-ticket about them needing more personal information. I never saw that text until I looked at the ticket.

So I replied to the ticket from their ticketing system and asked what personal information I needed to supply since up to this point I had not done anything at all. They replied back saying to confirm the payment information. Well, I sent them the Paypal IDs for the ‘test’ charge and their refund of it; I figured that should prove enough that I had access to the payment info I was claiming. I never heard back.

With everything going on, I was giving them some extra time, but I’d ping them back after a week, then 3-4 days, then every other; never heard anything. Each time I asked “hi, how can I unlock my account, I can’t even login to do anything to provide any information” etc. Eventually I told them I’d like a reply or I was going to close my account.

So I decided to open ANOTHER ticket in case something had happened to the first one, and I referenced the first ticket ID in there. I did the same as above, waited a few days before asking for an update, and never heard back.

All this time every time I’d login to my account it’d take me to a page that just said “account locked.” It wasn’t I decided I needed to close the account that I could see more details on my avatar. So I clicked that, and it wanted a selfie, government ID, and/or something else to ‘prove who I was’, not that I had ever given them that before. I decided to cancel, and relayed this course of events to them during their ‘exit interview’ and said it was OK to contact me in case anyone there ever gets back.

Hope that helps!

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That’s exactly what happened to me both sign ups though I didn’t use the DL code 2nd sign up for fear it was causing the issue.

I think the magic words may have been “I don’t want any free credit, just the ability to pay for a box” as part of my request and my wording was personalized so it didn’t look like it was copy/pasted from anywhere. I’m guessing they’ve been inundated with bots mining free credits and unlike the bigger names it’s hard for them to do filtering.

What’s irritating is I don’t know why they don’t provide an alternative option, worst-case there could be an option to pay upfront and wait a month or begin an account with a $10/mo restriction that increases monthly. There has to be a better alternative than pleading or sending them sensitive data that in a post-equifax breach World is just not ok to ask for unless it’s required by law.

I might try again. Really, the lack of response was frustrating so I will probably try somewhere else.

Doesn’t sound like those requests may comply with privacy laws, at least in this jurisdiction.

I’ll look at some of the other vendors mentioned. Sorry you had that experience, but at least it’s forewarned others!