Dreamhost’s vicious circle

I wanted to buy a two year hosting on Dreamhost. I’ve heard very good opinions and it’s possible to run Django on it (although it’s not officially supported). Parameters are excellent, the price is low, I decided to jump in.

The beginning was easy: a registration form, secure on-line payment with Visa card (an eCard in my case) and I could instantly sign in to my brand new Dreamhost account.

Suddenly… an e-mail came.

We’d like to thank you for signing up for our service! Your account information has been submitted and is currently pending approval of our payment information.

If you are paying by credit card, please print out the authorization form at:

…and fax it to us at (a phone number). The amount to fill in on the form is (the price). We regret the inconvenience this causes, but due to he amount of credit-card related fraud we incur we are forced to equire fax-back authentication.

I visited the fax page which said that I should rub the pencil over the credit card, so the embossed imprints are “copied” to the paper. I examined my eCard. No embossed imprints. The last sentence of this e-mail said: “If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask”, so I wrote to Dreamhost.

OK, so here I go asking. I’ve paid with an eCard, which is a version f Visa card. I can pay with it — I’ve successfully done it the past. The thing is, my card does NOT have embossed number, name or expiration date. Well, it’s a little embossed, but I’ve tried rubbing it with a pencil and it’s unreadable.

My credit card has been charged and that’s OK. I just want to use my account. I can fax the form, but you won’t be able to read anything from the fax.

What should I do?

Their on billing was quick to answer.

Unfortunately since this account has been flagged, our credit card processor requires the fax rubbing. If your card is flat or an e-card,
then you’ll need to use a different card. I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience but it’s a requirement we must meet.

I can understand that. I do want to use a different card. However…

Impossible payment on Dreamhost

I wrote them about the problem.

I don’t see any way of making the payment again.

I cannot do it in the panel because it says: “You may not make a payment to this account at this time. You may only make payments on approved accounts.” My account isn’t approved, right?

I cannot re-do the registration because it says: “domain “atopowe-zapalenie.pl” is already in our system!”

What should I do then?

It’s hilarious. They respond quickly (usually on the same day), but the answers are like this:

It looks like your account requires approval by our billing department before we can activate it.

Please go to this web page and print out this form…


Fill it out, imprint your credit card and fax it to us and we can process it and enable your account.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I think I’ve found an error in the Matrix. A hole in the system. Something that was never expected. They want to help me. When I ask a question, they answer. However, the answer always regards just one side of the vicious circle, and it doesn’t help me out.

My last email (so far) to them says:

I would gladly do that, if only I didn’t pay with an eCard, which doesn’t have embossed imprints, which makes it useless for your faxing procedure.

I want to cancel the first payment and pay with a credit card which has embossed imprints.

This is a vicious circle:

The original sin:
I payed with an eCard -> I can’t send the fax;

The circle: {
I can’t send the fax -> my account isn’t approved;
account isn’t approved -> I can’t pay with the credit card;
I can’t pay with the credit card -> I can’t send the fax;

Is there any way out of the vicious circle?

I hope there is. Otherwise, I’ll have to die, be born again as somebody else, sign up for Dreamhost with a different identity and pay with a credit card.

And furiously rub the pencil over it.