Sun, 10 Dec 2006 22:40:01
The whole sordid story, or how I learned to hate E-Places.net
Now that the nightmare is drawing to a close, I’d like to take some time to tell you all about my former host, E-Places.net, which is actually just JT Thompson. Ever run across a guy with the nickname “Viruseater?” Ever do business with Clanservers or Gameservers or E-Places? All JT. The Hillary Project is his site as well. I will not link them. No way am I increasing his Google juice.
This is an extremely long post, so grab a cup of coffee or a beer and settle in. Also know I will update it with information as I get it, meaning it will get longer. :)
Now that we’ve seeded the post with the identifying names we need, let’s proceed to discuss the last 18 months to two years of service. You all may remember the big “accident” when lightning hit the data center back when we were physically hosted at ThePlanet in Dallas? It was July 2005. Well, in retrospect I think that - along with every other “emergency” up to and including some of the DDOS attacks - was a big fat pile of bullshit. As it turns out, JT has a habit of creating emergency situations from which he can save you. It creates a sense of loyalty and camaraderie. I say this with authority because I know I’m not the only one with whom he has done this.
You may know Joe Rogan by name. He’s the host of Fear Factor and co-host of most of the UFC events. He’s also a hell of a comedian and a really weird but cool guy, and the most accessible “famous” person you will ever meet in your life. He’s just not a pretentious “star” in any sense of the word. He loves meeting people and talking to people, it’s what drives him curiosity and his comedy - watching people and figuring them out.
This is all relevant because that’s how JT got to Joe and scammed him out of a shitload of money. Joe runs a message board where he wades in and is as open and participatory as any other member. Back in the day, JT offered to host and maintain Joe’s site. Joe has a designer who does his main site, but the forums needed an admin, so Viruseater got the job, and in return he used Joe’s name to get more business. There was a period where E-Places.net was doing well, at least on paper. Loads of people were hosted there, and Viruseater was just reselling dedicated servers he leased from various places at bulk rates through reseller programs.
By the way, I got this story directly from Joe. No third party, no interpretation. Joe told this story to me, and I’m telling it to you. I guess that means you’re getting it third-hand, but come on...if you read this site, you know my policy on trying to be 100% truthful and accurate. I’ll screw myself over to maintain that level of integrity, so I’m recounting this as best as I remember it from a conversation that took place yesterday. :)
Anyway...sometime before April of 2006 (which is when JT told me), Joe and JT parted ways rather abruptly. I had left Joe’s message forums long before that, so I didn’t see the story develop, but before I left, I did see a parting of the ways between someone named Redban and JT, aka Viruseater. See, Redban was also a friend of Joe’s, and he was moving to California to work for Joe. Redban has always had a half-dozen sites online doing various crazy shit, so during the transition, while Redban was kind of broke and moving across the country, Viruseater offered to host his stuff. For free. Again, doing a favor to get that trust and that “Hey, I’m your buddy” vibe going. Well, when Redban got settled, things turned ugly, JT wanted all this money and Redban was a little shocked. It wasn’t that he wasn’t grateful, but he wasn’t told about high server fees, etc., and it came off kind of odd. Who gives a gift and then says “Oh by the way you owe me a thousand bucks for that gift. Pay up.” The argument was held in public so-to-speak and JT did everything in his power to make Redban look like an ungrateful Philistine for daring to question his motivations. To be honest, at the time, I believed JT.
So...JT told me that Joe lost it on him and flipped out over $2980.00. He said that Joe authorized two servers, one for the site and one for gaming, a dedicated box just for Quake or whatever. Joe Rogan, host of NBC’s Fear Factor and UFC color commentator (Hi again Google!) said that was not the case, and they argued and Joe also realized that he’d been paying this bill for a long time...see, he has an accountant and Joe really doesn’t pay super close attention to every single bill. :) I suppose that’s his big concession to Hollywood stardom - he has people. :)
Anyway, I thought that was weird, because Joe is generous as hell with his money. He’s rich as hell and doesn’t waste it. He buys toys, sure, like the latest and greatest gaming computers, new Macs, plasma and LCD TVs, but really that’s chump change when you make millions for a few weeks of making people eat bugs and jump over stuff. When he goes out, he usually pays. It’s not like anyone looks to him to be the sugar daddy, but the times *I* have been with him, Joe jumps to do it, he seems happy to do it. He’s low-key about it, but it seems to me to be something he enjoys doing, spending a couple bucks on friends. And by friends I mean retards like me who he just met and only knows from a stupid Internet message board. Also, he tips like crazy, like excessively. I saw that with my own eyes.
See how that doesn’t really seem to fit with this story of a man who “lost it” over three grand? Especially when you factor in that JT Thompson (aka Viruseater, hi Google!) was someone Joe has known for a long time...he did LAN party gaming with JT. In person. They hung out. JT did the forums and to be fair, worked fairly hard on upgrading and maintaining them. When he told me that Joe lost it, I played along, but Donna and I discussed it and we just did NOT feel like it was something Joe would do, but hey, you never know. I mean, my experiences with a certain Gothic rock star prove the point that a few measly dollars can ruin a relationship. So I just forgot about it and let it go.
Joe’s version is that he never, ever authorized the second server, and when he and his accountant finally got on the same page, he realized he’d been paying for almost two years. If I parse JT’s story and Joe’s story, I can assume that Joe paid three invoices, which according to JT’s numbers comes to $8,940.00. That’s overcharge. Excess. Damn near nine thousand dollars. Hey, anyone would notice that kind of money. Joe’s rich, but he’s not a hundred million dollars kind of rich. Nine grand is real money.
Also, Joe told me that all these attacks and emergencies that constantly plagued his server all went away after someone else took over the administration of the forums server. That’s like, a Festivus miracle! In conclusion, Television’s Joe Rogan, former star of News Radio, currently the host of NBC’s Fear Factor and SpikeTV’s Inside The UFC, was the victim of the scam artist JT Thompson, also known as John Thompson and John O. Thompson and possibly Jean Thompson.
I love words that spiders love. Dear search engines: please index every word in this post, but please pay special attention to JT Thompson, E-Places.net, Joe Rogan and Fear Factor. Also please note the word fraud. Thank you!
Now, during the time that Viruseater, who is JT Thompson, owner of E-Places.net, was telling me this story about Joe, it was during one of the big we-need-money times. It was late April 2006, the 18th to be exact, and the sites were gone and the server was unresponsive. The story I got was that a client of E-places.net defaulted on a big payment, and JT owed ThePlanet about 5 grand for the monthly bill. Due to circumstances that I didn’t understand then but understand now, JT was running E-Places.net close to the ragged edge...he had no operating capital at all for emergencies.
I called ThePlanet myself and sort-of verified the situation. All they were willing to tell me was that there WAS a problem, they could not confirm it was a billing issue but they did confirm that my server, and others under that account (E-Places.net’s account) were off. Then they explained the process to me.
You get a grace period where you can be late with your payment. Then you get a deadline. On that day, an automated process turns off your servers. Remember that...automated. The way these hosts lease you servers so cheaply is that they do NOT employ huge staffs to hold your hand every step of the way. A company like Rackspace charges a fortune for the same hosting because they have a full staff waiting for phone calls, they call it “fanatical support” and I used to be a customer there - it’s accurate. Like I said, you pay through the nose for it though. ThePlanet - and every other cheaper “unmanaged” hosting company - save money by automating everything from server build-outs to billing.
Back to my story - now the server is turned off for non-payment. You get five days to send in your money, and if you do - bingo, they turn you back on with no loss of data. But if you don’t - the automated process wipes the hard drive clean, re-images the server from a stored disc image and puts it in line to be leased by a new customer. Too bad so sad.
HOLY CRAP! If you were a reader of this site then, you know what happened - I cleaned out my bank account and BEGGED for donations. Once again, you amazing and awesome people came through for me. I risked my mortgage that month by sending, via FedEx, a cashier’s check to JT well before I got the funds transferred in via PayPal. What was a little odd about this is that he made me make it out to his “girlfriend” Jean Thompson. J. Jean. Hmm. More on this later. Supposedly they were going to cash it and physically drive the money to ThePlanet and pay the bill. Everything worked out OK in the end, and the servers were saved.
By the way, I took a photo of that check. Might come in handy should I ever need to go to court.
In August of 2005, I paid extra for an automated backup system that was never implemented. Keep that in mind as well.
In late May of 2006 we moved to a new, faster better server, something that was supposed to happen almost 6 months earlier. I had been billed for a bigger better server but the transfer never took place. being an idiot, I said nothing. Besides, all the time JT was reminding me that he was giving me a great deal, he was alwasy there on call when I had a problem...he was, in short, my internet buddy. JT Thompson. Viruseater. Admin extrordinaire, and your friend. How could you not trust him? JT wouldn’t lie...after all look how hard he works for you!
This is a pattern.
Anyway...we do this server switch.
In August of 2006, on the 22nd, the server was all gone go bye bye. Note - all these dates are always between the 18th and the 22nd of any given month. That;s because these automated hosting companies always bill you on the same date every month, and JT was playing shell games with the money. He’d pay one bill, get a grace period on another, and the last time we “upgraded” he actually moved all my stuff to a new company. No longer were the physical machines at ThePlanet, they were now with a company called SoftLayer.
A whole new company with whom he can play games. It’s all so clear in hindsight, that this was a big fat con.
Anyway, here we are in August 2006...only this time he never asked for money. He just diligently “fixed my problem” which was allegedly a crashed hard drive. The solution this time was a new machine and we had to install 4-month old backups...this was when I found out that the automated backup system I paid for was never implemented. JT just needed $150 bucks.
In September he asked me for $320 for “Plesk licensing fees.” Which is bullshit, because Softlayer licenses Plesk with each server for $10 a month. There is no one-time fee. No due date. Nothing like that. He just flat out lied to me.
In hindsight, I see now what he was doing. That “hard drive failure” wasn’t a failure at all. It was a server getting shut off for non-payment. He ordered a new server to replace it, and God knows where he got the money to secure that one. Some other former customer he was scamming, a stolen credit card, a forged check, who knows.
What? What do I mean by all that? Well, JT Thompson, or John O. Thompson, is a wanted man, a known con artist, a raging alcoholic and has done time Arizona and Montana for fraud. Bank of America, IAPC in Houston, The San Diego Sheriff’s department (search for him by name, birthdate 1966), the Westlake Hilton...hell, the IRS and the FBI are all looking for this guy.
His former girlfriend has battery charges against him. He owes tens of thousands of dollars to people all over the country.
I remember when he was so excited about moving from Houston to California. Turns out he had to leave Houston as he owed so many people so much money. A minimum of $21,000 in hosting fees, loads of other charges. His friend gave him a job in California where he promptly began abusing the corporate credit card for huge amounts of booze.
Regular readers will remember, for the last 6 years we’ve been dealing with Donna (my wife for anyone who found this through a search engine) having seizures. JT told me in late 2005 that he sometimes had them as well. It’s true according to his ex - but they were brought on by excessive alcohol consumption. JT used my feelings about my wife to sneak in the emotional back door. I can see clearly now that he used the con man’s trick of transference to gain my sympathy. my loyalty and my money. Actually...OUR money. A lot of the money he took came from you, the readers.
How I didn’t see that he was a con man when he asked me to send the check to Jean Thompson...needless to say I feel entirely stupid. The thing is, that was during the time that the big $2400 hit was going on, Donna was having seizures multiple times a day. I was a frazzled mess, and JT was totally playing into that, acting concerned, etc. In the same email where he asked me to send the check to Jean, the secondary conversation was about Donna’s seizures and again - I seem to have transferred some part of my loyalty and protectiveness of Donna to him, knowing that he was having seizures as well.
Son of a bitch. I hope that liver failure hurts when it finally hits.
I have no doubt that JT Thompson is playing a shell game with his clients. He takes money from one one month to pay as little on his bill as he can to keep the bandwidth flowing. Next month it’s a new customer. Meanwhile it’s like a huge Ponzi scheme, only he’s the entire pyramid. It catches up, and he runs away, leaving customers desperately scrambling to save data, girlfriends rebuilding damaged credit and a wake of civil and criminal issues a mile long.
Not to mention a lot of empty alcohol bottles.
E-Places.net is a fraudulent company that will not give you the service you pay for. When I paid him in April, the deal was that $2000 covered me for a year, and as a thank you for saving his ass and “loaning” him an extra $400, I would get another year. Clearly I never expected to get the second year for free. I’m not entirely stupid. But I did expect to get the first year. We’re 8 months in. By the way, that extra $400 was supposed to be returned to me at the end of the following week. I’m still waiting. I never asked and I never brought it up until he asked me for another $320 in September. That’s when I drew a line and said no.
JT didn’t email me again for two months. Guess he figured this well was dry. He does that...uses people up.
Oh, I have to share this part with you:
After I put him in jail and got the hell out, I find out he has been in the pen twice. In Arizona and in Montana. For fraud. (Get an account with Publicdata.com and you can see everything. It costs only 9.95) That is where he got the ZORRO prison tatoo on his ankle.
Zorro? A prison tat that says Zorro? Holy shit. I mean, they call Zorro the gay blade. So his prison tattoo is the gay blade. Hey...a man’s gotta survive in the joint. I don’t judge. You do what you gotta do on the inside.
Clanservers.net. Gameservers.com. E-Places.net. All JT Thompson. Stay away from them all. John. O. Thompson, Jean Thompson, Viruseater...all names you want to avoid. The woman at the new host told me that just yesterday, I was the fourth E-places customer that they had to help over this issue. In one day. A freaking Saturday no less.
In the long run this is better for me. I don’t want to associate the new host with this story, so I will make a separate post discussing how great they are and how much better off I will be as a direct customer and not a reseller’s customer. Yes, It will cost me a lot of money, money I don’t really have. But I’ll figure it out.
You can help me by using the links on this site to go to Amazon, by the way. I mean, if you’re going there anyway, may as well click to there from here, right? Also, show my BlogAd advertisers some love and click on them once in awhile...that kind of thing really helps and doesn’t cost any money. You can also help me spread the word by linking to this blog entry with phrases like like “E-Places.net rips off customers” and “JT Thompson is a thief.” “Viruseater is a scamming con artist and an abusive drunk with a shitty prison tattoo” could work, but it’s a little long. I’ll understand if you just want to shorten it to “HA UR TATU SUX VIRUSEATER.”
Have you ever been the victim of a con artist?
Nice! Someone else submitted this to Digg. Thanks Yokes!
You’re not going to believe this. JT emailed me tonight. I get the feeling that he actually thought, in some weird, desperate con-man way, that if he made it seem like my back was against the wall maybe he could get a few more drops of blood.
JT Thompson to me 11:23 pm (56 minutes ago)
I need an update on what you’re going to do. They’re going to reclaim that server if I can’t give them an answer
JimK to JT 11:28 pm (54 minutes ago)
It’s already done. I’m separated from you. I was blinded by loyalty, but now I know all about you and the trail of fraud, debt and warrants, alchohol, etc.
Don’t contact me again for any reason unless it’s to return large sums of money. And get some help before you kill yourself.
JT Thompson to me 12:17 am (2 minutes ago)
Good luck with your fantasy
As I was updating this post, another message came in.
JT Thompson to me 12:22 am (0 minutes ago)
By the way, I’ve got no idea what you mean about the stupid accusations, I can only assume you’re trying hard to justify yourself but blatant lies aren’t going to do it. While you’re shitting on me, remember that not only did I never make a single dime hosting you, it cost me money every month. You profited from my hosting, I lost money.
“Justify myself?” What on earth do *I* have to justify? And so the truth, as it is wont to do, will out if you give someone enough rope. See, the only way that I would need to “justify myself” is if I did something. Since I did nothing at all except send this con artist and drunkard cash money and keep trusting him for years...what could this mean?
Well, it means that in his mind, I’m now an enemy because I told him no. I did something: I rejected his line of bullshit. I stopped believing him.
As for who profited? Even if he lost money every month, when you tally up what it costs to host me for the exact number of months he hosted me and the amount I paid...at the least, he breaks even since we never finished out the time period. Knowing what I know about the reseller programs, and knowing he wasn’t paying most of these damn bills in the first place, it’s laughable to think that he lost money hosting me.
As for profit? I have yet to take in, even in donations and ads over all the years I have been doing this, anywhere near the amount I have spent to keep myself and others online.
JT Thompson is a lying, thieving con artist with anger, alcohol and business management issues. E-Places.net sucks. Having a prison tat of The Gay Blade is...well, unfortunate. That is all. ;)
Posted by JimK at 10:40 PM on December 10, 2006
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