I heard about Cloudatcost a little more than 2 years ago, When they where constantly advertising extreme discounts on their already seemingly impossible pricing scheme. I did however buy some server capacity with them and started testing, this is what I have learned after almost two years of experiences.
UPDATE 14-07-2017: It seems That Cloudatcost is failing big time, All my vm`s are offline and some of them got the statuse installation failed while the vms have been running for over a year. Support seems unresponsive and deploying new vms also no longer works. DO NOT BUY THEIR SERVICES.
Virtual servers for a one-time fee*
When I joined cloudatcost their prices where cut in half by a special offer. I paid 35 dollar for two gigs of ram, 4 virtual cores and 40 gigs of storage. At first deploying a smal ubuntu vps took half a day, once it was finally deployed it turned out to be barely reachable an painstakingly slow. To be honest: after this first experience i sdid not touch ther services for quite a while.
A second chance
A few months later I needed a simple vm with an unfilterered internet connection to test a new release of Mailinabox so I decided to give cac another go. To my surpise the vm was deployed almost instantly and not too slow to work with, since then I have used cac for testing new open source goodies like web-hosting panels e-mail servers, dns, docker containers etc.
Uptime & run mode
By default new virtual machines are deployed in “safe mode” which means the vm will be shut down after 7 days. This can be convenient of you are testing something short-term but on the other side I personally prefer my stuff to stay online untill I decide to shut it down. You can easily chnge the run mode using a drop-down menu in their control panel.
Regarding uptime : it sucks. If you are lucky your vm will run for a few months but chances are it will crash or become unresponsive over time and needs to be rebooted. As far as I have investigated these kind of issues are mostly caused by extreme stotrage latency or loss of storage at-all.
I know for a fact that managing, maintaining and scaling public clouds like these is tricky, especially at prices this low. The most likely cause of storage issues is probably abuse and/or overprovisioning of storage and server capacity.
More on performance later
Starting in 2017 cloudatcost changed their terms of service and is now asking a 9 dollar yearly mainenance fee. This maintenace fee is paid per account, not per resource pack. This finally started making sense I always considered cloudatcost being a ponzi or pyramid scheme since the only way it could stay alive is by selling more resources. The mainenance fee seems a good thing for long-term and performance, but it also makes the services not 100% one-time-fee.
Cloudatcost is a cheap way of having some online virual resources for testing purposes however I would reccommend nobody to use it in production or use it for storing important data. Furthermore you cannot expect cutting edge performance or stabillity. so far I would not call it a scam.