Scrupuli

blunt essays with sharp points

Hostway admit fault in domain renewal, violate ICANN agreement

by Scrvpvlvs
May 14, 2010 2:27 PM–Hostway have caused a serious problem for my employer. Our domain name has been disabled: removed from the Domain Name System (DNS). This means complete loss of e-mail service and no website. The company has blinked completely out of existence on the net (except for the WHOIS record).

Hostway admit it is their fault, but have not fixed the problem in a day and a half and cannot tell me when it will be fixed. They say it is escalated to a fifth level team. As a practical matter, this is not so good, as this team only works during normal business hours. This means most of the downtime is simply due to inattention.

The problem began when Hostway automatically renewed the domain. Hostway took payment for the renewal in advance of the expiration date, but did not renew the domain properly.

A WHOIS query for the domain shows inconsistent information. In one section it shows a future expiration date and a status of ClientHold. In another section it shows a past expiration date and a status of Locked.

To resolve the problem for my employer, I took the decision to transfer the domain registration to GoDaddy. However, Hostway have made that impossible.

(i) Hostway have failed to unlock the domain at our request, either through their website or their telephone support center.

(ii) Hostway have interfered with delivery of the domain transfer e-mail to the administrative address of the domain by disabling the domain.

(iii) Hostway have failed to change the administrative e-mail address of the domain at our request, either through their website or their telephone support center.

These are violations of the domain transfer rules that registrars are required to follow.

Hostway's answer has been to admit fault again and cite the original technical problem. But they cannot say when any of these problems will be fixed.

We have filed a dispute with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), alleging Hostway violated the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP).

My employer has been a customer of Hostway for 11 years. Ironically, that may be a part of the problem. Hostway bought Affinity, which bought ValueWeb, who originally created the domain on my employer’s behalf. Integration of old customer records into new systems is never perfect and can have many strange side effects down the road.

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2 Comments:

by Anonymous Anonymous
August 29, 2010 3:29 AM–I am currently going through this problem, we now share a similar experience. - To everyone out there, please avoid Hostway. - I have been with Hostway for 4 years and now that I want to transfer the domain name they have failed to unlock the domain for me. On another account with them I can't access my domains, they are saying they are expired but they are registered until 2011. BEWARE of hostway!  

by Anonymous Anonymous
April 03, 2012 5:57 PM–I am trying to transfer out as well. I have about 10 domains there. One time it failed and dont know why. I cant find any info on their site how to transfer out only to transfer to them. It has now been 4 days since I initiated transfer and in my control area it does not show any transfers in progress in my transfer area. I want to move all of them to namecheap. The only reason I even used hostway to begin with was the 6.95 domians but now they are 12.95. They dont even tell you anywhere on the site how much the domains are after the first year.  

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