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The story so far...
I've had my site hosted with a company called WebFusion for the last year.
A few weeks ago my account was renewed, during which time they should have renewed my domain name.
I noticed that the expiry date for the domain name was still at 24th Feb 2001 a week later (1st March, 2001!), which did not look at all right but the site was still working.
I emailed WebFusion's support about it twice, and both times got replies that they had 'probably' renewed it. I.e. nobody checked. But as it still worked and I'd not renewed a domain before I had no idea what to expect so took their word for it, though with an amount of suspicion!
On Monday/Tuesday my site slowly stopped working and my emails stopped arriving.
Looking at the Internic record it has 'No nameserver' in the 'Name Server' field. That, I expect, is what's causing it as these details propagated around the Internet.
WebFusion said on Monday that they'd renew it that day and that it should take 2 days to propagate, but it's now Thursday and it's still not working and they are even ignoring my emails requesting they look into it.
The situation now is that the Internic record still has an incorrect DNS entry and still says that the domain expired on 24th Feb 2001. My web site and email are both completely inaccessible now.
What I think happened
To me it looks like they somehow messed up the renewal.
I have since read that domain names are given a certain time to be renewed after the date and during that period (or the end part) the domain name is disabled, which probably explains why the DNS entry is set to 'No nameserver'.
What I would like to know
WebFusion said they renewed the domain name on Monday, but as they should have done that once before and either didn't or encountered some problem I am sceptical that this is going to be resolved quickly.
So what I'd like to know is:
1) Although it may take several days for the renewal to propagate around the Internet, is it possible for me to see *now* (several days on) whether this process has been started? The Internic details and on other sites all still say that the domain expires on 24th Feb 2001 and that there is no nameserver set, should these have been updated by now even if it will still then take time to propagate around the Internet? I want to be able to do this so I can get back to WebFusion and tell them if they have still not sorted it out and not be put off by them telling me to just wait a few more days.
2) Assuming that there is either some problem or WebFusion are completely incompetent, how can *I* go about resolving this? I've emailed the registrar listed for my domain name for help, but am still waiting for a reply.
3) Do you agree that the 'symptoms' do match my belief that that the domain name wasn't renewed and what then happens after a domain name expires?
I'd be really grateful for any help that anyone that knows about these things can give me, as while this is ongoing my business is crippled!!
My advice is to go renew the domain yourself. Just go to the website of the registrar that is managing your domain - they likely have an option to renew the domain. You will have to get some nameserver info though to get everything working again. It would take about 48 hours for the site to repropogate once the nameservers are set up again.
At the very least I would renew the domain even without the nameserver info for now so that you don't lose it.
Oilman's suggestion is a good one, but you won't be able to do that if you are not listed on the domain registration record.
Assuming you are talking about webfusion in the UK try a mail to email@example.com marked for the attention of Robert Berry. Briefly explain your problem in the message, Robert has a reputation of being helpful and may be able to resolve your problem.
Is it a com or a .co.uk?
Thanks for the replies!
I am not listed as the billing or administrative contact, but am for the ownership details.
But as I'm not down as the admin or technical contact I've not been sent any information about how to renew it. So my name's on the deeds but I don't have the keys!
I've looked on the registrar's web site and can't see how I can renew it without some 'extra' information. E.g. I may need to be told what URL to go to in the email they send to the admin address, or I may need a 'registry key' to get into the bit that allows me to manage the domain name.
I have emailed the registrar at both their Help and Sales email address, but that was only about 12 hours ago and they've not replied yet. I expect they get lots of emails, so wasn't expecting a quick reply, but it might help.
I'll leave it until tomorrow morning, to just make sure that enough time has definately passed for it to have sorted itself out if it has been done correctly. E.g. they may have said they'd renewed it, but it was the next morning they really did it, or something. Or maybe it's just taking longer than expected. As it's 5:45pm in the UK they're unlikely to do much about it today, anyway!
Otherwise I'll have 10 days until the domain is properly expired to try and really sort it out myself - though in that case I may have more luck registering it!! I'd just have to hope that nobody got it first! (Is that likely? Are there lists of domain names about to expire that people can use to quickly grab it?)
Webfusion have said that they've renewed it (or at least it's got passed to another department to register it, which may not be the same!) and so it *may* work itself out.
But as it wasn't renewed correctly with my account, when it should have been, I just worry that there's a bigger problem with the renewal process and that their support aren't interested in persuing it.
NFFC> Thanks for the contact. It is WebFusion in the UK and I had thought that tomorrow I'd try their sales address, though to have the name of a contact will hopefully make a big difference.
As with all organisations I expect there are some people that can do things and some that can't. I think that the support team aren't experienced/motivated/professional enough to handle a problem like this, so I'll get in touch with Robert Berry in the morning.
It is a .com domain name that has expired. The one thing that's partially saving me is that I also own the .co.uk. Usually I just get that to redirect to the .com, but I have managed (with lots of changes) to get the site working fully with the .co.uk so I'm slightly less paniced.
The amount of traffic, though, is substantially less.
One final question, which somebody might know: When should I see the details updated on the registrar's database? At the moment it says it expired on 24th Feb 2001. This ought to become 2002 (and once this is sorted out I may see if I can extend this so it's not an annual event!) , but when could I expect to see this so I can breathe a sigh of relief even if it's not yet propagated around the Internet? Would it change immediately they process the renewal, or could it still have the old details weeks later even after being successfully renewed?
Anyway, I shall let you know how it ends!!
I did try emailing Robert Berry, as NFFC recommended, but he didn't reply.
I phoned sales and asked for him, but was told he'd just stepped out the office so I explained my problem (which the person I talked to checked on his PC and agreed wasn't right) and was told he'd call me back.
Several hours later I rang back and was told he was out at lunch (at gone 2:30pm!) and that they'd get him to call me when he got back, probably in 10 minutes.
He didn't call back!!
This is really what I've been experiencing all week with their support and so why I'm finding it so difficult to get it resolved.
I have now rung their accounts dept directly and have been told that they've renewed the domain name, but it's still down!
I have now also got a reply from their support saying that they have paid it and have also contacted the registrar by email. However, I've tried that and haven't heard back so I'm not optimistic!
The registrar is Internet Names World Wide, at [internetnamesww.com...]
They are an Australian company, so not easy to contact from the UK due to time difference and also as I can only find email addresses on their site that they've not replied to.
So does anyone know how I can contact them directly and ask for this to be resolved? E.g. a phone number that will get me to the relevant department to handle these things?