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UK Hosting Company Blues

Prime Site Down For 72 Hours - Escape Route???

11:19 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Nov 20, 2000
votes: 0

Some of you guys must have been here before....

I have a web site hosted by a cheap provider in the UK. They registered the domain name for me and it is a '.co.uk', sadly.

The site itself gradually became more important... unexpected, as I would have hosted at a bigger place if I had predicted this.

Problem is, they got hit by a virus 4 days ago. They decided to rebuild the server. They promised the site would be back yesterday.

Guess what... it's wasn't.

They also originally promised to stick the site on a different server, after I explained the pain this is causing in terms of financial loss. They haven't.

Worse still, they ignored all my emails yesterday. They have ignored me today. And no, I don't have a phone number (nothing on their site, which of course is up).

I want out, fast. I called Nominet who tell me I have to fax them but it will be "quite a few days". Nominet would also have to contact the Webhoster... and who is to say they would respond?

Essentially... has anyone any experience of this sort of situation? Any short cut or quick way out of here to get the site online ASAP?

I'm frustrated, angry and am losing money. Any suggestions welcome!!!

5:03 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 5, 2001
votes: 0

Hi all just to let you know that you aren't alone. We had a nightmare time with our first hosts. They ripped us off at first as we were naive then when the hits came in their server just couldn't handle it. They sneered when we pointed this out saying that they hosted for the MOD, I was a civil servant at the time and decided to check this out. Turned out to be a huge lie. More problems were to follow.

They had registered the domain name under their name and not ours. When we pointed this out they refused to change it over. 1 year of hard work for nothing so it seemed. We took the case to Nominet but they just whimpered and said they could do nothing about it even though I sent them the original contract stating that the domain name would be in our name. They told me just to sort it out with them. We got the impression that our hosts were holding onto our name to try and get us to resign a contratc with them. The site kept going down and at one point it was down for a full week. They totally blanked all our emails to them. Nominet need to be given more power its as simple as that and host need to have more accountability. After losing huge amounts of money our then hosts said they would sign the domain over but at a cost ( they tried to say it was admin costs for the Nominet complaint) we agreed to pay of course what else could we do!! Still makes me very angry to think about it all. I wish you all the best

7:44 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Nov 20, 2000
votes: 0

Well... I'm still not out of the mire, but hope to be soon. It's been a nightmare.

When I am clear of it I'll post the trials and tribulations in the form of 'lessons to be learned', so hopefully others will be able to shortcut some of the problems I've had in the future.

9:08 am on July 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Nov 20, 2000
votes: 0

Well... I finally got out of the mire. The lessons?

a) Never allow an ISP to control both your hosting and your domain name. We knew that of course already, but fell into the trap described in (b)

b) Never assume that a site you build for secondary purpose (a subset of your main market) will remain of secondary importance. Stick to rule (a)

c) Don't expect Nominet to employ business practices from this century. They are well into fax and wait mode. Then fax again and wait again!

d) Check out that you can actually contact your ISP and that they respond. If you have problems in this area now... you will have them when you least need them. Start planning to move if this is the case.

Just a footnote on how bad some ISPs can be: I tried for more than a week to get a response. In the meantime I called Internet Magazine, who they advertised with. The mag was excellent and tried to make contact with the ISP many times... but even they couldn't get a response. The net result of this when the ISP finally restored the server? They banned me, for contacting their advertising channel!


10:39 am on July 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 20, 2002
votes: 0

Maybe it will be better to be down for one week while Nominet transfer the domain than to be down for (well, it could be another month - don't want to sound negative, but it could). At least you can transfer it to someone who is more reliable and you will feel happier.

Never sign up for a webhost unless a telephone number (and preferably fax number) is available. You can always email them some enquiries first to get an impression of their speed, size and customer service response, which is very important in a case like yours.

With no response, I would send (by recorded mail or special delivery so you have proof of receipt) an invoice for the amount of time you are down (work that out by what you actually paid against the down time), an administration charge (that will cover postage, time, telephone calls etc) and also a loss to business. Send it every week - an invoice is legally binding and as long as the figure you quote are reasonable (be on the safe side), they will have little hope for getting out of the payment. Well, unless you put 'Invoice for week ...' and 'Any queries with this invoice please contact ....'.

I'm sure they will call you... :)

10:07 am on July 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 21, 2002
votes: 0

When I joined my current company I was surprised to see that one of the Uk's biggest domain namme/hosting etc companies was charging my employers 120 per domain per annum.

So don't think because they are big that they won't take advantage of any lack of expertise.

Major quodos for me for the finacial savings. Pity they didn't transfer it to my wages!

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