kobiak: 247hosting is up and running (dont know for how long).
I urgently emailed all my clients/friends to do back-ups and download ASAP. I know few people who could not get anything from 247 for 3-4 weeks now.
I was one of the lucky ones who saw the signs early and moved away, though it did take many hours to transfer everything.
I didn't want others to get caught in the lurch, so I tried to find a government or industry body that would look into things, and after many more hours of phone calls along the lines of "Not really our thing, and no, can't say who would handle it" - I finally tried the Commerce Commission.
This was back in mid-May. I explained that while I did have unanswered support tickets about 24/7 double-charging and not crediting payments, I wasn't asking them to do anything about that- I was writing because I was concerned that hundreds or possibly thousands of small businesses could get caught without websites if the company fell over.
Below, if you need a wry chuckle, is the result (which came about two months after the collapse).
Thank you for the information you provided the Commission regarding 24/7 Hosting.
We have now assessed this information, and although it may raise issues under the Fair Trading Act, the Commission will not be taking any action at this time. We note that the business appears to have had a change in management and is now operational.
When we decide whether to open an investigation, we consider how widespread, blatant and damaging the issue appears to be, based on the information available. We use our Enforcement criteria to help us make these decisions. You can read about our enforcement criteria at www.comcom.govt.nz/enforcement-criteria.
Our decision does not prevent you from taking your own action. Only the courts can ultimately decide whether any conduct breaches the Act. The Fair Trading Act specifically provides for action by individuals, even when the Commission has decided not to take any action.
Commerce Commission | Te Komihana Tauhokohoko
I see you're closing the gate; the horse, however, has more than already bolted- it's taken a leisurely world-wide trip of all the major continents.
I had already moved all my hosting, so I was not doing this for myself. It was my hope that when I raised the matter, it might see some prompt action that would save hundreds or even thousands of small New Zealand businesses having their websites and domains vanish. That does not appear to be the case.
As far as the business being operational, I'm at a loss as to how you judge that. Yes, I'm still getting ongoing demands for payments for invoices for domains and hosting (despite no longer being with 24/7), but no, I cannot log in to change anything in my customer panel because the entire system is down.
Perhaps when you go here: http://247hosting.co.nz/
and click 'Client Login', you'll have more luck than a big error message but I sincerely doubt it. Perhaps your definition of 'operational' means sending out bills but not providing services; if so, my apologies for misunderstanding how business works.
Like many others, I've given up hope of seeing any refund for 24/7's double invoicing and other fraudulent practices. I don't believe my support requests about it (now months old) will ever be attended to.
But it would have been nice if someone could have put out an alert back when everything was first falling apart. Then people would have had a chance to move their websites before they were lost, which in many cases would have caused a large business impact.
I am glad that the hour I spent chasing various agencies to find out who actually had any responsibility in this area (it seems nobody knows), and then the further time I spent listing the issues, has at least had the full effect of generating a reply email suggesting that I... take an individual claim to court myself.
In summary: It would be nice if there was a department, perhaps even a commission, that was responsible for things to do with bad commercial practices of the sort shown by 24/7. We could call it... I don't know, the Commission Of Commerce? Or something snappier...