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160 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 183894 2-Nov-2015 20:34
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I've been having a major ongoing problem with Domains4Less since Wednesday last week and have not been able to get any help from them. 

I have a .com domain that I registered for a family member which expires in 3 hours. I have tried twice to renew it (and was charged) but the renewals failed due to technical problems at D4L. For 5 days I've been trying to get assistance from D4L. Finally I tried to transfer the domain elsewhere but they are the admin contact, effectively holding the domain hostage. It all seems like it could easily be solved if only I could get in touch with an employee, assuming the company hasn't folded.

Anyone know a contact there? 
Otherwise I'm keen for advice on letting a .com expire with one registrar and picking it up at another.

Here is the background / timeline

Wednesday last week:

 

  • Tried twice to renew the .com online, with around 5 days to expiry (I usually renew far in advance but have been overseas)
  • Both renewals failed and 2 holds appeared on my debit card.
  • Looked at D4L status page and saw an issue regarding their upstream provider, with a message saying to log a support ticket if one has domains expiring soon. 
  • I logged a ticket.
Thursday:

 

  • No response to ticket. Updates to status page saying issue still under investigation.
  • I updated the ticket with info that the holds on my card had gone through as charges.
Friday:

 

  • Got home from work, found no responses. Domain expires Monday so I start to worry.
  • Status page was updated saying to email Webdrive for urgent renewals.
  • Emailed web drive, it bounced immediately
  • Called Web Drive twice - no answer. Checked their website stated business hours are 8:30-19:30. It was 18:00.
  • Live chatted with someone, yes a human! He looked at the ticket and said he had passed it on to the right person. Assured me they would look at it soon but wouldn't say when. With impending weekend, I pressed him on which day and whether prior to expiry and was told "very soon". Seemed like he couldn't/wouldn't do anything for me.
  • Checked whois for exact expiry and found it to be late Monday night (tonight), so figured worst case it will get sorted on Monday while I'm at work.
Monday:

 

  • Got home, still nothing from D4L.
  • Phoned 3 times, no answer.
  • Left voicemail.
  • Unlocked domain in control panel, sent auth code, and initiated a transfer to Name Cheap (who I already use for my SSL certs). After paying renewal fee and providing auth code, I discover that the admin contact is a D4L email, not mine and an additional verification code was sent to it.  Live chatting with Name Cheap they stated it is ICANN policy not theirs to use the admin contact and that I should ask my old registrar to update the admin email! She [Namecheap chat] also  cancelled the transfer for me and credited the renewal fee to my Namecheap account.
I checked the D4L status page again and see that today it was updated to say the issue is resolved. I'm not sure whether I want to try a 4th renewal fee now and see if it really is fixed, or if there's a safe way to transfer the domain elsewhere when it expires. 

I still have other .com domains which I am now worried are also effectively held hostage by these guys since they too have D4L as the admin. My many .nz domains with D4L have my own details as the admin contact so I am not concerned there.  I thought D4L were a large outfit with a good reputation? Is this not the case?

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28 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1419244 2-Nov-2015 20:42
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The only issue i had with Domains4less was how long it took to get a response when i required help last year when i switched from godaddy to domains4less. I mean it could of just been my impatienceness getting the better of me but it was maybe...a day? or so between responses. Though next year i might start looking for another registrar to be with, ive heard google domains is no longer a thing but again ive heard conflicting stuff etc, and if its still alive, hope it comes to other contries outside u.s as id be tempted to move to google (though yes with the risk id have to search again should google be google and decommission the dam thing!)  

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1419245 2-Nov-2015 20:44
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Why are you going from one low cost provider to another? Surely you would have learned about buying from a place that names themselves after price not quality?




Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1419250 2-Nov-2015 21:00
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NameCheap is actually a really great company, excellent service (I do a bit of hosting with them), it's a shame they chose that name. Most domain places cost about the same.

I'm not sure if a newly expired domain can be registered by anyone, or if it's held for a while. Anyone know?




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160 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1419262 2-Nov-2015 21:22
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ddwagnz: The only issue i had with Domains4less was how long it took to get a response when i required help last year when i switched from godaddy to domains4less. I mean it could of just been my impatienceness getting the better of me but it was maybe...a day? or so between responses.


2-3 business days by ticket could have been adequate for my issue. I certainly don't expect 24 hour phone support with a low cost service. But I did expect that I'd have received some kind of response by now for a known issue, from an NZ based company with a DNC and ICANN accredited parent company.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1419263 2-Nov-2015 21:26
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timmmay: 
I'm not sure if a newly expired domain can be registered by anyone, or if it's held for a while. Anyone know?

I'm more familiar with the .nz rules which definitely have grace periods etc. With .com it used to be ruthless with no grace periods etc but it appears that this has changed, though can vary from provider to provider. Can't find D4L info on it.

I'm thinking of just trying another renewal. I already need to get 2 charges refunded, effort-wise, 3 is no different.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1419350 2-Nov-2015 22:40
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A geekzone member from Umbrellar (who acquired the Domains4Less brand last year) sent me a PM offering to follow up on my ticket. laughing  I've given him the ticket number.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1419364 2-Nov-2015 23:28
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There are only minutes until expiry so just I've tried again at renewal and this time it worked. Going to bed.



160 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1420363 4-Nov-2015 08:03
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Domains4Less responded to my ticket and are in the process of refunding the erroneous charges. I'll keep an eye out for the refund and have also enquired about the issue of me not being the admin contact for my domains.

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  Reply # 1420394 4-Nov-2015 08:47
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timmmay have a read through this thread for a cautionary note abbot NameCheap and expiring domain names.

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?topicid=165962  




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  Reply # 1420428 4-Nov-2015 09:18
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Interesting, and not great. Simply renewing your domains on time means it won't be an issue - I check email, check spam filters, and have a three monthly recurring task to check each of my domain registrars for upcoming expirys just in case I miss an email.




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1420445 4-Nov-2015 09:44
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Moved everything away from Domains4Less this year due to really poor support experience - particularly around emails.



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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1420793 4-Nov-2015 13:50
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RmACK: There are only minutes until expiry so just I've tried again at renewal and this time it worked. Going to bed.

 It's broken again, as I have tried to renew via their system, and it just comes up with an error. 



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Master Geek
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Reply # 1421029 4-Nov-2015 17:27
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Thanks for the heads up Dynamic. I'll think twice about Namecheap in future, I've got only 1 domain with them and an SSL cert.

Update on Domains4Less issue:
Refunds for the two failed renewals appeared in my bank account today and Daniel from Domains4Less responded to my ticket regarding the admin contact. He's unsure why it was set to Domain Agent's details rather than mine but has corrected it for me.

I checked all of my domains and found 1 more with incorrect admin details so have requested a correction there too. 

Since Mike, a geek zone member (who works for Umbrellar, the owner of D4L) escalated my ticket, I've received great support from Domains4Less through their ticket system. 



160 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1421036 4-Nov-2015 17:35
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mattwnz:
RmACK: There are only minutes until expiry so just I've tried again at renewal and this time it worked. Going to bed.

 It's broken again, as I have tried to renew via their system, and it just comes up with an error. 


Damn. To their credit, Domains4Less are keeping their status page updated about the issue. 
See https://support.webhost.co.nz/index.php?/domains4less/News/List
I would really like to see messages on the actual renewal pages of both control panels and ideally for (the control panels) to not accept renewals for international domains while the problem persists.

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