Imagine there is a picture of me eating my wacom tablet in a rage. I’m not going to draw it, because I need to draw next week’s Alien Dice.

SO what happened? Dotster happened. They took over 000domains which has hosted my domains with 0 issues, except the time I couldn’t pay the DNS because I didn’t have any money to pay it. Even then, my site was only down for 12 hours or so. I’ve had domain names through various registrars for over a decade and NEVER encountered this.

000domains and Godaddy send me email notices once a month, telling me when domain names are expiring, 60 days in advance, once a month. Dotster apparently only sends to the email you have on your dns record, while the others send to your account. I was unaware of this and had logged in to renew one account on Dotster in October, renewed another in November on Godaddy and completely MISSED that aliendice.com needed renewing. After 45 days, they deactivated it without warning. Due to November being horribly up in the air with the car and everything, I missed my monthly checkin to the registrars.

I logged in immediately to fix the issue and was told that I would have to pay $99 to reactivate my account, plus $16 for the renewal. Yeah, fine, whatever. I missed the date, I’ll pay because I MUST HAVE MY SITE UP AT THE MOST IMPORTANT REVENUE TIME OF THE YEAR!! (At this point, I’m thinking: This is why I’ve never heard anything good about Dotster since the first time I registered a domain name so long ago… last straw, will move my domains to somewhere else.) I told them, I need to pay via my BillMeLater account via paypal (it’s a creditcardless account my laptop bill is sitting in. I hate using it, but if the site isn’t up, I can’t earn any money even from pageviews.)

What did they do? They CHARGED the credit card on file. :( $116 out of my bank account I did not HAVE to give them. That was why I was trying to make other arrangements. :( My budget up to January 15th is now completely off, whereas before, all bills were accounted for. (I sigh, grumble and go on with: Well.. it’d have to be paid anyway.) In the meantime, my site is not up. I wait 12 hours. My site is not up. 24 hours. Uhh… this is the internet. Registrars can update records anytime they want and at most they take 48 hours to propogate and for me, I’ve never had one take LONGER than hour, even from a deactivated position. 0.o

That’s when I started getting really antsy about what they were doing. I paid them money that I did not tell them they could charge and they can’t go in and flip a switch to turn my account back on so I can get to my site? Oh and the amount paid is much higher than normal too, just like their domain fee renewals are higher… and they nickel and dime you to death. I start asking, with obvious irritation, how long is this going to take? WHat’s with your 24/7 support not able to answer stuff as quickly as other people’s 24/7 staff? Bluehost, Dreamhost – they are all astoundingly good. Even Godaddy is good and so was 000domains.

Then, I get the response: OH, it takes 7-10 DAYS. Uh, that is unacceptable. That is so unacceptable that I informed them of just how angry I was and began moving a domain name immediately to a new registrar. THEN I took it to Twitter, seeing they had a Dotster account and seeing that support on the site was being horribly slow responding.

Yesterday, site still not up. I begin reading worrying reviews about people LOSING their domain names because Dotster has let their accounts fall through the cracks while they were trying to do the same thing. Now, most of you should know, aliendice.com IS my best site for ad revenue, the little that there is right now. Being down, therefore, really hurts when January is typically the hardest month to earn ad revenue in due it being at the first of the year and other business reasons. First month and first week of the month and first week of the quarter are always a triple whammy for revenue, so every cent I do get COUNTS.

I let them have it. I made sure to screen cap our conversations in case it ‘vanished’, including the part where I never TOLD them they could charge my card. I contacted the Twitter Dotster with my complaint – Guess what. 12 hours later, my site is online again. 9.9

Good grief, why don’t they just do it quick like every other registrar?! (I’ve learned… this is their common motd. I’ve also figured out, they must get customers by buying smaller registrars… not attracting them. Most complaints came from people saying they had been part of such buyouts.) Luckily, they got their wish, I’m no longer in ‘raging lunatic’ mode and all my fire is out. Just wanted my site up. Is that SO hard to understand?! SO yeah, as soon as I get the money, moving the other three sites out of their system, including this one, to a nice simple registrar that doesn’t swamp me with constant spam mails about using their add-ons. Gah, just want a simple DNS, not bells and whistles!

– Tiff

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