The sites seem to be back. For now. I’m busily trying to get all my domains moved the bloody hell out of the Tucows/Dotmaniac universe before something else can go wrong.
Here’s a chronology to date:
19 October: I renewed Groceteria.com and Otherstream.com on Dotmaniac’s website.
24 October: Despite being renewed, Groceteria.com “expired”, with its status changed to something called “clientHold”, which — I later found out — means that it has expired and will no longer resolve.
25-26 October: I spent the bigger pasrt of both days trying to contact anyone who could help me. Dotmaniac never answered their phone: no voice mail, no nothing. I also tried contacting Tucows, the back-end registrar (Dotmaniac is a reseller), and got no response from them either. Groceteria had been offline for at least 36 hours when I had to leave town on Thursday, and I was pretty sure Otherstream would be gone by the time I got back on Sunday.
28 October: I was right. By Sunday, there was no Groceteria, no Otherstream, and no email. Needless to say, no one at Tucows or Dotmaniac had gotten back to me either.
29 October: More contact attempts, more frustration. Early this afternoon, a friend of Mark’s suggested a method that might at least get the sites back online, and it seems to have worked. I’m now trying to get all the domains transferred to a different registrar. I also filed a complaints with ICANN, the BBB, and Tucows compliance office.
I really didn’t need this right now. I’m already about as tightly wound as I can stand to be, and with this and other things hanging over me, my very much-needed “stress reducing” weekend road trip didn’t really do the trick either. I’m not a pretty sight today.
Thanks to incompetence (or just plain negligence) on the part of Dotmaniac.com, I’ve wasted countless hours, lost a fair amount of ad revenue (and a good chunk of my hard-won search engine placement), at Groceteria, and become an ever bigger ball of stress than I was a week ago.
I’ve also discovered that you should be realy careful where you register your domains, because there’s almost no oversight over the process, and you could find yourself at the mercy of a shady operator like Dotmaniac.com. These slimy sacks of shit are a part of the Interlink Network Group, located in Vancouver WA. If they ever answered their phones, you could call them up and tell them what you thought of them at 888.888.1051 or 877.744.6638. You could, if so inclined, also send them a fax at 360.571.4538. However, if you actually do business with them, you’re taking a terrible risk.
Update: For more information, see this page I’ve created about my problems with Dotmaniac.com. Feel free to link to it as well.