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back to article British Gas applies to wind up UK colo outfit Alphadex

British Gas has filed a petition to wind up UK colocation outfit Alphadex. It's the second time Alphadex has found itself in trouble in recent weeks. In early March it experienced significant outages, drawing understandable ire from its users. The company has since explained the incident as having been caused by “unsecured …

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“unsecured WordPress scripts which allowed [hackers] to install a UDP relay service on the customers [sic] virtual server. This UDP relay service then sent traffic between itself and other compromised servers on the network, the traffic proliferated until it hit its capacity.”

I seem to recall this from one of the BOFH's/PFY's excuse sheets.

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Bronze badge

So, they haven't paid the gas bill?

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"So, they haven't paid the gas bill?"

Usually, yes. But it could be any form of financial or trade debt to British Gas, including (for example) repayment for services Alphadex contracted to deliver that were paid but not delivered, or delivered but of unsatisfactory quality, leading to a claim. Either way, once a company starts getting winding up petitions its days are usually numbered, because in addition to a refusal or financial inability to pay debts, there's often a systemic problem about how they've got to the stage of not paying bills.

The court doesn't have to grant the petition, and as an unsecured creditor you'd usually get nothing from winding up a non-viable business, so typically winding up petitions are used as a way of escalating a disputed debt where you believe that the company can pay, but is choosing not to.

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Anonymous Coward

More likely their electricity bill - we used to use BG for electricity at previous work.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes we have BG 'electricity' at work. I'd imagine a winding up order is pretty final or is it just to try and force their hand. I'm actually surprised they did not just pull the plug which I assume they are contractually able to do - i.e. to stop they running up more debt.

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"Pulling the plug" isn't so easy at the moment. ISTR that you have to send a bod to their premises with a court order to get inside and do the dirty (or a slick talking "I'm here to check the phalanges on your meter" guy).

Of course once you've got one of the new digital meters, it's a different matter. Then the person cold-calling you to change your insurance to BG will turn off your electricity out of spite because you were rude and hung up on them.

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Their bank would have frozen their accounts on noting the winding up petition. The company are served with a petition by process server so cant be unaware of it, then the process goes on a bit before its advertised, its pretty final when it gets this far i.e. the doors will be closing.

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It's just a petition at this stage

Yes.

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Anonymous Coward

It's just a petition...

It's stories like these that sensationalise the issue, creating more negative publicity for a company, making it harder to get themselves out of whatever hole they have got the self into!

I personally think that this sort of petition should not be advertised until it has been granted by the court, giving the company and the creditor time and space to work out a solution between them if that is at all possible...

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I'm joining the rats

Time to jump off the sinking ship.

We have websites, domains, and DNS hosted on a virtual server at Alphadex. The last thing we want is for that to go dark - I was trying to do an Office365 migration over the weekend of their outage, and had to roll back because I wasn't able to update the mx records. Our helpdesk is on it, our remote support software is on it.

Better to move in a managed fashion than have a panic because one Monday morning absolutely nothing is working.

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