This is a wake-up call
To anyone not using their own domain name for email or web-hosting.
Thousands of UK internet users were cut off from email after their ISP failed to renew the domain name used to route them. The address "FSNet.co.uk" is the legacy domain used by Freeserve, which later merged with Orange. The domain was first registered and used back in 1999 but it expired on 4 August, leading to its suspension …
Whilst I agree, I feel this is a tad unrealistic for Joe Bloggs. At the very least, a move away from ISP-provided e-mail services is an absolute necessity.
Outlook.com / Google Mail accounts are about all I'll suggest nowadays, infact I'm tempted to stop recommending Outlook.com as recovering the accounts is a pain the ass.
I think the original poster is correct, it is a wake up call for those people using ISP served email accounts. The problem is that ordinary Joe Bloggs actually doesn't want the responsibility of looking after their own stuff, they'd rather they trusted a free service to provide them with that service. So when it does go wrong, they don't feel that they have to do anything other than rant and rave that their freebie service isn't working and that it's affecting their business.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
Totally agree. The internet providers are under no obligation to provide a working email address. Neither are Google of course, but it's one of their flagship products and if that keeps going down, nobody will trust their business email offerings, or the company itself, so it's very much in their interest to provide a working email service, which they do.
We have a customer who had a domain registered through BT for their business, and the domain matched their company name, which was good. One day, their email stopped working. They called BT to ask what was happening and they basically said "what domain?" followed by "what account?". They even sent BT screenshots of their account page that they took when it used to work, and BT said "no, nothing to do with us". It turned out that the domain was registered in the name of the idiot at BT who did it, not the customer. But BT system deleted the whole email account and hosting, so there was no way of easily reusing the domain or moving it elsewhere. The customer gave up and registered another similar name. A year or so later, they got a call from some company who had bought the domain when it expired and tried to sell it back to them for €1000. They said no.
Not sure about Outlook.com or yahoo accounts, they're probably best avoided (yahoo in particular).
I spend a disproportionately large amount of time explaining to people why their "btconnect.com" address or talktalk.co.uk address is a bad idea. And people I meet with addresses like "firstname.lastname@example.org" really deserve what's coming to them...
Actually so many times I see something like "email@example.com" or "stehpen.bloggs@" because the idiot at BT doesn't know or care how to spell or listen or make decisions or anything
The reality is that half (90%?) of the people out there don't understand the distinction between connectivity, ISP, domain, email, website and it's hardly in the interests of ISPs and web hosts to clarify that as it undermines their lock-ins.
After all, how often do you see a business card or van livery for, say "Quality London Plumber" with underneath "website: www.qualitylondonplumber.co.uk" and below that "email: firstname.lastname@example.org" or "...@btinternet.com" or even "...@fsnet.com"?
This sounds like a dot com domain, rather than a Nominet domain. I've had to deal with situations where the domain ownership is wrong and Nominet will only change it if you accept in writing the repercussions for the change should an interested party make a claim.
On your misspellings theme, I was asked a while ago to setup an email client for someone who'd just got their broadband. Everything was urgent, so I just setup the information from what I was told, rather than from any documents that had been sent. Could not get the blasted thing to work. Gone through all the hoops and I could not login to the account. Had a few conversations with BT. No joy until I spoke to a techie at BT who asked me (yet again) for the account name (which was a very common name), and he said "how are you spelling Barry?" Turned out the person taking the order had setup "bary" instead. And of course Barry had to explain forevermore to anyone emailing him the non-obvious variant.
The domain typically remains in a state of limbo for a period of 90 days in order for Nominet to offer the original holder another change to reclaim it before being released to the domain.
Have you ever waited to try and nab a domain that's been allowed to lapse? Each registrar seemingly has an imaginary policy ranging from 3 months to nearly a year before you can grab one! (Source: I had a domain on 'back order' through 123-Reg, took nearly 8 months to get it after the domain expired)
I've also grabbed one of my domains back after letting it expire, I was advised that on a .me domain if you don't renew it 14 days after it's officially expired that you cannot reclaim it. Oops! :-)
and monitored and managed as such.
Often bought with a temporary project manager's credit card and some technicians email address these get lost as people move on.
Management are not always aware that the domain is a brand asset, that it has a shelf life that requires renewal, and really should have a central function accountable for making sure they never expire. I wouldnt be surprised either if someone had got the email but there was no way of refunding some intern the credit card fee...
I am sure this happened to another big brand a few years back although I can't recall which one.
"[...] really should have a central function accountable for making sure they never expire."
We used to have lot of MS Developer subscriptions dotted round a large IT company. Every department took care of the annual renewals. Then the purchasing was centralised. Everyone's subscription then expired.
It transpired that Microsoft had been paid a chunk of money to renew them - but there was apparently no way for the centralised renewals to be linked to the person using the existing subscription.
As an olde-tyme mainframe contractor, I enjoyed the countdown on "Your licence for this product expires in xx days" warnings. Then came a last-minute managerial scrabble for renewal - though too late in one case, so the only organisation I ever worked in that had somebody actually tasked with maintaining licences was AFTER a cock-up.
My dad just had his BT Internet email account deleted by BT. No reason for them to do it but they did. They're convinced that it can't be retrieved, however are still trying after raising it to their 'Executive Complaints Team. I asked him if he had a copy of it and he looked at me blankly, I explained that unless he has control of his data, it is very easy to lose access. Still received blank looks..
"That is grounds for instant termination (to use a US term) in many companies. You'd better just hope that your boss can't track you from your username here or you might be looking for a new position pronto"
Don't be so melodramatic. We don't all work for Barclays Bank or wherever.
If this guy just works in a little office, and has popped his domain name onto the company's SBS box.. the boss isn't likely to give a monkeys either way.
Either that or they want to get the best/cheapest deal every year.
Buying a domain name for anything longer than 5 years is a long time. Companies get sold, people move etc. The email address that is the contact for the domain might have been long gone.
But on the other hand this is EE we are talking about. You would have thought they would have had something in place to track this.
Or, could it be that they are merging with BT this year and next year all those domains will be defunct?
Could it be that this time next year Orange, T-Mobile, ee, etc branding will be dust? Not sure I want to lose my email@example.com email, but there again, byeeee.
Owning a couple of .uk domains myself I can attest to the fact that you don't always get the renewal notice emails from them. The last time mine where up for expiry its was the Google webmaster tools that informed me that the googlebot couldn't access the site. But then I'm not a big commercial entity so I suspect the only person who noticed was the webtrawlers :-)
So yes its your asset. you are responsible for maintaining it. you should know when your own domains are going to expire
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AFAIR its £3.50 for one year and £5.00 for two which is the standard for Nominet (+vat) .
Its just silly and not good business after one cock-up not to put the next one off for two years. And how much does it cost EE to process each payment?
And to think Orange & Freeserve were both brilliant companies in their day. Merging companies is a great way to lose your way trapped in the corporate spaghetti machine.
I suspect @xeroks was considering the PO approval process in a company like EE where the PO has to be completed (perfectly, natch) get signed off by the boss, then sent to accounts, then to Purchasing (Procurement?), then to a Senior Director or Veep for extra approval (it's cumputters innit, must be important) then back to Accounts, then over to Purchasing and finally send the money to the Registrar by which time it's been nabbed by an opportune cyber-squatter and it's flinging out Malware and V1agr@ adverts.
There's no swimming in treacle icon.
Any tech who relies on renewal emails to renew anything - contracts, services, products, licences - is an idiot that shouldn't be in charge of such things.
Are you honestly telling me that they don't collate a list of domains, plus their renewal dates, and check every month? They must have dozens of domains, you can't just rely on someone spotting something coming into a spam-filled postmaster@ mailbox.
And, hell, it's one calendar shared around with the IT department - it doesn't need to have anything privileged and "the guy who did that left/worked for another company" isn't an excuse either.
That's a potentially serious data-revelation flaw... hundreds of user's emails, including complete password reset access for example, potentially going to some random party with £10 and a keen eye for such things. That's inexcusable.
Of the people's whose email has now been restored, how many will be spending this weekend taking steps to stop this in future.... probably only a handful... and i bet about 0% will actually spend any money on paying a local techie to do it for them (y'know those people at the indie IT shop that advertise virus removal and the like).
Like the other poster said above... EE can be expected to F*uck up, if you are using a 10 year defunct ISP email you deserve these problems.
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