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Over 12 months ago I purchased a domain name and hosting package from a hosting company.

Before the 12 months was up i was sent a single invoice for the same amount as I had paid for the preceding 12 months, which I paid, 1 week before it was due to expire. I received a confirmation email receipt from the hosting company for this.

I then received another email from the same hosting company, a few days before the due date, informing me the domain was due to expire, if i did not renew the domain name. I immediately replied to this email asking if they had somehow messed up my payment or renewal. i copied back the email they had sent me, clearly telling me they had processed my card etc. I did not get a reply to this.

a few days later, my domain started showing obnoxious advertisements, and implying i had not paid to renew my domain name.

at this point i go onto their online help and opened up a chat session, where i was told that the invoice i had paid was for hosting and not for the domain name itself. i was asked if i would like to be invoiced for the domain name also? frustrated and angry (what use is a hosting package that nobody can reach?), i paid the extra $12 and was told the domain would be renewed with 24 hours.

this was over a month ago.

my domain still redirects to a website that shows obnoxious ads.

i have been constantly told by the hosting company that a) they HAVE received my payments, and b) the domain will be on again "soon". in contradiction to this, i have also received auto generated emails from the same company (the same address in fact) informing me that i have not paid, and my domain will be deleted unless i pay them.

here is an example of the sort of email I have received:

Dear xxxxx xxxx,

We have checked, Invoice 38767 and Invoice 38329 has been paid.

We request you to ignore the e-mails you have received, as they are auto generated.

Please feel free to contact us back in case of any further information.

Thank you, xxxx xxxx, Support Department xxxx Inc.

the last response i had from them was this:

Dear xxxx xxxx,

We do apologize for the delay caused to you.

Actually, we are having an issue at our domain registrar, hence the domains do not get renewed automatically and need to be done manually, so it is taking time for Domain renewal.

There is no ETA but it can be estimated to be renewed in next sometime.

Till then you may access the domain using Temporary Webpage URL : http://0.0.0.0/$sitepreview/mydomain.com/

Please feel free to contact us back in case of any further information.

Thank you, xxxx xxxx, Support Department xxxx Inc.

In the mean time I can not use my website.

What can I do to recover from this? I get the impression that they are stalling for time so the domain can be deleted, and another customer can swoop in and buy it.

What is puzzling to me is they plainly acknowledge I have paid and imply the problem is out of their control, and yet when i look at the source to the page, it appears to me that they are hosting the page on their servers. it does embed a frame that contains google ads, but the actual parent html frame has a link to renew the domain, which is clearly hosted by them. how can i deal with this?

for one, i was tricked into not paying the domain renewal - the initial invoice did not say it was for either for hosting or domain name registration, but that it was for "www.insertdomainhere.com". it was for the same dollar value that i paid for 12 months domain and hosting previously, which is the same dollar value the currently promote for new signups. how was i supposed to know that by paying the invoice, i would not have the domain renewed?

is this sort of thing common?

i have not mentioned the hosting company at this point, i may do so if enough people respond telling me this sort of thing has happened to them. basically, need to find out if this is me being singled out, in which case going public will not help me resolve it with them. if it is a common occurrence, i will name the company take it from there. is this the sort of thing a class action against a company that is clearly ripping off it's customers could bring them to their knees?

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Sounds like IXwebhosting. This is exactly what they do. –  user13321 Feb 14 '12 at 1:10
    
MyHosting hosted my site for about 48 hours. I called to cancel with them, they have a 30 day risk free trial afterall, and then stated that 'they had already given me one' and it was a one time thing. They never actually hosted my url for me, that was by namecheap, as such, after I moved to a new host, my url still shows their site... and ads for their services... –  user15034 Apr 29 '12 at 17:38

4 Answers 4

Avoid this in future by registering a domain name with a registrar, establishing that your whois information shows you to be the domain owner.

Once you have ownership, then look for a hosting provider. In the real world, there will be two separate charges, one for domain name registration and one for hosting and established rights to the domain name separate from the hosting package.

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Your domain has a grace period, and a redemption period after expiry. Usually this means it could cost anywhere downward of a hundred to renew your domain. After you figure out transfer to another registrar, I would recommend renewal for as long as you can to avoid this again.

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This sounds like a terrible situation, but I think your best course of action is to run for the hills!

If they acknowledge that you have your domain paid for, then you should have the ability to transfer your domain to someone better. No matter what you have invested in this particular issue, it does not sound like this is a reliable/responsible host.

When I've run into these types of issues with a host, it was the tip of the iceberg and lead to many more headaches and downtime issues in the future. You'll be best served in the long run by cutting your losses, moving to a reliable web host, and working on getting a refund from your current provider.

If the domain name transfer is prevented, you may have to complain to ICANN as Anonymous has stated, but that will most likely be a far messier process.

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There isn't a lot of specific advice we can give in this situation.

I think it's going to a case of migrating from your "host" and possibly initiating legal proceedings/contacting ICANN as there are ways to recover domains, though a lot of this depends on circumstances that we don't have enough details on.

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Especially, if the whois records show the registrar as the owner of the domain; in which case, legal proceedings are a lost cause. –  Evan Plaice Feb 14 '12 at 21:17

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