Every now and again, I get the chance to help someone out and I just thought I’d share this one for a couple of reasons. First, I like helping people. Second, it shows that there are solutions to common problems on the Internet that don’t require delving into the illegal and unethical side of things.
I received an email from Raili with the following:
My name’s Raili and I’m in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
A new client of ours has a serious website conflict and I’m looking for advice. Several years ago a fly-by-night web guy bought them a domain, built them a terrible site and then, before even finishing it, left the country for parts unknown: no forwarding address. Since then the client’s bought a new domain and we’ve designed a nice site for them, but despite advertising efforts people are still stumbling across the old website which nobody can alter, take down, redirect or ANYTHING until 2010. We’ve got a massive fundraising effort underway for them and an important event about to be launched and I’m really worried that people are going to go to the old site and be baffled or turned off and we’ll miss our chance to collect their donations.
Client’s real site: [withheld]
Client’s unfixable site: [withheld]
Can you offer advice – we haven’t found anyone locally who can help us.
I pulled the whois information on the unfixable domain and I found the
[-- lots of whois information --]
While it seems like a lot of information, it does provide you with some important details. First, you domain registrar is InnerWise Inc. Since your organizational information matches the domain information, you should be able to contact them and tell them you’ve had an administrative change and that Ning Zhang is no longer your administrator and you need to resolve the issue that he has the passwords to this domain. It will take several phone calls and you sending in your information in paper form in more ways that will be pleasent; however, if you are persistent and can provide all the proof that you are your organization, you should be able to regain control of the domain since it has been registered to your organization.
I hope this helps and remember, be persistent. Talk to managers, talk to phone representatives, and re-enforce the fact that you are a non-profit organization and above all, do not give up. This process is painful for your protection (say someone tries to pretend to be you and steal the domain) but it is not impossible.
The success in the response:
Thanks so much for your help. The WHOIS info got me to the registrar and they were very helpful. (nice tech support folx!) We had things sorted out by the afternoon. If by some weird twist you ever meet [name withheld] please take a few of his teeth out for me and tell him that was from [business name withheld].
I’ve read a couple of the postings on your site and have to tell you how impressed I am by your command and consistent defense of the English language. Hope your business is doing well – you deserve it.
Again – thanks, it was totally unexpected and gratifying to have your help.
I’m really glad I could help Raili out and actually see it happen for a change. Normally, I never get a response back from the first email. This also points out a few good points to keep in mind from a business / web-perspective.
- If you’re a business owner, make sure your domain names are registered in your business’s name. Raili was able to get the domain information changed because he could provide business charter information and validate ownership of the business
- Make sure you buy the all domain names (.org, .net, .com) when you start
- Persistence pays off