My Website and What To Do About It

For those of you who have tried to visit my website (loogslair.net) over the past month or so, you’ve probably been surprised to have the page load up only to be greeted by some generic blond-haired girl with a backpack smiling rather constipatedly, as opposed to the usual mascot. Attraction to said blonde notwithstanding, that’s not what should be coming up when typing up that URL.

The reason behind this current lapse in the website’s existence has to do with VizaWeb, the webhosting company once advertised by tech guru Leo Laporte and has since become legendary in their ineptitude and lack of service. I moved the website to a new webhost last summer, and was under the impression that I had transferred the domain registration to Yahoo. Clearly, that’s not the case: while I’m listed as the Administrative Contact and Yahoo is the Technical Contact for the domain’s WHOIS listing, VizaWeb remains as the “Registration Service”, and it’s clear that they still exhibit some control over the domain, as once the domain “expired”, the URL began pointing to the aforementioned blonde chick.

So my question is twofold: what to do in order to get the domain back up, and what to do in case I can’t.

As for the first question, I’ve contacted Yahoo; they can’t do anything. I’ve contacted VizaWeb, or at least tried; the tech support number on their website is a facade, and my support ticket has gone for more than two weeks now without a response (probably because I’m no longer a paying customer). I’ve reported them to the BBB, but I expect that to have as much effect as a flea on an elephant. I’ve considered taking legal action, but don’t know what sort of lawyer this would require (Internet law? Commercial law?) and expect that the cost of filing a claim against VizaWeb would completely defeat the purpose.

The other consideration is what to do should the domain end up being frozen for all eternity by VizaWeb because of their lack of communication. The website is still up, actually – it’s at http://loogaroo.startlogic.com – but several parts of it, notably the message boards, need a domain name to use for its URL, and the links at the top of every page don’t work because they refer to the domain. This is the second domain name I’ve used, as well; the first one, loogslair.com, got snatched away from me when my first webhost was an ass and decided to list a phone sex service as his technical contact number. I’m really not keen about having to register a third domain and moving everything again, especially since loogslair.net has been paid for and should be operational. I’ve actually considered taking the thing down, but I know that enough people still visit the site for various reasons – plus I’ve continued to promote it through my YouTube videos and such until the outage – that such a move seems a bit rash.

So, yeah. If anyone has any thoughts/advice on what to do going forward, I’m all ears.

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7 thoughts on “My Website and What To Do About It

  1. baloneyman

    Such are the times that try webmasters’ souls.

    I suggest you threaten to report Vizaweb to the authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau.

    Also, I can tell from your motto that you happen to be a huge Mathnet fan. So am I, and might I suggest you check out http://www.squareonetv.org, or its message board, if you’re interested.

    Reply
  2. loogaroo

    Re: Such are the times that try webmasters’ souls.

    I suggest you threaten to report Vizaweb to the authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau.

    Already did that. Witness: “I’ve reported them to the BBB, but I expect that to have as much effect as a flea on an elephant.”

    Reply
  3. baloneyman

    Re: Such are the times that try webmasters’ souls.

    If the authorities are not doing any good, then I do not know what to say except possibly taking matters into your own hands. I really do not know what else to say, just that I would be glad to help because I want to see Loogslair.com back up, with all of the rulesheets transferred, as well as those for shows whose names begin with X, Y, or Z, such as Zooventure of Your Number’s Up.

    By the way, did you check out the Square One TV website?

    Reply
  4. nangbaby

    Chiming in here…

    The problem is that the BBB doesn’t really have much of an impact on Internet businesses. Furthermore, in this case, contacting the BBB is doubly ineffective because you’re actually attacking a middleman (or technically, a middle man several times removed).

    Fortunately, there are authorities to turn to when bad things happen. Unfortunately, they can be at times as ineffective as the authorities that we run across in real life, which leaves a lot of the interactions to be based on what company A or company B wants.

    Reply
  5. nangbaby

    That’s a last resort. Generally, a customer should try to to move his or her way up the chain. There’s another level here before that, that the real registrar itself, eNom.

    Now if that doesn’t work, complaining to InterNIC may do some good, but it would be more effective for eNom to step in, even if they choose not to do anything directly.

    If all of the aforementioned actions fail, complain about it on a forum like NamePros. While that won’t solve the problems, the bad press alone might sway others in the future.

    Either way, if you ever get your domain name back, you need a new registrar, one that doesn’t deal with resellers who are as bad as VizaWeb. I would not even go to a good eNom reseller if I were you, let alone the registrar giants of GoDaddy, Register.com, or Network Solutions. There are tons of lesser known registrars out there. I can recommend a few, but first, the domain name has to get back up…soon.

    Reply

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