24/7 Hosting NZ, a New Zealand web host and domain provider that could not be contacted by its suppliers and customers for upwards of a month, could see thousands of its customers’ websites disappear if it doesn’t emerge from hiding.
According to local news reports, customers are left without the ability to manage their domain name registration and renewals, email hosting, and web hosting services, and the company is not responding to support tickets. Suppliers have also been unable to contact 24/7 Hosting, which includes New Zealand phone, internet, and hosting provider Voyager which provided domain registration services.
Without the ability to contact anyone at 24/7 Hosting, Voyager is forced to stop providing its customers domain services, which could lead to some people losing their domains as they come up for expiry.
For its part, Voyager is trying to help 24/7 Hosting customers transition.
In an email message to customers, the company writes: “Whilst Voyager does not currently provide your Email and Web-Hosting services (that has been / is being performed by 24/7 Hosting), we ARE the existing top-level Registrar of your domain name, and therefore if you require assistance concerning the registration or renewal of your domain name, we CAN help.”
However, Voyager, which only dealt with domains, has no power over 24/7 Hosting′s hosting or email platforms, which would be needed to transfer or backup customer data.
Attempts by the WHIR to call 24/7 Hosting’s corporate number resulted in a notice that the number was disconnected, as was the number listed for Caleb Finlay, who is listed in WHOIS records as the owner of the domain 247hosting.co.nz.
Apparently this might not be new behavior for 24/7 Hosting, which, in 2011, was accused of not providing a web designer access to his domain names for weeks, and withholding four iMacs purchased from it by a community group. The company denied these charges.
In a statement to news agency 3 News, Voyager chief executive Seeby Woodhouse said that his company has registered around 100,000 domain names through different brands, and that this is likely the worst situation to come about. “Because 24/7 hasn’t been paying their bills and because we don’t know where they are, we don’t know if the guy will log in and delete all the sites.”
Meanwhile, customers can contact Voyager to try and move their domain registration to a different company, and scrape whatever media and content they can from their sites.
Woodhouse said, “The power’s going to get disconnected so there’s definitely not a lot of time before all that goes down.”