Crazy Domain customers mad about being offline
Mad about service: a screenshot of a 2010 Crazy Domains advertisement featuring Pamela Anderson.
One thousand customers of Crazy Domains were without access to their email and websites for five days after the company's hosting servers went down, with multiple complaints about ongoing poor customer service and lack of communication.
Crazy Domains, a former Perth-based company, is a cut-price email and web hosting service catering primarily to small businesses and individuals.
One customer told Fairfax Media his email service went down on Friday afternoon and was not restored until Tuesday night. However, when services did return he could no longer access archived emails.
"There are emails of mine sitting on the Crazy Domains server that have not been restored," said the customer, who did not want to be identified. He also expressed concern that people whose websites were hosted by Crazy Domains may have lost data.
"If they could not restore email from a complete back up then they could be other information missing. We don't know if they have been able to recover from this outage."
It would be difficult for customers to swap hosting services if they could not recover all the information stored by Crazy Domains, he explained.
In an email sent to customers in recent days, Crazy Domains confirmed it had lost two servers and would have to rebuild both before it could restore services. It is understood about 1000 customers were affected out of 750,000.
"Due to the fact that both failed, which is a very rare occurrence, we are now waiting for the final drive to build which has taken over 48 hours to reach 70 per cent completion. We estimate all systems will be back online today," a support team manager wrote to customers on Monday, according to posts on online tech discussion site Whirlpool.
An email sent to customers on Tuesday, and copied on Whirpool, stated: "We have recovered the disk and we are now restoring all accounts back to normal. We are prioritising mail data first and then web. We do not trust the storage unit that it was on, so we have made the decision to move all this data to the new storage."
Crazy Domains has been contacted for comment. The company claims to be the "world's most popular domain name registrar and web hosting provider".
Its Facebook page and Twitter accounts make no mention of the outage, although an earlier Facebook post does say its customer service centre in the Philippines was affected by a recent earthquake. Sources said Crazy Domains deleted Facebook comments asking about the outage.
Another Facebook page, Crazy Domain Fail, shows a string of complaints about the company and customer service in recent months.
Earlier this year, the company was found in breach of its Registrar Agreement with auDA, which regulates the .au domain, after the Crazy Domains business was transferred to a Dubai-based company called Dreamscape Networks FZ-LLC without auDA's knowledge or consent.
Chief executive of auDA, Chris Disspain, said Crazy Domains' registrar services were now called Web Address Registration Pty Ltd.
When asked what affected customers could do if their websites were lost or data unable to be retrieved, Mr Disspain said customer service was an issue for state or federal consumer affairs bodies.
"It is open to anybody to contact another hosting provider ... and the hosting service should be able to get them from their existing host to another hosting company," Mr Disspain said, but added that moving before access to website archives were available again would be difficult.
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