247 Hosting NZ finally succumbs. Domain holders in turmoil

Thu, 4th September 2014, 14:12

Recently HostJury wrote of the woes clients of Kiwi webhoster 24/7 Hosting NZ endured when company compatriots decided to take a month long hiatus. Clients were left scrambling to retrieve domain names and find alternative hosting solutions while the web hosting vultures circled.

Despite all those 24/7 reassurances to ‘resolve all issues’, 24/7 Hosting NZ is gone again and it appears the coffin is being nail shut for burial in the HostJury dead pool.

It wasn’t only the clients being placated with the double talk. After investigating consumer complaints that 24/7 Hosting was taking annual payments for renewal of domain names, then only renewing the domains for a month, as well as registering domains in the name of 24/7 Hosting NZ, rather than in the name of the person requesting the registration, the Domain Name Commission (DNC) issued a warning in May that 24/7 Hosting’s behaviour has been contrary to the .nz policies that were created to protect registrants,

Debbie Monahan, Domain Name Commissioner advised

People who have a relationship with 24/7 Hosting, or who are considering using their services in future, to beware of their activities in respect of the registration and management of .nz domain names

The warning did not extend to 24/7 hosting services as that was beyond the scope of the DNC responsibility. 24/7 Hosting poured oil on the situation when they gave an undertaking that they were now in a position to address complaints from their customers and that support ticket could be submitted via the support interface. (editor’s note.. fool me once…)

24/7 Hosting now appears to be abandoned - its website is offline and the domain is due to expire. Support emails are bouncing and authorities are unable to make contact.

The collapse comes days after an "unprecedented" sanction which will force all 24/7 Hosting customers to transfer their domains to another provider.

The "last resort step" was imposed by the Domain Name Commission on August 19 after months of regulation breaches and ongoing issues for customers, with 24/7 management becoming extremely difficult to contact.

Campbell Gardiner of the DNC says:

It's become really blindingly obvious that people are experiencing massive disruption and 24/7 Hosting appears to be doing nothing to fix things. This is very, very rare, in fact it's unprecedented… this is beyond a joke, this needs to be closed now.

24/7 customers now have until September 20 to leave the provider or face having their domain cancelled, put back on the market and available for purchase after a 90-day grace period.

Mr Gardiner said the measure is designed to "close the book" on the embattled business, which buys domain and hosting services from other companies and resells it to the end user.

It's never happened before; we've never had to take an action to require people to move away from a provider. We're ultimately acting in the best interests of the name holders.

24/7 Hosting bought thousands of domains through Voyager which, under an order from the DNC, is now working to inform all customers of the impending sanction.

24/7 Hosting NZ claimed to be one of New Zealand’s leading Web Hosting, Domain Name and Data Centre solutions providers, stating in their company profile that:

From the beginning our focus has been providing high quality products and services at affordable prices. Just because our prices are cheaper than other New Zealand companies doesn’t mean our services are budget.

Considering 24/7 Hosting NZ used erroneous contact and owner information to register domains, rather than that of the client… well good luck fixing that one. I suspect we’ll be writing more about this mess in the future as the DNC begins to cancels domains!


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