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Digital Matrixx customer notice

7 July 2016 00:46:15 +0000

It has come to our attention that customers of Digital Matrixx, formerly of Abbotsford, BC, appear to have been abandoned. If this describes your situation, NinerNet Communications may in some cases be able to help you.

Unfortunately it appears that the domains of many of Digital Matrixx’s customers were actually registered in the name of Digital Matrixx, rather than the names of their rightful owners. This was not necessarily the result of malice, but probably expediency and a lack of foresight or knowledge on the part of Digital Matrixx. (To compare, that would be like your real estate agent registering your new house in his or her name “because it’s easier.”) However, the result is that now the rightful owners of those domains have no control over them and cannot take the necessary action to get their domains back online again, or even renew them.

We do not have a list of customers or contact information for any of them, so if you are a former Digital Matrixx customer you need to take the initiative to contact us to see if we are in a position to be able to help you. (We do have a list of 179 domains that we may be able to assist with.) You can contact us at the same email address that Digital Matrixx used to use — info@thepostaloffice.com — or via one of the methods listed on our contact page. While we have not bought or acquired Digital Matrixx, we have acquired their former domain — thepostaloffice.com — through the normal domain expiry process. (The same applies to the domain they used to use for nameservers, securelinksserver.com.) Because many of the domains registered by Digital Matrixx use the info@thepostaloffice.com email address as an email contact, we can now in some cases help some rightful domain owners.

Please read the following information carefully.

What we can do for some former customers:

  • We can help some people regain control of their domain registrations.

What we cannot do for you:

  • We do not have any access to websites or email on any domains. In some cases we may be able to retrieve copies of websites from public caches, but this takes time and effort. We can determine the probability of success and give you a quote to make a copy based on our hourly rate. We can also refer you to web designers or make recommendations for economical options.

What we require:

  • To assist anyone to regain control of their domain we require scanned or high-resolution photographed copies of documentation to connect you to the domain. This could include at least two items from the following non-exhaustive list:
    • business licence (municipal),
    • business registration (federal or provincial),
    • an invoice from Digital Matrixx or the owner of the company, or
    • a cancelled cheque or some form of proof of payment to Digital Matrixx or the owner of the company.
  • If we are able to assist you to regain control of your domain, we will require you to transfer the registration to a new NinerNet domain registration account. (We have no way to give you access to the account where it is currently located.) This will require you to agree to a standard registration agreement, which you will be presented during the process to effect a registrar transfer of your domain. Following this transfer your domain registration period will be extended one further year (or more as described below) beyond its current expiry date, and the contact information will be changed from that of Digital Matrixx to the contact information of your choice.
  • In order to enter the contact information of your choice, you’ll need to send it to us: registrant company, registrant contact name, registrant mailing address, registrant email address, and registrant phone number. Per the registration agreement, this information all needs to be valid. Once we have that information from you we will send you an invoice based on our current domain renewal rates for the renewal period of your choice (up to ten years). On payment of the invoice we will initiate the registrar transfer, which will usually complete within a week of all of the steps being completed by you. Once that completes we will send you the log-in information for your domain registration account. Also per the registration agreement and as dictated by ICANN, you will not be able to transfer your domain registration to another registrar for 60 days; however, after that 60 days you are free to manage your domain as you see fit.
  • You can, however, set new nameservers immediately so that you can set up new hosting for your domain or redirect it to another domain. You are not obligated to host your website and/or email with NinerNet, but we’ve been in the hosting business for twenty years and seen companies like Digital Matrixx come and go. Our hosting rates are available on our website and we are very willing and able to answer your questions and give you advice on how to proceed.

We look forward to being able to assist you, as we have done already for some former Digital Matrixx customers.

Beware the walled garden

30 September 2011 23:59:24 +0000

There’s an interesting article on the website of The Guardian entitled Facebook accused of removing activists’ pages. It’s particularly interesting to read in light of the post I made back in February referring to an article entitled Navigation Nightmare.

Having a website shut down is not a new experience for many people. Reasons range from the technical (you’ve exceeded your bandwidth allocation for this month) to the political and censorial. However, it’s always possible to move your website to a new web hosting company if you’re dissatisfied with your current hosting company.

Not so with “walled gardens” like Facebook.

If Facebook closes you down, this is probably the situation in which you’ll find yourself:

  • You won’t have a copy of your website. (Yes, a Facebook group, page, profile, etc. is a website.)
  • You won’t have access — even temporarily — to back up your data.
  • Even if you have managed some sort of back-up in some form, what can you do with it?
  • You’ve lost your address, the one where everyone knew where to find you. All links to you will be broken, and there’s nothing you can do to fix them.
  • You’ll lose your “friends”!

If your web hosting company shuts you down, this is probably the situation in which you’ll find yourself:

  • You have a copy of your website and database. (You do, right?)
  • Unless you’ve engaged in outright illegal activity, you can probably talk to an actual person at the hosting company and arrange temporary access if you need something.
  • You point your domain to a new hosting company.
  • You upload a copy of your website.
  • You’re back in business. Some people might not even have noticed that you were down.

Facebook and other walled gardens serve a purpose. Just don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, especially a basket that is not yours!

How NOT to transfer your hosting

19 March 2011 12:52:28 +0000

More often than not, we’re helping new clients transfer their hosting from their former hosting provider to NinerNet. Over the years we’ve become very good at this, and we have a tried-and-true process we follow to make sure there are no problems and that (most importantly) the new client’s email and website do not go down. There is simply no need (or excuse) for even a second of down time when you’re moving your hosting from one place to another.

Transferring your hosting takes time and planning; not that much time, but it’s not something that’s completed in five minutes while you’re on the phone. When a potential client contacts us about transferring in, we ask a number of questions and then send them a detailed plan laying out our step-by-step transfer process, how long each step takes, setting out what needs to be done and who does what, and the checks and balances that happen at each step. The transfer document is a little lengthy (if you’ll excuse the oxymoron) and potentially intimidating, but it has a bullet point summary and the details are there for the purpose of full transparency.

The point of this post though, is how not to transfer your hosting. We do all of the legwork detailed above because — guess what? — we want this new client and we’re willing to do the legwork up front for years of business from a happy client down the road. Sometimes though, I have to admit, we see the occasional client transfer away from us to one of our competitors. This can sometimes be a painful process for us to watch — not just because we’re losing a client, but because we see the amateurish way in which the transfer is handled. Often this is because of one of two reasons:

  • The client is transferring to a “stack ’em deep and sell ’em cheap” hosting company because … well … they’re cheaper than we are. In this case the client is usually on their own during the transfer.
  • The client is transferring to hosting resold by a web designer or a “search engine optimisation” company that they’re using. In this case, while these companies might be good at web design or SEO, they’re often clueless when it comes to the technical aspects of hosting. Contrary to what some of these companies believe, hosting is about more than just clicking pretty icons in a web-based control panel provided by the aforementioned “stack ’em deep and sell ’em cheap” hosting companies.

So we recently waved goodbye to a long-time client whose ownership had changed hands since they came on board with us seven years ago. (Almost all of our ex-clients left us because of things beyond our control — e.g., business closure, a sales pitch from the aforementioned web designer or SEO “expert”, recommendations of close friends or trusted advisors, etc. — not because they didn’t like the service they were getting from us.) Experience has taught us that, when the client has made up their mind, we have to let go. We do say that we’re sorry to see them go — and we mean it — and we ask if there’s anything we can do to keep their business, but if they’re committed then we back off. At that point they’re in the hands of and following the advice of third parties, and as bad as that advice might turn out to be, we’d be interfering if we tried to point that out. (That’s not always the case. To be fair, most of the clients we’ve lost over the years had no problems when they transferred away from us, but the exceptions stick out in one’s memory.)

And so it was that this client transferred to an SEO company that resells the hosting services of a well-known “stack ’em deep and sell ’em cheap” hosting company. The sad result? The client’s website and email were down for ten days! TEN DAYS! Not ten minutes, but ten days! During those ten days much of the work that the SEO company had done (and been paid to do!) previously was wiped out. Not only that, but in their panic — evident in the dozen or so emails sent rapid-fire in the span of about forty-five minutes — they issued confusing and conflicting instructions which actually resulted in further damage to our ex-client’s reputation in the search engines — not to mention the damage already caused in the eyes of their customers and potential (but probably lost) customers. As I said, it was a painful process to watch.

The bright side to this? We actually have a number of former clients that have transferred away come back to us a year or two later, most recently one about a week ago. Now that’s definitely what I’d call a vote of confidence!

Contacts us if you have any questions about transferring your hosting. We’re here to help.

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This is the corporate blog of NinerNet Communications. It's where we post announcements, inform and educate our clients, and discuss issues related to the Internet (web and email) hosting business and all that that entails. This includes such concomitant industries and activities such a domain registration, SSL certificates, online back-up, virtual private servers (VPS), cloud hosting, etc. Please visit our main website for more information about us.

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