As for progress thus far, we’ve identified a suitable new home for CoffeeRatings.com. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we have to wrest control of the CoffeeRatings.com domain from our current hosting provider, who manages it as a reseller of a domain name registrar.

Now we use the word “manages” loosely here — as it is more of a title rather than as an actual role where someone actually does anything. Yes, it’s been well over a week since Burton Hosting‘s automated Web hosting renewal took CoffeeRatings.com offline, and it’s been just as long as various trouble tickets and e-mails have gone ignored. So we’ve had to make an appeal to the domain name registrar that Burton Hosting resells from, since Burton pretty much disconnected all forms of inbound communication save for credit card payments.

Meanwhile, the site has oddly come back up over this past weekend — with no communication to us. Someone fixed their DNS, but the urgent need to move out is unchanged. The site has flaked on and off with database connection errors, etc., and has been up and down again throughout the day. Totally unacceptable.

In other news, it was a running joke that CoffeeRatings.com has almost negative design. It didn’t even have navigation, for crying out loud. Coming back up on another hosting provider, we may want to raise the standard a bit… at least to “Web 0.4″. Through some personal connections, we’re speaking with a Web design student who is interested in taking CoffeeRatings.com into the mid 1990s.

Of course, when your Web site is about as no-frills as the Myanmar-inspired cafés that have become the norm among San Francisco openings lately, some loyalists will cry “sell out!” To which we say: it’s not like we’re Amish.

UPDATE:
The “Compliance Officer” (or so we learned what they are called) for our domain name registrar just informed us that she hopes to have the lock removed from CoffeeRatings.com in the next couple of days. Then we can begin the process of packing up and moving the lot to greener pastures. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: June 27, 2008
It’s amazing how much Web hosters enmesh themselves so that you cannot extricate your domain from their clutches. It has been Burton Hosting’s policy, as it is for most Web hosters, to list one of their e-mail addresses and phone numbers, along with your name, as the administrative contact for the domain name.

Everything works fine until you need to get your password to unlock your domain name to transfer it to another Web hosting provider. And to whom does the domain registrar send the password when you request it? Why, to the e-mail address or phone number of record for the administrative contact, of course. Which is just perfect when the Web hoster never picks up their phone or responds to e-mail.

To correct this, we’ve had to fax in a form with a photocopy of a drivers license, a signature, etc., to change the e-mail address associated with our domain name’s administrative contact (namely, me). We hope to receive confirmation by Tuesday, July 1. At which point, we can then ask for, and receive, the password for the domain — which will then allow us to change hosts and transfer the domain to another service.

Have we mentioned how much they screwed us royally?

UPDATE: June 30, 2008
So the good news is that the compliance officers at the CoffeeRatings.com domain registrar received my fax with my photo ID, signature, etc., to switch the administrative contact to something that actually responds to external communications (and something we have access to).

The bad news is that the address in my photo ID does not match the address in my administrative record for the domain owner, which happens to be the UK mailing address of our non-responsive Web hosting provider. So the registrar told me I have to prove I lived there, at the hosting provider’s UK address, in order to proceed.

Have we mentioned how much they screwed us royally?

About these ads