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Demented over Domainz

Demented over Domainz

If I were a cynical person, I would be convinced that Domainz must have someone new working for them. What is worse, my warped, overly sensitive paranoia makes me think they are out to get poor little users like me.

If I were a cynical person, I would be convinced that Domainz must have someone new working for them. What is worse, my warped, overly sensitive paranoia makes me think they are out to get poor little users like me.I wouldn’t know who my new mystery opponent is, but he could be watching me. I wouldn’t know what he looks like but I could describe things about him. Whoever this person is — I don’t like him …

My best guess is that this new mystery person is male, upset at being short, probably wears thick glasses and in all likelihood studied a law paper at Polytechnic — but failed to pass. My nemesis has little social life and few friends. However, he does excel in some things. Mostly this is in all things trivial and especially pointless.

Twice in the past week I have been caught by this person and, rather than getting quick, helpful service, have ended up getting bogged down with lackeys who are bound by his rules. Simple steps such as registration become a battle of paperwork, emails and frustration.

Of course, I am totally innocent. The fact that I let these little things get to me, rather than just going with the flow, is purely incidental to the events. Sure, I could just merrily sign the forms and forget it. Instead, I prefer to be this knight in shining armour, fighting bureaucratic injustice and defending the downtrodden.

Okay, you may, and if you work for Domainz almost certainly will, prefer to consider me a grumpy bald fart with a chip on his shoulder and nothing better to do with his time. So just what has got me so hot under the collar?

The first example of this was when Domainz suddenly decided after a number of years that my company was no longer “a properly constituted organisation”. This was news to me, the companies office, Inland Revenue, my solicitor and my accountant.

The problem started when I wanted to merge some domain names from one account into another. The nameholder for the account I wanted to get rid of was Sharper Images.

Sharper Images is not the registered name of this company. It is Sharper Images Limited. Therefore Domainz wouldn’t make the change until I had legally changed the name on its site to Sharper Images Limited and then I could delete it. In order to make the change, I needed to complete some forms, get them notarised and return them to Domainz. This was just to let me delete the account.

I pointed out to Domainz that they wanted “Sharper Images” removed, I wanted it removed and that we both wanted the same thing and by merging the account into one with a correct name we both got what we wanted. They were unmoved.

All this is relatively innocent and up to this point I was still relatively calm. Even though I trade under Sharper Images, my chequebooks do not have the “Limited” on them and neither does my letterhead. I felt it was wrong.

However, the reason I wanted to merge these files was that Domainz had written to me saying they were about to expire and, rather than just renew them, I had decided to bring all my domains into one account.

As time was of the essence, I wrote back for about the fifth time in a day and said, “Forget it — I won’t merge them, just send me the password and I will renew them as they are”. But no — at this point real snoticism crept in (“snoticism” is a new word I invented for the occasion — it means taking being snotty to a new and unheard of level).

I then received an email saying, “Hello once again. Just to clarify, the statutory declaration must be filled in. I have already explained the reasons why. Until you do this, the password will not be reset. Please phone me if you want further explanation.”

So I was being refused access to my account until I completed the forms. I was not allowed to go in and pay them until the forms had been received and approved by Domainz. Now, I am dealing with real clients in a real world and couldn’t afford to wait, so I had effectively been forced to comply without a right of appeal.

Being refused access to renew accounts was being absolutely pig-headed in my book. I was so annoyed I got a legal opinion. The summary of this was that Domainz’s actions were “Bollocks” (a direct quote). However, my legal beagle did go on to advise, “… but it isn’t worth fighting so just do what they say”.

A quick search through the .nz listing shows a number of companies, including Sharper Images, that do not have Limited in their name. I have also seen that some have recently been renewed without the correction. This saga is ongoing, and I must say no domains have been allowed to expire at this time.

However, almost immediately after this I had my second run-In with the “mystery administrator”. As I often do, I had to register another new domain name for a new client. I went through the process as I have done dozens of times before — except that this time the form bounced because I hadn’t entered all the fields. As I had this pretty much automated I was at a loss as to what I had done wrong.

A quick call and I find that not only do I now have to fill in my name, address and country. It is now compulsory for me to enter both a second address line and, even more stupidly, the US State I am from. Now, for my address, I just have a PO Box number and a city. I have never had to use the second address line and obviously never had to use the state field, either.

Worse was the advice I received. The polite young lady advised ME that it was now compulsory because someone had decided it should be so, but the reason was not known. She suggested I just write in anything as it didn’t really matter because no one checked it.

Needless to say I then wrote something in the field that fitted the occasion.

One has got to ask why this should be necessary. What percentage of .nz domains are registered by US citizens? Why isn’t there a check box to say “not required” or “invalid”? This is where I feel Domainz needs to take a look at itself.

Domainz told me that everyone has to meet its requirements and that no one else has complained about the need to enter anything into these normally redundant fields. This I cannot believe.

If someone from Domainz would care to call me to justify their approach, I would love to hear from them. And if that person can tell me, he should also tell the people who answer the phones.

Nygllhuw Morris, pictured with his daughter Jadzia, can be found at nygllhuw@xtra.co.nz.

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