Lies and Guesswork – 123-reg Support

I got an email through from Nominet telling me that one of my domains was due to expire. “That’s weird,” I thought to myself, “I didn’t get any notification from 123-reg.”

So, I logged into my account and saw theĀ “The following service(s) will soon expire!” message. I clicked through to that and got an empty list. Next I tried to bring up my domain in the dropdown to get the management page but it wasn’t showing. So, I turned to support.

When I first clicked on to their live chat, I got a JavaScript alert with “_gaq” in it. The rest was blank. After I submitted my first message, the rest of the UI kicked in. That’s where we join the action.

Kevin (16:04): Your live chat system doesn’t seem to work.
Kevin (16:04): Ah, now it does.
Daniel (16:04): Hello
Daniel (16:04): How may I help you?
Kevin (16:06): Hi, I received an email this morning to tell me that one of my domains – [domain in question] – hasn’t been renewed and is due to be suspended. I can’t see the domain in my control panel. I do get a “The following service(s) will soon expire!” – domain names – message on my control panel home page but nothing shows when I click into it.
Daniel (16:08): Would you like to renew the domain name?
Kevin (16:08): I’d like to be able to see it in my control panel.
Kevin (16:09): And to find out why it’s not showing. This has been happening with several of my domains over the past few months.
Daniel (16:09): You should be able to find the domain name in your control panel .
Kevin (16:10): It’s showing now – why wasn’t it showing before?
Daniel (16:12): I believe this happened because it was not renewed on time. I had to temporary edit the expiry date in order to show up in your account for you to renew it.
Daniel (16:13): Is there anything else I may help you with?
Kevin (16:14): I’ve not had any email from 123reg to tell me that the domain was due to expire, nor did it auto-renew like it should have. Which makes me think it was missing from the control panel before this.
Kevin (16:14): Can you give me a list of all domains associated with my account? I don’t trust the list in the control panel to be accurate.
Daniel (16:15): [listed domains]
Kevin (16:16): Okay, thanks; looks like that matches up.
Daniel (16:17): Great.
Kevin (16:17): Thanks for your help.
Daniel (16:18): You are welcome. If there is nothing else I may help you with I will close this chat session. Have a nice and pleasant day.

He didn’t wait for an answer; just closed the session. So I re-opened it.

Kevin (16:19): Just looking at my business account, I can see domains in there that expired in February but are still listed in my control panel. That doesn’t fit with the explanation that this domain was not showing because it had expired.
Daniel (16:20): The domain name was initially purchased on 2010-04-01.
Daniel (16:21): It should have been renewed until 2012-04-01.
Daniel (16:22): At the moment the domain name is set to manual renew.
Kevin (16:22): Okay. So, any domain that expires is removed from the control panel completely and then can’t be renewed?
Daniel (16:25): No. The domain name was not removed from your control panel.
Daniel (16:25): Because it was not renewed on time it was unavailable for renewal.
Kevin (16:26): It wasn’t showing in my control panel until you manually edited information for it.
Daniel (16:27): That is correct. I have edited it’s renewal date to 24/04 to make it available in your control panel.
Daniel (16:27): For you to renew it.
Daniel (16:27): Manually since it is not set to automatic renew.
Kevin (16:29): Domains can be renewed for over a month after expiry. I can see domains in my other account that expired in February. Different ones that I have chosen not to renew expired in March and I can still see them in there. I don’t understand why this domain wasn’t available in the drop down to choose domains and was missing from the “domains due to expire” section of the control panel home page.

He closed the chat session while I was half way through typing the previous message. On re-opening it, I got a different guy.

Alex (16:29): Hello. How can I help you?
Kevin (16:30): The previous person I was chatting to seems to have decided to cut me off – can you see the message history?
Alex (16:31): Ok, sorry about this. Can you please confirm the domains that you have the issues with at the moment?
Kevin (16:32): The main issue with [domain in question] (that it wasn’t showing up in my control panel) has been resolved. I’m just looking for an explanation of why it disappeared from my control panel. The explanation I’ve been given so far isn’t correct.
Alex (16:33): Please hold on while I check.
Alex (16:34): Unfortunately it seems that there was a slight glitch. I can assure you that this will not happen again. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused.
Kevin (16:35): This has happened with 3 other of my domains so far. Can you give me more information on this glitch?
Kevin (16:36): I’m concerned about losing domains and business due to errors.
Alex (16:37): Unfortunately I cannot check this further. All of the other domains are set to automatically renew and this will not happen again. They will be auto renewed on their expiry date.
Kevin (16:39): That’s four times it’s happened so far but I applaud your optimism. Thanks for your help.
Alex (16:40): Sorry about this. Have a nice day.
Kevin (16:40): Thanks; same to yourself.

So, what’s the lesson to take from this? Use a better company.

Kevin Wilson

.NET developer, JavaScript enthusiast, Android user, Pebble wearer, sometime musician and occasional cook.

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