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Domain Registration & Hosting Issues


runninghorse

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Ok, this may get heated, so I'm going to forward it by saying that there's alot of he-said/she-said stuff here, but I'm ultimately trying to get to the bottom of this, mostly so I can understand it and prevent (?) it from happening again...

 

I have been a happy customer with TCH since December. I couldn't have asked for a better host, better services, better support, etc. So a few weeks ago when a friend asked for a reliable host for a client of hers, I didn't hesitate to suggest TCH. She promptly gave her client the name and website for TCH, and that was it. He ( the 'client') was left up to register a domain and purchase hosting. *SOMEHOW* he managed to get his hosting through the domain registrar (which was TCH) but the hosting was NOT via TCH. (He signed up for the "Junior" plan, which I know TCH does not have.) So then he turns over his "info" (what he's signed up for and his account stuff) to my friend (who doesn't have alot of knowledge or experience in domain name and hosting administration either). She starts talking to me about the "Junior" plan and I tell her that her Client is NOT hosted w/ TCH. So that's where it turns into a nightmare. She's logged into his account, and everywhere on the support pages and everywhere else, it says TotalChoiceHosting. I figure it's the domain partner, and how the Client got hosting thru them instead of with TCH, I guess we'll never know, but he ended up wanting a refund. At this point, my friend is totally ticked at TCH, because her stance is that everywhere she went it said TotalChoiceHosting. She did screenshots and showed me, and I saw it too, so I don't know what was going on. She says she tried to log support tickets, and it went straight through to TCH's support site, so therefore it 'has to be TCH". I emailed and even callled Bill lto find out what was going on, but he was out of town that weekend and everything happened so fast I still don't know what happened.

 

Well, fast forward. They got their money refunded (via this other company) and now have purchased hosting elsewhere. So my friend wanted me to upload some files and I started looking into things and found out that the DNSs are still pointing to SECURESERVER.NET, and they need to be changed to their new host. I tried logging into the account (thru TCH's domain names link) and it tells me that the account doesn't exist. So now I'm totally confused, and I have to argue with my friend almost every time we talk about this. She still thinks TCH was at fault, and the one thing I agree with her on was that the name "TotalChoioceHosting" was plastered all over everything, and for someone who doesn't know what they're doing, I can totally understand how they'd get confused and even purchase the wrong thing.

 

So does anybody (Bill? Rick?) want to shed some light on this subject? When I do things for clients of mine, I do everything myself. That way I know what goes wrong if something does (but it usually doesn't). But I wish I could have something to say to my friend when we get in an argument over this issue.

 

Ramsey :lol:

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runninghorse,

 

Not to say you did not see what your saying you did, there is also a 'hostingchoicetotal.com' company out there.

 

Are you sure you did not end up there somehow? The name looks like they are copycats of TCH, trying to get people to them instead of the real TCH. :lol:

 

SecureServers.net is Wild West's Domain Reseller page, all of the companies that sell domains, and are going through WWD's Reseller plan, end up sending you to secureserver.net.

 

So I do not think they sell ANY hosting packages, as they are a domain registrar, and not a host.

 

There has been some talk about more plans to fix the jump of resources between the hosting/reseller/dedicated plans, maybe they where just getting rdy to add the plans to the billing system?

 

I am not sure because I do not work for TCH, but I just thought I would give you alil insight to what I think. :lol:

 

A Staff/Mod that knows more about the problem you have, and how it could have been caused should be along shortly. If I have said something wrong here, I am sure they will correct me.

 

I hope this helps you.

Edited by Alan
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Hmmm, lemmie look up their site again, it is in my history.

 

Edit ::-:>

 

They must have closed, I told someone about it (can't remember who) and they went and looked at it aswell. I think it was MikeJ but not sure. :)

Edited by Alan
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Thanks Alan,

 

No, I'm *SURE* it said "TotalChoiceHosting" on the screenshots. I believe it somehow has something to do with when you register a domain through TCH's website, that since it's a "partner" site, it takes you to their pages, but has TCH's name on it... But like I said before, I have no clue what has happened!

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I'm not sure what happened either and I am a customer here not staff.

 

That said I went to the domain registration page from TCH and the header and footer had TotalChoiceHosting on it. However I clicked every link on SecureServer.net and found no links pointing to where they could purchase a hosting package.

 

Since TCH does not offer a plan called "Junior" I am skeptical as to where your friend purchased the hosting package.

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runninghorse,

 

And this was the hosting package invoice?

 

And as to the statement:

 

"that since it's a "partner" site, it takes you to their pages, but has TCH's name on it"

 

SecureServer.net is a Reseller page for Wild West Domains, WWD is a Registrar and offer absolutely NO hosting packages.

 

So the problem is somewhere between TCH and your friends method of signup. :)

Edited by Alan
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Alan -- I'm sure it was my friend's method of signup. But I'm just trying to figure out where and how! :)

 

Dick -- What clued me in was when my friend starting talking about her "junior" hosting package that didn't have cgi-bin access, and I said it couldn't be a TCH package becuase they offer cgi-bins with all accounts...

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Another clue,

 

All Packages from TCH, Include Unlimited E-Mail, Subdomains, mySQL Databases.

 

:(

 

I think someone needs to call this post to Bill, or Mitch's attention when one of them come on.

 

Wouldn't that be violation of copyright/trademark if someone is truely trying to impersonate TCH? :)

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Bruce - Even though it doesn't say it in the titlebar, it's got a TCH banner font and center. Those who don't know what they're looking for will DEFINATELY think that it's a TCH page!

 

Alan - My thoughts exactly. And that's what I kept saying to my friend: "It says TCH but it's not TCH!" but she kept saying "well if it *says* TCH then it *is* TCH!" ... Like I said above, alot of he-said/she-said stuff.

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runninghorse,

 

Glad to be of service. :)

 

I am fixing to go browse the forums to see who else I can help. :(

 

It is boring today, the MSN Gaming Zone is dead untill around 3.00 when school lets out, then all the people come in and start playing. :)

 

So I am working on my site and checking out the forums while I wait on enough people to come in so I can launch the game. :)

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Couple of my "observations"

 

These "screenshots" are not complete screen shots, they look cropped. Nowhere do I see the browser borders or the address bar or anything. Which leads me to the question, did you receive these screenshots or did you edit them. If you didn't edit them then I would ask for the whole thing. Its possible they are pieced together.

 

Next would be the some of the Titlebars I see. One says "WHOANC.COM" and another says "SecurePayNet.net"

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Madmanmcp - these screenshots are just cropped to remove unimportant information (like users' names and numbers, etc). Nobody is piecing anything together. This client is just an old "country boy" from North Carolina. Chances are the error lies in the way he signed up. But I'm still concerned that his online invoice (or the member information page) that one sees when previously logged into his account has the above screenshots. I was just told that the user went to TCH, signed up for a domain name, and then somehow got hosting added from the wrong company. The 2nd screenshot shows where it charged him for hosting - this was all the same credit card and same account that the domain name was from, see screenshot #3.

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Sorry the page you requested does not exist

 

Neotrace: securepaynet.net

Name: att-level3-oc48.losangeles1.level3.net

IP Address: Deleted so I was not giving their IP out.

Location: Los Angeles (34.000N, 118.167W)

Network: LC-ORG-ARIN

 

Registrant:

Level 3 Communications, Inc

(DOM-395996)

1025 El Dorado Blvd. Broomfield

CO

80021 US

 

That don't look like TCH to me. :) lol

 

Could it be WWD?

Edited by Alan
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Thats what it looks like. Now the URL I give takes you straight to a page that looks similar to the screen shots you have. The Junior Plan is now 4.95 but most of the rest looks the same. I am not sure how the TCH graphics were kept but that appears to be the place 5they registered and you might want to send your friend there with his questions.

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Hmm,

 

If Bill wants to have a chit chat with them, he can PM me on yahoo messenger, and I will give him the rest of the info for securepaynet.net such as the admin/abuse/tech phone/fax/e-mail/address and everything else I have. :)

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madmanmcp -- well this is all over and done with via my friend and her client. They got the money refunded from the "junior plan" that was purchased. It was refunded from WildWestDomains... What I'm confused on is how they got a hosting plan purchased from a company that doesn't even offer them, and what's worse, why it had TCH's name everywhere.

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LOL!!!

 

Those prices look great!

 

And they think they can compete with TCH? :)

 

I do not think they can do that even with the copycat site. :(

 

 

There are free sites out there that offer more than those guys are offering, and they offer it all FREE LOL!

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Ah, I think I see the problem.

 

It looks like that top part is advertising, not the logo of the site you are on. If you click on it, it takes you to TCH's domain name registration options.

 

I think it is just a case of a very inexperienced person with poor navigation and observation skills.

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It appears that this "secureserver.net" place keeps the TCH banner when you use the link on the TCH page.

 

got to http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/

 

click on Web Hosting plans on the right

 

at the bottom click on "Click here to purchase a domain name! "

 

 

You are NOW purchasing a domain from TCH!

 

And as someone suggested above...its an ad. So this is just a misunderstanding.

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That original screenshot does exist, if you manipulate the URL that Madmanmcp posted. Although I don't know how the client got to it.

 

https://www.securepaynet.net/gdshop/hosting...le&pl%5Fid=1712

I don't know either. He's just a "good ole' country boy from North Carolina" so I know he didn't do any URL manipulation... but he had to have got there somehow. I sure have never heard of "SecureServer" or the other one, or even WildWestDomains, before all of this went down, and they were going through the hosts that I recommended, so I know he had to get there somehow!

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Ok, so now we know where the TCH banner came from, it followed the links as an advertisment. The next question is why they thought they purchased hosting from TCH and actually didn't.

 

My "guess" is that once you complete the Domain purchase you are left with a screen that still retains the TCH stuff but has an icon for an option to select "Web Hosting" and when selected takes you to another hosting company yet still keeps the TCH name laying around as we see in the screen shots.

 

Yes, very confusing!

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People send their credit card numbers to phishers too even with the inundations of warnings we get all the time.

 

No offense to your friend - I have some relatives who have no business even owning a computer :) but it's not the ad's fault if they got themselves turned around and couldn't even tell what they were signing up for.

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madman - I agree that's probably how it happened. Trying to think from a 'non-tech' point of view, logically after purching the domain name, I'd think next thing would be for hosting, and if there was a convenient button to just clilck for it, that's probably what happened...

 

bellringr - what I'm concerned about is when logged into the user account for this person, you would see the "TCH" *name* on the 'invoice' -- see screenshot #2 on my above post (near the top). Clearly indicates the "junior plan" @ $5.95/mo and TotalChoice Hosting listed. THAT in itself is enough to turn anybody around!

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My "guess" is that once you complete the Domain purchase you are left with a screen that still retains the TCH stuff but has an icon for an option to select "Web Hosting" and when selected takes you to another hosting company yet still keeps the TCH name laying around as we see in the screen shots.

 

That shouldnt happen at all. Looking into this right now, I ran through a quick registration and saw no such option for hosting. I think I know what may have happened, give me a few here.

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Yea... I have an idea what happened, but I have to wait for my new registration to go through to "test" it. :)

 

Anyway, this is clearly a problem that happened with the Domain partner, combined with the error that the user registering made by picking domain parking instead of Hosted at TotalChoice (which was the default, btw).

 

The domain partner does branding to show TotalChoice, and somehow the user ended up on the domain partner's hosting pages which aren't supposed to be accessible for a TCH customer. Since he carried the TCH branding through, the hosting pages all looked like they were TotalChoice and he signed up on that premiss.

 

So the problem was really that the customer changed the default setting of being hosted at TCH and instead chose to park the domains. Then it was compounded when he probably went back to change it and was given an option somewhere to host at the domain partner, branded as TCH, which is never supposed to show up (if I manually go to their hosting page with the TCH branding info in the URL, I see exactly what the screenshots above show).

 

So he never actually signed up for hosting at TCH.

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So he never actually signed up for hosting at TCH.

You guys are thinking exactly what I was thinking... And chances are this hapens few and far between, but still, the thought that someone out there can sign up for services that "appear" to be from TCH but aren't really, that should make you guys want to make sure it doesn't happen again, right? :)

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That original screenshot does exist, if you manipulate the URL that Madmanmcp posted.  Although I don't know how the client got to it.

 

https://www.securepaynet.net/gdshop/hosting...le&pl%5Fid=1712

I just clicked on this link and a page came up with the TCH banner on the top... That must be how he thought he was at TCH!! It didn't have the TCH banner the first time I clicked the link.. that showed after closing it then clicking the link for the 2nd time.

post-33-1083105530_thumb.jpg

Edited by cmuskett
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Mainly just because they are busy at the moment with other matters. Remember the forums is not the main method of support, which is why when possible the forum mods try to answer as much as possible so the staff don't have to spend a lot of time here responding.

 

So don't mistake lack of a response by Head Guru or staff as a lack of concern or any lack of action being taken. :)

 

As for GroovyFish's link, that's the normal way their service works. The question is how a link to it showed up (there's never supposed to be). That'll take some investigation with the domain service.

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That'll take some investigation with the domain service.

So then when something is found out, do all of us get to know what exactly happened?

 

I mean, if this IS the case, and TCH was MY company, I'd definately want to find out if the domain service was selling hosting services that it shouldn't be...

 

I had a thought this morning also. This time it was caught, because of my friend talking about the "Junior" plan and how I, as a TCH customer, knew that was not a TCH plan. What about the other people that see those and think they ARE TCH plans? How many customers out there of yours have bought a domain name but never purchased hosting? I bet it's because they're hosted through the domain company....

 

Just some thoughts.

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This is something that will take some time and an answer, if an answer can be found. I am willing to bet that it isnt something done on purpose. Many places like the service we use let you pick and choose what services you want to offer like domain names, email, hosting and the like and then the front end is made from pulling information from a database to display what you have chosen. The other items would show up if I knew the information to put in the URL or there may have been a database error where another link showed up that wasnt supposed to be there.

 

The service TCH uses is reliable and solid and I seriously doubt any dubious things are going on under our noses. At some point the system failed when it shouldnt have, it is something that happens in this industry. If we find out what caused it then an answer should be forthcomming.

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madmanmcp -- well this is all over and done with via my friend and her client. They got the money refunded from the "junior plan" that was purchased. It was refunded from WildWestDomains... What I'm confused on is how they got a hosting plan purchased from a company that doesn't even offer them, and what's worse, why it had TCH's name everywhere.

I'm a Wild West reseller and they do offer web hosting plans. The screen shots I saw were virtually identical to my screens, since your reseller site is provided by WWD. All the reseller provides is a header graphic for the top of the page. It looks to me like someone is passing their reseller site off as TCH.

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