If you see this post then the ‘I may be gone for some time’ post should hopefully have gone and this blog should now be happily relocated to a new host.
The host relocation took a little longer than planned. I had been with 1and1 (I won’t provide a hyperlink as that would be cruel!) since I first setup my website and domains about three years ago. I chose them because the startup offers made it a cheap option. To be honest, I’ve not really had any major problems. A few billing queries. A hassle communicating with the call centers and actually making myself understood. Earlier this year Henry Hyde (Battlegames editor) recommended a move to TSOHost having had some ‘issues’ with 1and1. I looked at the possibility of a move myself in March but really had too much going on to sort it out. Then this week I decided it was time.
I really want to get my development skills back up to speed as 1st November sees my job getting ‘outsourced’ and although there is a lot of promise there, there is also a lot of risk and uncertainty, so I want to be up to speed if I need to start looking for a job. I have a few ideas for various projects connected to this blog and I want to expand the content and format. But to do that I also need more hosting options and TSOHost could provide that. So on Wednesday night I opened an account with them.
I had originally intended to keep the domains with 1and1 until they were up for renewal but it transpired that because my blog is set up as a subdomain it would not be straightforward to test it prior to switching over so I just decided to move the domains as well. In the afternoon I moved over my belisarius.co.uk domain. No problems. Within a couple of hours all requests were hitting the new location. Then I moved the other two domains. My main one belisarius.org.uk holds my blog and all the family email accounts. The other the website and blog for Tyneside Wargames Club.
The transfer process is quite straightforward. Start the process with TSOHost so they know it is coming. Then login to the control panel at 1and1 and cancel the domain with them and specify where it is going. This is transferring the Registrar, the person who manages the domain. And it is important you specify ‘To new provider’ otherwise the domain returns to Nominet and effectively drops off the Internet! Both the domains were set to transfer this way and the process seemed to be going ahead. It was late. I knew it would take a few hours for the DNS changes to spread out, so I left it overnight. Come morning all my domains had disappeared from 1and1 but only the original belisarius.co.uk one was still showing active. After talking to TSO they said the domain ‘tags’ were still with 1and1. I spoke to 1and1. They said they no longer had the domains so there was nothing they could do… In the end I had to go to Nominet (who administer the domains and who owns them) and pay £12 to change the tag to my new host. It has taken a full day to finally get things sorted as I had a mis-configured .htaccess file and the DNS changes took longer than expected to filter through.
Throughout the process TSO support were quick to respond and very helpful. I cannot praise them highly enough and I’m looking forward to a long association with them.
1and1 on the other hand have been dismissive and evasive. I wanted the £12 back. It was a charge directly caused by their mistake and although only a small amount I don’t see why I should have had to pay it. More importantly, while the domain was offline I had NO emails coming through to that domain. So I have no idea if over a c.12 hour period I lost anything important? But 1and1s line is that they didn’t make the charge so they cannot refund it. They may not have made it but they were responsible. Despite my stating I would be terminating my contracts with them the only ‘compensation’ they offered was a free month on my contract!
I’m not sure where I can really take this. I think Small Claims may be an option but I don’t think they really care and part of me wonders if it is worth the hassle. But if you Google ‘1and1 complaint’ you will see whole websites devoted to the bad experiences people have had with this company. They are a BIG company and advertise widely and I’m sure most of their customers have no issues. But big companies have two ways to deal with small customers problems. They can say ‘We are big, sod off, we don’t care’ or they can say ‘We are big, it costs us little to sort your problems out’. 1and1 seem to adopt the former approach.
So there you go. If you are a wargamer and you’ve got this far all I can say is either ‘Well done’ or ‘WAKE UP!
So what does this have to do with wargaming? Well, it now means I can expand the blog/site. I’m going to be restarting my Wargaming Neutral Project and providing a more ‘graphic’ representation of that and my Painting Master Plans. I’ll also be trying to get more pictures of my modern microarmour up and trying to make available pics of as many makes/models as possible so people can see what they look like.
And generally try and be more gaming/blog/development active…. kids permitting…
Sorry for this ‘Slight Diversion’. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible