Amateur Web Designer Refuses To Hand Over Domain
Fixing The Work Of Amateurs
We are often asked to finish or takeover jobs started by amateurs who have come unstuck, fallen out with the customer or simply found a new hobby. For these reasons we urge anyone running a business to work with professionals such as ourselves. This recent episode provides us with our most persuasive anecdote so far!
A Free Website – Full Of Errors
The customer has a high quality business – no expense spared – but, not knowing much about IT or websites, they accepted an offer of a free website from a friends son, let’s call him Adam to protect the guilty!
Adam registered a Domain with GoDaddy and used Tumblr to host and build a simple website. The problems came straight away when the customer realised their phone number wasn’t visible when the site was viewed on a mobile phone and a typo in the postcode was directing customers to a location some 50 miles away from their business. While the phone number issue required a different design approach (perhaps beyond Adam’s knowledge) the postcode at least was a two second fix. But at this point Adam said he had lost the password to Tumblr and refused to discuss the matter. To make matters worse he’d also emigrated to America.
Enter MGC Websites Ltd
This is when the customer contacted MGC Websites Ltd. We advised that we could quickly and cheaply duplicate and fix the Tumblr site and host it on our own server. However we needed to get control of the domain in order to make our site replace the Tumblr one online. Using an alternative domain wasn’t acceptable with the old one being well publicised and in any case it would leave the original, error filled, site live on the web.
We initiated a domain transfer and emailed Adam helpful instructions on what he needed to do at his end hoping he’d see an easy solution to a problem he didn’t want to deal with and be only too happy to co-operate. Surprisingly all contacts were ignored and even his own mother was unable to convince him to help so we had to investigate our options.
Regaining Control Of The Domain
Initially GoDaddy claimed they had a procedure for this situation but after a few wasted days it became clear that they didn’t. Not wanting to waste more time we moved straight to Nominet who control the .uk domain names. We followed their Dispute Resolution procedure with the customer providing proof of identification and ownership of the business. Adam then had to be allowed the opportunity to put his case to Nominet introducing a one month delay.
When the deadline passed we were duly informed that Adam had not been in touch and therefore Nominet was unable to offer a mediated resolution. The next step was to pay £240 to have an independent expert cast judgement. With little choice the customer sent off a cheque and the case was passed on to the expert who then had a further month in which to consider it.
Thankfully it was dealt with quickly and in our favour, however yet another delay was introduced as Adam now had 2 weeks to appeal the decision – should he wish to pay the £3,600 fee.
Finally the appeal deadline passed and Nominet were able to force the transfer to MGC Websites Ltd’s domain registrar. We had the amended site up and running the same day
Conclusion: Always Use Professionals!
So please think again before you entrust an amateur to build your website. We usually argue the problem is their lack of knowledge and experience but in this case it was the lack of professionalism that proved disastrous.
Could It Get Any Worse? Oh Yes…
We are currently assisting another business that employed an amateur who passed away with no provision made for the customer to take ownership of their digital property. The relatives are refusing to hand anything over. Watch this space…