Monday 27 March 2017

After 10 years, Active-Domain messed up my domains

I thought I could trust my domain provider to give me reliable notification before my domains expired.

I was wrong.

While I was building Is It Working, I got an email from Active Domain reminding me to renew a handful of my domains

Nothing new here - Active Domain have been providing me with a splendidly boring service for about a decade.

I have always had multiple reminders before a domain expires

The difference this time was that one of my domains had already expired
Logging in to Active Domain, showed me that they had 'updated' their website to a fancy new system

Presumably, somewhere in the upgrade, they stopped sending out renewals, and my domain expired without notice

Fortunately it wasn't a critical domain, and it was only a few days past the expiry date, so I was able to recover it

Over the next few weeks, Active Domain's 'shiny new' system proceeded to apply the wrong contact details to several of my domains. (resulting in incorrect whois details, and difficulty transferring domains to a new registrar)

Their login stopped working for several days

They 'lost' a couple of my domains

I decided that I should add some simple domain monitoring to Is It Working!

Is It Working will now send you a notification if your domain is getting close to expiry:

It will also alert you if there is a change to your WHOIS record, and let you examine the changes as a diff

(extract below shows the whois change after ActiveDomain changed my contact details back to the right person!)

I have named Active-Domain as they had a whole list of mistakes - but the point is that this could happen anywhere. They were a company that I had used for years, and who I recommended to my friends. They were reliable, simple and boring.

I don't know why they decided to update their systems - but this kind of problem can happen anywhere an upgrade is botched. is designed to provide early warning, and peace of mind in the future...