If a client registers web hosting with us and then purchases a plan and a domain name. He supposedly uploaded his own website.
We then get a complaint from another person a few months thereafter stating the business is his and that this person does not own the business and can we please transfer it to their account and contact their attorney.
We then contact the existing customer and inform him that someone has stated this who informs us that he is the one paying and owns it and if we need information need to contact his attorney.
We informed the new person stating he is the business owner to inform his attorney to contact our client's attorney. Is this correct?
What do you usually request from both parties in situations like this?
I've just been told by management that we should send it to our attorneys actually.
I would however still like to know what process other ISPs follow.
Exactly, this needs to be taken to the host's attorney too.
From your story, I didn't quite get if this is a dispute regarding the hosting account ownership, or the actual website files.
For the hosting account, there are a certain set of rules that apply in most cases. First of all - the person, whose details are under the My Account section is considered its owner, he/she is the first person that gets the account details and its their responsibility to keep them safe. Moreover, when account details are changed, with our company the previous owner always receives an email that the details are changed and if the changes are not made by the owner, they have around 48 hours to contact us and the details can be reverted. As part of the research, you can also check which is the person listed as owner of the domain under their registrar. So, being the host, you can only protect the rights of the listed account owner, all further disputes are taken with the attorneys and only they can tell you what is the proper documentation they require in order to solve this.
If its regarding a website files ownership, it is a little trickier. That's because the files are located in a control panel (cPanel, Plesk), outside the actual account. So any webmaster, designer, friend, relative, with access to that panel, can easily obtain the files and use them elsewhere. With such cases the owner should dispute this with the accused person, and the only way the host can help is by trying to contact this person and let them know of the issue so they can communicate with the other side.
All in all, whatever your procedure is, refrain from giving ANY contact, billing or any other delicate information about the listed owner and its best to let your attorney know of the case so they can offer further advice.