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  1. #1
    Bill in AZ Guest

    Exclamation Lunarpages Warning

    If you are hosted at Lunarpages, you should be aware that Lunarpages is poaching traffic away from your site. Lunarpages has added new 404 file not found pages. The domain name of the account holder is displayed right above a search box that advises it will search this site, but returns sponsored ad results. Below is a listing of the favorites of the domain name that also returns a bunch of advertising. These error pages use the domain name repeatedly, but do not offer any link to get back to the domain. So Lunarpages is hijacking domain names away from their customers and associating questionable links with customer domain names.

    You can still create custom error pages to keep Lunarpages from hijacking your traffic away from a site, but that is of little comfort if you are unaware of the new Lunarpages practice. They have hidden the forum discussion on this practice in a board that is not available to new member or guests. They are also now removing any posts that complain about Lunarpages poaching traffic away from customer sites.

    This might be considered acceptable if Lunarpages support had not become a total waste of time. They have removed the toll free numbers to call support, removed the dedicated hosting chat, and now are using canned messages and delaying tactics on all support tickets. If you have even a minor problem, you can expect two or 3 days of fighting with support just to get them to investigate.

    How can a webhost go downhill so fast? 1 year ago, LP was an excellent host with great support and now they are resorting to cheap tricks and deceptive advertising.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,612
    I have seen a few other hosts do this like hostgator.com and bluehost.com it does not bother me that much.
    Can you show us what the 404 page looks like as I just want to see it.
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  3. #3
    Bill in AZ Guest
    I have instituted custom error pages on my sites to avoid the poaching. Here is an LP client that has not: aeroeco.net ,just pick any unlikely file name. Notice how the domain name is improperly used.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,612
    oh that almost looks like those pages from a domain that expired.
    I would not want that at all.
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  5. #5
    sandyf Guest
    The question is did they ask permission..?

    If it's part of the TOS, or documented, it's allowed.

    But I just read their forum, I think it was just done one day to the next??
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  6. #6
    Bill in AZ Guest
    There was no advance notice sent to users, it was just institituted Thursday morning without a word said until it a thread was opened on the forum. They have hidden the thread on a board where guests and new forum members are not allowed to view or post. I have read the TOS again and can find no mention of their using customers domain names to advertise what are essentially spam links.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    647
    There must have been a hostingcon seminar about it or somethin...
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  8. #8
    sandyf Guest
    but are they allowed to do this? I've never assumed my host can make a sweeping change on my site without my knowledge..
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    647
    I just checked the thread at their site, and it says that they are using the revenue to finance their offerings of free web hosting to schools. I don't think that's any kind of excuse for what's being done... I saw one of the error pages and they are pretty bad... it has a button that says "Search This Site" which would indicated to the user that it was referring to the domain they were coming from when they got the error. Not that taking visitors away from the original site is cool in any way, but that's a SERIOUS step into the territory of the domain squatters... but at least domain squatters OWN the domains they are squatting!

    This really says a lot about them as both a business AND the owners as people, and shows an extreme lack of respect for their customer's web presences. I hope Dreamhost wipes them good in Basketball and Dodgeball (those who read the DH blog should know all about it)!

    If you want to read the thread it is here in the Google cache. Page One and Two... can't stop the signal!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,612
    ya the squatting thing is what i was trying to get at.
    I was actually thinking about going with them but umm not now.
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  11. #11
    Bill in AZ Guest
    That thread is now 7 pages long even after LP removed a bunch of posts. These are just the users that have become aware of the unannounced new error pages. Imagine the uproar as more peope become aware that LunarPages is poaching away their traffic.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,612
    ya it will be a made house.
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  13. #13
    Thanks for the warning. I'm going to double check my LP accounts and make sure everything is still setup the way its supposed to be. This is not the same kind of service I've come to expect from LP. For the good of their customers I hope they change it back the way it ought to be.
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    60
    It might also be worth making mention that if you are a Lunarpages customer with custom 404s then you are not effected by this. If you wish to "opt out" you can setup your own custom 404 and you will not see the Lunarpages 404 ever again.

    If any current Lunarpages customers are confused about how to get this setup and done, Lunarpages has offered to make the changes for the customer too. All they need to do is e-mail support@lunarpages.com. If any current customers would like to give feedback on the topics (either for or against it) it is always welcome at feedback@lunarpages.com.
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  15. #15
    Bill in AZ Guest
    After many many complaints from customers, Lunarpages took action on the issue. They changed their TOS after the fact to make the deceptive advertising OK.
    In an effort to help create the best possible user experience we have created a series of content sensitive error pages which are displayed in the event any user enters an erroneous URL for any activated domain name within the Lunarpages server structure. You may use our error page at no extra charge and you hereby grant to Lunarpages a limited, non-exclusive license to use any right you may have in any mark consisting of, derivative of or related to the domain name for the purpose of displaying such error pages under your domain name or any sub-page thereof in the event that for any reason your page fails to resolve or does not exist. Such error pages may at the option of lunarpages contain links to your domain, to Lunarpages or to any other site or service. At any time, you may choose to disable the Lunarpages error pages by selecting a different message to display for errors within your Domain under your control pannel.
    So now the Lunarpages TOS says they can use a clients domain name to advertise anything they want.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Greater DC
    Posts
    147
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in AZ View Post
    I have instituted custom error pages on my sites to avoid the poaching. Here is an LP client that has not: aeroeco.net ,just pick any unlikely file name. Notice how the domain name is improperly used.
    Bill - Could you describe (or provide a reference to) how one develops such custom error pages?

    - Richard
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    56
    Maybe Clients Should read the T.O.S more carefully.
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  18. #18
    sandyf Guest
    TOS was changed after the ads were implemented...
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  19. #19
    Bill in AZ Guest
    The TOS was modified AFTER the fact, no doubt due to customer complaints about unauthorized use of domain names. As it reads now, your domain name can be used by Lunarpages in conjunction with links to any site or service of their choosing.

    Anyhow, the use of custom error pages involves modifying the .htaccess file to point to a custom error page for the particular response header.

    For example adding to .htaccess file:
    ErrorDocument 404 /404.shtml
    points to a custom SSI page named 404.shtml

    After that it is just a matter of deciding what you want on your error page. The use of SSI functions allows the response header, page requested, and other information to be used on the custom error page. It should also be noted that if you point to a non existant page, then the normal apache error page is invoked.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in AZ View Post
    After many many complaints from customers, Lunarpages took action on the issue. They changed their TOS after the fact to make the deceptive advertising OK.

    So now the Lunarpages TOS says they can use a clients domain name to advertise anything they want.
    That reads kind of creepily, doesn't it?
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  21. #21
    I'm glad i'm not with lunarpages. I know my uncle is. i'll have to warn him
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  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,477
    That is the most ridiculous thing I have seen a host do in a long time.

    Those 404 pages could not be any more ugly.
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by HostSentry View Post
    That is the most ridiculous thing I have seen a host do in a long time.

    Those 404 pages could not be any more ugly.
    Sorry, can you link to one?
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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    APE: 6202A
    Posts
    1,273

    Question

    Is this you all guys talking about !?!...

    http://ihubit.com/viewer.php?file=sw...f64t5lyskw.jpg
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chennai , India
    Posts
    4,604
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in AZ View Post
    After many many complaints from customers, Lunarpages took action on the issue. They changed their TOS after the fact to make the deceptive advertising OK.

    So now the Lunarpages TOS says they can use a clients domain name to advertise anything they want.
    I am paying and why the heck they would use my domain for their creepy ads.
      0 Not allowed!

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