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Lunarpages client's 404 error pages issue.

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  #1  
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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  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: May 2006
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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  
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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  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: May 2006
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oh that almost looks like those pages from a domain that expired.
I would not want that at all.

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The 2 hosts I use for my sites.
downtownhost.com / Ninjalion.com and powermonster.net/birdhosting

My site is Otaku Play Ground and you are welcome to join if you like.

  #5  
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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??

  #6  
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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.

  #7  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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There must have been a hostingcon seminar about it or somethin...

  #8  
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but are they allowed to do this? I've never assumed my host can make a sweeping change on my site without my knowledge..

  #9  
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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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!

  #10  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: May 2006
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ya the squatting thing is what i was trying to get at.
I was actually thinking about going with them but umm not now.

__________________
The 2 hosts I use for my sites.
downtownhost.com / Ninjalion.com and powermonster.net/birdhosting

My site is Otaku Play Ground and you are welcome to join if you like.

  #11  
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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.

  #12  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,612
ya it will be a made house.

__________________
The 2 hosts I use for my sites.
downtownhost.com / Ninjalion.com and powermonster.net/birdhosting

My site is Otaku Play Ground and you are welcome to join if you like.

  #13  
Old
Junior Guru Wannabe
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 73
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.

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All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

  #14  
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 53
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  
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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.
Quote:
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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