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  1. #1

    Retreiving Website back from my Computer guy

    I had a website built 2 years ago by a web design /hosting company. I let them host it for the first year. The following year I was using a different computer guy and swapped the hosting to him since it ended up cheaper for the year. My year is up and he has not sent me a renewal bill and I he won't return my emails or phone calls. The website is now down. I found out he was hosting through godaddy.com. So I called godaddy.com and they are telling me he registered my domain in his name and It's not up till 2011. Also telling me I have 9 days left to reactivate the site or the whole website is completely lost that I paid hundreds of dollars to build. They say nothing can be done without the pin number for the website. What am I supposed to do at this point as it is going to cost me business. Thank you so much in advance for your help..
    Last edited by den327; 10-21-2009 at 09:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    83
    I take it you don't have FTP access to the server? Do you have a username and password for a control panel? Did you receive an email when you swapped to this guy with a username and password?

    If you didn't have backups and you don't have FTP access to the server then you're most likely in trouble.
    Is it built just in HTML? If so, you can save each page (and image) to your hard drive then rebuild the site on your computer. Otherwise, if it has back-end coding (PHP/Perl/Ruby) then you won't be able to - you need access to the files on the server.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    I had a website built 2 years ago by a web design /hosting company. I let them host it for the first year. The following year I was using a different computer guy and swapped the hosting to him since it ended up cheaper for the year. My year is up and he has not sent me a renewal bill and I he won't return my emails or phone calls. The website is now down. I found out he was hosting through godaddy.com. So I called godaddy.com and they are telling me he registered my domain in his name and It's not up till 2011. Also telling me I have 9 days left to reactivate the site or the whole website is completely lost that I paid hundreds of dollars to build. They say nothing can be done without the pin number for the website. What am I supposed to do at this point as it is going to cost me business. Thank you so much in advance for your help..
    You're likely going to have to rely on the contract between you and the new web guy for guidance. If you can't come to something amicable, then action as the law allows per your contract with this new web guy is best.

    The cheap often turns expensive...

  4. #4
    He did not give me a username and password for the control panel. I do not know much about all this. I just think its bs that he registered nmy company website in his name so I can't do anything with it at this point except call a lawyer.

  5. #5
    The original design company may have an archived copy around. This would not be unusual.

    How the heck did the new guy get the opportunity to register the domain in his name?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    639
    It's a tough situation you are in. Do you know this guy personally or just found him through the internet? Otherwise, I guess keep it as a lesson to keep backups.
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  7. #7
    Looking at the receipt he had charged me for Domain transfer and registration $7.00 and $130.00 for the year to host the site.

  8. #8
    There is absolutely no technical reason that a host needs control of a domain name. For a customer that does not know how to make dns settings, then granting "technical contact" privileges is ok. But, not registrant contact.

    Never, ever let anyone else control the registration or ownership of your domain name.
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  9. #9
    I met him on a job I was doing. He ended up repairing all my computers and was good for about a year or so then he started not returning phone calls and closed his store to work out of his house. Lucky me...

  10. #10
    With the first host/designer that had built the site I was able to go in and make changes to the site. I never needed to change anything on it in the past year so never had the username and password....

  11. #11

    *

    I would recommend that you track down this "computer guy," and find out all his contact information. This should be available on the WHOIS lookup, as well as many other places on the internet. A thorough search should reveal many methods to contact him.

    You should start with a simple request via e-mail that he transfer the registration to your GoDaddy account. I recommend that you open a GoDaddy account if you don't have one already. This will make the domain name transfer into your hands much easier for you and him. Hopefully he will agree to a transfer of your property.

    Whether he does not answer, or he answers but he declines to hand over the domain you can seek legal recourse. It would be helpful if we know what kind of website you are working with here. If you are the owner of a trademark, or have a product that you are selling that this website advertises with you may be entitled to the domain name whether it is actually yours or not. You can download a form letter and reference this webstie:

    http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp.htm

    Imply that you will seek a court injunction and punitive damages for the theft of your domain name, as well as trademark infringement. Please note that in the United States you do not need to register your trademark to qualify for protection. You benefit from what is known as common law trademark rights.

    If this was a personal website, you may have lesser options for recourse unless you are self-incorporated. You may offer money for the domain name if it is worth something to you

    Either way, this is very disappointing that a professional will treat like this, and you should definitely review his business at the appropriate venues.

    Best of luck!

    -Anthony

    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    I had a website built 2 years ago by a web design /hosting company. I let them host it for the first year. The following year I was using a different computer guy and swapped the hosting to him since it ended up cheaper for the year. My year is up and he has not sent me a renewal bill and I he won't return my emails or phone calls. The website is now down. I found out he was hosting through godaddy.com. So I called godaddy.com and they are telling me he registered my domain in his name and It's not up till 2011. Also telling me I have 9 days left to reactivate the site or the whole website is completely lost that I paid hundreds of dollars to build. They say nothing can be done without the pin number for the website. What am I supposed to do at this point as it is going to cost me business. Thank you so much in advance for your help..
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    With the first host/designer that had built the site I was able to go in and make changes to the site. I never needed to change anything on it in the past year so never had the username and password....
    But, they might still have an offline copy somewhere. Couldn't hurt to ask. If they want to charge you a nominal fee, it might still be better to have an old copy to start from than no copy at all.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
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    22,953
    If the receipt/invoice shows the domain name was yours and he wrongfully changed the registrant to him, perhaps GoDaddy will assist you in getting this back. Contact them again, and ask about what proof they will accept for this.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ferenginar
    Posts
    4,156
    Does the 2nd computer guy live near you? Do you know someone who lives near him?
    What's your budget?

    Seriously, what's your budget?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5,842
    All good advice about trying to regain control of the name (or not losing it in the first place) but it seems to me that the more urgent issue is the website.
    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    So I called godaddy.com and they are telling me he registered my domain in his name and It's not up till 2011. Also telling me I have 9 days left to reactivate the site or the whole website is completely lost that I paid hundreds of dollars to build. They say nothing can be done without the pin number for the website.
    What I get from that is the "computer guy's" account is suspended for non-payment and will be deleted in 9 days - is that right? Did you ask them if you could pay for a month of his hosting fees just to get your site back online? Even without ftp access (or the pin number) just having your site back up would allow you to save the (static) pages to your computer.

    Otherwise, as others have already said, keep trying to get in contact with the guy and / or prove your case to godaddy. It's a hard way to learn but to avoid this sort of situation in future make sure that:
    1. You have the ownership and control of your own domain name
    2. You keep your own backups of the website
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  16. #16
    You can try the way back machine, it keeps snapshots of sites and might be usefull if you have to rebuild it.
    (I haven't done 5 posts yet so I can't post a url....)

    www[dot]archive[dot]org

    or just google wayback machine

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5,842
    Yes, archive.org is worth trying, though they usually only display older versions (1 year plus?).

    And Google's cache is another option to retrieve some content if you're really desperate (just Google "site:yourdomain.com" and click on the "cached" links to each page).
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  18. #18
    I think the most important things to me are the web address www.southjerseyelectronics.com and the actual website itself.

  19. #19
    He lives about 35 miles away. I did manage to get the guy at godaddy.com to give that up to me.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ferenginar
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    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    He lives about 35 miles away. I did manage to get the guy at godaddy.com to give that up to me.
    Is this the "computer guy"?

    Patel, Hiten
    2555 Ridge Avenue
    Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey 08234
    United States
    6096253200 Fax -- 6098372423
    What's your budget?

    Seriously, what's your budget?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ferenginar
    Posts
    4,156
    Have you tried calling him at 609-646-8010?
    What's your budget?

    Seriously, what's your budget?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5,842
    Yep, whois records can be useful sometimes. And the cs-nj.com website is still working on godaddy hosting. But would this be computer-guy 1 or 2?
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  23. #23
    Join Date
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    Ferenginar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobic View Post
    Yep, whois records can be useful sometimes. And the cs-nj.com website is still working on godaddy hosting. But would this be computer-guy 1 or 2?
    Great detective work and good question.

    If the OP is the rightful owner, I hope he can recover it and the web site before it's too late.
    What's your budget?

    Seriously, what's your budget?

  24. #24
    It seems that the domain does not expire for another 23 months.
    So, at least it is not in imminent danger of a name drop. But, if the domain was created 07-Sep-07, presumably by guy #1 how did it get into the hands of guy #2? Is there some paperwork?

    If he is only 35 miles away, then at least a drive is in order, and you are probably in the same court jurisdiction.


    Registrant:
    Hiten Patel
    2555 Ridge Avenue
    Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey 08234
    United States

    Domain Name: SOUTHJERSEYELECTRONICS.COM
    Created on: 07-Sep-07
    Expires on: 07-Sep-11
    Last Updated on: 11-Oct-08

    Administrative Contact:
    Patel, Hiten
    2555 Ridge Avenue
    Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey 08234
    United States
    6096253200 Fax -- 6098372423

    Technical Contact:
    Patel, Hiten
    2555 Ridge Avenue
    Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey 08234
    United States
    6096253200 Fax -- 6098372423

    Domain servers in listed order:
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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    He lives about 35 miles away. I did manage to get the guy at godaddy.com to give that up to me.
    Of course he would/should. Whois records are public records. In this case, they at least appear to be accurate. The area code, municipality and zip code are consistent with each other.
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  26. #26
    contact info listed at cs-nj.com

    4450 Black Horse Pike
    Unit #3966 Festival at Hamilton
    Mays Landing, NJ 08330
    United States of America

    E-Mail Contacts

    [email protected] Sales Information.
    [email protected] Billing Inquires.
    [email protected] Technical Support questions.
    [email protected] Website Related questions.
    [email protected] Onsite consulting services.
    [email protected] General Information

    also:

    http://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/busine...ng-nj-18002353

    .
    Last edited by plumsauce; 10-22-2009 at 02:41 AM.
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  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by RossMAN View Post
    Is this the "computer guy"?
    yes this is the guy. how did you know?

  28. #28
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by den327 View Post
    yes this is the guy. how did you know?
    I found that information using a WHOIS lookup of your domain.

    Are you able to drive to his house/business and confront him in person?
    What's your budget?

    Seriously, what's your budget?

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Midcoast Maine
    Posts
    306
    You have a very simple website, getting it from the cache is no problem. The only thing missing is a few images. Here is a link to the cached versions (click on cache, save the visible page)
    http://www.google.com/search?q=http:...um=50&filter=0

    Now, all you have to worry about is getting the domain control back.
    Sue

    A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. --Lazarus Long

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