Mar 31, 2008 : New Zealand Host Appears Offline


Mar 31, 2008 - New Zealand-based Web hosting provider Waffell (http://www.waffell.com) has left customers asking what to do next after mysteriously disappearing three weeks ago following a 72-hour outage.


According to reports on Computerworld, the company "seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth," leaving customers like Allister Jenks - who has six websites on Waffell's servers - utterly confused and frustrated with how the hosting provider has been handling the situation.

On a forum discussion on Geekzone (http://www.geekzone.co.nz) Jenks explains that all of his websites went offline three weeks ago, including two commercial websites that he says he has been losing money on.

And although he has contacted Waffell at the few email addresses listed on its website, he says the Web host has still not responded. Jenks also called the phone number listed on the website only to find it inactive.

A few days later, he was able to enter a helpdesk ticket to demand an explanation from the company. He got a response from a tech support personnel that told him he would pass on the request to management. Jenks says he has not heard anything from the company since.

Jenks has gone so far as to perform a traceroute on the server his websites were being hosted on and found a company based in the US that he believed was Waffell's host. However, the undetermined hosting provider says there were no general issues on their end.

Jenks says he has experienced smaller outages and technical issues with Waffell in the past but the company would always eventually get back to him with a response and, more importantly, continued his hosting services. And though he has continued doing business with Waffell after past outages, he says that this is the final straw and is looking for a new hosting provider.

In situations like these, one has to wonder whether customers like Jenks should have known, to a certain extent, whether their hosting provider was reliable enough.

In an industry where it's not unprecedented for a couple of tech geeks to set up some servers in their dorm and call themselves a hosting provider (which isn't always a questionable business model, as we have seen in the past with former startups like HostGator), there were definitely some red flags that Jenks ought to have been more weary about.

Despite the fact that the emails and phone number weren't working or being responded to this time around, the mailing address for Waffell belongs to a company called Online Web Solutions.

According to the New Zealand Companies Office (http://www.companies.govt.nz), Online Web Solutions was "struck off" the register in 2004. A brief look at its 'About' section leaves both Waffell's size and customer base uncertain, however, it does list the company as being founded in 2001.

Reads: 1899 | Category: General | Source: TheWHIR : Web Host Industry Reviews
URL source: http://www.thewhir.com/marketwatch/033108_New_Zealand_Host_Appears_Offline.cfm
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