So there you are, sitting and doing your thing with your very own domain name. Fudge-for-the-masses.org, i-heart-dirt.com, it doesn’t matter. It’s yours, all yours. And as you sit back getting ready to write your latest post, it is with smug self-assurance because you paid the powers-that-be at an Internet Domain Name Registrar, and all you have to do is periodically send them money to re-up and all is smooth sailing.
Yeah. Right. That was me. Yesterday.
Today I’m a totally different me.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when I happened to notice that Blogger was no longer going to support custom FTP URL’s at the start of this month, of which mine happened to be one. Well, no problem, I thought. I’d been wanting to redesign my website for a while. I’d been looking at WordPress.com, and I was planning to go with a template, because while I know HTML and some CSS, I am far from what you would call a graphic designer.
I got my files together and imported enough of them that the new site would make a decent showing, with the plan of adding the missing pages as time went on. Then I found my account number with the company I did my registration through and gave them a call, expecting a walk in the park.
More fool me.
Apparently my beloved Domain Name, which I originated and paid my own money for back in 1998, and for which I did an extended renewal in 2006, does not appear to be mine. The Primary Contact is a construction company in the Carolinas, and the Account Technical Contact is some guy who is most definitely not me. In answer to my “What gives?”, I was told by the rep, “Sometimes this happens. The records get scrambled.”
Curiosity piqued, I asked another question. “Is this a common occurrence?”
The answer, which came sotto voce: “It’s a lot more common than we like to admit. The records are not in the good order that everyone thinks they are in.”
So now I’m in a mad dash to prove that I’m me so I can get my domain name back. I’ve got to take care to make a just-so photocopy of my driver’s license so it faxes with no problem, and I’m scrambling to get a copy of a utility bill or insurance or credit card invoice because I need to prove “the business” (being Joe Clifford Faust) is mine – something easier said than done since I pay everything on the Internet now and have pretty much gone paperless. But I will prevail.
Meantime, if you’re still sitting comfortably with your Domain Name, you might want to check and see if you have your driver’s license and a utility bill handy, and then dial up a course for the company who sold it to you.
Because things out in interwebland ain’t all they’re supposed to be.