Some of Tiscali's users have been left screaming by a lack of e-mail for a week due to Tiscali's failure to renew a domain name used by some customers- screaming.net. Screaming.net used to provide unmetered Internet access back in dial-up Internet days and was gobbled up by Tiscali through the merger with World Online in 2000.
The users have been affected several times this month by e-mail outages due to the apparent failure of domain renewal however it was thought that before the current problems on the 7th of April that the domain had been renewed.
To make matters worse, the domain appears to have been registered by a third party which may make it impossible for Tiscali to acquire the domain again. This morning ISPreview recorded the domain as being in a state of "Pending Renewal or Deletion" with the WHOIS database showing the following information:
Pending Renewal or Deletion
P.O. Box 430
Herndon, VA. US 20172-0447Registrant details for screaming.net 14/04/2009 08:11
However a lookup this evening shows that the domain is now registered as follows:
Simpson, Robert (p)
P.O. Box 601
Lawrence, PA 15055
USRegistrant details for screaming.net 14/04/2009 22:00
At the end of last year, long before the problems started, the domain showed the following details (which were the owners of Screaming.net before the acquisition by World Online):
The Old Post House 128 130 High street
Godalming, SURREY GU7 1AB
UKRegistrant details for screaming.net 31/12/2008
Details posted to the Tiscali forums by a user show a response from a query to Network Solutions (the company who Tiscali purchased/renewed the domain through) which claims that Tiscali failed to pay the renewal fee despite multiple warnings that the domain would expire and a grace period of 30 days. Following this the domain was terminated and registered by another registrant.
If this is correct, the only way for Tiscali to reclaim the domain would be to proceed through a dispute resolution process (which can take some time to complete) or to offer an acceptable amount of money to purchase the domain from the current registrant.
"We are aware there has been an issue with users accessing screaming.net email. We have identified this as an issue with our domain partner and are pursuing this as a matter of urgency today."Tiscali Statement
Any Tiscali users who have e-mail addresses on this domain should advise their contacts not to e-mail them on the screaming.net address as any e-mails received may go to the third-party current registrant of the domain. Tiscali could be liable to its users for any loses occurred due to this, and worryingly, with personal information often transmitted via e-mail, could be opening its users up to identity theft.