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Tiscali users left screaming by lack of e-mail
Tuesday 14 April 2009 22:17:47 by John Hunt

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- 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 20172-0447

Registrant details for 14/04/2009 08:11

However a lookup this evening shows that the domain is now registered as follows:

Simpson, Robert (p)
   Accilent Corp.
   P.O. Box 601
   Lawrence, PA 15055

Registrant details for 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 before the acquisition by World Online):

Localtel Limited
   The Old Post House 128 130 High street
   Godalming, SURREY GU7 1AB

Registrant details for 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 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 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.


Posted by ciday over 8 years ago
I can't say I'm surprised. I used to work for Tiscali in some capacity and they seemed to end up mucking things up...
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
Is this Robert Simpson hoping to sell this back to Tiscali? Or has he taken through pure coincidence :P
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
I think people should buy their own domain name and email service, and always use a webmail facility as a backup such as gmail (which is great and free storage)thus leaving them independent from all ISPs.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
and all those 'very happy with them' people will have to 'get real'... :)

I see lots of spam heading their way...
Posted by shaunhw over 8 years ago

Why can't people register their domains for a much longer term provided they are prepared to pay an appropriate cost ? Say for 100 years, with a much longer expiry notice period of (say) five years with a renew early facility ?

That cost would be negligable to most companies.

What if Microsoft forgot to renew their name ?

Microsoft's entry runs for 23 years (strange length) and expires in 2014
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Different registrars have different lengths and nothing is particularly standardised on this. The UK is 2years, however I think some others you can register for 10years at a time.. I'm not sure its the expiry notice period that is the problem, more that Tiscali failed to get it registered and pay for it in time..
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Why does anyone continue to stay with and pay this complete and utter clueless, shambolic, debt ridden scummy company?? If you are with Tiscali run, run fast, for the rest of us with common sense we look forward to the administrators picking whats left on the bones by the end of this year (atleast thats my guess).
Posted by ksalterNamesco over 8 years ago
It happens more than you'd like to think. Even Microsoft lost their domain name in 2003 apparently. It astounds me that online businesses are still taking the risk and not taking up a managed service. Does anyone have a contact at Tiscali? I might be able to help them get it back
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
It is not possible to register a domain for 100 years - The maximum permitted under most TLDs is 10 years. The offers of 100-year registration are offered by registrars who promise to keep renewing it for 100 years (as long as their businesses remain operational of course)
Posted by mr_chris over 8 years ago
@CARPETBURN: "Why does anyone continue to stay with and pay this ... company?"

Simply because most of their customers are completely unaware of their position and simply are not interested in following the industry news. They pay Tiscali for cheap broadband, it works well enough that most people don't question because they don't know how fast it CAN be, end of story. It is easy to lose touch with the general public's perception of the ISP industry when you follow what's going on as closely as we do.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
as I keep saying on the forums, if email has any importance do NOT use isp based email services, they always a free addon and treated as such by the isp, go for a dedicated solution instead, even free webmails such as hotmail are often more reliable than broadband isp services.
Posted by NetGuy over 8 years ago
Quite agree that a domain and independent mail service is something I suggest to anyone in business.

As for anyone that had been using mail it looks as if some agreement has been made with the new registrant (name servers use and now) but registrant details probably won't change for a while (ICANN 60 day requirement).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
@ mr_chris.... Agree with you in part, however Tiscali have got so bad they have been in several major newspapers about how they are dealing with their finacial mess ups, been on TV shows about how bad they are.... My god they have even been on the dinner time news.... To miss how bad they are nowadays you really have to go about your life blinkered, mind you i spose its only the ignorant that join them nowadays anyway LOL ;)
Posted by mdr23 over 8 years ago
Mine's up and running again. I've had the screaming address for so long, that it's second nature to type and I use it for ALL registrations and purchases as my spam trap. I have my own web presence with my own mail systems for my good mail.
For the people who are saying change; what it might change to is something far worse. The alternatives are few now as nearly all are owned by the big three. (The company list in the Tiscali accounting behemoth are huge.) Most ISPs are determined to use the Phorm spy system, and reduced supplier numbers will drive up the price.
Posted by mdr23 over 8 years ago
It's still pathetic that Tiscali can't renew a domain in time. They should go with - at least they send reminders! Several....
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