I have a client who sells cookies.  She has a .CO domain extension.  Her website got hacked and some malware code was placed on it causing it to redirect to some other website.  She called me to tell me that her email was not working anymore so I naturally thought that maybe she was over her quota in cpanel.  But when I checked, she was set to unlimited.  So I went to her website and it didn’t load.  I then went into my reseller cpanel and took a look at some of her file and found and removed all the malicious code.  Thinking that this solved the problem, I went back to her site and it still didn’t load.

I called GoDaddy.com and their tech support told me that it was the hosts problem and not theirs because the DNS is hosted at my server on Hostgator.  So I called up Hostgator and they told me that it was Godaddy’s problem because the domain name was not propagating  to the host.  The Hostgator tech told me to check the website at http://whatsmydns.net and put NS in the dropdown box and then put the domain you want to check in the box and hit submit.  Sure enough, all the countries that check for the DNS came back as red x’s.  So now I was convinced that it was an issue at GoDaddy.

I then called back GoDaddy support and the tech guy still insisted that it was hostgators problem.  I told him to check the http://whatsmydns.net website and that the domain name was not propagating to the host.  I told hime that I have dozens of other websites on that server and they are all working fine.  He gave me much resistance and stated it was not their fault that their system was sending the correct DNS to the host so it has to be the host.

Ok, so now the only thing I could do was to do a few tests.  I decided to change the DNS at GoDaddy to another completely different server that I have other websites on that were live and working.  I waited the 24-48 hours that GoDaddy states is the time frame for the DNS to change.  When I checked the WhoIs information to confirm that the DNS had in fact changed, the site still did not load.  How could it be  a problem at 2 different servers.  It had to be a problem at GoDaddy.

I get back on the phone with GoDaddy support and after much explaining someone with a head on their shoulders (so I thought) told me that they thought they saw the problem and that they were going to reset the DNS something on their end and it should take about 5-6 hours and the site should be back on line.  Thank Goodness!

18 hours later…  Nada, Nothing.  The site still did not load.  Now I am frustrated and my client is freaking out because her website and email have been down for almost 3 1/2 days.  I called up GoDaddy again and a new tech guy tried to tell me it was Hostgators problem again.  I almost lost it.  So I said well if it my server causing the problem then let’s park the domain at GoDaddy.  I wanted to see their goofy looking logo and landing page when I go to my clients domain name.  So that’s what we did.  And I waited and waited and waited.  NOTHING!  The page fails to load.

So my client calls me and tells me that she has been calling GoDaddy also and they have been telling her that they are waiting for some information from before they could fix the issue.  What?!  Now my client is thinking it is my fault.  No way! I explain to her what happening and she understands that it is not my fault and after doing the testing, It has to be GoDaddy.

A few hours later after my client calls GoDaddy again, she calls me up and starts telling me that the tech guy told her there was an issue with the .CO domain at the registrar level.  They sent her an email with a link to http://go.co contact page and told her it was out of their hands.  That she had to contact the people at the .CO domain registrar.  GoDaddy is just the middle man when registering these domains.  When checking the domain name that I have been having problems with at the .CO website, there was a weird status called “serverhold” attached to the domain.  After some digging, I found that this status is put on a domain when it is in a legal dispute, non-payment or expiration has passed.  I have now determined that when a website is infected with a virus, the serverhold status may also be put into effect to keep the integrity of the domain extension.  When serverhold is in effect the DNS Zone is not in effect or complete causing the webpage not to load.  This happens at the domain extension registrar and not where you bought the domain, unless you bought the domain directly from the registrar.

So my client submits the contact form with the situation and she gets a reply back in about a day stating that the serverhold status was placed on her domain because malicious code was detected on her website.  So I told her to reply back and state that the malicious code was removed.  Well wouldn’t you know it, her website was up and running later that same night.  It was the GoDaddy parked page that loaded but who cares.  At least I knew that the DNS was working properly.  So I logged into her GoDaddy account, changed the DNS back to the server her website was on and about 2 hours later she was up and running again.

She was told by the .CO people that they sent notification to the register (GoDaddy) that there was an issue with the domain and that the register (GoDaddy) should then notify their customer.  When this was explained to GoDaddy support, all they could say was that they were sorry and that they would take better steps next time to be aware of issues like this.

So after all this trouble and about a weeks lost income for my client, GoDaddy says sorry.  Sorry GoDaddy, but I think you dropped the ball on this this one.

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