Well, I see that Inspector Sands has problems, so I must thank him for being one of my inspirations in this blogging lark and wish him happy travels.
Due to issues involving my hosting company and Blogger (the former is incredibly helpful, the latter is refusing to answer my e-mails, meaning my problems cannot be fixed), Casino Avenue is taking a break. Or it could be the end. Whatever, Inspector Sands is being sent on his holidays, only being allowed home to watch Charlton matches for All Quiet In The East Stand.
He may not come back, but in the meantime this seems like a good time to switch off and think about where to go next with this blogging lark. After all, there's only so much you can do under a silly pseudonym on a website somebody bought for you. Or is there?
Strange that the good Inspector can't get a reply from Blogger; I generally do but I'm not getting much help from the host of a separate website I co-own. Actually, it's the previous host which is more than bothersome.
In brief, a couple of years back we chose to move from Easy Space to one we felt offered a better service and less 'spam' for services we weren't interested in. We paid for two years hosting with the renewal due at the end of the coming October. We set up ten or so email accounts in order to provide various language services, some of which, especially writing, have proved financially viable or, in the case of Jakartass and certain editing services, hopefully useful.
This week we have discovered that two years ago our new host was unable to effect the transfer of our domain name from Easy Space.
Transfer was attempted on 3 separate occasions and each time the domain was locked or no-one responded. As this was the case, the domain remained with easyspace. The domain has now expired and therefore you need to contact easyspace in order to renew the domain.
Of course, it doesn't help that this was news to us, not having received notification about the problem. It's only this week that, with our emails inoperative, that we realised that we have problems.
Anyway, we have, of course, tried to contact Easy Space who, seemingly, only use automated internet pages. Any human involvement seems to be dependent on the office boy not having a morning after.
Our webmaster sent two 'critically urgent' requests, on Tuesday and Wednesday, to Easyspace about the lapsed domain name, but had no response other than automated acknowledgments of receipt until the following came some 30 hours later:
Your domain has expired and is in the redemption period.
If you want to restore the domain the cost is £100 + Vat and can be apid (sic) by contacting our renewals department on +44 870 xxx xxxx.
Jamie McG Domains Administrator. Iomart Group Support Services
We believed we had paid, against an invoice, just £15 for the transference. But then a thorough exploration of their website shows that we paid Easy Space for six years of domain hosting in 2000 and this expires on July 10th next year. In other words, Easy Space has unilaterally removed our right to use the domain name which is still ours!
We are tempted to wait until the domain name is up for grabs again and reclaim it as rightfully ours, albeit with a different host. Unfortunately, other than paying through the nose for something we've spent years building and still own, our only other recourse is through the Office for Fair Trading back in the UK.
Inspector, I hope your problems soon disappear. Perhaps in naming and shaming they will.