(originally titled "Who do you have to be to get a phone call from our CEO?")
I'm in bachelor mode for about another day (less than that, pretty soon I'll have to start cleaning the bathrooms and emptying the dishwasher). My wife and kid have been in Florida for a week and they left me here to get some downtime.
Most of it has been spent… right here. Obsessing over this little company we call easyDNS, which is pretty well what I do all the time anyway. The other day I did break away from the keyboard for a bit, came home with a pizza and a case of China Cola and was ready to flop onto the couch to watch a zombie apocalypse movie when I saw the email…..
From: Robert Cringely <…@……..>
Subject: Re: moving your domain name
I just moved cringely.com to EasyDNS and now my blog is invisible! What
can be done?
This, is not the email you want to get from anybody late on a Sunday afternoon, especially if the domain in question is a blog that gets about a bazillion readers a day.
We straightened it out. What happened was this:
When a domain registry executes a domain transfer between registrars, it preserves the existing nameserver delegation. This is a safety feature and the underlying assumption is that your current nameservers will not be affected by the switch and will continue to function.
But, some registrars (*cough* Godaddy *cough* Netsol) who are also handlng your DNS will delete the DNS for your domain as soon as the registry sends them the transfer-out completion. This is a problem, because the new registrar often cannot access the domain via the registry for some period of time. The technical term for this condition is called "limbo".
The correct way to transfer domain so that you will not undergo a stopover in limbo is as follows:
1) Setup the DNS at your new provider: upload your zone file, or if you can configure the old name servers to allow zone transfers from us, we can pull straight from there.
2) Switch the name servers over from your old registrar. Do this from the old registrar side.
3) Then do the registrar transfer. If your registrar does drop your DNS right away it won't affect you because you're already off of their nameservers.
(OR – you can just use our easy-does.it transfer valet service, simply give us your auth code and your account details and we'll take care of every aspect of getting your domains transferred here safely, seamlessly, and without incident. It's free.)
I think some of these registrars do this "drop your DNS thing" intentionally, because it makes the gaining registrar (the one they just lost a customer to) look like a schmuck. All the customer may know is "Everything was working fine, I switch my domain over, and *boom* we go dark!"
Bob Cringely was very understanding about what transpired, and he even blogged about it over here.
What I also noticed around this incident was a comment on another blog along the lines of "It must be nice to be Bob Cringely, who can get the CEO of easyDNS on the phone on a Sunday to get things fixed". The implication was that I got on the phone to a customer on a Sunday afternoon because it was a tech industry luminary.
I think there are enough easyDNS customers out there who are not celebrity CEO's, rock stars or heads-of-state who have gotten phone calls or emails from me in response to their issues to dispel that notion.
The fact is, when anybody who works for this company becomes aware of any customer experiencing a "domain down" condition, it produces within them a type of intolerable discomfort which can only be alleviated by rectifying the problem or escalating it to somebody who can. That means if I'm the guy who becomes aware of it, you'll be hearing from me.
In fact, often enough all you have to do is say the word "easyDNS" out loud on the internet and it is not uncommon to hear from me. I consider this part of my job description.
I guess if we were to make a cheesy marketing slogan out of it, it would be something like this:
"Here at easyDNS we treat you like a big shot, even if you really are one".