I've slowly been moving my domains from various registrars to Porkbun, consolidating all my domains into one place. Quite a few of these domains have come from Dotster, which I've had for years.
Now, I hadn't had any issues with Dotster for the longest time, but slowly their service and their website (the admin area) have been getting unusable. At one point I had to input my postcode everytime I logged in, but they wouldn't let me use my actual postcode since it was 2 or 3 letters too short for them. So, I either entered blank spaces before (not after because it wouldn't work) my actual postcode, or put zeroes in front of it so it became the length they required. I did take this issue to Twitter and got, no reponse ... At the end I felt that they were more trying to get me to buy more than I needed than to actually service me with what I had. So, it was a no brainer that I would move away from them.
The first domains
I had about 7 domains with Dotster or so and transferring the first ones was no issue. But for some reason after I triggered the mass transfer from their system to set the domains up over at Porkbun, not all the emails with the auth codes arrived in my inbox. but I didn't catch it at the time. It wasn't until I was going to create a subdomain with one domain that I found out that it wasn't active at Porkbun, nor was it at Dotster..
The plot thickens
For over 24 hours I was baffled by the possibility that a domain could actually go missing?! I mean, how on earth is that possible. Either the transfer went through, or not. The domain shouldn't be removed from the losing registrar if the auth code was never used? Well, I doubted myself quite a lot, my memory and my actions. I was sure this domain had been registered with Dotster since they are the only ones I've used in the last couple of years. Before that I had some at GoDaddy, some with Domain.com and nowhere else. The whois on the domain didn't tell me much either, it told me that the registrar URL was The Public Domain Registry, which I have never heard of before! Well, it turns out that it is a service for other registrars, so basically a registrars registrar. I'm not sure how that works, but I'm guessing that Dotster is using them for some of their domains.
When I went into the admin area earlier today I didn't see the domain I was searching for but realized that I was not missing just one, but two domains!
I contact Dotster help
So I tried using Dotsters online chat for support and actually got a very pleasant human who guided me through setting up a security question so that he could make sure I was indeed myself, even though I was talking from within the admin area of the Dotster user portal, but anyway, I did that and verified that I am, indeed, myself. No blame on the staffer, he's just doing his job and is going from a script. But he did find my domains, even though they weren't listed on the admin site I was logged into and he asked me for approval for him to send me the auth codes for the domains. I said yes, and he did. But.. I never got the original auth code emails for these two domains when I triggered the transfer myself a few days back, but I was hopeful and tried to see if they would arrive since he triggered it this time. I had earlier today gotten an email from Dotster when I added the security question so I knew at least that they had the correct email and that part of their system was working fine. But, no, no auth code emails arrived.
But then, where are the domains?
Remember when I talked about their web admin becoming unusable? Well, here's an image of what I see when I log in to Dotster after I talked to the support staffer:
Click here for full size image.
That's the "All domains" list, which includes 2 domains that are no longer registered at Dotster and one of them is actually expired according to them, but it is not expired but has now 2 years left on its registration, over at Porkbun! But they still pump you to "renew now" for a domain that is not even registered with them anymore. Anyway, so when you go over to "Active domains" you get this:
Click here for full size image.
There we should see the domains that are registered with Dotster I would hope, but still, one of those domains has already been moved to Porkbun but still it's listed here. The two domains I wish to transfer though, are there.
So what now?
Well .. I'm back to square one again. I haven't gotten any auth codes, neither from the original try I did, nor from when the Dotster staffer tried to send them to me earlier today. I'm not sure what to do next, but I'm going to try to contact Dotster again tomorrow and see if they can help me out. I'm not sure what they can do, but I'm hoping they can at least send me the auth codes so that I can move the domains away from them. Even if it is with the staffer themselves copying the damn codes or sending them to me in a text file or something. I'm not sure what else to do.
Their system is broken and it's bugging the hell out of me.