This morning we get a frantic call from a client. We worked with them to develop a new site a while back, but everything was offline now. A DNS issue of some sort. Their IT guy called us to see if we had changed anything. We hadn't but always hate to hear of these problems and wanted to help them troubleshoot the issue.
Sometimes it's something as simple as having an old credit card on file and the domain expires. But other times, it's a real problem with the domain registrar. In this case, the registrar is Hostgator. We've already had problems with them where we are unable to edit any DNS records without working with their support team.
Update: In speaking with Hostgator support throughout the day, it appears one of the biggest issues is that Hostgator isn't really a domain registrar at all. The domains are registered through a 3rd party, Launchpad. So, while you might think you're getting support, you're really speaking to someone who has no control whatsoever over your account.
We advised our clients to move the domain to GoDaddy where we could gain full control.
But this morning, all of the sites would not resolve. When we did a WHOIS lookup, we found the name server was changed:
So, we logged into Hostgator to verify the settings and the Name Servers were properly set in the account. I asked the client to forward any emails that they had received from Hostgator to the admin email address on record. The admin email address is a gmail address that they don't monitor daily, a common practice.
After reading through the emails from Hostgator, we found one that asked to verify the email address on file. This wound up being the issue. Since the client hadn't ever verified the email address on file, Hostgator took it upon themselves to change the Name Server to NS1.VERIFICATION-HOLD.SUSPENDED-DOMAIN.COM
Quite honestly, I have never heard of anything so idiotic in my life. You literally shut down a company's sites and email when they have a paid account?! I could see if they hadn't paid their bill, but this is ridiculous.
We're expediting the transfer of the domain from Hostgator to GoDaddy to end these headaches.