Mark Haines, owner of Mowmania Garden Mach - inery, on Elms Farm Industrial Estate, Bedford, logged on as usual on January 24, but when he went onto the internet – which normally has his website www.mowamania.co.uk as the home page – it had disappeared.
Mr Haines said: “It just didn’t come up. This could potentially affect hundreds of people across the country who use this domain provider.” When Bedfordshire on Sunday tried to contact the domain server Webmania – which hosts the website – we recieved no response, with the telephone and emails left unanswered. Mr Haines contacted his technical support who temporarily provided him with a .co.uk address for business.
He then had to contact the .com register in America and by the Thursday, Mr Haines had the original web address back, at a cost of $134 – about £85.
Mr Haines said: “We have finally got it back, but in effect we’ve had to pay for it all over again.
“I was only off line for two days, but if it wasn’t for my web designer, I wouldn’t have known what to do. They were fantastic.” Companies House, the official UK Government register of UK companies, said it had no record to indicate Webmania had gone into liquidation.
Mr Haines’ web support, who looked into the issue, said: “As far as I can tell they haven’t gone under but the owner has vanished off the face of the earth.
“I renewed the domain for Mr Haines a while ago and they took the money but didn’t actually renew the site with the registrar meaning it went into the redemption period before it goes back out to the public.
“Effectively they took money and didn’t actually re-register the domains, which is very poor.”