Sunday, September 18, 2011

Melbourne IT killed my email for five days

My main email address ( max AT berger DOT name ) was broken for the last five days. In this entry I will describe how it came to be, why this is the fault of Melbourne IT, and why I would not recommend them as domain name registrar.

If you are a representative of Melbourne IT reading this, please take a look at cases listing below before posting a comment. You had your chance to fix this several times.

If this sounds like I'm changing domain registrars more often then some people change underwear, please note that I've registered my first Dot Name over ten years ago.

Dot Name

A long time ago I registered my name with the provider "NetIdentity". They offered a really cool package: You personal name as 3rd-level domain in the form of (e.g., and also a 2nd-level email forward in the form of (e.g. max AT berger DOT name). This was sold as a single package.


Unfortunately netidentiy went under, and my domain was transferred to Hover. Although Hover had low domain prices, the charged their full email package for the .name email forward. Since the registrar has zero effort in setting up the forwarding address (it was already set up anyways), I decided change providers. The Hover support was helpful, and they even offered me a discount.
-1 for their pricing policy
+1 for their support

I transferred my domain to They offer a really great service, providing domain names for people with changing IP addresses. Unfortunately they do not support 2nd-level .name email forwards, but they told me something like this "You can keep your email forward, it will work as before, you just cannot change it". Indeed, there was no interruption in serving both my domain name and my email.
+1 for their custom DNS package. It is awesome!
+1 for their technical support
-0 for not supporting 2nd-level .name email forwards

United Domains

My main website runs on an real server now, and I no longer have the need for the full-blown dynamic DNS services which offers. I have been using United Domains for another domain. They have a nice interface, and I haven't had any problems with them in the past. So I asked them, if they provide support for 2nd-level name forwards, since I wanted to move all my domains to one provider. They do not, but here is the real great thing: I received an answer from United Domains support pointing me to a list of registrars which properly support dot name! This means they essentially pointed me to their direct competitors! This is superb! Thank you guys! This means I'll keep my account with you, even if it costs a little more than at the other registrar, because that's exactly the kind of support which is extremely helpful! To bad you don't support the dot Name email forwards...
United Domains
+1 for their domain settings / Web interface
+100 for their technical support!
-0 for not supporting 2nd-level .name email forwards


INWX is one of the registrars which fully support Dot Name Domains and email forwards. They also have a nice web interface, and domain transfers in and out are pretty easy. It was a breeze to transfer my domain there, and its easy to administrate online. They are comparatively inexpensive, and answered to all my support questions within 24 hours.

However, transferring my Dot Name Email forward initially failed. It turned out that it was never moved from NetIdentity to Dyn.Com, and therefore the auth code was invalid. This was surprising to me, as I suddenly I did not know where my emai forward is registered at. The INWX support did not want
to answer me that question.
+1 for their domain settings / web interface
+0 for their support
+1 for supporting dot name's correctly!


Verisign is currently the official "owner" of dot name. I emailed their support, and within one hour (!) I had an answer telling me who my registrar is. Perfect!
+2 for their support

Melbourne IT

For whatever reason, my dot name email forward was registered with Melbourne IT. First, this seems great: They provide a form I can download, sign, email back, and within a few hours I had an account there and the auth code. For some reason my email forward shows up as "cancelled" and cannot be managed or renewed, but that didn't stop me. I emailed their support about it, and never got a reply. So I made the biggest mistake: I initiated the transfer to another provider!

A day later got suspicious because I did not get email anymore. Even spam stopped coming in, so I knew something must be wrong. I emailed myself, and got an error message back, saying that there is no such
account as ????

When I did initiate the transfer, for whatever reason that my email forward was modified to forward to Dear Melboure IT, if you read this (you did not read most of my other contacts): I AM NOT REACHABLE AT! What gave you that idea??? Is that the payback for realizing that I was not paying (which would have if I would have known about it)?

So, of course, I contacted Melbourne IT's support. No answer If someone answered, then they answered to I sent another email, this time providing an alternate address. No answer either. Wrote another email. And another. And another. All in all, I got one answer, saying "Your transfer will be auto-authorized after 5 days". What does that mean? It means that for 5 days, everyone trying to send me an email, will get an error message, saying that my email is not working. Of course, I asked them if there is anything I can do to accelerate the process, but again, no reply.

If someone from Melbourne IT is reading this, here are my "case numbers". This list is not complete, there are 1 or 2 missing. You only get the case number via email, which is great if your primary email is not
  • CAS-2782347-VDGT unanswered
  • CAS-2781147-2WIS (this is the one where I got the answer about the five days). A follow up by me was not answerd.
  • CAS-2780858-DKSH unanswered
  • CAS-2778169-X94B (case for recovering my domain key, this one was
    actually answered). A follow up by me was not answered.
After five days, my transfer was auto-approved, and my new registrar immediately fixed my email forward. My address is now working properly again, and I am able to receive emails.

Dear Registrars:
  1. If someone has an email forward, and wants to transfer that to another registrar, DO NOT CHANGE THE EMAIL FORWARD! People are paying for this service, and the chances are pretty high that they are actually using it!
  2. If you only provide a contact form on your webpage, and you're assigning case numbers, give customers a chance to actually enter those case numbers in your form.
  3. The five days for approval of transfers is a MAXIMUM! You CAN authorize the transfers earlier - especially if customers are asking you about it!
  4. Not answering to support contacts is really bad. You don't have to answer within 1 hour, people normally expect an answer within 24 hours, but not answering within five (business!) days is unacceptable.
What can I say about Melbourne IT?
  • If you have any services with Melbourne IT, I suggest transferring them to another provider. Do so at a time, where an outage of five days won't hurt you. If you can't afford a five day outage, good luck!
  • If you are considering a registar or provider, do not chose Melbourne IT, unless you can debug and fix your problems without contacting their customer support.
Melbourne IT
+1 for providing me with the authcode so quickly
-100 for changing my email forward to
-9001 for not answering to support contacts


United Domains
is my provider of choice. Their support is awesome, the prices are reasonable.
is my provider of choice for dot name. They are technically fit and their prices are reasonable.
Melbourne IT
should be avoided. Their support is terrible, and they break your services.

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