Dreamhost lost my domain - what to do?

I registered a domain name with Dreamhost and all was good. I had it set to auto-renew and was notified it renewed. When I would log into my panel I would see that it was active and the next renewal date was listed so I didn’t think anything was wrong. Then I decided to try it, just to make sure the redirect was working. It ended up going to a placeholder page that was not Dreamhost!

It turns out Dreamhost’s domain registrar they were using for this domain had a problem and the domains were not actually renewed even though it shows up as such. this is what Dreamhost told me.

I asked Dreamhost to get the domain back but all they are willing to do is give me a 2-figure refund. this is not acceptable. I think they should get the domain back since they lost it.

But I am uncertain at this point of my recourse other than to find a lawyer. Do any of you have any insight on how to handle a situation where your trusted registrar has lost your domain name under your nose and won’t take responsibility for it? any advice?


It would seem to me that Dreamhost (or their registration partner) needs to go buy back your domain from the new “owner.” However, I’m sure the person who’s holding your domain will demand big $$ because they know you want it.

You have to decide if it’s worth fighting for because that’s the only way you’re going to get it back. If the name is copyrighted (or something else similar, I don’t know the legal requirement), then you may have a claim against the new owner for poaching. Other than that, it might be cheaper and easier to get a new domain name and get Dreamhost to give you free hosting for a couple of years (probably about equal to the value of what they’ve already offered you). I’m sure that the last thing you’ll want to do. However, it’s much easier and will probably be the fastest route to success for you. If you do go this route, you would obviously notify all of your customers and contacts. Also, you can include your old domain name in the META data for your new site to capture some search requests.

I don’t see many other options short of taking someone to court. If you decide to go that route, small claims court would be cheaper if your damages are small enough (up to $10k in CA, where you’d likely have to file since Dreamhost is there).

Good Luck Plexuss.

Hi Brett,

I’m sorry for the inconvenience and frustration caused by this matter! I understand where you’re coming from. As I can see that you’ve been in communication with our support team, I have gone ahead and escalated your last ticket to one of our support managers directly. You’ll hear from us as soon as humanly possible. I apologize again, and thank you so much for your patience!

The offer is not only unacceptable, it’s insulting.

Don’t waste time talking to Support - contact someone who has some clout.

The problem is that there is no way to contact anyone at Dreamhost other than through support. I had to threaten legal action to get it escalated. it was escalated to a senior manager that wrote me back and said they won’t get the domain back, they won’t give me a fair credit for the value of the domain - all they will do is give me a $50 credit. i asked for a free .ca domain registration and got no reply.

What ever has happened to customer service. Dreamhost is not taking responsibility for losing my domain for which they accept responsibility. they feel that $50 should cover the loss of an important domain name.

What can I do? does anyone have any experience suing a company like this for these kinds of reasons? if so, PM me.

I am now thinking about how to move all my registrations and hosting to another provider. of course its a real pain to do this especially with forums and wikis etc that are currently running.

I don’t know what to do.

can always try twitter:

This is outrageous. I guess I made the right decision by switching hosting and moving my domain name to Namecheap, but it’s taking forever to transfer my domain away from Dreamhost.

I really hope they offer to buy you back the domain. That would be the only acceptable action. I hope you sue them if they don’t.

DH lost 9 of my domains and wants to offer me $50 to smooth things over.

Some of the properties have already been sucked up by scammers who are using my trademarked brand and reputation to sell ads. Resolving the trademark issues alone will cost thousands of dollars of someones time.

Needless to say i’m furious about the lack of transparency. If this post existed as of May 2013, why werent customers notified?

I’m a sysadmin, i understand exactly how this type of fiasco happens. What i don’t understand is the lack of damage control and customer service.

Of course you really need to explain how dreamhost lost 9 of your domains. One would imply that because you posted on this thread that “auto renew” failed for you as well. Did all 9 expire the same day?

Personally I have auto-renew set for all domains, but I never rely on that function. In fact, I almost always renew domains months ahead of their expiration for whatever “max” renewal dreamhost will allow.

Dreamhost made good with my lost domain. I wont go into details but they did come through after I put some effort into it.

I agree with you LakeRat - don’t rely on auto-renew. make sure to reg your domains before the expiration date and check the records to ensure it was extended.

Just to add to this scenario, Dreamhost did the same thing to me. I’ve lost a domainbive had for years now that had email accounts tied to it that I can’t replace. Also I was able to go to godaddy and search some of my .cc domains and they came up as available when they were still registered and active. I bought 2 of them on godaddy and moved them without unlocking or transferring. I’m done with these jokers. They don’t know what they’re doing.

You get what you pay for.