Lost all our info - help!

My technophobic wife labored for months on her personal Website to promote her art therapy practice.

When her Yahoo mail account was flooded with spam and kept crashing, we switched to Gmail. So, we never received a few messages from DreamHost to renew her registration for a fee.

We paid in full last week and begged to restore the site to its original content. And we just received this message back from DH customer service:

"Unfortunately we were unable to process your domain restore for
lizatoft.com as there were no available backups!

We are very sorry about this! Howevvvvver… we actually make no
guarantees about availability of backups, and highly recommend you
always keep your own copies of all important data. Please follow the
link below for instructions with this:

The Unhappy Dreamhost Domain Restore Robot!"

Is there any phone number for these guys - or any way to restore our info?


Last first -> There is no phone number, when you open a ticket you can subscribe to premium support that can be used to receive callbacks.

The email you quoted is automated, from using the “restore” button on the manage domains page in the panel. Did you push that button?

For more info on backups see this thread: https://discussion.dreamhost.com/thread-137155.html

How long had your payment on your account lapsed? When did your hosting expire vs, when you brought the account up to date with that recent payment?

The payment on our account lapsed just a month ago on January 8. And we made a payment last week.

Doesn’t it make sense from a customer service standpoint to leave our site in limbo for more than a month until we can make a payment?

Otherwise, we’ll NEVER use DreamHost again.

It might be beneficial to regular users like you and I, but from a business point of view 30 days seems to be an ample holding period. The data might be still available for manual restoration (the Panel is glitching out apparently). Send a ticket in to Support asking for a manual restoration - you might get lucky.

I’m surprised that it’s not the case of just turning your account back on. Did the domain also expire over the same period?

I’m looking at your site right now and I can see that, on our servers, your files are still there so we don’t have to panic about that just yet, thankfully. You shouldn’t need to try a restore, since that’s not the issue. AND since you paid for happy hosting for a year (that would be the payment you made to us this month), the files are safe for now.

Your domain did expire, however. If you go to Domain Registration in your panel ( https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=domain.registration& ) you’ll see that you set the domain to ask you to renew or not. Since the expiration was for Jan 8th, when that passed, the domain expired and vanished from the world. You have to renew that, which is separate to your hosting fee, in order to get the domain back.

By the way, your profile still has the (bad) yahoo email. You’ll want to go to https://panel.dreamhost.com/id/?tab=contact and change that to the new email so we can make sure the right email gets the right information, so this doesn’t happen again.

Thank you - let me get the domain renewed and go from there.
To follow up, I just tried to renew the doman and they wanted to bill me $100.
But the domain registration is included in the web hosting fee, so why are they trying to charge me?

Thanks much

While your account was in arrears, the domain you had registered expired. It’s no longer possible for us to simply renew it; getting it back from its current status is a different, more complicated (and more expensive) process known as “redemption”. We’re not trying to rip you off here; we get charged a ton of extra money by the domain registry every time we do a redemption, so we have to pass on the cost.