Review of DNSMadeEasy (Problems Upon a Failed Renewal)

This is my account of a problem I ran into with DNSMadeEasy.  TL;DR: there seems to be a technical glitch they failed to address, and now I don’t use them.

Back in 2010, MyDomain’s DNS crapped out…  massively…  I wrote about it here. I decided to follow advice from a friend of mine and switched to DNSMadeEasy.  And all worked great – I paid money, DNS worked.  I used them for multiple projects, endorsed them to my friends, and was generally quite happy with the product.  That is until last week.

I missed a renewal due to an expired credit card.  No problem, these things happen – I catch up on the payment immediately. You would expect a minimal disruption, if at all. Except I wasn’t so lucky.

The problem first showed  when my team couldn’t access our site.  Then some of our users reached out.  People in completely different locations on different browsers.  Clearing the cache seemed to work, but that meant that whatever was cached was invalid.  Which meant that our returning users had the same problem.  Let that sink in: the users who used our site the most were also the most likely to be affected.  Holy shit, right?

This must be a bug, I thought.  So I reached out to support by email, then by phone and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Explains the problem.”

Them: “Just tell your customers to clear their cache.”

Me: ”I can’t.  They are in hospitals around the world.  They can’t even see the site. Also, this was already recommended.  Please escalate.”

Them: “We service thousands of customers.  Nobody else is having this problem.”

Me: “We are having this problem. You don’t seem to have the technical expertise.  Please escalate.”

And then I got two people who told me that they were losing money speaking to me because we are not paying a lot.  Wait, what?  Your service that we are paying money for and that has a problem that is breaking our business and you are telling me you are losing money?  I was incredulous.

And round and round we went.  At one point, I was told that I wasn’t being “nice” and that they were going to just “hang up on me” and “not escalate” if I didn’t start being nice.  Remembering the Pulp Fiction moment, I mustered all the niceness and begged to be escalated.  This was said to me by a Director of Sales (who later apologized). 

And so I was escalated to one of the lead engineers.  At this point I probably have a few more gray hairs on my head, but I figure he’ll fix this.  This guy was extremely nice and very knowledgeable.  And very respectful.  And I genuinely liked him (so I have mixed feeling about writing this post, as I am not great at holding grudges).  And yet, he still didn’t solve the problem telling me that everything works fine on their end.  Yet, the fact was plain: multiple users, on different browsers, in different countries, were having the same damn issue. Good thing it happened during the holidays when the traffic is down.  That’s about the only silver lining.

So, unfortunately, until they fix whatever the issue was and take a different approach to support, I can’t endorse DNSMadeEasy.  To be clear: I don’t mind when things go wrong – I’ve done start-ups long enough that, when something goes sideways, I’ve learned to grin my way through it.  But the lack of support when things are clearly wrong is just…  wrong.

I’ve switched to CloudFlare.  They seem to be massive and, thus far, seem to work well enough.  Though their automatic pull of DNS records didn’t work well and URL forwarding was convoluted.

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