FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Internet domain name registrar and services firm Moniker has responded to customer concerns over missing domains, unintended auto-renewals, and erroneous charges, resulting from recent changes to its website.
Earlier this month, Moniker released a statement warning of some of the problems following the June 1 launch of its new website and apologized for delays in customer service.
More than 10 days later, the issues remain, prompting Moniker CEO Bonnie Wittenburg to pen an explanatory letter to the company’s customers earlier this week:
To all Moniker Customers,
My name is Bonnie Wittenburg, Moniker’s recently appointed CEO as of February 2014. This letter comes to you with transparency and the best intentions in mind as a result of recent events that have taken place at Moniker.As you know, Moniker recently transitioned to a completely new website design which features an all new user interface for both our website and customer dashboards. Our goal was and remains to increase the products and services we offer while at the same time maintaining the tools you have come to expect from us – enabling you to effectively manage your Web properties in a single place as simply as possible.
Since becoming CEO of Moniker, through my own observation and carefully considering the opinions of our users, it was apparent we needed to change in a big way. With the launch of this new website, we would be able to improve how you interact with our services and provide a better platform to bring further innovations to market.
I am still confident a system upgrade and platform enhancement was the right decision, but some things went wrong with the migration of our data and customer information from our old database to our new systems. Although our systems were carefully tested to avoid any major issues, an unforeseen technical problem involving a script responsible for running the data transfer did not run optimally. The manifestation of this to our customers appeared in the form of missing domains, unintended auto-renewals, and erroneous charges to payment methods on file, among others.
I sincerely apologize on behalf of all Moniker employees that this took place. I want to reassure you that no security vulnerabilities resulted from the issues we experienced during the data migration; this includes no lost domain names, no unauthorized transfers of ownership, and no functionality lost as part of our Domain MaxLock and Portfolio MaxLock products.These issues have, however, resulted in a backlog of customer support inquiries and greatly increased call volume to our support staff. Our representatives are working their hardest to resolve each and every case while providing each customer with the attention they deserve. Many technical issues have been resolved, including restoring the missing domains from client accounts and reverting charges incurred as a result of invalid domain renewals.
We are not done correcting all of the issues, our technical staff is working around the clock to fix and improve remaining problems to allow Moniker to operate at full capacity. We are listening to you regarding what features are working and what needs improvement. We value your business, your patience, and understanding that we will make this right. You expected better from us and we failed to deliver. We are working to restore your faith in the operations of Moniker. I realize apologizing may simply not be enough and promise that we will work tirelessly to show you that we care.
According to the company, the launch of the new Moniker website brought an entirely new user interface and enhanced search functionality to Moniker.com, which allowed access to more than 1,000 top-level domain extensions (including ccTLDs and new gTLDs), 15 SSL certificate products, and all-new account management tools.
Additions to the firm’s customer support team, including extended hours and service in more languages, were also added as part of Moniker’s plans for international expansion and to cater to its increasingly diverse customer base.
“We are excited to introduce an improved shopping experience to existing Moniker customers as well as prospective clients around the world. As part of Moniker’s refreshed growth strategy, we are actively increasing product offerings, improving the user experience, and focusing on new Generic Top-Level Domains,” Wittenburg stated at the time of the upgrade. “Shifting our focus will strengthen our position in the U.S. registrar market as well as aid in becoming a more powerful international registrar.”
“Our business has traditionally catered to large portfolio holders,” Wittenburg added, “but with new products and a customer service oriented strategy, we plan to attract businesses of all sizes from around the world while maintaining the portfolio management tools our customers have come to expect.”