Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Don't Need to Reproduce my Online Success (Why I Refused to Buy Back my 9 Year Old Domain)

As I write this, my domain name has been taken over and made inactive by - a web host that I moved my website from 2 years ago. 

I'm publishing this article with elaborate email and chat transcripts and explanations, to show the world the VERY naughty practices this company has engaged in while dealing with me.

I have no way of determining if any other person(s) have had similar experiences. 

However, I feel obligated to share this information, to alert as many people as may encounter them, about what to watch out for.

Let me start by saying I registered with in 2005, and renewed it with them up till April 2012. 

During this period, I had what I consider a VERY good experience. And this made me recommend that my own Web Marketing clients sign up with them. 

However, following's migration into some partnership arrangement, many strange things began to happen.

Update (7th June 2014 @ 6:07pm in Lagos): They did eventually get back to me in May, but I've been too busy to post the updates. Just 2 screenshots, and I still do NOT buy what they told me...told them so too:

Below: The most recent message from, under which I've pasted the response I promptly sent them. 

The most recent message from, under which I've pasted the response I promptly sent them. Not heard from them since. And I'm not holding my breath either!

The response I promptly sent to the most recent message from

Below: My brother-in-law's response to the last message I sent to, under which I've pasted my reply to him.

My brother-in-law's response to the last message I sent to, under which I've pasted my reply to him.

The following is a verbatim transcript of one such chat session I had with support while still hosted with them (Date was: 15thMarch2012)

==Transcript Starts===
You are now chatting with HelenS
HelenS: Hello, thank you for contacting Technical Support. Please wait one moment while I retrieve your account information.
Tayo Solagbade: Thank you
HelenS: Please specify what program are you using to delete file
Tayo Solagbade: First let me tell you why
Tayo Solagbade: I got the following email message (SPAM) apparently using my domain as FROM, on my blackberry a few seconds ago (see below)
Tayo Solagbade:
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:59:19 -0500
Subject: *****SPAM***** Re: Fwd: Scan from a HP ScanJet #724670

Attached document was scanned and sent
to you using a Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 423105K.
FILETYPE: .HTML [Internet Explorer File]
Tayo Solagbade: Here's the HEADER information:
Tayo Solagbade: X-Spam-Flag: YES
Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( [] (may be forged)) by (8.13.6/8.13.1) with ESMTP id q2FExDLS026957 for <>; Thu, 15 Mar 2012 10:59:18 -0400
Received: from by; Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:59:19 -0500
Message-ID: <9EFD3DA0C59E8297BF67B8213DA059EF@HCXikEAe33>
From: <>
To: <>
Subject: *****SPAM***** Re: Fwd: Scan from a HP ScanJet #724670
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:59:19 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0A29_01CD0292.4A038D80"
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2615.200
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2615.200
X-MMR: 0
X-CSC: 100
X-CHA: v=1.1 cv=D1E7zpp2mwD5bAY1nxKVoeqPOB0oNn0mo+5l86ppA5E= c=1 sm=1 p=fhRNqycLfmIZgQ6zCMEA:9 p=UQ6dIbMs0LWUjeEsP_wA:9 p=g-kLJnuZVpXU-GCmEqwA:9 p=8HX-hJF2EPxRoa5rYM4A:7 a=8wvE-tlKgYAA:10 a=wIEFc5AdX34A:10 a=qEj1S7HdTu3+bJIVvldblw==:17 a=jiObf9B0YAUA:10 a=_W_S_7VecoQA:10 a=qEj1S7HdTu3+bJIVvldblw==:117
Tayo Solagbade: I have been recently checking my server files and noticed the card.cgi script's log showed some remote attempts to run it. So I decided to start by deleting that script even though I 've had it for years, and the developer built my site's contact CGI script i.e. bnbform.cgi
Tayo Solagbade: Can you possibly check from your end to establish how this SPAM message got sent out (seemingly) from my domain?
HelenS: is it for domain ?
Tayo Solagbade: Yes it is.
HelenS: please hold, will try to replicate
Tayo Solagbade: Replicate what?
HelenS: will try to remove this file
Tayo Solagbade: Ok.
HelenS: I will create a ticket regarding this
HelenS: Please hold
Tayo Solagbade: Once again I find myself at a loss as to what is happening with my Aplus hosting account. Some days ago I had major problems uploading a NEW home page to replace my OLD home page. It took over an hour.
Eventually an Aplus tech support chat agent had to delete it from YOUR end, just like you just tried to do. Why should deleting a file in MY OWN website be something I cannot do. Helen, this is just one of many STRANGE mishaps that keep occurring on my website recently. Is there a problem I need to know about?
HelenS: Ticket #2651957 was created. We will investigate your issue and inform you with our resolution in the next 24 hours
Tayo Solagbade: You seem not to have any answer for me regarding the question I asked:
Why am I having repeat issues of strange mishaps (files getting deleted, resized to zero, inability to delete my own files, inability to replace old files with new ones?). This never used to happen
HelenS: possibly your account is affected
HelenS: we will investigate this
Tayo Solagbade: I have a million questions. But I guess I better let you do your work. What bothers me however is the possibilty that someone could launch a massive spam campaign using my domain between now, and when your "investigation" ends. I still have no explanation as to how it could have happened.
Tayo Solagbade: Is there a way to "disable" likely areas to minimise chances of that happening?
Any steps I can take from my end, in the meantime. I ask this question because APLUS is my host, and I imagine the Tech Support will be able to guide me on steps to take,
at times like this.
HelenS: Yes, you can change all your admin password, download the files on your local machine and scan with antivirus software 
Tayo Solagbade: Well, I just changed ALL my admin passwords about 2 weeks ago, as suggested by one of your colleagues. I will download and scan the files right now. If I find anything, would it be wise to delete the ones on the website, and then upload the scanned versions?
==Transcript Ends===

The problems continued into April 2012, and that informed my decision to eventually move my hosting account to

Apart from spending over 2 weeks getting the site setup to run properly after the main migration, I also paid over $230 USD to effect the move.

Now have hit at me again, this time by using a "technicality" to take over ownership of my domain. 

Note the screenshot below, of the "New Venture Services" website they asked me to sent a ticket to. There is an link at the bottom which confirms it's a sister company or subsidiary of some sort. What crooked, unethical and irresponsible practices these people offer as a service.

Like I told a friedn while wonderign about the hosting problems I was having with them, I had no way of knowing if I was the only person having the bad experiences. One thing was however certain - the attacks were VERY targetted.

The files and pages picked on were not random. They were the main sales pages for my key products and services.

Whoever was doing it knew exactly where to go. Each ttime I followed their instructions to clean it up, the person went right back and damaged them again. Ever since I moved to NOT once has such a thing happened!

Below: Screenshots I took of my hosting web space with when the problems happened.

Screenshots I took of my hosting web space with when the problems happened.

Screenshots I took of my hosting web space with when the problems happened.

1. Note the filetypes labeled HTM_INFECTED. Those were files that I uploaded normally, which mysteriously developed virus infections.

And I began getting visitors complaining they were getting virus warnings e.g at the home page for my Farm Business ideas mini site ( and my Custom Excel Software Development Service website (

Each time asked me to download them and clean them using antivirus software, I did that and re uploaded. Within a week or two the problem would reoccur with the exact same files.

The irony however, is that since 2 years of being hosted with, the same files have NEVER had such problems!

2. See screenshot showing a chat window I launched, in which I complained about the problems I was having. This was something I found myself doing many times in one week. That had never been the case in the past.
screenshot showing a chat window I launched, in which I complained about the problems I was having. This was something I found myself doing many times in one week. That had never been the case in the past.

Apart from what I suffered with my own hosting account with back then, an entrepreneurial client couple I signed up with them also got a VERY raw deal, and at a point lost virtually everything I built for them(i.e. a website based on a custom Web Marketing System).

At a point I had to try relating with on their behalf when no feedback on a major website problem they had was forthcoming.

Here's a verbatim chat transcript from one such interaction with support, on my client's behalf...Note that I actually started by complaining about a problem I was having with MY OWN website AGAIN! (Date was 8th Feb 2012)

==Transcript Starts===
You are now chatting with Tania S.
Tania S.: Hello, thank you for contacting Technical Support. Would you please provide me with your domain name or Registration Number with the account's password?
Tayo Solagbade: Hi. ap2689689627
Tayo Solagbade: pword: 0xxxxxxxxxxxx1
Tania S.: Would you please provide more details on the issue while I verify your data?
Tayo Solagbade: I was told by the chat agent I spoke with earlier that my index.php file was missing from my Joomla site at
Tania S.: Sylvia created a ticket for you, #2635933
Tayo Solagbade: I do not understand why it needs a ticket. The site loaded okay on 30th jan. And one of the reasons I've stayed with aplus since 2006 is because I am protected by the "file resoration" service you offer. Is there any reason why that would not be applicable here?
Tania S.: you may try the restore option in File Manager Pro if you wish, but Sylvia created a ticket so our Tier 3 team check backups
Tania S.: by the way, issue is resolved by now and ticket will be closed soon, opens fine
Tayo Solagbade: That's great - and thanks to Tania and yourself for the timely resolution.
Tayo Solagbade: Tania, I'm going to be honest with you here. The last time a member of your team gave me a similar answer (ie. "Tier 3 etc") in relation to a Joomla site I was handling for a client I convinced to host with Aplus.
Tania S.: you are welcome
Tayo Solagbade: Up till now, my client says the problem has not been resolved with their access to phpMyAdmin. I told them that has not been my experience with, but it's difficult to argue with them when nothing is happening with a problem they've reported and gotten no feedback on. Could you possibly help contact your Tier 3 team about the joomla website ticket?
Tania S.: do you have ticket number for that case? I see only one ticket for this domain, it is for Wordpess and quite old
Tayo Solagbade: Please hold
Tayo Solagbade: From:
"Chat Transcript service" <>
Transcript of your last chat session
Sent date:
11/17/2011 014:39 PM
For your convenience and future reference, here is the copy of the web chat you had with our Technical Support department.
[11:55 AM] Tayo Solagbade has joined the room
[11:55 AM] paulp has joined the room
[11:55 AM] paulp: Hello, thank you for contacting Technical Support. Please wait one moment while I retrieve your account information.
[11:56 AM] paulp: Please kindly be informed that the ticket # 2588050 is still under investigation at our Tier 3 Technical Support Team
[11:57 AM] Tayo Solagbade: That's be! en on since 23/10/2011 - almost a month now!
[11:59 AM] Tayo Solagbade: I have been unable to give my clients a "specific" reason why this problem has persisted since the ticket was raised by the agent I chatted with on the 23rd of Oct.
[11:59 AM] Tayo Solagbade: Is there anything you can tell me?
[11:59 AM] paulp: We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and extanded wait
[121 PM] Tayo Solagbade: How much longer will this take? Is there something you can tell me, so I can assure my clients there's no cause for worry? As things stand, I only get ! to pass on your apologies and the news that it is STI|LL with your Tie r 3 team...
[123 PM] paulp: our Tier 3 Team is investigating and testing this issue, and it will be resolved as soon as possible, as the ticket is on high priority level
[123 PM] paulp: we are doing all our best in resolving this issue
[124 PM] Tayo Solagbade: I guess that's all one can ask. Many thanks for your help. Look forward to hearing from you once everything is OK. Hopefully, soon.
[124 PM] Tayo Solagbade: Have a lovely day!
[124 PM] Tayo Solagbade has left the! room
==Transcript Ends===
NB: We never heard back from them!

Final Words

I'll be honest here and say that at a point, when the bad experiences kept occurring on my website, I could not help feeling I was being targeted. Indeed, certain other negative experiences I'd had online around that time from other quarters suggested the incursions were "sponsored".

Regular visitors and subscribers to my weekly newsletter and SD Nuggets blog may recall reports I published in some of my articles. But of course I have no proof. It was however strange that I kept getting those attacks while others did not.

With this stunt pulled by on 5th May 2014, I now have greater reason to believe there's more to all the nasty experiences I've had with them, than meets the eye.

However, as I've stated in my response to, I'm MOVING forward no matter what. 

And it is my hope that by sharing this experience of mine, others who read it will find the INSPIRATION to defy those who try to exploit or intimidate them in ANY way!

As you read this, I want you to know that by the end of May 2014, at the latest, if you wish to find me online, it WILL be best to go via - and NOT via 

Even if I get the latter domain back, I intend to retire it.

The updates I've commenced on my web pages are being carried out with that in mind.

All URLs bearing WILL be changed to

Once again I invite ALL haters as well as fair minded persons to stay tuned!

Information About Me...

My name is Tayo K. SolagbadeI am the owner of the SD Nuggets blog on my website: 

I created this alternative blog account a year ago after it occurred to me that I might need a temporary holding place for my DAILY blog content publishing in the event of another attack (they've been quite many over the past 9 years!) on my website:

The events of the past 3 days - regarding my domain ( being taken offline by - my former hosts - under unfair circumstances - explain why I'm now publishing this post here, instead of my SD Nuggets blog on my website. 

I now aim to MOVE all my content to a new hosting platform that allows me to pay for renewals of my domain and hosting without having to depend on 3rd parties in future. As it so happens, my reseller account with perfectly positions me to do just that. 

By the time my 9 year's worth of content is moved to, I will be able to say GOODBYE to I realize the massive Google visibility that domain has earned in almost one decade will affect me - but if truth be told, 12 months ago, that domain did not enjoy even one quarter of the rating it has today. 

The brand has grown tremendously in less than 12 months following my relocating to Benin Republic where I've been able to focus almost 100% of using my content marketing to boost my online brand. 

I did it before, and I'm prepared to do it again, this time using a domain that no one can use trickery to STEAL from me, or sabotage. I invite both haters and fair minded people to stay tuned!

NB: See links to posts I made on Facebook below with details...

1. This was my first public post on the development.

2. Here's the follow up I did

There'll be more - until the matter is resolved.

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