I had a similar experience as another ripoffreport where Hostway was trying to extort money from the customer in order to release their domain. I had renewed my domain through godaddy for 10 years in advance. I transfered the domain to hostway, and ran a successful video game website for about 5 years. My company lost its supplier, and we closed the business, but retained the website just in case we at a later date want to reopen the business or even decide to sell the domain we own.
We decide to start the business again, and when I try to login to my domain account it will not let me. I request my password via Hostway.com and it sends me the same password I entered. Thinking I may have entered it incorrectly I copy and paste the password from the email...again no luck. I email hostway, no one responds. I email them again about 5 days later, again no one responds. I email them 5 more times in the next several months, again no replies. I then google for a phone # for hostway, where I finally get one.
I call hostway and speak to technical support, who say my account has been closed since 03/27/08. and that is why I cannot access it. He states "An email should have been sent to your email address saying if you did not pay your outstanding balance of $65.90 the account was going to be closed. You did not pay it so it closed." I responded that I understood that the website and its subsequent features would be closed, but my domain name I renewed for 10 years through another website, godaddy.com, and that is what I needed access to so I could transfer it to another host. They state I have pay my outstanding balance of $65.90 to allow it to be transfered. I stated I own the domain, and the domain is not part of a secured debt so legally they have no right to hold or take my domain. He stated to call billing in the AM. I ask to speak to a supervisor who agrees to email billing to release the domain, but again asks me to call in the AM.
I call billing in the AM, and am told that my domain is not recoverable as the account was closed due to an outstanding balance of $65.90. If I pay they may be able to recover it, if I do not pay they cannot. After explaining that I renewed the domain elsewhere for 10 years, then transfered it to hostway, and I therefore own the domain totally apart form Hostway, and since the debt Hostway states I owe is not a secured debt they have no legal right to hold my domain nor take possession of it. She refuses to help until I ask for a supervisor. She then states she was able to recover the domain, and I can access my account and transfer the domain if I so choose. I ask about the other 30 domains that expired during the time I could not gain access to them for the same reasons previously stated, she said she saw no other domains. I explained I have renewal notices from Hostway in my email. In fact I just got one yesterday. She says that it is impossible as she sees no other domains.
About 5 days later I am getting ready to transfer the domain, but before I start I go to my email. I find a bill from hostway for nearly $500. It shows them trying to charge my Mastercard on 05/20/09, but the bill does not show being created and sent until 05/23/09!?!?! Further it shows them charging me for my old website, and the subdomain charges etc since mid May of 2008 or about 2 months after the account was closed due to an outstanding balance of $65.90. I have tried calling them but they are out for Memorial day. I have also emailed them and am awaiting a response. What a horrible, shameful company.
North Canton, Ohio