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Discussion Starter #1
I'm really hoping for help from the web gurus on this forum.
(other may ignore the following - it's pretty boring)

Odd one this.....

In the UK I had an ISP and website host (the infamously awful BT)
After we relocated to the US in 2005 I canceled the account and now have a new ISP/webhost.

However - the website I uploaded on to the BT server (geocities) still exists.
I have my domain names redirected to the US site but if you Google my company name the old BT geocities site pops up near the top. I can't log in to delete the site because my password is no longer valid (because I no longer have the account of course). I tried BT's "help line" last year but after a total of eight hours (three calls) could not get them to understand what I needed. They kept asking for my account number before proceeding and couldn't cope with the fact that I DIDN'T HAVE ONE ANY MORE!!!!

I snail mailed BT - no response and I contacted Google under their "report a site" system - again no response.

I let it drift but now have complaints from a company in Italy who has been trying to contact me on all the old numbers.

I'd be happy to have someone hack into the account with my blessing to delete it or put a redirection note in. Otherwise any ideas for getting through to BT or Google would be very much appreciated.
 

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I'd be happy to have someone hack into the account with my blessing to delete it or put a redirection note in.
I can call my kids and see if they are busy today. I'm not sure if they'd be willing to work on it "with your blessing" though.
 

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Contacting Google will be a shot in the dark.. esp with regards to search results.. I don't know much about their internal processes, but I wouldn't wait for a response in this regard.

Probably the best route would be to somehow get back into your previous ISP and see if you can get some kind of temp account to edit your old pages to redirect to your new page. Or if they will do that, even better. Certainly there is someone who knows something about web hosting there. ?

Once the redirect is taken care of, the Google/other search results should eventually propagate to your new site.

I'm not so sure going the hacking route is the best idea.. ;) There might be some international laws broken there..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To RoadDad:

OK - tell them that I'd be really upset (in a humorous way) if they deleted the site.
Tell them it would be the same as having my avatar replaced by a really embarrassing one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Probably the best route would be to somehow get back into your previous ISP and see if you can get some kind of temp account to edit your old pages to redirect to your new page. Or if they will do that, even better. Certainly there is someone who knows something about web hosting there. ?
I have been on their helpline for hours and no-one seems to understand the problem - never mind being able to offer a solution. They just bounced me around to different "departments". If I could get through to them that I need my old password to work for five minutes - I could sort it out.

I'm not sure what the legal position with hacking would be - it's my site - it should have been deleted when I closed my account - it's causing me considerable problems - I'd take a chance on explaining that to a judge...
 

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Don't waste your time with Google. BT is your only shot to get this solved.
 

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I have been on their helpline for hours and no-one seems to understand the problem - never mind being able to offer a solution. They just bounced me around to different "departments". If I could get through to them that I need my old password to work for five minutes - I could sort it out.

I'm not sure what the legal position with hacking would be - it's my site - it should have been deleted when I closed my account - it's causing me considerable problems - I'd take a chance on explaining that to a judge...
While it may have been your site, it's still THEIR servers you're asking to have hacked. You will be breaking laws by attempting this. Plus, you'd be dragging people into the issue that were never account holders. If someone did attempt a hack, no doubt their people would see the attack and attempt to trace the hacker's IP/ISP.

This is not a good idea.

The best route is still to work it out with your old hosting firm. I'm sure they can look up your account info and they just need to know to delete the old files. I know web hosting firms are a pain sometimes in terms of support, but this is really the only option.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The best route is still to work it out with your old hosting firm. I'm sure they can look up your account info and they just need to know to delete the old files. I know web hosting firms are a pain sometimes in terms of support, but this is really the only option.
So.

Call the free (if you are in the UK only) BT "help"line number.
Navigate the many "options" (none of which apply of course)
After 30 minutes or so finally speak to someone for whom English is a second language.

Them: How can I help you? (they practise for hours to be able to say this without breaking into hysterical laughter)
Me: long story etc. etc. (see first post)
Them: What is your BT account number?
Me: I don't have one - but it used to be XXXXX
Them: that is no longer a valid account.
Me: I know - long story etc etc. (see first post)
Them: what is your password for the account?
Me: YYYY
Them: That password is no longer valid.
Me: I know - I have been trying to tell you....
Them: I'll have to transfer you to (indecipherable) department.

Wait another 30 minutes or so.

New Them (sounding suspiciously like "Old Them": How can I help you? (definite snort in the background)

Me: long story etc. etc. (see first post)
Them: What is your BT account number?
Me: I don't have one - but it used to be XXXXX
Them: that is no longer a valid account.
Me: I know - long story etc etc. (see first post)
Them: what is your password for the account?
Me: YYYY
Them: That password is no longer valid.
Me: I know - I have been trying to tell you....
Them: I'll have to transfer you to.....
Me: NO PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Them: ....(indecipherable) department.

Repeat five times ending up - and I swear this is true - at the first department I spoke with.

Same "Them" as before: How can I help you?
Me: AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!

Them: Our work is done.

ps.

I used to have a personal assistant.
I asked her to try and sort this out.
She no longer works for me.
 

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Worst case scenario: document your trouble and hire an attorney.
 

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Worst case scenario: document your trouble and hire an attorney.
Well, actually, BT is not doing anything wrong as far as the files on their servers. There's no law saying a web hosting firm has to remove files from their servers when an account is closed (practical sense, maybe). They are not using them, saying they own them, or otherwise marketing them as their property.

The issue is with Google's indexing and the time it takes to index new or changed web pages - again, no laws broken here.

You did change your DNS settings to point to the new site? (silly question, but had to ask) When I've switched URL DNS settings to new servers, depending on your ISP, it could take a couple of days for all of the world's ISP to clear their DNS cache. Until this is done, entering your site's URL will still bring up the old site.
 

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To RoadDad:

OK - tell them that I'd be really upset (in a humorous way) if they deleted the site.
Tell them it would be the same as having my avatar replaced by a really embarrassing one.
Just got off the phone with the wife. They are all at the swimming pool right now, summer vacation and all that.

I just got chewed out by the wife for suggesting our dear sweet children do anymore "computer hacking."

I'll talk with the kids directly when I get home tonight.
 

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You could serve BT a legal notice telling them to cease and desist showing a web site claiming to be your company...

Or report it as a phishing site, that usually makes them have to check the site and if it's an inactive they'll probably delete it

Or, somehow reactivate your account, get a new password, then delete all content and ask them to turn off the account

=)
 

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You could serve BT a legal notice telling them to cease and desist showing a web site claiming to be your company...
=)
I think we're missing a technical aspect here. If the DNS settings for the domain is pointed to the proper server, within 72 hours, the new site will display. If the DNS still points to BT, then it's up the the owner of the domain name to point it to the proper server. I do this all the time for domains when the client moves to a new host. However, if UKPhil registered the domain at some registrar like Godaddy, or whatever, he's responsible for pointing to a the new server.

If this step hasn't been done, then BT is just serving up the site properly. There is no way they can circumvent DNS that they have no control over.

If UKPhil has changed the DNS, then there might be a DNS caching issue going on across various ISPs.

Hopefully he used an domain registration service and didn't actually register his domain with BT.
 

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Well, actually, BT is not doing anything wrong as far as the files on their servers. There's no law saying a web hosting firm has to remove files from their servers when an account is closed (practical sense, maybe). They are not using them, saying they own them, or otherwise marketing them as their property.
i don't think thats true, if you upload copyrighted material to a webhost with a contract, then the contract ends and you no longer have access they are the ones responsible for removing the content, if its still accessible without the owners consent or reasonable ability to remove it, then theres a problem, at the very least they'd have to arrange for you to be able to remove it on reasonable terms.. since you've no longer given them permission to host it.

my guess is google has it in their lists, phil you should check its showing up for someone who's never been to to the geocities site as google customises search results based on your web history.


defcon is next week ;)
 

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Hopefully he used an domain registration service and didn't actually register his domain with BT.
He had it redirected so probably it's still listing using an alias like

http://www.geocities.com/~mysite

unless they failed to redirect... but it could be like you said that it hasn't had enough time to propagate through the web
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK since I don't speak geek - I'll explain the situation and the clever ones among you can translate.

I have about ten domain names - most of which are variations on my company name.
They are managed by a company called freeparking in the UK (where I bought them).

I use their "maintenance" section to forward mail and web to my US ISP/webhost.
I haven't changed any of the DNS information - just the web forwarding from the old ISP to the new one

If I type in the website address in google I go straight to my current site.
If I type in the company name google shows one of the domain names (.co.uk) as first choice - followed by the site hosted by geocities.

I know other people get the geocities site because I've had comments from companies who have tried to contact me using the old 'phone numbers from the old site.
 

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yeah you're hosed the only way to fix it would be to have a site redirect on the old geocities site, even deleting it would cause some customers to think you've just gone away.
 

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"bollocks" I love that word. lol

Seems that all you have to do is contact Geocities then since BT is using them for site hosting.

Try filing an abuse form. From the terms of the agreement it doesn't say that they will take down your site, just that they may once you've cancelled with them....

UK: Yahoo! Geocities Abuse
US: Yahoo! GeoCities Abuse Form

This should resolve the issue...
 
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