I have a story that must be told here. I was working as a contractor for a very large communications company. Very large. I can guarantee that everyone reading it knows of them and most of you have had dealings with them. We were doing some web service for them.
Somehow (I know I didn’t do it and I’m pretty sure the company I was working for didn’t) their domain’s contact information was transferred to one of their customers. Not one of their big corporate customers, mind you; a guy with a ten dollar a month service contract. And this wasn’t a domain for a side business, it was the big one. The one that all of their DNS pointed to. The one that all of their corporate e-mail went through. The one that all of their online presence was handled by.
The people who have worked with high end Internet communications have just wet their pants. For those of you who didn’t follow that the company handed a customer on their “Treat them like crap” plan both a key to everything they own and a gun with a “shut down a third of the country” bullet in it.
At the point it landed on my desk this person had been trying for a few days to get the attention of the management. They were getting flooded with e-mails and phone calls from people who took the contact information from the whois data. Needless to say once I regained consciousness I took this immediately up the chain. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
So naturally they did nothing.
I told them again more forcefully.
And they did nothing.
Eventually it reached the point that I had to spell out for people whose job it is to oversee major portions of their corporate infrastructure that the only reason the this enormous company was still functioning was because two people didn’t realize what they had yet.
Two weeks after I told them that they were on the bring making the national news in a way that would wipe them off the map the company finally got it resolved.
I was this close to privately contacting the customer and explaining to them exactly what they could do with ownership of that domain.