Reporter: Gordon Harcourt
The perils of the web hosting game
Where does the Internet live? It's sort of a silly question, but there is a not-so-silly answer. It lives on data servers, and those servers are provided by web hosting companies. They store and protect the websites you use and maybe own.
There are 400,000 websites ending in .nz, and goodness knows how many web hosting companies big and small. Daniel Williams of webdrive.co.nz is one of the big guys, and he says there's always risk from hackers trying to cause mayhem. That's one reason you need a good hosting company.
247Hosting and Web Design is not a good hosting company, according to Stan Moffett and Ken Curnow.
Stan's a web designer and he says he couldn't get access to his domain names for weeks - a domain name is a website address. Ken Curnow runs Seniornet Bayswater, a community group which gives computer training.
His group had its website with 247Hosting and also bought four iMac computers from it, for nearly $6000. Nearly two months on, no iMacs and no refund - as had been promised. Ken and Stan were both furious with lack of communication from 247Hosting.
247Hosting is run by Caleb Finlay - or is it Caleb Carrington? Both names appear on Companies Office records, and we think they are the same guy, but via his lawyer he said Caleb Carrington is his father. Then the story was it's a legal name change. I've tried to clarify that, but with no success.
And there's something very odd about the 247Hosting website design. It's astonishingly similar to that of TMDHosting.com, a company based in Delaware USA. I contacted them and they say their design has been "stolen".
On Monday there was good news - the missing computers finally arrived at Ken Curnow's place, and he was sent an email trail which indicated the whole thing was CourierPost's fault.
We checked because that's what we do. Courier Post told us the emails were nonsense, from a non-existent staff member. We think the emails were fake.
247Hosting says it's investigating.
In the 24 hours before broadcast I also discovered TradeMe investigated Caleb Finlay/Carrington and complained to Police, about trades were paid for but allegedly not delivered. Police confirmed they are investigating.
I've only dealt with Caleb's lawyer. Via the lawyer he says:
- Stan Moffet's complaint is completely untrue, and he never lost control of his domains
- He apologises to Ken Curnow, and the computers have now been supplied; he's investigating what happened to a promised refund cheque.
- The "stolen" website design was done without his knowledge, and he's pursuing a website designer for costs, and is happy to discuss the matter with TMDHosting.com
Reporter Hannah Wallis
Podcast: A family member suddenly dies and some very dear possessions - paintings in this case - were not in their possession - can the family get them back?
Ted Rogers, artist and art teacher, died suddenly in February this year.
Five of his paintings had been on sale and exhibition at the Gifford Gallery in Mt Eden, Auckland.
The Rogers family thought that the right to sell ended with Ted's death, so they didn't immediately go and get the paintings back.
The Gallery - run the by Fellowship of Artists - thought when the family didn't come and pick the paintings up after Ted's death, that meant they continued to have the right to sell them.
The Gallery/Fellowship says emails from the Rogers family calling them the "fellowship of a-holes" and threatening police and legal action did harden the resolve not to return the paintings.
The family has not accepted any money for the paintings and desperately want them back.
Lawyer Paul O'Neil says the Gallery seemed to be acting as an agency, in which case, the arrangement to sell would end on the death of the artist.
The people who've got the paintings want to remain anonymous. We'd say to them, for goodness sake, give the paintings back. Don't add to the Rogers family's grief.
More generally, a person's assets are frozen on their death, and then they become the property of the estate or survivors, or as specified in the will.
Paul O'Neil says it's crucial in situations like this to first up, make sure any contract (in this case, with the gallery) is very specific.
Second, have a will, otherwise your family will get a court appointed administrator and your assets may not go where you wanted them to go.
Not all quotes are created equal
Reporter: Ruwani Perera
Podcast: When you get a range of quotes from a tradesperson do you take the highest, one in the middle or lowest?
Fair Go invited several trades people into a home that needed renovation to see the differences in the variation of what they quoted for the job.
We got the experts in from the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries to tell us what they thought a fair price was. For more advice on finding a plasterer check out: http://www.awcinz.org.nz/
When you're getting job quotes look out for the following:
1. If the difference between your highest and lowest quote is significant this should be a warning to you that someone might be missing something.
2. Be wary of rock bottom prices. Some firms quote low first up so they can get the job but they may have to cut corners or hike up the price once costs blow out.
3. Its well within a contractor's right to ask for a deposit prior to them starting work but you should never pay the full amount upfront. Pay at the end of the job once you're satisfied that you've been given the finish you've been promised.
4. Get all quotes in writing and if possible ask for a start and finish date. Having something down in writing paints a very clear picture for the client so they know what they're paying and what they're going to get for what they're going to pay.
5. Look for trades people who are members of a trade association. While it doesn't guarantee you great quality work, if something does go wrong the association should try and put things right.
6. Be realistic - with any quote, expect to pay a fair price and remember you get what you pay for.