Help Me Hank: Cyber Surprise
Their church group is certainly traditional, that is the "Young Disciples" part. But it's also modern, that is the "dot org" part!
"I think itís a cool site."
YoungDisciples.org lists readings and church activities, the website is a place for the group to stay connected.
"And basically that is one of the only sites that Brian and I go to."
So imagine being Jennifer Albergene, she's the groups advisor. She one day logged on to YoungDisciples.org and there was nothing.
"It just wasnít there?"
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Alberghene, Young Disciples
Luckily it was school vacation, not much church group web traffic, because when Jennifer signed on again -- well -- let her tell you.
"What came up was graphic pornography instead of our site."
It was just not the kind of youths you'd want your youth group to be visiting.
"I was very upset when I called and I just, you know, said what is going on, how can this be?"
Turns out, although the church had paid for the website, the provider finally admitted they had mistakenly sold the site to someone else!"
"You had paid for your website, this receipt says so, how could they sell it?"
So now here's porn stuff running on the church group website and the so-called "new" owner tells Jennifer, "pay us and we'll give your website back".
"So they had essentially kidnapped your site and they were holding it for ransom."
Meanwhile, kids are logging on and advisors are getting nowhere.
"I said to the pastor, well, we should call ĎHelp Me Hank.í"
So who's responsible for cleaning up the cyber mess? The receipt proves the church's website never should have been sold.
"They shouldnít have to negotiate, you should have to negotiate."
Hank on Phone
The original company agreed and paid to get the site back its rightful owners and now the young disciples can again sign on without having to cover their eyes.
"I'm glad thatís it back and I canít believe what we had to go through."
Luckily the group could prove they'd paid for their site, there are companies who scoop up available names, then charge big bucks to those who want them back. So what consumer battle are you fighting? Maybe I can help!