Why does cloudflare have the worst possible customer support in the world?

I have been trying to get Cloudflare to verify that I own my domain, even better let me transfer to GoDaddy. But, the refuse to help me solve the problem.

They tell me that my nameservers are wrong, but when I change my nameservers to their request, my website disappears and nobody gives a damn. RIght now, my website, a Community Newspaper is down, and it is entirely Cloudflare’s fault. Do they care? Not as far as I can see.

By way, I’ve worked with my developer organization, GoDaddy, and Google and they all tell me that only Cloudflare and fix this problem. … I am truly up ■■■■ creek without a paddle.

Additionally, Cloudflare got control of my website without my authorization, when my initial hosting site went out of business (after I was with them for over 20 years) all of a sudden Cloudflare was in charge and I was screwed.

I strongly recommend that small businesses stay away from this company, you don’t have a prayer if you have a problem. As I said, this is the worst customer technical support in the world, bare none.

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I wonder how long this will stay up.

What is the name of the domain in question?

OK, not sure exactly how to read that. Cloudflare is not your hosting provider. Is this the same domain as above with the nameserver issue?

The only domain that I noticed that was in your account shows as moved. Digging deeper, it appears to have expired in May, I gather someone (not you?) registered it as their own and changed to a cf account I assume you do not own. This has come up in the past and their are options you can take to get control of a domain, I’ve not had to do that but a quick search shows this conversation, How do I get my stolen domain back? Support #2574086 - #7 by i40west.

So you never signed up directly with cf to add the site, correct? That would make sense, the activity I see all starts right around the time the registration expired and the domain went up for grabs. It was not Cloudflare taking any action.

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My site crashes when I use the DNS nameserver designators that Cloudflare insists I use. I’ve checked with the company hosting my website and they tell me that I must us their DNS nameserver designators. So, of course, I’m using the ones that keep my website up and running.

The problem is that Cloudflare refuses to verify that I own my domain and therefore, I am unable to assign email addresses to that domain. This, too, is a disaster, although not quite as bad as the site being down.

I found myself in this debacle when I discovered that Cloudflare had taken over my website(s) without my authorization. In effect, they have stolen my websites and refuse to give me back control. What I really want is Cloudflare out of my life and off of my websites. They are the absolute worst in the world regarding technical support.

I’m sure that one of their top technical people could solve this problem in 5 minutes flat. But, as a company, they could give a damn, I’m just not an important enough customer to matter, essentially I’m just a freckle on their behind.

I will, of course, recommend to anyone with a small to medium sized business to stay away from this company, if they ever have a problem they will spend literally months and get nowhere.

IT’s too bad someone of influence will never see this.

Just to check my understanding of the issue here, your domain was added to your Cloudflare account and you are now trying to remove Cloudflare and point your nameservers directly to your host? I’m unclear if you have control of the domain at the registrar level or not at the moment.

In order for us to better help you, please post the domain you are having issues with.

So you have already changed the nameservers at your registrar to point to your hosting provider?

What exactly are you trying to do with email at Cloudflare? If you have changed your nameservers to point to the host then your Cloudflare settings won’t have any effect.

Can you explain what you mean by this and what has actually happened? Did someone else add your site to Cloudflare or did you do that?

You are getting replies here within a couple of hours of posting, we’ll happily help you where we can, I wouldn’t say the responses you have received here have been bad.

This is the first time you have posted here, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having issues for months but we can only do what we can to help now you have asked.

In order to make the issue clearer to us and let us help you, please post the domain. Also if you can share what happens now that shouldn’t and what you are expecting instead then it will help us troubleshoot.

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Can you share a ticket number so that I can get

to investigate this?

No, you have not shared the name of the domain, but what actually happened I believe is that the domain expired and someone else grabbed it. That someone is not Cloudflare.

Please share the name of the domain

Assuming they know the name of the domain, you’re correct.

This detail will help all of us to very quickly determine a path to resolution. Sorry for the frustration you’re experiencing.

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The domain is for my company Fairfield Journal (the system will not allow links and I can’t figure out how to get around that). My original hosting company, prismnet, went out of business after I was with them for over 20 years. I was looking around for alternatives when, without my knowledge nor authorization, Cloudflare took over. I discovered this when I attempted to get email addresses (about 2 months ago). Cloudflare would not verify that I owned the site, even though I am the owner, purchased it through GoDaddy, and I’m paying the bill for the site.

I was notified that I needed to update the nameservers. I was afraid to do this as I was sure that it would crash my sites, so I spend a lot of time exploring alternatives. This included trying to reach Cloudflare technical support so that I could have them accept the nameservers (at GoDaddy) as the were, so my websites would not crash. As you must know, for a person at my level this is absolutely impossible. The only people that would talk to me was sales and, while they were very nice, their advice was essentially to accept the Cloudflare Nameservers.

Recently I did change the name servers to what Cloudflare wanted and, as I suspected, the sites crashed … they no longer existed. The people where I am creating my site (bulletlink) contacted me and told me to put the nameservers back to what they were, that the websites would not exist until I did that. Essentially, I can’t use the nameserver designations that Cloudflare wants me to, I must use Bulletlinks. They have hundreds of clients and the nameservers for my sites cannot be changed.

I think that Cloudflare could easily accept the nameservers as they are and let me be about my business with emails. However, the level of technical support that’s emailing me, if a person is even emailing me, is not interested in solving my problem; I’m much to low on the totem pole for anyone at Cloudflare to care. At least that’s how it felt. I will admit that responses to this post have brought a bit of hope to my situation.

To summarize: If I change the nameservers I lose my website, if I don’t change them I can’t be verified to get emails for my websites. Of course, I’m not going to change the nameservers, the websites are my high priority. Cloudflare needs to accept the nameservers I have.

Another option, since I never authorized the move to Cloudflare, would be to allow GoDaddy to take over and then I can get emails through them.

Just to check, this is fairfieldjournal.org that we’re talking about?

Did you have a developer or administrator work on the site during this time? There is no way that Cloudflare could have become involved, if they weren’t before, without someone with access to the domain registration at GoDaddy making this change.

Where were you trying to get these emails from? Were you trying to use Cloudflare Email Routing or another service to host these?

Where did this notification come from? Do you see this in your Cloudflare Dashboard, in an email or somewhere else?

So to clarify, you added the domain to Cloudflare yourself and it’s asking you to change the nameservers from one pair of Cloudflare servers to another? Can you post a screenshot of that and let us know which nameservers you’re being asked to change to?

Below!

Brad

{redacted - do not share pii on public sites please}

www.fairfieldjournal.org

| domjh MVP '19 - '22
October 26 |

  • | - |

Just to check, this is fairfieldjournal.org that we’re talking about?

bradfregger:

My original hosting company, prismnet, went out of business after I was with them for over 20 years. I was looking around for alternatives when, without my knowledge nor authorization, Cloudflare took over.

Did you have a developer or administrator work on the site during this time? There is no way that Cloudflare could have become involved, if they weren’t before, without someone with access to the domain registration at GoDaddy making this change.

I will accept that the website application where I am building my website may have used Cloudflare when prismnet went out of business. They didn’t notify me.

bradfregger:

I discovered this when I attempted to get email addresses

Where were you trying to get these emails from? Were you trying to use Cloudflare Email Routing or another service to host these?

I was trying to use numerous email apps they all needed verification which I couldn’t get because of the situation I’ve already described.

bradfregger:

I was notified that I needed to update the nameservers.

Where did this notification come from? Do you see this in your Cloudflare Dashboard, in an email or somewhere else?

An email from Cloudflare.

bradfregger:

To summarize: If I change the nameservers I lose my website, if I don’t change them I can’t be verified to get emails for my websites. Of course, I’m not going to change the nameservers, the websites are my high priority. Cloudflare needs to accept the nameservers I have.

So to clarify, you added the domain to Cloudflare yourself and it’s asking you to change the nameservers from one pair of Cloudflare servers to another? Can you post a screenshot of that and let us know which nameservers you’re being asked to change to?

Are you in the habit of putting words into peoples mouths? I was very clear that I DID NOT add the domain to Cloudflare.
And, I was not notified, and had never heard of this company.

Finally, most of your responses are worthless and only designed to make Cloudflare look good. The bottom line is, I have a significant problem that only Cloudflare can solve and they could care less, in fact, refuse to acknowledge my issue, could less about it.

Hi Brad,

This sounds pretty rough.

In checking WHOIS, I see that it is registered at GoDaddy.

You can switch the name servers right back to GoDaddy’s default name servers, and use GoDaddy DNS to point your domain to wherever it is hosted:

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You have thus far not described your issue in a way that would enable anyone to figure out what the issue is.

How was Cloudflare involved in any of this before you changed the nameservers to point to Cloudflare? Cloudflare “taking over” isn’t a thing that happens. Cloudflare doesn’t provide email addresses, so why would you need to verify anything with them? Cloudflare has nothing to do with your email, which is hosted at Godaddy.

You stated that you changed the nameservers to point to Cloudflare, but it’s not clear why. In any event, your website currently works. The domain is at Godaddy, so you can point the nameservers anywhere you need to point them. Point them where your hosting company tells you to, and then Cloudflare won’t be involved with your website.

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It seems like it. If you do a DNS historical search for your domain’s name servers, you have been using Cloudflare since May 2022 so 6+ months. So wasn’t an overnight thing. And historical records show Prismnet as the previous nameserver used prior to May 2022.

With regards to DNS control, ultimately whoever has control of the domain and the domain’s Registrar account is the one in control of where you point your domain’s DNS and which nameservers your domain can use.

From whois records for your domain https://dnslytics.com/domain/fairfieldjournal.org, the domain is with GoDaddy domain registrar so if you have an account with GoDaddy domain registrar, you can log into your GoDaddy registrar account and go to your domain’s management section and look at the nameservers configured for your domain. Right now according to public whois records https://dnslytics.com/domain/fairfieldjournal.org, your domain is setup in GoDaddy domain registrar to point to demi.ns.cloudflare.com and ryan.ns.cloudflare.com which is a requirement for added domains to Cloudflare account to use Cloudflare services and DNS. As you have been using Cloudflare for the past 6 months according to DNS nameserver history searches, those Cloudflare name servers for demi.ns.cloudflare.com and ryan.ns.cloudflare.com have been configured in your GoDaddy domain registrar dashboard for at least those 6 months.

So

  1. If you didn’t edit GoDaddy domain registrar account’s domain nameserver settings to switch to Cloudflare 6 months ago, someone else with access to your GoDaddy domain registrar account and/or any API access did. You can check if with GoDaddy if there’s any audit log avenues to investigate who logged into your GoDaddy account to make such changes which you were not aware of. I suggest you change your GoDaddy account’s login password and details if it was unauthorized access to your GoDaddy account and ensure 2FA is enabled.

  2. Not clear if you have access to the Cloudflare account that is managing the DNS for your domain? Is that what you’re trying to verify domain for ? To access that Cloudflare account?

  3. If the Cloudflare account isn’t yours to access, then Cloudflare obviously can’t give you access to that Cloudflare account even if it has your domain name added to it i.e. via the developer or hired help which may have added your domain to their Cloudflare account. Verification of domain control was exhibited by that hired help/dev when they logged into Godaddy domain registrar account and modified the domain’s name servers to use Cloudflare’s nameservers. If this is the case, then the simplest way to resolve this is to log into your GoDaddy account and go to your domain management section for nameservers and change them away from demi.ns.cloudflare.com and ryan.ns.cloudflare.com to your web host’s nameservers i.e. Bulletlinks?. If unsure of what nameserver names to change to, ask your web host who is actually hosting your domain.

As previously mentioned, with regards to DNS control, ultimately, whoever has control of the domain and the domain’s Registrar account is the one in control of where you point your domain’s DNS and which nameservers your domain can use. Then you should have your domain working again. If not, double check your DNS settings in the DNS management area owned by the new nameservers you point to i.e. your web host’s DNS record management section. If you don’t have those details, try https://dnsdumpster.com/ input your domain and it should report back your DNS records that can be publicly viewed, including MX records. Only you need to update DNS A record to point to your web host provider’s IP.

If my above assumptions are correct, then there is no fault on Cloudflare’s end. They won’t give you access to a Cloudflare account you don’t actually own. No company would ever do that! The issue solely revolves around who had access and control over your domain’s domain registrar account at GoDaddy. As that control allows you to configure your domain to use whatever nameservers you configure it to use. In this case, someone configured your GoDaddy domain registrar account domain to use Cloudflare nameservers for the past 6 months since May 2022.

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No I can’t. GoDaddy told me Cloudflare has to do that. Although it’s obvious that I’m the owner of the domain.

Brad

{redacted - do not share pii}
www.fairfieldjournal.org

GoDaddy is incorrect in this case if my outlined assumptions are correct. GoDaddy probably assume you want access to a Cloudflare account that you own. But the fact is you maybe want access to a Cloudflare account that is not yours to begin with?

See my reply above yours here

Ownership of domain and ownership of Cloudflare account are 2 separate items. If you want access to Cloudflare account, you need to provide proof of ownership of that Cloudflare account. That is all that Cloudflare would be concerned about as it’s relatively easy for Cloudflare account owners to add domains to their accounts as long as they prove control over the domain. They prove this by editing domain’s registrar account’s nameserver settings to point to Cloudflare’s nameservers which was done in your case I assumed by hired help/devs without your knowledge.

In which case as previously mentioned in my reply, to regain control over your DNS nameservers, by doing as follows in my quote below.

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Your domain is registered at GoDaddy. It’s not possible for Cloudflare to change your nameservers. That has to be done at GoDaddy.

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I have to make some assumptions here because I don’t have all the necessary information. The domain is currently pointing to Cloudflare nameservers and you said you were asked to change them to different Cloudflare nameservers. That only happens when the domain is added to a second Cloudflare account. This is why I suggested that you may have added the domain while trying to do whatever you are trying to do with it.

My intention was solely to help you try and sort this. Currently nothing suggests that Cloudflare is at fault here. I did care about your issue which was why I tried to help you with it. I don’t any more because of the way you are replying to me. Thankfully you seem to have a line of other willing volunteers here. Hopefully you can get it figured out.

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As @eva2000 said, GoDaddy is wrong here. If GoDaddy can’t help you change the name servers, as per the link I provided, then I strongly suggest you transfer your domain registration away from them, and find a better registrar.

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noted

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