Advanced Customer DNS Support

Customers can end up in all sorts of situations where things they try and do to make DNS right just don’t work. At that point, what we should do is ask for a screenshot of their DNS settings, this will save you a lot of time.

Here’s a list of those situations, how to discover they’re happening, and what to do to resolve them.

Doubled apex domain (Common) :horse:

The customer has added a record such as www.example.com to their example.com zone, giving a FQDN of www.example.com.example.com.

We now try to detect this situation in the mothership DNS check, so hopefully it’ll be easy to figure out via that tool. (Here, Simon nails the instructions to correct the above situation.)

DNS record added in wrong spot (Uncommon) :unicorn:

This one comes up reasonably frequently. The customer has added a DNS record as instructed, but in the wrong spot. Here’s a great example of this situation:

Unfortunately, there’s no way to automatically detect this. We have to take the initiative and investigate. Note in the screenshot that the nameservers (NS records) are ns25.domaincontrol.com and ns26.domaincontrol.com. We can verify the customer is making the change in the right place by grabbing the current records:

○ → host -t NS cowatersogema.com
cowatersogema.com name server ns1.systemdns.com.
cowatersogema.com name server ns2.systemdns.com.
cowatersogema.com name server ns3.systemdns.com.

Since these don’t match what the customer has in their screenshot, there’s a problem. systemdns.com are the tucows/opensrs-provided nameservers, so you may need to look up on their whois server who the actual reseller is to find out who can help the customer:

○ → whois cowatersogema.com
   Domain Name: COWATERSOGEMA.COM
   Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.tucows.com
…

○ → whois -h whois.tucows.com cowatersogema.com
Domain Name: COWATERSOGEMA.COM
…
Registration Service Provider:
    CareWorx Corporation, hostmaster@tucmanaged.com
    +1.5196521942
    http://www.careworx.com
    This company may be contacted for domain login/passwords,
    DNS/Nameserver changes, and general domain support questions.

Domain expired (rarity: Rare)

The site used to be working but when checking the domain, it goes to a parking page. The customer doesn’t think anything’s changed.

This situation can be detected by looking for:

○ → whois smartplus.community
Domain Name: smartplus.community
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.namecheap.com
Registrar URL: https://www.namecheap.com/
Updated Date: 2019-02-12T18:00:35Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2020-02-12T17:47:59Z
Domain Status: autoRenewPeriod https://icann.org/epp#autoRenewPeriod

○ → whois -h whois.namecheap.com smartplus.community
Domain name: smartplus.community
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-02-12T17:47:59.16Z

:rotating_light: NOTE that above the Registry Expiry Date in the first lookup is in the future whereas the Registrar Registration Expiration Date is in the past.

The key is to look for Domain Status: autoRenewPeriod

TLD Nameservers Inconsistent (rarity: Legendary)