What happened to you is inexcusable - losing the data from a database driven site is more than negligent and the way this was handled by 24/7 has damaged a lot of local businesses. If you read back through this thread you'll see that the company has been poorly run for years.
LauraTulloch wrote:The Domain Name Commission has known that these guys have been ripping people off for THREE years and hasn't stopped them. That is negligent in my opinion.
The DNC only administers ownership of domain names and they bear no responsibility at all in this case. Nor should they.
LauraTulloch wrote:So....I would like to see web hosters regulated so this type of scamming stops.
That would be near impossible to regulate. The concept of the government setting up a department to regulate web hosting is fanciful. For a start it could only apply to NZ companies, so anyone hosting offshore would be immune. In a user pays world, someone would have to cover the costs and I reckon it would end up being you and me and the thousands of NZ companies which have web sites.
Hundreds of NZ companies offer domain hosting (including my own). Probably more than half the people offering hosting services in NZ have reseller accounts with overseas outfits, so their clients are unwittingly being hosted on servers in the US, Romania or who knows where. I've had personal experience of overseas "bargain" hosting and while it's usually very cheap, you're sharing a server with tens of thousands of other sites which often results in slow connections and patchy service. When one person uses that shared server to generate a spam campaign, every site hosted on the server risks being branded as a spammer and your emails start hitting spam filters.
The idea of having a rating service for web hosts is not new and there are dozens of sites already offering this service. The trouble is, it's easy to manipulate these rating games which makes them next to useless. Soon after we started received reports of poor service from 24/7, I noticed that they were highly rated by one of these "rate my host" type of sites. It turned out that 24/7 were posting rave reviews of their own service. (Page 2 of this 2008 thread refers)
While we managed to get 24/7 removed from that site, soon after they started their own review site and guess what... they came up on top for NZ. We live in a world where anyone can buy fake reviews, thousands of Facebook likes or retweets for just a few bucks. Someone was even advertising such a service on TradeMe last year. The internet makes this type of fraud easy.
The best advice I can offer to anyone looking for web hosting is to do your research. Over the last three years a simple Google search for "24/7" has brought nearly 9,000 people to this thread. The problems of hosting with 24/7 also been well publicised on Geekzone and FairGo. When you're paying someone to keep your business visible on the net - the cheapest option is not usually the best.
[Disclosure: I host a number of sites with Bruce's company and I'm delighted with the service I receive]