I got an email from one of the people who hosts a website on my server today letting me know that she couldn’t get to her site, and investigating the problem, tracked it down to the fact that the company providing DNS services for her domain, ZoneEdit, is having issues today with a few machines, two of which are her primary and secondary nameservers. I can’t get too irritated with this — there are a ton of reasons nameservers can be causing problems, many of which (like denial of service attacks) are no fault of the company which runs them — but I can get irritated by ZoneEdit’s response, reprinted here:

If reliable DNS service is critical for your site, we recommend logging into your account, clicking on “Nameservers” and purchasing a “tertiary” nameserver. 3 nameservers are exponentially more reliable than 2 nameservers.

Are you shitting me? Let’s start with “if reliable DNS service is critical for your site” — are there any websites for which reliable DNS service is not critical? (Put another way: how many times a day do you access a website using an IP address rather than a hostname?) Then, I find the attempt to use the problem to upsell customers to a different tier of service to be pretty sleazy — what would be even more reliable is if ZoneEdit could just provide an automatic switch to alternate nameservers when machines of their were having problems.

All in all, I’m not too surprised that “ZoneEdit is a Dotster, Inc. owned company”; my experiences with Dotster have been pretty awful, the same awfulness that’s reflected here.