Disclaimer: All the information contained in this blog post is already publically available at the time of writing, I do not claim to know what is going on and information on here is of my own understand and of those who have contacted me.
Right okay, so I've been getting some emails the last few days from scared Quantum clients who have been contacted by a company called IRun, this company has informed them that they have taken over Quantum and in order to continue their hosting will have to pay a 3 figure sum.
Official Email from Quantum about IRun
I have been forwarded the below email which Quantum have sent to most of their Clients ( encoding issues included :8 ):
I need to update you on the current situation with 'us', your website, the server on which it is running the people who are on hand to give you assistance and support, including myself. When Quantum Network & Promotions was placed in the hands of the administrators and all staff were made redundant 'they' then consisted of Lisa Salmon and a number of the employees , including myself, who previously worked for Quantum who were persuaded by Lisa, to 'do favours' and sort out urgent problems whilst measures were put in place to provide an effective long term solution. Without competent staff and an appropriate office infrastructure and / or the working capital to take on the necessary overheads, Quantum Hosting and Support were unable to provide the support service you really need and deserve. They do take their responsibilities seriously and understand how important your website is to your business. For that reason they have approached IRUN who have agreed to provide you with a hosting and support service that Quantum Hosting and Support could never hope to deliver alone. IRUN have been around for a long time, and have a national network of local representatives covering most of the UK. IRUN are dedicated to providing the highest possible levels of technical and commercial support. In reality IRUN offer more on-going services to help assist with marketing and business development to clients than Quantum delivered so when the dust settles you can look forward to receiving even more with IRUN than you did before. The plan of action concluded on Wednesday 12^th Sept is that I will join the IRUN team in order that you can be assured of a professional level of on-going support. IRUN are also looking to retain a number of the techies who are familiar with your website. Please see the statement below for further details; IRUN have not purchased Quantum and we have not taken on their liabilities. What we have done is offered to setup a dedicated team to support the clients who purchased websites from Quantum and wish to keep their websites. We are a completely independent company, if you want a comparison it is similar to the situation that would exist if you had purchased a car from Rover just before the government withdrew funding and they went into administration. You have a Rover car, (that may or may not have worked when you purchased it), if it is working then fine, if not then you need it fixed. We are not Rover, we are like "BMW" and whilst we can fix your Rover we are not able to do it gratis. You may have had a 3 year warranty with Rover, but we have not received any payment, and accept no liability for providing foc warranty / service on Rover cars What we have done is to agree to offer hosting and support arrangements for those of the ex Quantum clients that wish to work with IRUN. We have also agreed to employ a number of the employees who were previously with Quantum to provide programming and technical support. IRUN have the people and the systems in place = the costs. But we can only do this if we have a corresponding income stream that will enable us to provide a profitable professional service for obvious reasons. I hope this makes sense, and whilst it is probably not a welcome message, it is much better than it could be, as the alternative is that your website and your email would go off line and you would have no option but to start from scratch with a completely new website and a completely new supplier. IRUN are offering a support service, i.e. staff who are familiar with the software your website is built on, able to assist with technical and marketing issues. Included are hosting, SSL renewal if required and assistance with email, domain names. For this we are offering two payment options, �375 for 12 months payable in advance, or �37.50 per month. If you wish to retain your website please let us know which of the payment options you prefer in order that we can raise the necessary invoice and be able to give you access to the technical support staff if / when you need them. If you do not wish to retain your website please let us know and we will add your website to the list for deletion. My sincere apologies if this appears to be unfair, but we have to reduce loading on that server to speed up websites for those clients who do wish to retain their website and to receive a professional support service from IRUN. Please note that Quantum Hosting and Support Ltd has no staff and no money to pay anyone, all available funds within that company are being set aside to pay for the server until the company is wound up. IRUN can arrange for you to receive a copy of your website, we can assist with transferring your domain name away from the Quantum Domain Management System, and we can assist with migrating your email services if necessary -- however all of these activities take time and effort on the part of personnel who are now being paid by IRUN and are therefore chargeable as follows: �Provision of a fully functional site copy as a downloadable link with installation instructions*. � 96.00 + VAT. �Transfer of a .co.uk domain and removal of all records from the Quantum Rackspace server**. � 45.00 + VAT. �Transfer of a .com domain and removal of all records from the Quantum Rackspace server***. � 95.00 + VAT. /Customers who opt to pay IRUN for monthly support will receive the above services free of charge subject to retaining the service for at least 3 months./ * Whilst the site will work other suppliers will not be able to fix software issues, the only people who will be able to fix software issues on the CMS system are the developers who used to work for Quantum. ** Preferably simply go to Nominet and ask them to transfer your domain which would be our preference as they can do it quicker than we can, however it is a charged for service by Nominet and you will need to prove your identity and domain ownership. *** This can be relatively tortuous and time consuming and there isn't really an alternative to our having to spend time to assist you to complete a .com transfer without risking your website and emails being off line for a considerable time, (possibly weeks or months). I trust you understand that we are not trying to be unreasonable or unfair, we are simply seeking to provide a professional support service to those of the ex Quantum client who wish to work with IRUN as an alternative provider of website and online marketing related services. Wherever possible we will provide short term assistance to those who wish to make alternative arrangements in the most equitable way possible.
Now what makes me laugh is, and quote "I trust you understand that we are not trying to be unreasonable or unfair, we are simply seeking to provide a professional support service to those of the ex Quantum client who wish to work with IRUN"...
For a start, they are seeking £45 to transfer your domain name, I appreciate time is taken to sort this out and time = money... But there is a way YOU can get YOUR DOMAIN... DIRECTLY from the domain authority.
Go to the below email address and type your domain name:
Look out for "nominet", "easyspace" or anything about the domain authority providing the whois information, these are the people you need to contact, phone them! I know Nominet are releasing domains pretty easily, all you need to do is provide proof of your identity.
Just saved you £45... now that's "trying not to be unreasonable"...
Those looking to move their website can do without Quantum as well, if you have Tovuti you can easily fetch your site yourself using the "download site" in the admin area, this file can then be used by a developer such as myself and set up on a new server.
Those with Quantum and Linesave sites can contact quantum for a download for £25, they are not gone yet so no need to pay IRun for this (an at £96 Quantum is cheaper). Contact me for any more information/help or support.
Quantum staff working for IRun
Here we go again, I like how they mention this like its a positive thing... Do you really want the same service AGAIN, same staff responding to those years and years of problems that never got resolved?
Didn't think so.
Quantum / Tovuti System Explained
I have been contacted now by several concerned individuals who have been told by IRUN that no one can work with the Quantum or Tovuti systems as they are very complex, and that they don't know of ANYONE who can successfully move, setup or support such websites.
Well the last part is obviously FALSE, not only can I help with moving websites, setting them up on ANY apache + PHP server, but I know of a few other developers who are doing this. It is expected that the system is not the best in the world, due to less than average coding work there are several key areas of the system that will need work when you move the site, due to path changes and/or coding mistakes that are repressed on Quantums servers.
But let me stress that ANY PHP developer with enough skill can help you move and setup your site with very little trouble, however there is an obvious advantage to knowing the system already and this is why I offer such services.
in fact I was not familiar with Tovuti at all until I got my first copy and tinkered with the code - so that proves it is possible for anyone to learn and setup even a Tovuti site which are much more complex than quantum sites.
Dont get bullied into sticking with IRUN because they tell you that you have no choice, it's bullshit and you have many choices to choose from.
Site Moving / Backup
I would suggest to all website owners, that instead of just paying this requested fee from IRun, you first make sure they actually have been given the servers by Quantum, Quantum should have informed EVERYONE about this before the move.
Contact Quantum on: email@example.com
Get a backup of your site from Quantum just in case your site does go belly up – this way your business can be re-setup and is safe if what IRun say is true.
Anyone receiving phone calls from IRun or know any more information are urged to please comment below, but please no personal information or anything slanderous or non-factual.
Anyone wishing for more support moving, hosting your website can contact me directly on: firstname.lastname@example.org