Wayne County forgets to renew its website domain name

Site goes down without warning

By Guy Gordon - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - Anyone looking to connect with Wayne County online Tuesday got a nasty surprise.

The county's WayneCounty.com website was down for most of the day, and it's for a silly reason: Someone forgot to register the domain name. The page was displaying an error message.

Glenda Jones just wanted to pay her taxes.

"I got this strange page. I thought it was hacked. Turns out the site crashed," she said.

Well, not exactly. When Local 4 first inquired about the outage we were told it was a "technical" issue. However, we then received this statement:

"The county's IT department failed to timely renew the county's domain name. It has now been renewed."

This is Internet 101. For any business, the website can be the most valuable portal. It would be like the Detroit Tigers forgetting to resign Justin Verlander.

The county promises it will be fully functional by Wednesday. That's little help to Jones, who spent 4 hours at the treasurer's office.

"(Keeping calm) is key," she said. "It doesn't do any good to get upset."

A Wayne County spokesman said this was an honest mistake and apologized for the inconvenience. Luckily, no one else registered the domain name in the interim. It could have been a very expensive mistake for the county.

Taxpayers have until the end of the month. They can do it over the phone: 313-224-5909.

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