Epik, a popular domain registrar and web host for the far-right, has been sold, although it’s unclear to who.
Its corporate Twitter also recently publicly complained about founder and longtime Chief Executive Officer Rob Monster and even threatened to sue him.
Epik, which gained notoriety for hosting the likes of neo-Nazis and other extremists, is framing the sale as the beginning of the end of its troubles. But while it tries to reassure disgruntled clients that it intends to pay its debts and fix other internal problems, people keep coming forward with complaints that it owes them thousands of dollars they’re desperate to recoup, among other allegations of malfeasance.
The phone number on Epik’s new website is not in service as of this writing. The company didn’t immediately respond to an email sent Monday afternoon.
According to Domain Name Wire, Epik agreed to sell many of its assets for $4.9 million last week. The funds were reportedly earmarked to pay its debts, including the funds it owed a client who sued the company earlier this year.
The sale was briefly put on pause when the client filed a temporary restraining order to block it. After they settled the case, the sale proceeded.
Epik is now owned by the newly created entity, Epik LLC, which has billed itself as “Epik 2.0.” It is unclear who precisely is behind the new Epik LLC venture.
The original iteration of Epik is registered in Washington. The new one is registered in Wyoming.
Epik LLC used a service to register its business, allowing it to conceal the new owner’s identity.
In April, Epik fired off a series of tweets accusing Monster of mismanagement and asking him to stop interfering with the sale. It did not specify how Monster, who stepped down as CEO last September, was purportedly hindering it.
“Epik 2.0 is moving out of a monster’s shadow; we want to clarify that Rob Monster is NOT an officer, employee or contractor for Epik,” it wrote on April 4.
It later clarified that Monster is a “non-executive chairman.”
Two weeks later, the company tweeted, “Nothing Mr. Monster is doing now to block Epik 2.0 is fair to the customers.” It repeated the same tweet twice but substituted “shareholders” and “creditors” for “customers.”
Following the completion of the sale, the new Epik said that it’s working to pay clients, fund registries, answer phone calls and emails, and make sure domains work. It also said that it had paid several of its creditors.
But there are lingering questions from people who claim Epik still owes them money.
“Give me back my $55,433!” one wrote in April to which the company claimed it’s “working hard” to “make you whole” and blamed the previous management team. The person subsequently alleged that the transaction occurred in October after current CEO Brian Royce took over from Monster.
Epik did not respond.
“When can I get my withdraw?” a Twitter user replied to the company’s tweet about the sale. They claim Epik owes them over $60,000.
“If you want to be Epik 2.0, you should pay all outstanding money that is owed to so many people,” tweeted @domainretail.
Multiple reviewers on Trustpilot claim they tried to buy or transfer domains only to have Epik keep their money and fail to follow through.
Accusations about Epik are also flying on NamePros. Many people there are suspicious that the “new” Epik is no different than the old one, and the sale is simply a vehicle for avoiding paying its debts.
“Let’s cut the BS. Simply shifting assets around does not absolve you of being responsible for this debt,” @datacubecom complained.
On Friday, Epik promised that the business would be up and running by June 5.
“Domains and customer service should be fully operational by end of day Monday. Thank you for your patience during this transition,” it tweeted.
When someone asked about when they could expect a response from customer support, the company replied that its goal was to have customer service “fully operational” by June 9.
“Our goals are 95% of calls answered and 5% voicemail returned within 2 hours. All support emails answered within 2 hours,” it added.
While some have celebrated the news and congratulated Epik for being “transparent,” most seem unconvinced that the new Epik is any different.
“Meet the new boss—same as the old boss,” a NamePros user quipped.