Customers currently can’t withdraw funds from Epik’s payments system.
[Update: Masterbucks is still down as of the morning of October 11. I’ve reached out to Epik for comment.]
Epik has taken its payments platform Masterbucks, which acts like a form of store credit, offline for maintenance. The company says it should be back online on October 10, and withdrawals won’t be available until then.
Brian Royce, the new CEO of Epik, told Domain Name Wire that changes are necessary to improve the system.
“The software was, in my opinion…it had some issues that I really felt strongly about addressing,” he said. “I don’t fly by the seat of my pants; I’m very precise. There are some issues with the software that I immediately identified, and my computer engineering and accounting backgrounds wouldn’t let that go. So I wanted to fix those things.”
For example, he said some payments required manual intervention rather the flowing through automatically.
The changes coincide with a data center migration, which adds to the complexity.
Customers on NamePros started complaining about the inability to withdraw funds about a week ago.
Royce said Masterbucks is a big part of Epik’s future and he plans to turn Masterbucks into a Paypal competitor.
Unrelated to Masterbucks, Royce reiterated free speech views that were in the news release announcing his appointment as CEO. Royce said he’s a big proponent of free speech.
“I think of Epik as a utility provider, just like Verizon,” he explained. “We’re providing a utility. You could call me on the phone and say horrible stuff that I find repugnant, and Verizon isn’t going to cut off your phone line. That is the freedom of speech. The same thing is true on the internet, or it should be.”
Royce said he’s comfortable with Epik providing services to controversial groups. “We’re not far right; we’re far everything,” he said. He said the company would work with Antifa or the late Larry Flynt, for example. Generally speaking, he draws his line at people taking from others or hurting them.
Commenting on the future of Epik, Royce said his goal is to make it a top five registrar. “I’ve got it dialed in and I can’t wait to see this whole thing through,” he said.
Mark Thorpe says
What World does he live in? Obviously not in the same World as the rest of us.
John's Web says
Speak for yourself. “The rest of us” is a delusion. There is no imaginary “rest of us,” except in one’s imagination.
John's Web says
Excellent. That’s exactly what the world needs in order for there to even be any genuinely and even remotely free society, not to mention any free and fair opportunity for people to be productive in ways that can benefit society.
Once upon a time in America people recognized the importance of free speech, but at the same time the human impulse towards evil, power and control never went away as well. It simply waited until such impulses became technologically feasible. Being politically feasible could be manufactured far more easily, especially if one could first control free speech and the flow of information to a significant degree.
And that is the time in which we now live – the time of tyranny making its ultimate global and as applicable national moves to enslave and exploit and dominate. It is nothing less than a war on everyone else and everything good, within which the war on free speech and access to information and truth is paramount.
Could not agree more about such services and the Internet itself being regarded as a utility as well, and one could of course say more.
Brad Mugford says
According to a post on NamePros (from the thread referenced above)-
“Their chairman Rob monster asked me to remove the negative reviews just 15 minutes ago. According to him Trustpilot negative reviews are defamatory.
The company that supports free speech is flagging negative reviews against them.
It’s been two weeks. All i want is my 25k USD. Epik is giving me false hopes everyday. They told me they would make a public announcement but they did not. I scheduled a meeting with their CEO but he canceled at last moment.
Their chairman Rob said:
“As for the defamatory TrustPilot reviews, they have been disputed. If you are wise, you will remove them first.” – Rob Monster”
Does that sound like “free speech” to you?
Or, does it sound like a company that supports free speech publicly while at the same time trying to stifle speech they disagree with?
Why are you being very nice and talking about free speech here?
Everyone know how much you love Epik.
Ethan Taylor says
Free speech and freely defaming others are two different things.
John Berryhill says
“Once upon a time in America people recognized the importance of free speech”
Can you specify when this golden age of the United States was, for example, between the years 1xxx – 1xxx so that I can understand when this golden age of tolerance existed.
I am guessing that it was some time after we got rid of the laws making it illegal to teach slaves to read, so the lower bound at one end would be no earlier than 1865 since I’m certain we both agree that “a time in America” where it was illegal to teach people to read was not a time where anyone recognized the importance of free speech.
Did this “time in America” end before or after we locked up all the people of Japanese ancestry on the west coast? I’m guessing it must be before, so we are talking about a period somewhere between 1865 – 1942?
But, I agree, nothing demonstrates the importance of free speech more than freezing your customer’s accounts without notice or explanation for weeks, and then threatening them with legal action if they post negative reviews online.
John Berryhill says
Oh, darn, I forgot that women couldn’t vote until 1920, so this “time in America” was somewhere between 1920 – 1942, is that correct?
I guess that’s why they called the place to drink illegal alcohol a “speakeasy”
John's Web says
Well, since you put it that way, let’s see…
The truth is actually pretty ironic. The reason for that is because the greatest single turning point occurred under an administration whose party only mostly promotes and supports free speech, even though on a scale of 1 – 10 they do actually push some of their own war on free speech too, but well within and below the median of that scale of 1 – 10, figuratively speaking and if you could really quantify it in such a way.
The other part of the irony is that it is the other party which engages in the war on free speech, figuratively speaking and if one could so quantify, at an intensity level of 50,000 out of that same scale of 1 – 10. So determinedly, savagely, and obsessively that it is the equivalent of nothing less than one of their main reasons for living no less, almost as if it is an end in itself, even though it is really a means to their ends. My understanding or impression, by the way, is that you and Andrew and certain others in the domain industry happen to subscribe to and align yourself with that particular faction.
Specifically, that greatest ironic single turning point was the indictment of Julian Assange and effort to extradite him on trumped up pretextual charges under the Republican / Trump administration, with the fervent support of certain key Republicans like Mike Pompeo, et al – for the crime of reporting the truth about US war crimes and practicing real journalism. Even Obama, who persecuted and prosecuted whistleblowers far more ferociously and abundantly than any administration before him or since, despite having originally promised the opposite, had recognized and concluded there was a clear Constitutional problem and impediment to going after Assange, even despite spending years exploring whether Assange could be criminally charged.
The only partial Republican / right wing war on free speech, while mostly supporting free speech, is mainly about not liking opposition to war and war mongering, not liking boycotting or criticizing Israel, and certain types of race related issues such as kneeling during the national anthem. But like I said, they do that well below the midpoint on a hypothetical and figurative scale of 1 – 10, while mostly believing in and seeking to support and protect genuine free speech. I.e., the lesser of the two evils by ten thousand to one for that particular important and critical part of American society.
The Democrat / liberal / neoliberal war on free speech, however, is against anything and everything they don’t like, operates on a figurative scale of 50,000 out of 10, and they would gladly kill you if they could over every little point and part of it. If they can’t literally kill you, then they will do everything they can to at least ruin your life and everyone else’s who even believes or agrees with anything they don’t like.
Despite the Republican Trump administration being responsible for the biggest and most significant single turning point in this war, however, we have predominately been living under the Democrat / neoliberal war on free speech since at least the Trump administration too.
The real initial turning point in going from a country which mostly and sufficiently believes in free speech – despite certain examples to the contrary in history such as some already mentioned – began when “Big Tech” and social media abandoned the great equalizing and uncensored promise of the Internet and traded it in for the practice of political and ideological censorship and suppression instead, in the service of society’s elite rich and powerful and more or less entirely in favor of the Democrat / liberal / neoliberal side of the American duopoly and agenda within both elected and unelected government. Now they even work together in this policy and agenda of censorship and suppression, i.e. government and private industry, to circumvent and obliterate the Constitution and American civil rights. On occasion this working together has also been not cooperative but more under compulsion and threat.
Well I could say more, but that will do for now, it’s late, and that’s already a lot. In closing I’ll just say that the war on free speech is really that – a war – and right now the ones fighting for it are mainly independents, the genuine “left” while the Democrat / liberal / neoliberal faction in control of almost all of national government is falsely and erroneously called and thought of as “the left,” and Republicans and the so-called “right” despite the partially tainted record on that described above. None is pure, none is perfect, but it is the “blue team” who are the ones seeking to increasingly destroy and obliterate free speech.
Obviously the context here reflects the actions of major tech platforms to preserve their monopolies and communicative power at any cost. They have become little more than defensive barriers to preserve the corruption and safekeeping of those elected who would abuse their stations. Constantly and at immense cost. Wake up Sir. You lack the character and the track history to whip out counters of slave rights as a mechanism to further defame Epik. This is no more than low IQ race-baiting as an artificial virtue signal simply to elevate yourself at the cost of people who actually fight the fight for the freedoms your elitism now takes for granted. Wake up before the actions of a few demented leaders cause untold suffering, famine, and loss of life. It will be these precious “slaves” and the poorest of the disenfranchised that pay the heaviest toll. Your mind could not possibly fathom the degree of OSI (open source intelligence) archived on Epik’s watch, and the battle they have had to fight minute by minute to protect rights you are no longer wise enough to even realize need to be protected. Your post is a disgrace to humanity and truth, as is the consistency of your demeanor and testimony against others.
John Berryhill says
Oh okay, so that certainly explains why Epik has frozen their customers’ funds indefinitely and without notice or explanation as to why Epik cannot give their customers their own money.
Thanks for clearing that up.
“Very precise” … *forgets to notify users that site going offline for indefinite amount of time holding their $ hostage and fails to respond for over a week*
New CEO off to a great start
K.J.Haroon Basha says
Plans to turn Masterbucks into a Paypal competitor is a fantastic idea and it will be big relief to many if the fees are lesser than Paypal. Secondly, Epik should talk with Godaddy to restore the Fast Transfer facilities (Afternic Premium Network), more people will come back to Epik if it is done.
Zero interest in Masterbucks.
I would love to know the crushing number of payouts Epic was handling manually that it was a good idea to stop all payouts for weeks without notifying customers this was happening.
When this automated machine’s switch is turned on, I can only imagine the tens of transactions it will have to do to catch back up.
If they owed me money I would be lawyering up and getting in line as quickly as possible.
I am not sure why they cant pay out the cash manually then reconcile the Masterbucks on the 10th? They control both dont they?
I will just refer to the terms of ….
Epik- if there is a known threat against you and your family members or to your employees, and you know it is coming from the sites you are hosting and you even know who is doing it….
what is the Epik’s policy?
Jen P says
From all his degrees, he sure didn’t learn Change Management.
No one in real corporate setting, let alone utility providers, like he claims Epik is, would be putting down an entire payment mechanism due to system upgrades and maintenance. In absence of being able to provide this utility, they should have a backup set so their customers are not impacted.
The way that this data center migration and Masterbucks maintenance were handled shows really bad execution and poor leadership in all aspects.
It’s been a month of unnecessary pain and time wasted for us customers to the point that I will actively campaign to friends and family to stay away from anything this guy touches.
It’s 11th of October and masterfucks is still under maintenance.
Igor Gabrielan says
October 10 has passed. Masterbucks don’t work.