I regularly keep XChat windows open to both Freenode and OFTC. I prefer OFTC for a variety of reasons, but still participate in several channels on Freenode.
Recently I discovered that somebody else was using my nick. No problem, I think; just use nickserv and claim it back. Only nickserv claims I never registered the nick.
But that can’t be, I thought. I registered it at least 10 YEARS ago. Probably longer, but my logs don’t go back farther than that. I’m on with it almost every day. And I identify to nickserv when I have to — maybe every few months.
And therein lies the problem. Apparently Freenode added a policy at some point of deleting registered nicks that haven’t identified in the last 60 days. Only they never notified people of the new policy (other than perhaps sticking it on an obscure website at some point). And they don’t care if you’re ONLINE, only if you identify to nickserv.
I tried to find staff to ask on Freenode as per the instructions on their website for contacting people for help, but each time I tried, no staff was online.
So I asked in #freenode for help. I was essentially told to leave them alone, and also not to ask the person using the nick for it back. So I’m SOL, and got the distinct impression that they don’t care at all about users with this sort of problem.
OFTC doesn’t ever delete nickserv registrations.
Sigh to Freenode.