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Network Solutions Auto-Enroll: $1,850 (inessential.com)
917 points by zdw on Jan 21, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 246 comments



I have an account with Network Solutions that they will not let me cancel without calling their sales team. I do not have an active credit card on file with them nor do I have any domains or hosting services. They send me e-mails every month trying to bill me for something that I haven't signed up for with language indicating that I'm about to "lose" my services (that don't exist) if I don't pay.

They're terrible.

It fascinates me because I wonder who the leadership team is and what the company culture is like. Do they decide to be terrible by sitting around in meetings brainstorming ways to screw their customers?


I always like thinking about this "company culture" question when you see the external communications from a company.

GoDaddy is very similar in that most all the emails they send are titled "ACTION REQUIRED" or another equally misleading alert. Very frustrating, builds nothing but distrust from me... like having a friend crying wolf every 10 mins.


This is actually really funny to me. I got an email from them a week ago telling me that my "auto billing renewal" had failed because my card expired.

I checked "don't automatically renew" when I first signed up.

I removed my credit card a month ago, when I realized it had been saved.


This is nothing when it comes to GoDaddy.

My father is out $500 for 3 lousy domains (typical name extension coms swindles) and the typical GoDaddy "premium" services, because GoDaddy managed to find his new credit card info without him entering it.

That is GoDaddy found out the new expiration dates for his card. Seriously, they can do that. There is VISA/MC program which merchants can use to obtain new credit card information from previous customers.

Of course, it is his fault for not explicitly cancelling the domains, but GoDaddy can be an expensive lesson.


It's surprising, but some banks do enable rebills on cards regardless of the expiration date. I learned this because I have subscribers whose cards are 'expired', but the charges still go through. I needle them constantly to update their billing info, but I still have one guy with a card that expired in 2012.

More importantly, your dad shouldn't be out $500. I had some SSL certificates rebill through Godaddy at an astronomically higher rate, so I called, and was able to easily obtain a refund. If Godaddy isn't willing to offer a refund, just call your credit card company and issue a chargeback. The chargeback process greatly favors the consumer, and you're almost certain to win.


A while ago I've read on a paypal presentation on ecommerce that the expiration date isnt use for verification and can be completely false. I'm curious if this information was true and is still valid.


It's the "company culture" of a tech company on the downslide. Remember 20 years ago when NSI had a monopoly on all domain registrations and a basic .com was going to cost you $100/yr? If you can't sell something people want, sell them something they never asked for.


> It fascinates me because I wonder who the leadership team is and what the company culture is like. Do they decide to be terrible by sitting around in meetings brainstorming ways to screw their customers?

Yes. i mean, no, because they get bonuses for every revenue they drive like that, so they won't discuss it in a meeting. They will instead gather a small band of loyals, and implement that in the dark, reporting only way up.

I know because I worked with a company that was like monster.com but charged from the poor people looking for the jobs. Companies could list the positions for free, and the people submiting to the positions had to pay. It was free the first month, but you had to give a credit card. Which WILL be charged every month unless you fight on the phone. Simply canceling on the site does absolutely nothing.


how did they handle the chargebacks? These typically can cost between say 15 and 25 per chargeback immediately to the merchant regardless of resolution?


people cancel, gets charged, did not get the job (most positions were fakes anyway), get the credit card bill, says wtf I'm still looking for a job, might as well use it now.

you'd be impressed by what unemployed people looking for a job puts themselves thru


I wouldn't work with such a company on ethics grounds.

It does seem like there's an opportunity for a company that lets companies list for free, but charges the listing company when they successfully hire a candidate. That would align the priorities of everyone involved. There would be issues with validating hires when they happen but I think that could be worked around.


Linkedin

CEO appears not to have a linkedin page (really?) CFO: www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carney/a/494/713 CPO: www.linkedin.com/pub/roseann-duran/0/66a/971

... it goes on https://www.web.com/aboutus/leadership.aspx

they're publicly traded: http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=WWWW Would be interesting if Yahoo ran this on their finance news site.


CEO appears not to have a linkedin page (really?)

You shouldn't be surprised when people choose not to have LinkedIn profiles. I quit LinkedIn because they were spamming me. They were also selling spamming privileges (or InMail) to anyone willing to pay. The user experience is below average, the groups are pathetic, and recommendations have become essentially worthless.

So really, having a LinkedIn profile isn't obligatory.


I commented a while back on LinkedIn spam, and got the distinct feeling I was an odd one out here (and that it was up to me to filter their crap out). Their service provided me with the contact details of someone who damaged my car - and calling his employer got things rolling fast after weeks on inaction. However the LinkedIn spam still tracks me down occasionally months after fleeing the service.


https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6937823

I've just stopped caring what people think anymore. It's become a 'the blind leading the blind' sort of thing.


Isn't this why filters in gmail exist?


I never signed up to LinkedIn and I get their spam...


I have hidden my LinkedIn account and removed all subscriptions. They still spam me. I am considering cancelling it altogether. Haven't quite brought myself to that action yet, but not sure why. I haven't used it regularly ever and haven't logged in in two or three years.

I consider LinkedIn less than worthless.


Don't worry, they'll still spam you after you quit. The only way I've ever found to stop them emailing an address is to add it as a secondary contact to another account.


Exactly this. I checked all of the do not email me and do not make my profile visible options, and it hardly made a difference. I intend to remove my account too when I get around to it,


If you're the CEO of such a well-known company, I'm not sure what additional value Linkedin really would provide. He probably has tons of connections already.


You are probably right but is that the message you want to be sending if you are the CEO of Linkedin?


We’re talking about David L. Brown, the CEO of Web.com :)


Perhaps change your email on file to

  abuse@networksolutions.com

?


Something tells me that you've been doing this to various abusive/spammy services for a long time. Hats off to you, mate. :-)


    spam@uce.gov
Another good one, as are spamtraps used by RBL maintainers.


Some companies can make more profit by repeatedly ripping their customers off by small amounts. AT&T has done this to me repeatedly and your recourse is to call customer service and waste hours to recoup a few dollars. (And yes, I need to find another solution)


Had a similar issue with AT&T. Now I'm using prepaid straighttalk service ... Not great but no mysterious extra charges.


AT&T has recently tried to charge me a leasing fee for my U-verse router. I called in and explained to the person on the phone that I own the router, and referred him to my first months statement were it specifically states that I paid $160+ for the router. The man on the phone told me that their policy has changed, and they now charge leasing fees to everyone who does NOT own their own equipment. I explained to the man that I do. His answer: "As a favor to you, because you are such a long customer, I am going to waive the fee for now." It took me another 20 minutes on the phone to explain to this imbecile that I can not possibly be required to lease my own equipment from my self. His final statement to me still was: "Yes, I can see here that you own the router. Because you feel so strong about this, we are not going to require you to pay any additional equipment fees." I was fucking speechless.


I can think of two ways to handle this that minimize your wasted time:

1. Call in and record the idiocy. I use Skype and a headset, so I can get work done while on hold. When the rep answers and asks "Who am I speaking to?", say "This is so and so on a recorded line.", just like your stockbroker, etc. does. If their standard blurb says they "may" be recording the call for "training and quality control", then you don't have to announce anything, as the call is now recordable by either party. Collect and post these idiotic exchanges, audio and transcripts. Shame and name.

2. Bypass the call center. Look up the registered agent of the corporation in your state. Send them a very threatening letter, return receipt requested, stating the facts and your demand for whatever they are doing to stop. Give them a time limit to stop, and then threaten to sue them in small claims court. There are these standard letters all over the net. Note: whether you actually sue them eventually is beside the point, and entirely optional. Trust me, an actual lawyer will have to respond to your letter, and it will be very expensive for them. You are also on record for any future court actions, and they know that. The letter templates are easily found with google, your state secretary of state may charge a dollar or two for the address of the registered agent, and certified return receipt costs about $6. Cost on their end, probably $200 to start in attorney's time. Much easier than hanging on the phone and being served by idiots.


I had this issue with Comcast. I didn't even buy the modem from them; I bought it from Staples, and yet, a year after I'd been with them, they decided to start trying to tack on a modem rental fee.

When I talked to their 'executive' customer service (whatever it is, the people who actually can do anything), they told me to -send them a receipt-. Are you kidding me? Why don't -you- prove that -you- own it? Where's -your- receipt? You didn't bill me for it for a year; pretty sure if we go to small claims court that will be taken as evidence in my favor.

Regardless, since I bought it from Staples, I went back to the store, told them the card I used, the day I bought it (because yay online CC histories), and they printed me off a copy of the receipt. Sent that in...got confirmation they'd remove the charge...and of course I had to call again the next month because the charge was still there.

I'm really tired of these freaking monopolies.


Class action lawsuits are the only way to deal with this! I have no experience in this area, but I know this is a good, reproducible lawsuit. I am willing to be a class rap, just contact me if interested. I think lostcolony, above, has a great class action case as well. It's all small stuff, but you can hit them hard with a class action.


Sadly that probably won't work any more.

Just google for "supreme court" "class action" and you will find how your rights are now really limited in this regard. E.g. in 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled: "an arbitration agreement prevented consumers from pursuing a class action under state law".

There have been several anti-class-action rulings by the Supreme Court.


Honestly, I'm going to buy a nice bottle of wine the day Alito, Scalia or Thomas kick the bucket.


I spent a year and a half with 1.5Mb DSL because it still beat the alternative of paying Comcast and having to call monthly to get an honest bill.


Australia has an easy solution: the Telecommunications Ombudsman. As soon as you raise a complaint with them the telecommunications company gets two weeks to fix things before they start getting financial penalties and having to spend time/resources fighting the complaint, so typically as soon as you have the complaint number you get escalated to the secret team with good people-skills and the power to do everything the lower support staff told you was impossible.

If your complaint has any merit they'll fix it for you because fixing it is vastly cheaper than fighting it.


What is it with telecoms? I have had issues like this too but in New Zealand. I actually beg them not to transfer me to their fault team in Manilla every time they decide its a fault I have. If I have to speak to Peachy, Pricilla or Daisy again I'll scream. I eventually found that all Telecoms here have their accounts departments within the country. So any issues I have I choose accounts to talk to. The locals have always been rational so far.


Telecoms usually a natural monopoly and relatively fixed demand: you probably don't want to dramatically increase your services so the easiest way to increase their per-customer profit is to play games with fees or bundling and cut their costs to the bone, relying on the inconvenience of switching to keep you from leaving. This ensures that you have a reason to call and that the person you reach will be the end result of multiple rounds of lowest-bidder call center deals.


You are very right. There is also this howler from Gattung, the former CEO of Telecom in New Zealand, where she discusses the use of confusion as a marketing tool.

http://publicaddress.net/3147

Edit: Forgot the link. Duh...


They aren't a natural monopoly-- in the U.S. telecom and video cable (cable internet) are heavily regulated government-granted monopolies. Most U.S. local governments, for example, provide for only one or two cable providers.


“Natural monopoly” doesn't mean what you think it means: it's simply a case where the most efficient setup is a single provider. Telecoms fit this category locally because of the need for cabling to each customer – sure, you can run multiple wires but that's extremely expensive and has externalities (i.e. aesthetic costs).

Regulation is a common response to a natural monopoly: cap profits at a certain level to prevent gouging and establish some sort of minimum service requirement to avoid abuse.

What I would prefer is a hybrid model where the city runs the monopoly portion and leases access to various companies. The political process at least offers more accountability than, say, the typical Comcast monopoly victim enjoys.


Obligatory xkcd: http://xkcd.com/806/


If you send them an email demanding your account be canceled, CC companies will usually let you use that to dispute further charges until your account is actually canceled.


I once had a different service refuse to cancel my account unless I called them. Supposedly it was "for security", but I hadn't even signed up via phone, so that made no sense. I emailed their head of media relations, and said that I was going to publicize that they steal money from people. They apologized and cancelled my account in less than an hour.


Maybe if they get enough chargebacks at up to $100 a pop they'll stop trying these things.


they'd have to get 18 chargebacks per successful charge in order for them to stop. I'm sure this was a calculated risk.


I tried this now, will see how it goes.

They enabled auto-renewal on a domain name I have there that didn't used to have it, and want me to call a US number (i'm not in the US, i'm not paying international charges) to cancel auto renewal.

I also requested they close and delete my entire account with them.


That's the move. I think you ask that all charges be declined for a specific merchant (at least with amex) Call your CC company.


Could you use a bitcoin notary service (like http://www.proofofexistence.com/about) and use this evidence to dispute a charge? It seems like this would be more efficient then sending a letter. Seems like this could be more reliable than an easily forged email.


That doesn't prove that they have received or read it though...


I guess the point I was trying to make is that sending an email, or showing that you've sent an email also doesn't prove that they have received or read it. I think in edge cases, it's probably possible to forge that you've sent an email in the past when in reality, you've sent that email this morning.

By using something like the aforementioned service, at least you can prove without a doubt that the message was sent at a specific time, putting the impetus on the receiving party.


Hardly necessary if "I do not have an active credit card on file with them"...


Sure, until they decide you have an overdue balance and send it to collections.

(Not suggesting they do this... but if they think you owe them money, they certainly could)


This would be my fear/concern. It's happened between me and another company before.


I do not have an active credit card on file with them

Be careful. If they charge an inactive card, it is possible that after some investigative work the charge will be moved to an active card along with additional fees.


I've been trying to transfer a domain name (.io) purchased from them to _another_ Network Solutions customer for business reasons. I can't even pay them to make this happen. "It isn't possible" they tell me.


Might be easier to send it to another registrar, and then let the other customer transfer it from there. Might cost a bit more but it could be the easiest way.


Didn't think of that! Thanks.


Be careful, with some TLDs there is a minimum time limit between transfers.


You cannot even cancel an auto-renew for a single domain without having to call into a call center, sit on hold, and then go through the various levels of scripts that drones read to you.

It is clearly designed to bill you to death.


After being fed up with them by trying to close my account that had a single unused '.it' domain, I finally figured out how to cut the ties. Without playing their games. I changed my name[1], phone, home address, email[2], and used a testing CC number[3].

Call it a hack, but I haven't heard from them since. For once, I was actually glad their sales team was much stronger than their tech.

[1]: To "Why won't you let my cancel my account here??"

[2]: mailinator.com

[3]: getcreditcardnumbers.com


>It fascinates me because I wonder who the leadership team is and what the company culture is like. Do they decide to be terrible by sitting around in meetings brainstorming ways to screw their customers?

This fascinates me as well! But I don't think it's anything that dramatic. I think that a company like Network Solutions is a cash cow in the technical sense, so their people are probably under impossible pressure to "grow" what is a mature business. Then they do things like this and hope the customers don't notice - because 99% of the time, they don't.

NetSol needs ot learn from banks and insurance companies, who've turned frog boiling into a fine art. They know precisely how much to take away from you before you hit the road. (which is weird especially with banks since they are dead simple to switch - and longevity with a bank means nothing to your credit score even if you try to take a loan from that bank.)



Their leadership team must be grasping at anyway possible to gain revenue.


It's not new. They've been this way as long as they've been a real business, since the '90s.


Here they are: http://www.web.com/aboutus/leadership.aspx

They have a Chief People Officer.


After quickly glancing over their credentials, it seems like the underlying problem is that the key leadership is entirely business people while the people with actual training in CS or engineering handle smaller responsibilities like "Online Marketing". In today's world of developer-friendly SaaS, they're doomed.


You don't need CS degree to understand that charging somebody automatically $1850 for something they didn't even ask is not the best idea. I won't be surprised if eventually NetSol will find itself on a receiving end of a very expensive class action suit. OTOH, by that time those C-types would have probably moved on to the next opportunity.


No, but having an MBA certainly helps you understand why it's a brilliant idea. ;-)


I don't have MBA, but I have a bit similar degree - Msc Management, and nothing I was ever taught suggests such idea is anything but insane.


Netsol is terrible. You should really call them and cancel.


I got so sick of these emails. I just created a filter so that it auto deletes any emails from them


Using your stored CC info to auto-bill you for an unrelated product that you never consented to be billed for is quite likely in violation of their merchant agreement with the CC processor.


http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/regecg.htm They would be in violation of this above Regulation for banking. Chargeback through your bank would be the quickest way to both get your funds back and penalize them. If you want to make it a federal case that is also an option.


Is there any chance that they can weasel their way out of this by having their lawyers point to fine print?


http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/static-service-agreeme...

Their service agreement reads that they have the right to "change part of the Services provided under this Agreement at any time" in section 12. No doubt they're hoping that they'll be able to defend the charge based largely on this.

But there's nothing to support the idea that the "Weblock Program" is a modification of the contracted services (domain registration) instead of a separate program. A couple glaringly obvious problems:

First, the original email stated that the customer "will be protected via our WebLock Program," implying a distinction from the original services. Then there's the subject line, "Your domain is being enrolled in the WebLock Security Program," which is a fairly explicit assertion of the same.

Second, you have the addition of Schedule II to the Service Agreement clearly stating that it's a separate service and not simply a change to the existing ones offered.

In short, they don't really have any magical fine print to even point to (and that's before you start interpreting and responding to them) that can justify this new charge.

But even if they somehow prevailed on the merits of any potential contractual claims, they're still going to get chewed up by their card processor as there isn't a merchant agreement in the world that can justify this behavior.


In theory their ToS may cover something like this, but charging a customer for a recurring payment they did not agree too should be pretty clear cut. Additionally they did send a notification prior to the charge, but there is no prior authorization from the customer so that's shaky ground. IANAL etc, legal counsel could tell you if there is a case worth pressing. I only deal with this fun at work as a developer :)

Edit: This is pretty clearly not an "error" in the system, so their legal team (if there is one) must consider the billing valid in some way.

Full legal text http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/6500-1350.html

Edit 2: A compliant either though your local attorney general or the FTC may be appropriate. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0341-file-complaint-ftc


IANAL, however my whole family is.

I doubt they could do that. People are often afraid of such fine print gotcha's but would almost always would not stand up in court.

Contracts are assumed to be "In good faith, and neither for nor against any particular side". Meaning having a clause like 'oh yeah, in addition to your yearly fee of $10, we can also charge you any unlimited amount and you agree to pay'

This would be easily deemed as not in good faith and completely in favor of them (as no sane person would agree to that). Hence judge would throw it out - which may or may not invalidate the entire contract depending on how shady the judge thought they were being.


Competitor of Network Solutions here.

Impossible for me to believe they are actually doing this. And auto charging the credit card.

Something doesn't add up with this.


The official (verified by Twitter) Network Solutions @netsolcares account says it's a real e-mail.


If it isn't, the chargeback rate they're about to have should do the trick.


I hope they lose more than their merchant account for this, (better: their status as a registrar, with their executives winding up in a US court)

Who approved this and were they insane?

The most ludicrous thing about it is that being Network Solutions is basically a license to print money (with industry-leading margins) because of a large legacy customer base who aren't aware or simply don't care that they've been the most expensive, rather than the only game in town for years. So you provoke them into caring? It's like being a casino that steals from your customers. At gunpoint.


Isn't it straight-up fraud and/or theft?


In the event a customer is actually charged for said service, it absolutely is. I have a feeling the attention they're about to garner will correct that prior to ever occurring.


Even if they don't succeed, it seems like an attempted theft.


More like fraud.


If it's really fraud, there's criminal liability. Meaning the person behind it is responsible, as well as the firm.


Giving the amount of money charged, they move in to grand larceny territory. The fact that they had to force an enrollment means this "product" they are selling may either be non existent or not match up anywhere near what they claim it is doing.


I actually think what he did (making a big mess out of it so it ends in HN) is likely the right thing to do, it'll likely solve the issue faster and punish them more severely.


It is also most definitely illegal here in Denmark, and probably a whole host of other countries.


This is a violation of federal law, specifically the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act. Opt-out or negative option charges to credit cards are illegal as of January 1, 2011. So is using a credit card number on file for one reason (e.g., auto-renewal of annual registration) for a second product or service.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/8401

Note that the law doesn't prohibit 30 day free trials, which is how a lot of SaaS products are sold, so long as that's conspicuously displayed at the time of the original sign-up.


Only since 2011? This stunt's been illegal in Australia for as long as I can remember.


To customers of Network Solutions who are considering moving their domains off the service:

When they (inevitably) recant on this policy, please continue your plans to transfer out of their service, even though the phone calls required will make it painful to do so.

This goes way beyond a situation in which the company (Network Solutions) needs to learn a lesson about customer management and into the area where the industry as a whole needs to learn a lesson about what happens to companies that go this far off the deep end and the best way for that to happen is the rapid death of Network Solutions.


Network Solutions has always had appalling business practices that verged on the criminal. Some years ago, they poached a domain my wife had registered with another vendor, by sending her a misleading renewal letter. That particular event ultimately wound up with them at the receiving end of a class action suit.

I absolutely refuse to ever register another domain with them. Their business practices are about as evil as I've ever seen from such a mainstream company.


"Don't use NetSol" is the original "Don't use GoDaddy."


I prefer their other method of registering domains that you checked for whether or not they were available. They would then charge a premium to get that domain.


Anyone else remember "Network Solutions Sucks Balls"? (http://networksolutionssucksballs.com ended up being registered by Network Solutions under this method.)

Sadly, no longer the case.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=96408



Any information more recent than 2008?


I don't think it happens any more. ICANN added a nonrefundable registration fee and "domain tasting" stopped being such a pervasive problem. This either solved what Net Sol was trying to protect users from, or removed the justification they were using (depending on how cynical you are).

Not sure I would ever recommend testing domain names on NetSol's WHOIS server though.


Every year without fail I keep getting a letter to my business address asking to renew my domains. Lucky I'm the one that deals with such matters so the letter can go to the correct place for such things (the shredder). But I can see how the non-technical person at a business could be fooled for transferring away their domains to a very expensive provider.


They stole a few domains from me years ago, as well. They simply transferred them to someone else, rather than me. What a bunch of jackasses.


Maybe this is the sort of fee that would have prevented that transfer. Kind of - "gee that's a nice store you have here, pity if something happened to it".


OP says he will be transferring his domains elsewhere. Seems like he is in for more suffering before that happens [1]:

A Phone Call is REQUIRED for Domain Transfers from Network Solution to Other Registrars

.. Transferring a Domain from Network Solutions to another provider requires the Primary Account Contact to make a phone call to Network Solutions technical support (average time 10 to 30 minutes).

.. Use of the Network Solutions website procedure to obtain a Transfer Code, by the Account Primary Contact, requires a minimum 3 days wait.

(EDIT: Formatting)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Solutions#Network_Solut...


This was not the case for me. I recently transferred a domain from Network Solutions to Hover for reasons similar to the OP.

These instructions worked for me: https://help.hover.com/entries/21240798-How-to-Transfer-a-do...

This requires patience; it took 2 days to receive my transfer code from Network Solutions but I did not need to make any phone calls.


A client of mine transferred away several dozen domains last year - it did not require a phone call.

OTOH, I had a single domain a few years ago there and I had to call in to transfer. I still have 2 domains there and I suspect I'll need to call to transfer.


I finally got rid of my last domain on network solutions. There's a form for requesting the authorization code, but despite submitting it out multiple times on various occasions I never received anything. The support docs indicated buttons that didn't exist. I finally called support and they gave me the code right away - at which point the transfer button mentioned in the support docs magically appeared for my domain.

I found it annoying but the guy I spoke with was pretty cool on the phone and didn't hassle me at all about the domain or selling me other products.


Disclaimer - I hate NetSol with passion.

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't the following excerpts imply that you need to opt-in first?

"In addition WebLock enrolled customers will have access to a 24/7 NOC and rapid response team in the event of any security issues."

"We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this security program and register Certified Users before the program launch date. Thank you for helping us protect you better."

"To establish Certified Users and pre-register authorized phone numbers and email addresses please call 1-888-642-0265 Monday to Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00PM EST."

"Replying to this email will not secure your services. Please click here to unsubscribe. Please note that unsubscribing from our marketing emails will not affect important transactional correspondence such as administrative and renewal notices related to your account"

Key words here are - "established", "enrolled", "encourage","marketing email","not secure your service".

To me it just looks like this is just a sales letter that makes you think like you have no choice...

Edit: added even more proof that most people have trouble understanding what they are reading.


I'm pretty sure it's you that's misunderstanding the letter, actually.

"Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014 all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program. In order to make changes to your Domain Name's configuration settings you must be pre-registered as a Certified User. [...] To establish Certified Users and pre-register authorized phone numbers and email addresses please call 1-888-642-0265 Monday to Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00PM EST. Please make sure to establish Certified Users with authorized phone numbers and email addresses before launch date. To establish Certified Users and pre-register authorized phone numbers and email addresses please call 1-888-642-0265 Monday to Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00PM EST. Please make sure to establish Certified Users with authorized phone numbers and email addresses before launch date. [...] To help recapture the costs of maintaining this extra level of security for your account, your credit card will be billed $1,850 for the first year of service on the date your program goes live. After that you will be billed $1,350 on every subsequent year from that date. If you wish to opt out of this program you may do so by calling us at 1-888-642-0265."

That makes it very clear. As of 2/4/2014 his domains WILL be protected, any changes will require him to be registed as a Certified User, that will require a call, and he better make sure to register as a Certified User before the launch date (which is given; 2/4/2014). And after this launch date he will be billed $1,850, and he has to call in order to opt out of the program. There is no ambiguity in any of this. He WILL be protected, he WILL need to be a certified user, they WILL charge his card, and he WILL need to opt out if he chooses.

The only ambiguous phrase is this, right at the end:

"We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this security program and register Certified Users before the program launch date. "

Now, you could interpret that to mean "if you don't register Certified Users you will not be protected". But you could also interpret that to mean "if you don't register Certified Users you'll be fucked, because your domain will be protected anyhow but you can't make changes". So it's ambigious. But the proceeding paragraphs explicitly state that you will be protected anyhow but can't make changes, so I think that, in contet, it clearly means that the program is opt-out, not opt-in.

More charitably, it's possible NetSol managed to copy-paste a few paragraphs from the "thanks for opting in, your protections start {{ date }}" email into their "have you considered opting in, it's awesome" email; the general rambling and incoherent nature of the email would certainly support this. But while we can guess as to what insanity led them to send the email, and if they actually meant it, I maintain that the plain meaning of the email is jut what it said: That protection WILL start on 2/4/2014, unless he calls to stop it.


I would generally agree with your assessment of the situation, but the fact that the company decided to opt-in AND bill the customer $1850, does not make sense.

and this "WebLock enrolled customers" sentence makes it clear that only enrolled customers will have this service, so although it seems like you have no choice, I'm betting my virtually nonexistent reputation on the opposite. I guess the time will tell.


Everyone is saying that you can opt-out, which makes you a non-Weblock enrolled customer. That is not in question.

The problem is the opt-out bit, that you are by default enrolled in at a cost of $2k a year.


"Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014 all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program"

They are only saying you will be protected via their WebLock Program, not enrolled in their service. But they are deliberately ambiguous to make it sound like they are the same thing.

"To establish Certified Users and pre-register authorized phone numbers and email addresses please call 1-888-642-0265 "

"If you wish to opt out of this program you may do so by calling us at 1-888-642-0265"

"Give the security team a call and they can explain 1-888-642-0265"

They are pushing hard for you to call them, that is where they will attempt to get you signed up for this "service"


> But they are deliberately ambiguous to make it sound like they are the same thing.

Ambiguity is the problem here. They may be enrolling you, they may not, they could argue either way.

If a company can say "that letter was your warning" then I will take it as a warning, whether they meant it to be one or not.


Theory: If you don't register "Certified Users", they won't actually enroll you (because their legal team is not stupid), but they're hoping that people will because it implies that those people, by creating the "Certified Users", accept the terms and charge mentioned in the email.


Didn't see this tweet earlier, seems to be Netsol's primary public response:

https://twitter.com/netsolcares/status/425751251369095168

"We are working to get you opted out."

Holy shit, what a crazy response. "Working" to get him opted out? Like they are doing him some kind of a favor and putting in effort above and beyond just not defrauding him in the first place?


This echoes the response I've received from them when trying to just cancel my account in general. I e-mailed them months ago asking to have my account cancelled. I was told:

> Please be advised that your account through Network Solutions will not be cancelled or deleted for historical purposes. However, if the system determines the inactivity of the account, your Network Solutions account will be deleted automatically.

Long story short, my account was never cancelled. I called them by phone yesterday to attempt to cancel again. The rep told me that he would have to "escalate" the issue to someone else, but then told me my account had been cancelled. However, I am still able to log into the account today so I'm guessing it hasn't been cancelled at all.


Network Solutions has been doing other unethical things for years. I used to search for available domains using Network Solutions to only find that the domain instantly had become inaccessible to purchase. I later found out they were buying the domain people were searching for , for a period of 5 days so that you wont be able to purchase it from anyone else. very shady


It was called front-running, and they still do it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Solutions#Controversy_o...


I remember when this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_tasting

got so bad in the mid-2000's that it was best just to buy the domain if you even thought you wanted it.


So why doesn't someone just programatically search for a bunch of garbage domains from them?


As a registrar, someone's suggested they can put domains on hold at no cost. Not sure if domain tasting is still a thing too.


They don't even buy it. As a registrar, they can put a hold on it for free.


Is that still true? I though ICANN now charge some nominal fee (12c? 20c?) for domains even if you don't keep the registration past the 4 or 5 day "grace period"? (Not that it'd stop a truly evil registrar - if you can occasionally sell ~$10 worth of front-run domains for $39 or $69, you'd still be making money on 2% "conversion rates"…)


This is almost as bad as ResellerRatings.com

We signed up for something like $15 per month, a year later they upped it to $50 a month and we didn't notice. Still later upped it to $1500 per month and charged several grand before we noticed.

As soon as we realize the prices gone up we reached out, The rep on the phone instructed us to email the CEO to see if he could do anything. He replied with a straight face claiming that we had been notified (as this notifying us is enough, we should have to confirm).

Turns out the price increase had been buried three pages deep in a five-page mailer. We got a partial refund but not before threatening to chargeback.

The best strategy here is to publicize it and then issue a chargeback anyway, the only reason that we pushed was that some of the charges were too old to actually charge back.


357 words before they get round to saying "your credit card will be billed $1,850". Unacceptable.

This would be more honest:

---

Dear valued customer,

blah, blah, blah, blah, have you fallen asleep yet? We're going to charge you $1,850. You will not notice this charge on your credit bill. You will not request a chargeback. You will wake up when I snap my fingers in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... and you're awake.

kthxbye


Simple Question: Can't you just call your credit card company and ask them to void all of these charges?

My assumption is that credit card companies are obligated to take off any charge you deem is unfair. It is their responsibility to find a proof that charge was with your explicit agreement. This is why they get to keep 1-4% of each transaction in first place. Doing this also had side advantage that merchant ruins reputation and loose their ability to charge like this in future.

Wouldn't this be the least hassle way? Just 5 minutes on call and charges are poof! gone.


My first thought: why this whole notion of having to call in to cancel reeks of AOL in the bad old days. So I Google "aol 'network solutions' executives" and find:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Network+Solutions+and+America+...

Relevant part:

>>Network Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSOL), the world's leading registrar of domain names with more than 10 million registrations, and America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, today announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar strategic marketing alliance to offer Network Solutions' (NSI) domain name registration and value-added services globally across America Online, Inc. brands, making it easier and more convenient than ever for businesses and consumers to create an online presence.

Interestingly, I ran across what I thought was a great anecdote about Jim Rutt, CEO of Network Solutions in a Barron's article this week:

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB500014240531119046810045...

>>The second inspiration for this memo came from a report entitled Alpha and the Paradox of Skill by Michael Mauboussin of Credit Suisse. In it he talks about Jim Rutt, the CEO of Network Solutions. As a young man, Rutt wanted to become a better poker player, and to that end he worked hard to learn the odds regarding each hand and how to detect "tells" in other players that give away their position. Here's the part that attracted my attention: At that point, an uncle pulled him aside and doled out some advice. "Jim, I wouldn't spend my time getting better," he advised, "I'd spend my time finding weak games."

Seems like he found a weak game with auto-rebilling.


Clearly from this thread I'm not the only one who deliberately chose to forget this company's existence over ten years ago.

Talk about blast from the past. I remember having conversations about how awful NetSol was on /. in 1998-99.


I was thinking this exact thing. I didnt even realize they were still in business. Although they sound more like a Jesse Willms scam now than a real business.


Same here. If you are still one of their customers in 2014 and you are not a gullible noob, you are doing something wrong.


I'm so glad I cancelled my Network Solutions account 2 months ago. I discovered they were still charging me for a domain I no longer was interested in. Unlike most other domain name registrars, they actually auto opt-in for automatic renewal.

Pissed me off to no end. To cancel, I had to :

1) Find out that you cannot delete your domains or let them lapse. Gotta call them.

2) Call them. They will tell you to send an email instead

3) Email them at deletions@networksolutions.com.

4) Get a confirmation email, which you have to call in to verify.

I ended up cancelling my account after 4 phone calls.


$1850/year for the privilege of having extra hoops to jump through and extra lag introduced into the process of updating DNS? Where do I sign up?

Seriously, there is potential value in having extra security steps surrounding DNS changes, since that is a known attack vector. It's not clear that this is a particularly good way to provide said service, and the cost is prohibitively high for most customers.


> Where do I sign up?

We've already signed you up! Please find the attached invoice.


We've already signed you up, and it's been sent to collection as a convenience to you.


This seems too ludicrous to be true. Is this something they expect ALL customers to pay? Even my dad who has 1 domain with them since the late 90s?

I'll be transferring all my domains (only a couple, most are with Namecheap these days) + any domains my family/friends have with NS out today.


They are giving out 9-digit unique PINs required for making changes to accounts, rather than using (H|T)OTP ?

What, exactly, is that $1350 / year supposed to pay for ?


My guess is the same legal team that OK'ed this.


Has to be other HN readers who have gotten similar emails if this is true (I know their twitter support person confirmed it is real, but the price seems completely outrageous to be true). Looking forward to the first person with 200 domains registered there to write here that they got auto-enrolled for a cool 100k a year?


This is my nightmare story with Network Solutions. We were running our business on a domain with Register.com back in ~2002. Network Solutions sent a "bill" for renewal, which our office manager paid without telling anyone. That triggered a transfer from register.com to Network Solutions, blasting all our DNS entries along the way. I was at E3 in Los Angeles and got the call that the site was down, and no email was coming in. I remember sitting on the floor of the convention center trying to troubleshoot over the phone what happened... I'm still angry at Network Solutions for engaging in something awfully close to a phishing scam.


Can't you sue them ?


For what happened in 2002? The statute of limitations on that's probably expired. Fortunately, they were sued by the FTC back in 2003, which put a stop to that practice. http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2003/09/networ...


On a smaller scale, I just noted that my 1&1 shared hosting account bill went from $8.99 monthly one year ago to $17.99, after a bunch of questionable security features were tacked on. Only way to opt out was by phone.


I have had nothing but trouble with 1&1, as well. (I don't use them personally, but I have some clients that used them previously.) What a pain trying to get anything done.


Isn't it their job to not illegitimately allow changes to your domains in the first place?


Yeah, but they're not very good at it, so they want to charge $1,350/year plus an extra $500 per year for the first year for the privilege of getting them to do their job.

(see this for an example of them not being good at their job: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2053380/network-solutions-inv... )


Is Network Solutions trying to lose customers? How could auto-opt-in to a program costing that much be a good idea? Does anyone have a reasonable explanation from Network Solutions about this?


Ugh. Network Solutions is terrible. In 2003, I registered my domain for 100 years at $9.99 per year for a total of $999. Then ten years later (2013), I received a notice that they were having a problem charging my credit card for the domain name renewal? Apparently, it went into their system as a ten year registration.

I've been on the phone with them periodically for about a year now trying to resolve this, and in the mean-time I've paid for two additional one-year registrations. It was basically a miracle that I was able to track down the credit card number I used back in 2003. I had to fax them various documents as evidence and now they're supposedly doing an investigation, but I haven't heard from them in a while.

I really should follow up again. I hope I can get a refund for the remaining 90 years and switch registrars. In the end, I might just let Network Solutions keep my $900+ and switch away from them for the peace of mind.


Domain registrations have always been limited to 10 years. If NetSol ever claimed to be offering a 100-year registration, they were either wrong or being misleading.


They said they'd automatically renew it on their end. It was marketed to me as a service that I'd only have to pay for once and never have to worry about for the rest of my life. Obviously, the opposite has been true. =/


I remember seeing advertising for this. I believe they promised that they would keep it registered 10 years out until your time ran out.

Of course, even in 2003, the only thing Network Solutions had going for them was high prices.


Here I collected prices for domains (only what I'm interested in). If you did that too, I'd be glad to see your spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Amel5Zz4w7aLdFl...


Look at http://www.crazydomains.co.uk/, they only charge £2.67 per domain name, the cheapest I have seen.


Seems to good to be true; what's the catch? They have to pay $7.85 per .com to Verisign and $0.20 to ICANN.


have you used them? looks suspect.


Used them for years. They are great!


How many years - the domain appears to have only been developed in 2012?

FWIW they also appear to be breaking European law by not displaying their trading/registered offices address on their website.

Crazydomains.co.uk seems to be a non-registered trading name (ie it's not lodged with Companies House) for DreamScape Networks FZ-LLC. That company is apparently based in UAE?

http://www.auda.org.au/news/breach-of-registrar-agreement-by... :

>"auDA has found that accredited registrar Crazy Domains Pty Ltd has breached its obligations under the Registrar Agreement to comply with the .au Domain Name Suppliers’ Code of Practice and all applicable laws."

UK branch may be no better ...

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Crazy-Domains/internet/Crazy-D...

Caveat emptor.


joker.com has pretty good reseller prices. end user prices are mostly a bit higher than other registrars tho, but if you have a bunch of domain names, it may be worth a look.


I can confirm that network solutions engages in this type of disgusting behaviour with my own experience.

I have one domain with them which I bought through a private buyer. They had it with NS so I just stayed with them instead of transferring to another domain registrar.

Yesterday I got a email about renewal which was nice and genuine. However throughout the whole renewal checkout process they added up-sell services by default. Also they defaulted to 5 years renewable.

Finally their domains are $40 / year which is about 4x more expensive than other providers.

By the end of the process I had been through like 4-6 "upsell" screens and had to opt out of about 2-3 things I didn't want like private registration and brand protect (registers all the useless tld's for your brand).

By the end of it I vowed never to do business with them again. Im already being robbed at $40 / year


Helpful tip - your CC provider probably lets you generate single-use credit card numbers. BankAm calls this service ShopSafe, but it is very likely your bank provides something similar. Use it.

For example, say I want to buy something for $10. I create a new CC number with a spending limit of $11 that expires in 2 months. Auto-renew, overcharge, try whatever you want. You got hacked and my CC # got stolen? Hacker can spend at most $1. You can also create CC #s with monthly spending limits (e.g., $cost_of_service+$1).

Canceling these single-use CC #s is easy (no phone call - it's one click online) and because they are single use, you only affect a single merchant.


How many domains are we talking about? It's one thing if it's $1,850 for one, another if it's 100 domains at $18.50 each. Not that I'm defending Network Solutions' horrible business practices here.


First sentence of the article:

I got an email from Network Solutions — where I still have two domains, originally registered in the ’90s


Wow. That's insane.


That someone has been a Network Solutions customer for 14 years (minimum)? Yes, that is insane. :)


My hand's up. In 1996 there was of course no choice, and after that I just never had real cause to switch. Eventually I probably will. All new domains, of course, go through Joker. I like their hapless Deuglish.


According to the article, grand total amount of 2.


Network Solutions has been doing other unethical things for years. This is a pretty huge one, but I'm surprised you haven't run elsewhere years ago!


I saw this and had to read. I feel obligated to post after reading some of the comments. I've never dealt with Network Solutions until I arrived at my current employer, fall of last year. I've to say, that they're by far the worst in the industry. I've dealt with many registrars and I use to think GoDaddy was the worst until I came across these guys. They nickel and dime you for everything. It cost just to redirect a domain via their c-panel. Transferring domains is a pain, along with just about everything else. You'll definitely be talking to a sales guy when you call support and he'll escalate the issue because he has no idea what he's doing. The real support guy will also try to sell you. I work for a company that owns a lot of domains (in the 100s) and have found my experience with Network Solutions to be horrible. Lucky for me, we only have 30 something domains with them and I've been waiting until this year got here (new budget begins) before I paid the fee to transfer them all over to the registrar that manages majority of our domains.


Here is the first update I've seen from the company (rather than just tweets from a CS person). Looks like the program is not targeting all users, but the top 1% of their traffic.

http://domainnamewire.com/2014/01/21/network-solutions-auto-...


Something similar happened to me at one of the domain registrar sites. I can't remember, but I believe it was register.com or namecheap? I unlock a domain at the last minute to request a transfer. Of course they offered a lower price to renew it with them. The next time I logged in, I couldn't unlock the other two domains without talking to support.


I left NetSol almost a decade ago. Their ludicrous pricing was bad enough, but this is basically a scam they're running now.


is't it the registrar we are talking about, who would register a domain name himself, if you search it using their website. Only to find, you would have no choice for 5 days except to register it with them or wait for 5 days to register with someone else. 'douchebag' is seemingly an innocent word for this kind of business.

>Back in December, the domain registration and hosting company tested a new system that would automatically register any domains searched for by users of its site. That system went live last weekend, meaning users doing a search found the domain they wanted became unavailable and held by Network Solutions shortly afterwards.

link: http://www.geek.com/news/controversy-surrounds-network-solut...


Network Solutions now says they will not automatically enroll anyone into the program. It will be opt-in only:

http://domainnamewire.com/2014/01/22/web-com-weblock-program...



Isn't Network Solutions the company that got caught buying up domains that users would search for, if they didn't buy them immediately? Thereby forcing users to backorder domains at an increased cost? This post does not surprise me. GoDaddy isn't close to this bad.


I thought it was GoDaddy that was caught doing that.


I thought they both were, maybe at different times.

GoDaddy certainly purchase their customers' domains when they expire though, then sell them back at a huge markup.


Here's something I just don't understand about this:

How could anybody ever just "opt out" charge you money for anything? Charging somebody requires a contract between the two parties. That doesn't need to be written or signed, but there must be an agreement between the two parties of some sorts, verbal or whatever. If not, I could just spam the world saying "I herewith unlock you for Foo Service at $5000 per month, opt out by travelling to the North Pole and doing a waltz around it". Surely, that must be illegal in US law, too?

How do these people not end up in jail? Or at least sued to death by some consumer organization?


I think I don't have an account with them. But after reading this news, I wanted to make sure I don't have any inactive account with network solutions. So I went to their website and did a forgot userid/password and entered my email address. It appears my email is on their system because it says they have sent an email with my user id.

Its been about 15 minutes and I have not received any email from them. I have checked inbox, spam box..not its not here. I hope they did not activate an inactive account I may have with them or worse I hope they did not create an account I never had in the first place.


Working with a new client this year and I've been coordinating with the old developer migrating their hosting to my hardware. Long story short the client wanted to move registrars also. Moving from Network Solutions required a phone call from the client to Network Solutions. They proceeded to confuse my client by explaining they really didn't need to transfer the name out, just request the new name servers from me. They also tried to up sell a garbage SEO package. I've never used Network Solutions, but the way they operate is ridiculous.


I've begun taking over volunteer webmaster duties for a non-profit beekeeping association (made up of non-technical >= middle-aged folks) with domain reg and hosting through network solutions. I spent an hour on the phone with NS getting to the bottom of some things and got pretty appalled fairly quick. If the org hadn't renewed their setup with NS a month prior to my stepping in, I would have canceled everything on the spot. In addition to a couple other points, they charge double what godaddy charges for a .us domain. (~$40 vs. ~$20).


To add to the chorus of "use this other registrar" posts, I'd like to add one thing: read the terms and conditions you are agreeing to.

I did that quite a number of years ago and wound up choosing to use Melbourne IT, aka inww.com for my domains. They were one of the few that didn't have Ts&Cs which they reserved the right to unilaterally change at will. Of course, I've been too lazy to read their current Ts&Cs so maybe their current terms are even worse than NetSol (but that doesn't seem possible, does it?).


lol. They are the new AOL.

scaring old people with threats into paying recurring premiums for absolutely nothing besides their own corporate incompetence.

Also, kids, this is why you change your credit card info every year, at least.


This is so egregious and outrageous, why isn't this story a top result when one searches for "network solutions" in google or google news? Let's not let this die here in HN.


I find it fascinating that the first year is more expensive. You'd think they'd want to do the whole "first year is cheap!" trick to catch people on the renewal.


I think I have over 150 domains with Network Solutions and I stay with them only out of convenience.

But each time I register a new domain name, I swear I am about to sign up for a bunch of crap that I don't need - their registration workflow is fraught with pitfalls and if you simply want to reserve a domain you must navigate a minefield to complete the transaction.

Is there a domain registrar out there that simply focuses on domain registration? If so, I'd love to hear about alternatives...


I've been using INWX (https://www.inwx.de/en ) for several years now. They don't get on my nerves at all and they are still helpful and knowledgeable. And most of their prices are pretty good.


I've been quite happy with iwantmyname -- and I've noticed their co-founder frequents HN.


I like gandi.net. Very clean UI, their motto is "no bullshit" and they live up to it in my experience.


Try hover.com


It's been almost a day since this was posted, but I still haven't heard of any other customers having had the same experience.

Is there anyone else out there to whom this has happened? I'm having a hard time finding a colleague that is a NetSol customer -- so I have no one to ask. Can someone confirm that this isn't the only case of this happening?

I'm no fan of NetSol, but this seems ridiculous beyond belief. I just want to know if there is more to the story.


I was really pleased with the instantaneous load of this blog.


I HATE that they require you to call to transfer your domain. Every client I ever come across that still has Network Solutions I immediately transfer them out.


I had only troubles with network solutions. I curse the day I decided to use them. I don't understand how they still got reputation of a solid registrar.


Remember that in order to get a chargeback you have to tell your credit card company that you specifically want a chargeback. Do not tell them that you are disputing the charge. If you do not use the term "chargeback" they will merely contact the vendor who will then advise that the charge is valid. Under Visa/MC rules, if you ask for a chargeback using that language they have to give it to you.


I'm glad to see he's transferring to hover.com. I moved my domains there a little over a year ago and couldn't be happier. I didn't have issues with NS but had a lot of issues with Register.com doing shady things like this.

Hover.com is about first domain registrar I've used that didn't feel shady as far as milking every last dollar they could out of me. Trying to up sell, etc.


I agree. The few domains I have there, I'm really happy about. I love how it really focuses on domains first.

However, with the email service, google apps, and web forwarding, I'm a little concerned they'll start up-selling ssl, hosting, seo, website builders, etc, etc, etc, etc.

I think it would be hard NOT to do this as a domain registrar given how it probably feels like you're just leaving money on the table by not selling all these other related services.


namecheap is also great IMHO


Would as well recommend Namecheap.com, really professional.


I liked Namecheap, but have had major issues with their DNS service. you can't switch off of them without downtime. So don't use their dns, otherwise you are locked in. which is kinda shitty.


> I liked Namecheap, but have had major issues with their DNS service. you can't switch off of them without downtime.

That doesn't make any sense. As long as you set up the proper records in your new DNS provider prior to switching nameservers, there'll be no interruption.

It sounds like you switched nameservers first, assuming the records would just transfer over?


Namecheap controls both the domain name settings and the dns (if you use theirs). The moment you switch the nameservers for the domain, they immediately purge the records from their DNS.

So, when you point to new nameservers, anyone pointing to namecheap's dns during propagation will get SERVFAIL.

It sounds absurd... but I've gone back and forth with support about it, with no solution.


Interesting tip. I'm taking away the fact that I should transfer the nameservers away immediately after buying/transferring a domain (for Cloudfront, I presume?). Other than that, and ColdFusion hacks aside, my experience with them has also been fantastic.


Ah, that makes more sense. Haven't used their DNS - do they let you drop the TTL, at least?


haven't had any of those problems with Hover's DNS service, which is surprisingly full-featured for an self-styled minimalist service.


+1 for Namecheap, although I don't use their own DNS.


gandi.net is great


Seconded. They are a bit more expensive, but to me it's worth it. On the negative side their control panel is subpar, but there are tutorials to side-step that.


I'll jump on the Gandi bandwagon. Great customer service, communications when things go down, support for IPv6 and DNSSEC, an easy-to-understand API, reasonable prices. I am really happy with them. Just transferred the last of my domains from GoDaddy last month, and I'll be off Dotster before the end of this month. (I left Network Solutions a long time ago, and good riddance.)


i highly recommend gandi to everyone. Very good service, probably the best Europe based registration companies around.


If it's only for domain name, I would definitely recommend iwantmyname.com. It's a small team and their service is really great.

Just my 2cents!


I really do not trust hosting or domain register companies, which is why I use paypal to pay them. But recently, they have been able to setup an automatic recurring payment when I do this (9web). There is no option when I entered paypal, but to paypal's credit they did send me an email, and it was easy to log back into paypal and stop this.


Use your credit card directly, my experience is that disputing with paypal for non-physical goods or services is almost impossible for the buyer. Despite paypal's marketing, they offer virtually no protection for purchase of virtual items or services eg software.


There are plenty of domain name registrars that accept bitcoin now which is currently impossible to setup automatic recurring payments for. https://www.namecheap.com/support/payment/bitcoin.aspx


Netsol recently caused me a bit of a problem, they auto-renewed my domains for me. THREE MONTHS before they were set to expire. I decided to move my domains after that.

If you look at their site "Network Solutions is now a web.com company". Seems like the new owners are digging deep into Netsol's bowels to get that extra golden egg.


Ya know what else is funny about these guys...go to their home page (https://www.networksolutions.com/index-v2.jsp) and tell us how much a .com domain registration costs, without creating an account or signing in.


Easy, add a domain to your cart. When prompted to create an account or sign in, click on the little "Cart" icon at the top right.

$34.99 / 1yr … $999.00 / 100yr

edit: If NetSol still does domain name front running, they may now be the proud owners of correct-horse-battery-staple.com


100 years? I thought the max ICANN allowed was like 10 or 12. If you sign up for 100 years its going to be 100 years strictly through NetSol auto renewing. Ugh. Stuck with NetSol! Then after they pull the crap they did to OP and you decide you want to transfer you'd lose all those "years" you bought.


Oh them, I searched for PolyFocus.com and another domain using Network Solutions and they registered both the next day and auctioned them off to the highest bidder. They are nasty. I've heard some registrars do that. They check the search logs for anything good and grab domains up.


The same thing happened to me. I keep getting charged $15 for customer support I am not ordering, and I can't get it cancelled. After spending over 10 hours on the phone with customer service none of them have the ability to refund orders... Never use them.


Have you tried complaining to your credit card company? I would think if enough people complain, the credit card company might cut them off.


I've always considered Network Solutions to be the worst of the worst in many ways. Just trying to get a lot of their pricing off their website is a run down the rabbit hole. Even crapster Godaddy is more upfront about pricing than they are.


I've never had any issues with GoDaddy for domains. There are always coupons for renewals. I've never paid more than $7/yr for each of the twenty or so domains I have.

Just make sure you don't have domains autorenewing.


GoDaddy's the only registar I know of with a history of transferring domains to authorities merely by their request, without a court order requiring them to do so. On top of trying to sell out the web as a whole (helping to draft SOPA and having themselves written in as the recipient of seized domains), GoDaddy's not a company I would recommend doing business with.


I had the worst time trying to move my domains out of Godaddy. I emailed them, called them, got codes, configured options, and it still did not work, and nobody could explain me coherently what's wrong and how to fix it. Fortunately, it was not a very popular domain, so I just let it expire on Godaddy and then re-purchased it on another registrar. But since then I'm never touching anything with Godaddy name on it. It may be cheap, but there are other cheap options and this one isn't worth it.


But it's a pain to have to dig for the latest coupon codes every time you want to renew a domain for a reasonable price.


They will send you coupon on the renew notifications. Last year was 30% off, this year is 20% off, mostly on new products.


I think it would excellent if there existed a blacklist of companies that do this. This is clearly not an isolated incident (think freecreditreport.com). All we would need are the following columns:

offender || evidence || amount || date


I just moved away from Network Solutions. Their scumbag business practices just keep getting worse. "Auto renewing" your domains and forcing you to call in to turn off auto-renew was bad enough.


I love easydns.com. Not a big player AFAIK, but professional and very responsive.

I wouldn't consider registering a domain with NetSol and wouldn't hesitate to remove any domains they house from them.


Is anyone else afraid to check their ancient Network Solutions account to see if they have outstanding bills for thousands of dollars worth of crap they never purchased or agreed to purchase?


Domain Name Wire found out about this program, directly from Web.com. Essentially, if your domains are within the top 1% of traffic at Web.com, the company is going to opt you into WebLock.


Yeah, that's what I don't think people are realizing here. This isn't an issue of Network Solutions culture, but a result of Web.com purchasing them recently. It's Web.com culture.


A different situation, but I was just charged almost $40 dollars for a renewal that I never authorized. Network Solutions is about to loose my business. As small a sum as that may be.


I'm glad that the worst hosting company I got in bed with was Yahoo. Maybe I'm lucky, but sometimes a little research with a little experience does a stress-level good.


Why does anyone still use Network Solutions? I think that by now, I've probably heard as many horror stories about them as GoDaddy, if not slightly more.


This has got to be a hack? or something. No company could possibly this charging this sort of money "opt out" is even remotely acceptable.


Hopefully other people that get this email will google it and see this post. I'm sure many non-technical people fall for this sort of thing.


Seems like famous "Darklord of the Internet " article got wide adoption.

Being "successful" scammer is now considered a vertue.


Unbelievably sustainable business practice. It's amazing that they've been doing that decades after decades.


And this gem from the foot of the email:

"Please note that unsubscribing from our marketing emails will not affect important transactional correspondence such as administrative and renewal notices related to your account."

i.e. Anyone whom DIDN'T get this email because they have previously unsubscribed are still going to be stealth-charged? Are Network Solutions TRYING to put themselves out of business?


Far from defending NetSol here, but that's not what that means. It means that if you unsub from marketing emails, they are still able to send you transactional emails (emails relating to order confirms, existing business, technical support. Etc).

It's actually what you WANT as a consumer because otherwise it would be too risky to unsub from a vendor. It's also part of CAN-SPAM (not defending that either).


This finally convinced me to move the last 5 domains I had hosted there out.


How hard is it for anyone to file a small claims? Not hard I think.


Wow! Definitely time to get out of there.


People still use network solutions? lol j/k


cheeky fuckers




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