Network Solutions is Evil
This weekend I was all set to register a permanent domain name for my blog. It would still be hosted here at wordpress.com, but would have my personalized domain name instead of verbalprocess.wordpress.com. I knew there were lots of domain registrars out there, but went blank on all of them except for the one that is doing a fair amount of TV advertising…godaddy.com…which I refuse to use because of their insistence on using sex to sell their services.
So I did a quick Google search for “domain registration” to remind myself of other registrars. One of the first ones in the list was Network Solutions. Okay…(my mind said) that’s one I can trust…they were after all the first registrar back in 1993. So I did a search off of their home page to see if the domain name I had chosen was available. [Warning…don’t do this at Network Solutions’ website. Keep reading to find out why.] Sure enough, their site came back telling me that the domain name was available. So the next step…
I headed back to my wordpress.com dashboard and started going through their process of having them register the domain name and link it to my blog. I kept getting an odd message…it wouldn’t register the domain…it acted like the domain was already owned by someone.
So I sent a message to WordPress.com support (which I found out is only available from 8am-4pm Pacific Time). The message came back from them that “It looks like another registrar is holding onto this domain.” They pointed me to a whois page that showed the following, “This domain is registered through Network Solutions.” WHAT?
I checked another registrar…sure enough it came back that my chosen domain was taken. But if I go back to Network Solutions, the domain is available…ONLY through them. That flipped the switch in my mind. I thought I remembered some news articles about some registrar domain tasting. Sure enough…it was Network Solutions…see articles here, here, here, and here . They started this practice in December 2007. There has even been a class action lawsuit brought against Network Solutions and ICANN because of this.
Did Network Solutions actually buy the domain? No. They are using the five day grace period to keep it with themselves for four days. This also opens up this domain to being sniped up by folks doing domain kiting…which would effectively keep me from ever getting it. Because of this practice, there is no way that I will ever knowingly give Network Solutions any of my business.
Is it the end of the world that I can’t get my domain name right now? No. Is it an unethical practice for Network Solutions to engage in? Absolutely yes. Would it be good for everyone who reads this to register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (of which Network Solutions is a member)? I’ll leave that to your discretion…but I will provide a link to do so.
In the end…Friends don’t let friends use Network Solutions.
[Update: After waiting five days, I was able to register the domain that I wanted.]