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WEB HOSTING NEWS

Registerfly, a Domain Name Disaster
By: Terri Wells
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    2007-03-07

    Table of Contents:
  • Registerfly, a Domain Name Disaster
  • Customer Service? Not!
  • Blame Kevin Medina
  • Where’s the Money…and Where’s ICANN?

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    Registerfly, a Domain Name Disaster - Customer Service? Not!


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    A recent article from the Malaysia Sun describes Registerfly as “almost dysfunctional” in recent weeks, stating that its “support systems appear to be down, or completely overwhelmed.” The registrar has locked domain names, so owners can’t transfer or update them. It has even stopped displaying the authorization codes that owners need to be able to transfer their domains to other registrars.

    The chaos includes calls to numbers for sales, technical support, and billing going unanswered; some customers have told of waiting on hold literally for hours. Emails are not being answered either, and the recently-installed fax line appears to just be another communications channel that Registerfly is ignoring.

    Anyone trying to operate an online business with domains registered by Registerfly must be going through a form of hell right now. The Sun article notes that “Customers attempting to renew domains are receiving emails saying their renewals have failed, without any other information or explanation. In some cases attempts to subscribe to other services are unsuccessful with online messages indicating there is a problem with their credit card, or payment is denied. On checking with their credit card provider they are sometimes finding charges have in fact gone through.”

    Some domain owners have even said that Registerfly let their domains expire despite renewing in plenty of time, and then either sold the domain to someone else or kept it for themselves. And Registerfly has apparently become vindictive with those who dispute charges, as one Slashdot poster describes it: “They ripped me off for the price of two transfers-in that never happened ($15) then when I disputed the charges on the credit card (the money was charged but never refunded), Registerfly ‘seized’ a dozen totally different paid-up domains of mine and marked them ‘fraudulent,’ taking them offline with no notice…Registerfly staff called me names on the phone, and finally handed them back in exchange for my payment of a $75 ransom over threats that if I didn’t pay up, they’d sell them, as was their ‘right’ under their unconscionable contract terms.”

    Registerfly has also lied concerning the situation with eNom. When the two companies severed relations, Registerfly claimed that “If you decide to stay with eNom as the registrar you will pay considerably higher to renew than the special $5.99 rate we’re offering.” Registerfly was offering this rate as a special incentive to lure domain name owners away from eNom.

    The fact of the matter is, though, that eNom wasn’t offering its regular renewal rates to those caught between Registerfly and eNom in this situation. According to eNom’s FAQ about the reseller termination, domain owners have two options – and the first option sounds quite favorable on the face of it: “Create a free account at eNomCentral.com and your domain names will automatically be moved to the eNom control panel where you will instantly re-access domain management rights. There is no charge for this service, as eNom is already the registrar of record for your domains. eNom has ensured that you, as a former Registerfly customer, will receive the same discounted price as when you purchased your domain name at Registerfly. Your renewal rates will never go up, as long as your domain remains registered to you at eNom.” [Emphasis added]

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