Moniker CEO Bonnie Wittenburg discusses botched transition

Wittenburg discusses what went wrong and what the company is doing to fix it.

MonikerIt’s been a long week for Moniker and its customers.

The company transitioned its entire platform over to Key-Systems’ reseller platform over the weekend and it didn’t go as planned. Domains not set to renew were renewed, domains were missing from accounts, pricing was erroneous and other features didn’t work correctly.

Moniker took the entire site down for 24 hours starting Tuesday to address the issues.

This is obviously a major disruption to a customer base that has already endured a registrar transitioned between several owners and management teams in the past decade.

I reached out to Moniker CEO Bonnie Wittenburg with several questions regarding the botched system transition.

DNW: It’s understandable that things go wrong during a major transition like this, but it seems like a lot more went wrong that should have. What sort of testing did Moniker do prior to the transition? What happened to cause so many problems?

Wittenburg: The entire team involved in this project – both at Moniker in Florida, and at Key-Systems in our German Headquarters – conducted testing to ensure quality for functionally, usability, and reliability. Some testing required a live environment that encompasses all system components to be functioning together, rather than independently in a silo. Moniker’s systems were not technically maintained to Key-Systems’ standards in years past which resulted in a loss of fidelity during the data import process. Our efforts have brought Moniker systems up to standard from which we can begin a program of improvement. Although we anticipated difficulties with the transition, it has proven to be more complex than anticipated.

These issues have been solved or are in the process of being solved since the initial roll-out and subsequent maintenance period. We are working diligently to further improve the Moniker experience at every level. We are working closely with select customers to identify pain points and to better understand how we could prevent further issues and to learn from what has happened.

Independent from the data migration issues, some customers are affected from our transition away from SnapNames and domain names which were acquired on the SnapNames platform. We are working with SnapNames and to resolve these issues. The transition is not complete resulting in a portion of some clients’ domain names being temporarily unmanageable. We are actively working with all parties involved to resolve these outstanding issues and to ensure that these domains are safe.

DNW: I imagine much of the code base in Moniker is very old. Are any of the technical staff from Moniker still involved with the company today, or was it all handled by Key-Systems staff?

Wittenburg: Moniker formerly operated off a legacy code base built on outdated technology that would not support the introduction of new products and services in line with our goals. Although we work closely with technical staff at SnapNames in support of outstanding issues stemming from the sale of the company, none of the former engineers are still with Moniker. It has been this way for some time and all of the technical components of Moniker are handled by Key-Systems out of Germany.

DNW: What is Moniker going to do to regain the trust of its customers?

Wittenburg: We are aware that a reputation takes years to build, countless hours of hard work from our employees, and is solidified by providing quality services to our customers. To us, that means creating an easy-to-use platform that enables clients to manage their domains while maintaining security protocols. We are also aware just how fragile this relationship is between a business and consumer. These recent events are a blemish on our record, but we are not a damaged company. We remain hopeful that our clients will give us an opportunity to prove our commitment to them and we are working to restore their faith in our organization and the staff we employ. Our technical staff is working around the clock to fix and improve remaining problems to allow Moniker to operate at full capacity, our main priority. We have a top notch customer service team in place that is core to our renewed commitment to providing the best in customer service. Simply put, we are committed to making this right and will stop at nothing to restore and improve our services and quality of product we deliver.

I also had a chance to speak with Moniker Director of Marketing Mark Mariani.

Mariani explained that one of the big issues was that, while all domains were in Moniker’s database, not all were placed in customers’ accounts. This was obviously one of the big causes of alarm.

Customers who had domain names renewed that were set not to auto renew will receive refunds if they have not already.

The company is also working to address the $25 minimum PayPal payment issue and bulk authorization codes for transfers.

Moniker offers phone and ticket support for any outstanding issues but queues are longer than normal. (In my opinion, submitting a ticket might be a better option for non-urgen issues — you won’t spend time on hold and you’ll have a record of your support request.)

Moniker has had a long week. The months ahead cleaning up the mess will be even longer.


  1. Adam says

    This is all nicey nice lip service on a blog but it gives me no comfort. The site is still only half way functional (try loading a page with +1000 names for example) and support has still not responded. Even the rep I am supposed to have hasn’t bothered replying. John M is also MiA.

  2. Josh Bond says

    No mention of the fact that no one at Moniker can DELETE INVOICES? You can’t fund your account because you can’t CONTROL which domains will be renewed. Instead, funding goes to invoices and funding goes toward domains that you don’t want to renew.

    Support is useless. Support admits they cannot delete invoices. Right now, Moniker is invoicing me for domains I’ve already moved out of Moniker. I also have the SAME domains listed in multiple invoices at different prices. But no one at Moniker can delete an invoice. No one knows what basic database operations are.

    There’s no shopping cart system only buy domains you want. NO ONE will stay with this system if you don’t change it.

  3. JZ says

    This seems to be the only place where they mention that ALL domains caught via snapnames by monikers many former registrars are going to networksolutions. Why were people not told? Why was it such a big secret? Most people still don’t know while they waste hours trying to unlock and get auth codes for domains that are unmanageable. I have paid for renewals of domains that moniker doesn’t even have anymore. most of them are still listed in my moniker control panel but are not manageable. since i used moniker for mostly domains caught via snapnames 90% of my domains that were at moniker are now going to be at networksolutions….and because we were never notified that this would happen, domains that would normally get 35 days renewal grace are going to be lost because networksolutions doesn’t give that kind of grace, not to mention the inability to renew domains during this time has resulted in many people’s domains being sold at snapnames. i figure i am going to lose at least 5 domains permanently unless one side or the other steps up and does something to right this wrong.

  4. James says

    The biggest problem here is the old Moniker was built for domainers who managed thousands of domains. The new Moniker is NOT made to handle bulk actions. You can’t unlock domains in bulk, you can’t request auth codes in bulk, you can’t do anything in bulk. Add to that the hundreds if not thousands of coding errors and this is a real nightmare! Moniker can try and spin this and say they are making this a better environment but that is not the case. I am sorry but this is more then a “blemish” – this is the worst case of acne I have ever seen in my 17 years in domaining.

  5. Josh says

    You’ll either move names out now. Or later when they completely collapse. The pure disconnect between reality and Moniker decision makers is highlighted below:

    1) Who thought this system was an improvement over the last? Seriously, even if it worked properly, the design and GUI are critically flawed. Whoever designed the new interface has *never* managed a domain name portfolio before.

    2) Who thought it would be ok to not reply to support emails, some as old as Monday?

    3) Who thought it would be ok to promise to escalate issues, which would generate an email case number, and then never do escalate the issue? It’s anything to get people off the phone.

    4) Who thought it would be a good idea for customers to call support reps, who chat on the Internet typing the questions you ask them to someone else? It’s a joke.

    5) Who thought it would be ok for support reps to not understand the very system they are supposed to be supporting?

    6) Who thought it would be ok not to have a shopping cart system to renew domain names?

  6. James says

    Adam – try loading a page with 5000 domains and see what happens… try unlocking 10 domains and request 10 auth codes. It will take you about 45 minutes while you watch the lock icon go back and fourth adding to your frustrations! A simple task that once took less then 5 seconds to complete now takes 45 minutes. How is this a better platform? Bring back the legacy site please!

  7. Reality says

    Two minutes ago I set about 20 domains to “1 year renew”, pressed the “Update” button and when the page reloaded all my domains were set to “Delete at expiration”. I have zero confidence in Moniker now. I also have six renewals that I’ve been charged for, all confirmed by email, yet five of the domains are still not renewed (one expires today!) I’ve had no replies to my support tickets.

  8. says

    Nice write up Andrew, as long as they fix the invoice issue and most certainly the paypal minimum I will stay on, if not, I am gone. I just cannot use a rar that I cant reg one name at a time without risking cc charges or prepaid fund dipping. Paypal or nothing.

  9. says

    First off, it’s good to hear the official statement. Owning a disaster is one step closer to fixing it.

    Second, as a developer I understand the need to transition an old system that was based on spaghetti code. Perhaps the transition was made in an overly confident pace. Now I understand why the German programmers of Sedo take forever to roll out changes!

    Even though I only have 1 domain at Moniker, I’m still a customer. If that was my business domain, or one about to expire, or if it were stolen etc. then I’d be in panic. Customer service – on email or phone – should be trained to acknowledge, address and resolve issues. Assuming that Moniker has enough personnel to staff such positions, resolving tickets should not be a herculean task for a mid size registrar that caters to domainers.

    Lastly, Moniker is a brand and it has been damaged repeatedly over the course of several months. It can be repaired but it cannot be patched. Either the issues are resolved once and for all, or the entire customer base might be gone for good. You guys have one final chance.

    • Ben says

      We lost 1 domain name because of Moniker. Our domain is not expired but it is not in our account now. This is terrible.

  10. says

    I remember when i started domaining about 5 years ago, i called a few companies to see witch one would fit my needs.
    I called go daddy,sedo,afternic,and maybe a couple others, but i also called moniker.
    I talked to a very nice lady and she explained what they do and what they had to offer me as a customer, she also said that i had to register with snapnames to get my domains listed on there site. As i was talking to her she also said they were a small company with only 3 or 4 employees working in the office.
    At one time i had called back to moniker to ask another question about there services, but got no answer, i left a message but i got no return, then i sent an email, got no return, so i had to call snapnames to see if anyone was working at the office at moniker.
    The lady said, yes they should be there just keep trying, maybe they are out to lunch.
    That was enough for me 5 years ago, i ended up with go daddy, cause at least they can be reached 24/7 and i don’t have to wait for the person to get back from lunch or from dumping the trash to answer a question.
    I wish you all good luck.

  11. Louise says

    Do you see the Jobs link, under User Profile on the left menu? Check the jobs once you submit an update, and see if it got recorded.

    My got renewed, after the whois info went back and forth a couple times, to a private registration based in New Zealand. Screenshots and desktop video are my friends. Everything is documented.

    But I have less than 200 domain names to manage. Feel bad for those of you who have a thousand, or more.

  12. Robbie says

    I know there are some big portfolios over at moniker, and I do feel for these people, I only have a few hundred, but I really can’t account for much, as some have gone over to network solutions so I have spent about 4 hours, and really gotten nowhere. I am a bit scared to add my credit card, so I just used a low limit card, and have figured out how renewals work, really stupid not to be able to checkout, and have to wait for a system to do everything.

  13. Gone With The Wind says

    We have over 3000 domains at Moniker and have had them there for years, and if they were to manage to fix every little problem they have and if they were to cut the price in half and if they promised me the moon…I would still take every single domain away IF..they do not remove the default and ridiculously dangerous drop-down item “renew/delete at expiration” or “delete now” option that is easy to click in a rush…who in their right mind is going to risk that? One great domain lost is not worth the “Moniker Experience”…no Madam, not for me. You don’t remove that scary rat trap and Hasta La Vista Baby!

  14. Domo Sapiens says

    Andrew, thanks for bringing the issues and news that matter into the spotlight in a reader friendly manner….
    Domaining dot com it has become nothing but pure new gTLD propaganda (Can you semll the desperation?) , the obnoxious and nauseous format as well as the garbage posted as of lately is not even worthy of use as a bird cage liner “all in a name of a dollar”…it gives a bad impression about this Industry … short of “used car sales people”
    The door is wide open for a new professional domain news aggregator…


    • says

      Apples and oranges. What does the Moniker issue have to do with your agenda over gTLDs or There’s Domainsville and also

  15. Moniker Customer says

    I have registered / org and /org

    I hope they get their act together and this doesn’t turn out to be another RegisterFly fiasco in case any of you remember that one. Tens of thousands of name were lost, deleted or vanished. I lost over 300 domains in that mess. Supposedly ICANN has implemented procedures for warehousing whois data so this wouldn’t happen again.

    Just to be on the safe side if anyone out there would like to get involved in getting the word out, with enough interest and assistance (as I am not a blogger) i would consider creating a site and spreading the word. You may email to get on list to:

    Moniker Customer

  16. Left moniker a long time ago says

    What would you do if you could not trust your bank anymore?
    1. If the bank website NOW ran at a snails pace.
    2. If the bank did not answer the phone
    3. If you find a mistake and bank saws they can’t do anything about it.
    4. If the bank incorrectly charges you.
    5. If money was there yesterday and not there today.
    6. If the bank President (who you don’t know) saws that everything will eventually work out. I’m pretty sure.

    How is Moniker different than your bank?

  17. SF says

    An old saying goes:

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on Me.

    As a decades long Moniker customer, I knew I should have left a long time ago. I must now accept the fact that it is my own fault that I am up to my eyeballs in this cesspool.

    The lack of customer support is nothing new.
    The lack of respect for customers in nothing new.
    The bugs, glitches and site outages are nothing new.

    I can only make excuses for why I didn’t leave. Perhaps it was misguided loyalty for the old Moniker …the “Monte days”.
    Or, perhaps I was just too lazy. Lesson Learned!

    Talk Doesn’t Matter Any More.

    I see The Robot sticking his arms out and sounding the Alarm:
    Danger, Danger …Danger, Will Robinson!

    It Is Time To Leave.

  18. Gary says

    it’s day 5 for me, frozen by this portfoliolock that won’t allow me to change a damn thing. 5 emails in to their support system, and not a single reply. 3 calls in to their team, with a new promise everyday it will be fixed.

  19. says

    They accidentally deleted all my domains and won’t answer my support requests. Lawsuits will no doubt be forthcoming from me and others.

  20. Bummed says

    This reminds me of registerfly. Moniker may lose their merchant credit card account(s) if there are a lot of charge backs from unauthorized charges. Plus tickets are getting no response.

  21. Mike says

    Many domain names have recently reappeared in our account’s control panel but we are unable to renew these names due to unknown system errors. Clicking renew for some brings up nothing while other names can be renewed.

    Still other names have disappeared completely from our account and now appear “in auction” at snapnames or listed under privacy in New Zealand.

    Snapnames tells us that the auctions of our names by Moniker (for their sole profit) could be cancelled but Moniker has not asked them to stop the auctions so they refuse to do so.

    The chaos at Moniker continues and there will be at least one lawsuit filed. My immediate fear is that there will not be enough to pay for all the damage that has been done.

  22. DrDomainer says

    They have charged me for domains that should of been deleted. Please go back to the old control panel TODAY!! If they don’t give my money back soon I’m going contact my lawyer.

    We should setup
    if they don’t fix our problems.

  23. Bobolob says

    Another day rolls by and my domains still haven’t been renewed, despite my card being charged. One of them expires today, so I guess we’ll see what happens next. Still no response to my support ticket.

  24. teri says

    Not one of my tickets has been replied to. I have NOT been refunded for the unauthorized renewals. I have 2 domains that were renewed the 17th and 20th of May showing as expired. Took an entire day to unlock 2 domains.

    I have not received any sort of communication from Moniker telling me anything. Not any apology. Not any notice of what is happening. Not any estimation of when functions will work or when things will be resolved. Nothing. Why is Bonnie only talking to you?

    This is unacceptable.

  25. says

    i am transferring all my names entering the deletion period there to understand that every major change needs time but man this is the worst case how a transition can be made.Test,test,test ! Not once but many times before doing something big like this.


    Bye Moniker.

  26. says

    ** Your systems are not what let you down Bonnie, it’s your poor customer service. **

    If their support had simply replied to support requests (even with an auto-reply) with an expectation of when to receive a sensible reply, and assurance my domains are safe, that is all I would have needed to keep some confidence in them.

    Seeing as there has been no response to support requests in over a week (even before the system downgrade this was happening, so can’t blame that) I now have no confidence in them and have started transferring all my domains to Namecheap.

    Top tip: If you are getting charged every few days for items you never ordered with Moniker, call your card company and ask them to place a ‘stop request’ from This will block Moniker’s ability to charge your card (don’t do it if you have renewals due).

  27. SF says

    Looks like they are trying everything they can to Prevent Transfers.
    Now, the Lock/Unlock feature is simply not showing up.
    Without this, you cannot Unlock.
    Without Unlocking, requesting Authcodes Fails.
    So, You can’t the Authcodes …You can’t transfer.

  28. Robbie says

    Hey Bonnie, Class action suit? you should start letting transfers out, otherwise this will soon be a domainer owned registry.

  29. Nancy says

    Moniker’s foundation has failed and the attempts to repair are a dismal failure too. Moniker is slowly imploding.

    How can they recover from such a utter fisaco. This will cost them not only trust and credibility, but lots of money…. the lawsuits.

    So many little nasty tricks to keep you from transferring you dormain names away from Moniker.

    PLAYING GAMES! Holding our domains hostage!

    • Volker Greimann says

      No one is being intentionally being prevented from transferring his domains. If something does not work, please send a ticket with your customer number and domain name affected so it can be analyzed and fixed.

      • Nancy says

        If Moniker is not making things difficult then…..

        Why can I not delete method of payment. I should have CONTROL over my credit card.
        Why do you hide the instructions on how to transfer a domain OUT of Moniker?
        Why no manual renew option on the drop down menu? You are forcing us to renew a domain so we do not loose it.
        Where is my invoice history?
        the list goes on…..

        I have been trying to transfer a domain out of Moniker since Sunday. I have called and sent support tickets… stuck on hold and disconnected…otherwise no call back or email response. I will try again.

        Once when I called I spoke with Phillip, although he could not do much, Phillip at least listened to my complaints and he was knew what was going on and explained it to me. A really nice guy. Moniker needs more customer service people like Phillip.

        Pardon my misspellings in previous comment…

  30. Left Moniker a long time ago says

    Good thing Icann is not a regulatory organization, just a tax collecting organization. If the registrar didn’t pay Icann, they would quickly put them out of business. There is no regulatory organization to tell Moniker to protect their customers.
    After the RegisterFly fiasco (approx. 8 yrs ago), Icann said that customers need to be protected from unjust loss of valuable domains.
    If I recall correctly, Icann finally froze Registerfly after tens of thousands of domains were lost.
    Where is Icann now? I realize it is time consuming to count hundreds of millions of Dollars but maybe they could stop for a couple minutes and help domain owners. Or, are they going to lock the barn door in a couple months after all the cows are gone.

  31. Josh says

    Yes, I can’t unlock domain names either. It shows as unlocked, even when it’s not. And if you try to toggle it, it doesn’t unlock. I guess too many people were leaving?

    • ChuckWagen says

      Josh: don’t know if you’ve had success, but if not try this. From the pull-down menu above your domains list (I think it’s titled Actions…?) scroll down and you’ll find Lock/Unlock, select Unlock

  32. Gary says

    Friday update. Put another call in. And again I was greeted by Swawn/Shaun. I’ve spoken to this same guy each day. Coincidence? More likely not, they clearly have a skeleton crew on the support phones.

    anyway. back to my portfolio lock. Each day I have been promised it will be fixed tomorrow. And today, I am told there is now no ETA. When asked what I was supposed to do what with being completely unable to change anything in the account, I was told to be patient.

    Props to Shaun for telling it like it is.

    • JZ says

      not working for me. many domains say they are unlocked when they are not. i click it and it says its locked but when you reload the control panel, its comes back saying unlocked again and nothing updates the lock status in whois.

  33. Left Moniker a long time ago says

    The creek keeps rising !!
    (just received this)
    Moniker, one of our SedoMLS Premium registrars, upgraded their systems recently which causes SedoMLS to be temporarily unavailable. This change will affect both listing Moniker registered domains on the SedoMLS network and SedoMLS domains sold at Moniker.
    We will notify you again when they are back online. Thank you for your understanding.
    Best regards
    Your Sedo Team

  34. Richard says

    Nice to see Bonnie replying in the comments here. Reminds me of hands-on Monte (sarcasm).
    No support tickets responded to.
    Blocked debit card so Moniker can’t take any more money for domains I don’t want renewed. Have had to talk nicely to the bank as I’m now overdrawn.
    No way to renew domains without leaving myself open to Moniker helping themselves to as much as they want when they want for any reason (made up or not) they want when they want.
    Already kissing some of my domains goodbye.
    Basically powerless to do anything.
    The way I see it if Moniker doesn’t fix this within one or two weeks it’ll implode under the cumulative weight of support requests as more and more customers’ domains come up for renewal and more and more customers notice that their cards are being debited for unwanted renewals.
    Can anyone tell me a successful procedure to transfer domains out, step by step, and which registrar have they transferred to? Preferably a registrar with a grace period as some of my domains are now in that grace period or will be in a few days time.

  35. Left Moniker a long time ago says

    “the issue with the faulty debits was resolved. It should not happen again.”

    Sounds like the proverbial “TRUST ME.”

    After this, I bet Monte could buy Moniker for pennies on the dollar. I know he doesn’t need those headaches any more.

  36. Portfoliolock FUBAR says

    @Volker Greimann

    what about portofliolock?
    I appreciate there weren’t too many of us paying $140 a year extra just to add a question & answer layer to the security.. but i was fool enough, and now I am stuck not being able to switch it off

    • Volker Greimann says

      Portfolio lock is being worked on. Our developers assure me the fix will be deployed today.

  37. Josh Bond says

    @Volker Greimann

    Domain lock/unlock is NOT working. Just tried it on domains that expire in November.

    All domains are showing as unlocked, but the registry is showing them as locked. When I try to toggle the lock/unlock, it appears to work. But when you refresh the Moniker account page, the status goes back to unlocked. And the registry still says its locked. The status at the registry never changes, meaning the user cannot unlock a domain name.

    Cynical people would think this is done to prevent transfers out. But I’m sure you didn’t do this on purpose, as it would be in violation of the ICANN agreement.

    • Josh Bond says

      Now, for the moment, lock/unlock is working. Still not bulk unlock. But hey, one domain at a time.

  38. James says

    Still can’t use bulk search – using filter returns domains without any means to unlock or lock – what a mess. Each day it is something else!!

  39. says

    Having been a customer of both DomainDiscount24 (owned by Key-Systems) and Moniker for many years, I can only say that this turned out to be a catastrophe.

    First of all, why would you turn an established registrar into a reseller instead of merging it with the parent company? Well, I guess by now they don’t really have any other choice but to get rid of the Moniker brand and move all domains over to DD24 while there are still customers left.

    Secondly, security is the most important feature for domain owners. Even if you only have one domain, that might be valuable to the customer for personal reasons or it might be the main domain of a corporation. In any case, the domain must never be lost. Why then have the Moniker security features not been working properly?

    The list goes on… So many things are not working. There is absolutely no way they could convince me that they have conducted proper testing before the transition. This looks more like trial and error to me, which is fatal when valuable assets and online identities are affected.

    Let me finish by saying that this is also plain sad… Moniker used to be the most secure registrar, and it had a good customer relations team before it changed ownership. Now what is left of the company? It was great doing business with Moniker, but things gradually went downhill over the past years. After more than 10 years I have no choice but to look for another registrar.

  40. Gary says

    Even one at a time unlocking isn’t working.

    If you try to unlock a domain now managed by, the status in the whois changes to “Registry Registrant ID” – what the heck does that mean

  41. says

    I appear to be able to Unlock domains (individually or in bulk) in my Moniker control panel, but when I do a Whois lookup at Netsol ( ) I always get the status of “clientDeleteProhibited” rather than the expected one of “ok”.

    Has anyone been able to do a transfer-out from Moniker in the last few days with a status of “clientDeleteProhibited” showing in the Whois rather then “ok” ?

    • says

      The WHOIS must say “OK” in order to transfer out. Give it a few hours to sync with the Registry, then check again. My last domain at Moniker is on its way to Uniregistry.

          • JZ says

            when i unlocked it the clienttransferprohibited went away but the clientdeleteprohibited stayed

          • Dave Z says

            Ah, then you can transfer the domain name. Clientdeleteprohibited, as the words imply, prevents the domain name from being deleted just like that.

        • ChuckWagen says

          I have to chime in that I have a Moniker domain still showing “Client Delete Prohibited” but I submitted the auth code anyway and it at least appears to be going through the motions, I received an email stating the transfer will complete by 6/12 unless I cancel the request.

      • says

        I agree Acro…

        On your recommendation, Uniregistry looks pretty good to me…I’ve signed up – and, I’m transferring one domain from Moniker to Uniregistry – to test the Moniker Transfer Out system is working, and to see how Uniregistry works…

        …As of this moment, it seems Moniker is allowing this domain to be transferred out…We’ll see…


  42. Bummed says

    This is even a major issue at this point because they have had ample time to hire additional temporary help staff.
    They have chosen not to even though there are all of these issues. So not only did the upgrade/downgrade go bad, they are demonstrating that they do not know how to handle customer service.

    This is affecting many people. This should be reported in mainstream media to light a fire under their butts. It also would be neat for domainnamewire to be referenced as a good resource. Since they have made many unauthorized charges they also may lose their merchant account or at least have to pay higher rates. This would make it impossible for them to recover from this. Registerfly all over again.
    If anyone has mainstream media contacts, point them to this page.

  43. says

    ICANN regulations prohibit an accredited registrar from preventing transfer-outs to another registrar.

    But with the= Lock/Unlock system appearing not to work properly – or at least consistently – this is effectively what is happening.

    You can’t get your domains out in time before the renewal date and so are forced to renew at Moniker.

    I wonder how many complaints about this effectively locking clients into Moniker would have to be made to ICANN before they stepped-in and took action ?

    I am getting sick and tired of wasting my valuable time playing these games with the Moniker system !

    How on earth could such basic functionality failing have been missed in the thorough testing that obviously has to be undertaken before such a major system change ?

  44. says

    How long have you had to wait for emailed authorisation codes to arrive – it’s been over 40 minutes so far – do I need to allow longer ?

    I’m getting nervous about all this delay – I just have zero confidence any more in having any domains physically located at Moniker.

    I have this feeling this unbelievable ****-up could well be the beginning of the end for Moniker as without customer trust and recommendations (I have recommended them several times in the last 10+ years) there’s not much hope for survival in such a competitive marketplace.

    I want to get out now and get on with my internet business – the Moniker system is taking up too much of my time – which is money – which is very annoying !

  45. Nancy says

    If you sit back and consider a few other things….. Ms. Wittenburg came on board back in February, which is hardly enough time to get up to speed on such a complex and herculean task. So, it makes me wonder if she is the fall guy for this fiasco which is compounded by Moniker’s years of ineptitude.

    This project should have been in the works for a year or two before she took over…. maybe… maybe not.

  46. says

    There’s a useful link in the bottom left of your Moniker account screen, unfortunately “below the fold” so I’ve only just noticed it, labelled “Requested jobs”.

    Clicking this shows me that the Emailed Authorisation Code requests I made about 3 hours ago are still stuck in “Pending” status.

    I’ve never come across a registrar who makes obtaining such a vital bit of information so difficult – anyone would think Moniker were scared of losing their customers !

    • ChuckWagen says

      Absolutely true. For anyone associated with Moniker to state otherwise is completely disingenuous.

  47. Reality says

    You don’t reply to support tickets. I submitted on three days ago and haven’t heard a word, and the problem is still there. One of my domains is now past expiry, the transfer lock is off but the registry is showing locked (too late to transfer it now anyway, but there was enough time when I unlocked it), I have an “immediate renewal” job pending for it that never actually completes. So, no, nobody wants to waste more of their time submitting tickets or sitting on hold for an hour phoning support. Just fix the f%&king problems.

  48. Upset says

    At this point they need to give people a way to log in to the old system or they will lose all their customers. No one with any substantial number of domains will stay with the new system, even if they get it working.

  49. Nancy says

    Ok… what the &*^%$ … been trying to transfer ONE domain since last Sunday. It shows unlocked at Moniker but is locked at the Registry… cannot get Moniker to unlock it…. Just signed into my account… and now ALL my domains show to be UNLOCKED…. go figure!

    • Josh says

      The lock/unlock system is malfunctioning again. You can’t transfer domains out until they fix it (again).

  50. fridgemagnet67 says

    Today’s laugh: just been rebilled for my expired name, but it still shows as expired. Added laugh: all my domains are now shown as unlocked even though I haven’t requested that.

  51. Manjana Manjana says

    @Volker Greimann: “Portfolio lock is being worked on. Our developers assure me the fix will be deployed today”

    well it’s tomorrow. and it’s not fixed. the job just sits in the queue with pending status. You’re no different to the support teams standard reply of “tomorrow”.

  52. ChuckWagen says

    “Moniker has had a long week. The months ahead cleaning up the mess will be even longer.” well yeah 😉

  53. Richard says

    @Volker Greimann
    When trying to change renewal options it just goes back to ‘1 year at expiration’
    I also have invoices stacked up where Moniker tried to take money for domains that were NOT on autorenewal. Are these invoices ‘dead’ or if I take the block off my card will Moniker start trying to take money again?
    When will support tickets / requests get more than an auto-responder? Is the only way to sort this out to ring from the UK?

  54. says

    Bit of technical advice requested here.

    If I request a transfer-out of a domain today that has 4 days to expiry – and Moniker doesn’t release it for 7 days – do ICANN regulations say this must be allowed to go ahead, even though at the date of physical transfer-out in 7 days time it is actually 3 days over its expiry date.

    Thanks in anticipation for anyone who has experience of this scenario.

    Mike Seaton.

    • says

      Some registrars allow transfer out even after expiry. Technically, since you initiated the transfer out before expiration, it should complete.

    • Nancy says

      I do not know about now…. but during the past year, I have transferred expired domains from Moniker to GoDaddy. Moniker took their typical 8 or so days to fo the transfer, otherwise it went smoothly.

    • says

      Thanks for the info – the problem I have is that there’s no point in me paying a registrar to request a transfer-in of a domain when I can’t get a status of “OK” approx 24 hours after I unlocked the domains in my Moniker account – see my post following.


      • Nancy says

        I am having the same issue… cannot get domain unlocked to transfer… I have been trying since Sunday.

        There are several hundred or thousands of other domainers with even more domains in the same boat.

        At GoDaddy the transfer order is good for 30 days… and if something goes snafu and doesn’t happen in the 30 days, DoDaddy will refund my money or give me a credit…. or work with me until I can get it transferred. They know what is going on at Moniker. I do not know if the 30 day limit is an ICANN thing or a GoDaddy policy.

        Eventually we will get control of our domains and get them transferred… if not, then Moniker is toast.

        Yes I am worried and yes I am aggravated and yes I want my domains and yes I am #itching about it because Moniker needs to get an ear full for being so short sighted with implementing this new platform. Talk about poor planning…..

        For me at least, I do not have a domain sale pending like some guys do…

  55. says

    @Volker Greimann – It’s taken 5-6 hours for the Authorisation Code emails to reach me.

    About 16 hours ago I UNLOCKED ALL MY DOMAINS in my Moniker account in preparation for a mass transfer-out.

    Yet despite my Moniker account still showing all my domains as unlocked a Whois lookup still returns CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED in the Status entry so you are effectively – and against ICANN regulations – preventing me from transferring out which means if I don’t renew with Moniker I will lose my domains.

    Please don’t tell me to open a Support Ticket – my one from 5 days ago regarding double billing has just had an autoresponder reply but no action taken, or even acknowledged, regarding the double charge to my credit card.

    It’s obvious this failure to release the Registry lock, even though the Moniker domain locks were released hours ago, is a system level problem and not connected to just one or two accounts.

    Do your fed-up customers really have to go to the trouble of filing OFFICIAL ICANN COMPLAINTS against Moniker or will you finally get your act together and make sure that if you unlock a domain in your Moniker account it is then set to status “OK” so transfer-out can happen.

    You’ve had enough bad PR already – do you really need to risk any more by effectively preventing customers leaving Moniker which so many are now desperate to do.

    You can **** around with individual customers – do you think you can do the same with ICANN.


    Simple really – now just please do it !

    • Richard says


      Do your fed-up customers really have to go to the trouble of filing OFFICIAL ICANN COMPLAINTS against Moniker or will you finally get your act together and make sure that if you unlock a domain in your Moniker account it is then set to status “OK” so transfer-out can happen. – See more at:

      Good luck with that. I’ve just been to the ICANN website and as far as I can see they’re effectively useless. This page doesn’t fill me with hope.

    • Richard says

      I’m really struggling to figure out how to transfer out as all the help I can find refers to the old interface. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      I’m resigned to losing domain names now. I just hope I can get the bulk out. Web support is still non-existent. Easy enough to hire temporary staff as has been stated. The token hired hand who replied here has disappeared., It’s still impossible to get domain names off auto-renewal. All my years of hard work are going down the drain. ICANN doesn’t appear to have a complaints procedure worthy of the name – from what I can figure out we can only complain within very narrow parameters. And nobody else except domainnamewire has noticed what’s going on. I’d love to know why – is it some sort of covert consensus?

      Anyhow, HOW do I transfer out? Hopefully I’ll figure it out but if it doesn’t help me it’ll surely help others. All I’ve managed to do so far is unlock the domains.

      Feeling very depressed. :-)

  56. says

    I just found a domain that had expired quite a time before the change to the “New Moniker” in my account again, freshly registered…it’s one I had signed a C&D for. Not funny at all.

  57. Meyer says

    Considering the back office software is screwed up, I would be surprised if Moniker would want domains flowing out until they have some control.
    Icann is not going to do anything.

    As for proving domain ownership, that is not a problem. Moniker (and all medium to large registrars) deposit the whois daily to a third party database to protect domain ownership (required by Icann and ACTIVELY enforced.) (Smaller and private registrars deposit it weekly.)

    As for bringing in temp. employees probably won’t happen.

  58. Bummed says

    Here is some unlock advice. It took me awhile to figure it out because the regular unlock feature is broken.
    If you go to the domain list and click next to the domain and use the drop-down menu to unlock, then hit submit, then make sure to submit a second time, it will unlock after awhile. The bad thing is that the function to allow the push is broken. But it will start the process and the transfer should happen in about 6 days. I don’t see them surviving this. They do not seem to care as they could have hired additional temporary staff by now. They keep compiling mistake after mistake. This is beyond a bad upgrade.

      • Bummed says

        I am trying to Approve a transfer out without having to wait and do not see another option. I know there is a push between accounts however I could not find a way to approve the transfer from within moniker once approved via email link. I don’t want to wait 5-6 days. Is there a place to immediately approve the transfer out as there is at other registrars?

        • Nancy says

          Up until now, Moniker always took at least 7 days to transfer a domain. As for pushing a domain between Moniker accounts, I do know recall how long that takes.

          • says

            @Bummed & Nancy

            I Pushed a domain to another account at Moniker 3 days ago…

            The transfer was instant (as soon as the receiving person followed Moniker’s ‘Acceptance Process’ – It worked perfectly.


  59. says

    I just unlocked a domain and got the access code without problem.

    I just clicked the “lock” icon. About 15 seconds later it switched to unlock. I then clicked the domain and clicked the link for the auth code.

    Other than a spelling error in the confirmation that the auth code was being sent, that worked fine.

    I then received the auth code by email in under a minute.

    • SF says

      I have used that same procedure and it has worked …sometimes.
      Other times, it has not. Different features in their system go from Working to Not Working …Randomly. It’s a crap shoot.

      The system seems to be reacting as if there were a bunch of unqualified people arbitrarily trying stuff, just to see what happens.

      Hey dude, what’s this button? Uh, I don’t know. Push it and see what happens. Okay. Uh-oh, that’s not good. Push something else and see if that’ll fix it.

      If I understand correctly, this is a “reseller” platform. I gather it is Their Own Reseller Platform??? So, it must be out there in the wild, being used successfully by others. Yet, their own platform seems completely Alien to them!

      And, their people remain in Hiding (except for a little propaganda when they dropped by here). Customer service …NONEXISTENT.

      And, the only place this Major Registrar Meltdown is getting any press is here, at DNW. I am perplexed by that. No Other Major Domain Industry Outlet has been willing to touch this with a ten foot pole.

      • Josh says

        I wonder if the Moniker website is hosted across multiple servers, with different versions of the website code on each server. Sometimes unlocking and auth codes work, and a refresh or page later, they do not.

    • Richard says

      For anyone else trying to figure out the authorisation code, you need to click on the domain name and then click on ‘advanced settings’ and a dropdown box will appear with a ‘Request authorisation code’ button.

    • Richard says

      Bummer. I was half way through getting the authorisation codes for transferring out – all 80 of them, one at a time, apart from the few that Moniker is probably going to ‘lose’ for me because I can’t renew them since I’ve put a block on my card because they were helping themselves to my money and there is no known way of contacting them – and I get this message:

      To All Moniker Customers,

      We are experiencing technical difficulties. We will be back online shortly. Our team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

      Please, nightmare, end soon! But not in a nightmarish way – just let me get my domains out first …

    • jZ says

      that works as long as the lock status on the control panel is correct,otherwise you have to use bummed’s method. many of my domains say unlocked in the panel but locked when i lookup the whois.

  60. Richard says

    re. No Other Major Domain Industry Outlet has been willing to touch this with a ten foot pole.

    Moniker is part of the KeyDrive group that owns SnapNames and some parking company – it’s on the answerphone message that so far has NOT led to customer support.

    Seems to me that everyone is either scared or has vested interests in not upsetting KeyDrive. I’ll scratch your back or turn a blind eye and everything will be just fine.

    Or am I being unduly cynical?

    Way to go, investigative bloggers!

  61. Nancy says

    @ Richard,

    So what do you mean by “”””No Other Major Domain Industry Outlet has been willing to touch this with a ten foot pole”””

    This is has been and is being discussed on other blogs.

    Moniker’s mess has not impacted everyone, so some folks do not even think about it. Sure we are talking and %$tching up a storm because we have domains at Moniker…. We see this as a serious problem… however, I submit some folks do not see it this way or even care about it. (which is sad… they should care)

    Oh, and I finally got an email from Moniker that they unlocked my domain at the registry. It looks to be in “process” at GoDaddy. WaHOO!

  62. says

    Anyone know how to fix the following situation?…:

    I own a domain won by backorder via Snapnames in Dec 2011…The ‘Partner’ Registry was, so the domain is listed at Moniker. Okay.

    Moniker issued me with an Auth Code for this domain, so I could transfer it out…but when I entered the Auth Code into the Transfer-in field of the Registry I wanted to transfer the domain to, it said: ‘invalid Auth Code’…!

    …WHOIS says that the domain is actually registered at (never heard of them!)….but (again)….there’s no way I can see to access OREGONEU to get them to give me an Auth Code for this domain.

    …So, I can’t transfer my domain!!….It appears to be trapped in some bullshit thing between an obscure Registry (OREGONEU), and Moniker…

    I’ve emailed Snapnames, asking them to get me a valid Auth Code for the domain, since they sold me a domain Registered at this OREGONEU Registry (which seems to be part of the Snapnames setup?).

    Anyone have any other ideas how I could get a valid Auth Code for this domain, so I can transfer it out of Moniker??


    • Nancy says

      @Voltaire…. I too have the same issue with the domain I have been trying to transfer…. it showed registered at some other off the wall company…. apparently this is part of the gibberish in the Moniker system and doesn’t seem to mean anything. You very first authorization code may still be good…. that is what I had to use to get the transfer going at GoDaddy. It worked and things are still processing…

      • says

        @ Nancy…

        Thanks, Nancy…

        Can I ask what you meant by:

        “…Your very first authorization code may still be good…. that is what I had to use to get the transfer going at GoDaddy….”

        What is ‘…a very first Auth Code…’?

        I’ve had Moniker generate 2 Auth Codes for this domain now, and UniRegistry say both are ‘invalid’…Waiting to hear back from Snapnames…


        • JZ says

          these domains are with networksolutions now. all domains caught via snapnames registrars are being moved there since they bought all the registrars that were used to capture them when they bought snapnames.

          • says


            I spoke to Network Solutions support on the phone yesterday, and they had no idea what, or who, OREGONEU Registry was….They said I should contact Snapnames…So, I’m waiting to hear from them.

            Classic bounce-around…

            What’s the matter with these people?….All this is seedy, and not at all transparant…Why?….Its all truly a nightmare.


          • jZ says

            yep and snapnames has no eta as to when this ‘migration; will be complete…i have no access to hundreds of domains that i paid thousands.

        • Nancy says

          Sometimes when we are transferring a domain, and things do not work correctly, we will submit for a new auth code…. and authorization codes expire, they have a time limit. Being faced with Moniker’s system being all messed up, we cannot expect things to work as they used too… so the possibility of an authorization code expiring too soon, or not working at all can be anticipated. So if you asked more than once for an authorization code for the domain transfer, then one or the other may work… and maybe not.

          As for the the domain registrar mix up…. I think it still correct in Moniker’s system, because I have and still have the same issue with some unknown registrar listed as the registrar for my domain…. and the authorization code from Moniker worked.

          It’s a mess and we cannot fix it…. we can *&itch, yell and scream… file complaints and file lawsuits…etc…. the other thing we can do is wait and keep testing the Moniker system to see if it is working and try to transfer our domains.

          • says


            Thanks again…

            Good point. In a messed up system, maybe its a case of ‘hit or miss’ – sometimes something works, sometimes not. Just keep trying – it may ‘hit’.


  63. SF says

    Just give Moniker’s “Rapid Response” customer service team a call.
    They’ll get right on it.

    You should hear something from them …before you die.

  64. Christian says

    Moniker CEO Bonnie Wittenburg should resign. I’d like to throw a couple of dozen eggs at her, I wonder if that would liven her up.

  65. George says

    So I sent them a support ticket 8 days ago and they finally got back to me (!) My whois information was not accessible in the public whois for some domains… well that problem is *sort* of fixed now… but my new problem is that any domains that I had whois privacy protection on no longer have it! Hahahah…. what a MESS! C-ya Moniker!

  66. Louise says

    Like vultures, you prey upon other people’s ideas and reputation, because you don’t make the effort and take the initiative to create ideas of your own. Other people’s ideas – domains that are built on, or original, or apply to new technology are the lifeblood of your failing business model. It’s failing, because you’re peeing in the same cistern that you drink from.

  67. monikerfail says

    I have 1200 USD in my Moniker balance. I have raised 6 tickets asking for a refund over 2 weeks, and clicked the refund payment button more times than i can count.

    your customer service sucks, your systems suck. Fuck you

  68. says

    I have several support tickets in at Moniker….Some for well over a week now….No reply to any of them.

    This is all getting a bit old…in every sense of the word!


  69. James says

    I am moving all, over ten thousand domains out!!! The problem is even the transfer is a problem. Among other issues, the domains are locked even though they are shown as unlocked, the auth codes are wrong, no bulk operations, etc.

    Imagine managing so many domains in such a system, OMG! Can we sue Bonnie and

    I just wonder if these guys are technically competent. Surely, even if you have a dream and want to change the system to this dream (but nightmarish one) they could have let the two systems run in parallel and users can choose for a limited period of time to use either of the systems, and all this is a no brainer. Even if the new system is great we still need some time to get used to it. Most of the posts here are beginning June, it is coming to end of June and I am still experiencing all kinds of problems. Phew…

    • Alex says

      Can anyone please teach me step by step how to renew a domain at Moniker, I have tried clicking everywhere but could not find any way to do it. Thanks

      • Screw You Moniker says

        Yea. unlock the domain name by clicking on the lock graphic. click on advanced settings then click on “Email Authorization Code”. Then transfer the domain to another company….. They told me today the shopping cart does work for renewals and after trying last night to get me over this bump I made the decision to run very fast and very far away from Moniker…. transfer, transfer, transfer

  70. says

    What a joke took me half an hour to renew just one domain after they couldnt charge my creditcard i had to prepay from my paypal account which took them 20 minutes to verify the payment and add to my account after which the invoice which i couldnt see for that domain was generated. Make sure you dont try and do the same action again and again because it will keep renewing the domain and there is a 10 minute time lapse in between when you click and when its renewed its like they went backwards. Guess ill be moving my 100 or so domains elsewhere.

  71. Christian says

    Moniker your system is STILL BROKEN! I’m off to ASAP. bonnie wittenburg should step down as ceo. Your company has caused mayhem.

  72. William says

    I have four domains listed in my Moniker account that I recently renewed; all now have a 2015 expiration date. Problem is that all four are now in “REDEMPTION” status!

    May have something to do with the domains that Network Solutions took control of and moved out of Moniker. All four of these domains are from SnapNames’ registrars.

    • William says

      Forgot to mention that EVERYONE should check the “status” of their renewed (entire month of May) domains.

  73. Screw You Moniker says

    I am done….. I am tired of yelling, waiting, cussing, waiting…. I was able to get them to refund the money they owed me after they renewed a bunch of expiring names but now I have a 30 dollar negative balance in my prepaid account. I am just letting domain names expire rather than deal with Moniker. I have given up over thirty names in the last month…… This is a chemical plant burning in my neighborhood while Bonnie the CEO is at my front door in a HAZ MAT suit telling me everything is OK and I can breath the smoke from the chemical fire… I am sure they will live to work again but it does not seem as though Moniker cares if I survive… With my last grasp of air….. Screw you Moniker!!!!!!

    • Screw You Moniker says

      Checked with my Credit Card company today and they told me Moniker had not returned my money from their 6/3/14 charges of domain names set to expire at expiration. No. No.No. That had to be wrong because Moniker sent me emails saying they had credited my account…. NO. Moniker customer service admitted they accidentally credited a duplicate account which the new system accidentally created. Suddenly my cash on hand account balance had a small sum added to it and when I told them to return this money to my credit card they refused calling me a liar. The Moniker customer Service Rep told me I had told her to do this.

      I am in the process of contacting my Attorney General and they assured me they would look into this and contact the Florida Attorney General. It is a small amount of money but this may be Fraud instead of a mistake. And yes I have transferred out as many domain names as I can afford.

      Why would I want to pay credit card interest on a cash account balance at a company I will never renew a domain name with. If they promised to return your money to your credit card then you need to check with your credit card company…. chances are they never did what the said….

  74. Scott Wolpow says

    I am happily moving m,y domains away from Moniker. If I have ANY issues I will start legal action. I also ill ask others to join me. Why do all the German registrars make it so hard? Like 1&1, who also refuse to transfer domains. I am using where they care about you.

  75. says

    I don’t think I have anything to say here but this: in 2005, Bulkregister hired me to work with their CTO and Eric Rice to design and create a domain management system for big domain owners. That design was copied after BR was sold to Enom, including the way it worked, which is now the basic way all domainers expect their admin panels for their registrars to work. One of the first to copy Bulkregister’s system was Moniker. That was around 2006… or so. And that system worked perfectly and was strong. Why did the “new” Moniker feel they had to “change it up”?

    There’s nothing else to be said here that hasn’t been said by all these Moniker customers. They’re all right on point. I experienced each of the problems you good people have pointed out, and hell come hard to Moniker if one of our domains we WANT get lost, “renewal cancellation notice”, or domains that are renewed we don’t want, and we get refunds back. What a mess. Never seen it this bad. I’ve been doing this since 1995.

  76. HNR says

    Can someone please post her cell phone number or home number so we can contact her to get our domain names back – or have our legal team serve her

  77. says

    I can’t believe the horrible customer service…it is as if they don’t care about their business or their customers. I have to start interviewing other companies. So Sad!

  78. James says

    It is already October and still the site is not working!!! Now, there is one more problem, I can’t make payment!!! The so-called Payment Options is not showing anything. Yes, I can’t believe it. They still can’t fix the site and they want to manage your domains. Oh lord, would the domains be lost? Yes, the saga continues. This Moniker CEO Bonnie Wittenburg should just resign and pay us back our domains. I have to transfer out the thousands of domains I have at all cost!!! Make sure you do the same if you still have domains with Moniker. It is just a disaster!

  79. says

    This is my complaint to icann detailing that I cannot even login to Moniker:: My register has instituted a new system which does not appear to work for me. In spite of numerous attempts to login, I get a message that the password is incorrect. Moniker then sends me a new password, which also registers as incorrect. On some attempts the send me a new password plus an authentication code – this option also does not work. Now, I have received a message from Moniker stating, “The e-mail with the authentication code could not be sent to the e-mail address indicated in your account. Please contact the Moniker support for further assistance.” This is not helpful, there is no way to contact customer support other than by email. Moniker’s response to the email is to give a case number. But with no ability to get into Moniker’s site the case number is useless. I need access to my domain names in order to conduct my business, but Moniker is preventing us from doing that. This situation has been going on for some time now ever since Moniker was sold to another company. There is an article about this at
    I really need to be able to salvage my business from Moniker.

    • says

      My guess is that your username might be the problem, not the password they sent to you. They changed these for many people…letter-based usernames are no longer valid and you have to use a customer number.

      They have phone support # on the top of their website…800-688-6311

      • says

        You know that usernames are not the problem. Even with my username and your new password I cannot get into the system. Yes, I called your phone support, today, and, after a long wait, the site asks for your number and they will call you back, Yes, sure.
        Also, according to Zillow, Key-Systems US address is a 750 sq ft condo.
        What is really going on?

  80. says

    Trying to get hold of Moniker customer support continues to be a joke. I have emailed and called them numerous times in the course of 3 days and have to receive any response.

    Leaving a number to have them return a call is pointless. The office closes at 8:00 so good luck reaching them at night. It seems to me they have simply given up and thrown in the towel.

  81. Nick says

    The Moniker “system” is screwing up again (march 2015).. BEWARE!

    I found several key domains suddenly unlocked and WHOIS privacy removed! Ridiculous. Of course the system does not let me enable the features back on.

    These guys are clowns, and not serious for storage of assets. Transfer process out beginning..

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