Displaying posts under "Domain Registrars"
Network Solutions’ pitches .republican domain names to owners of political domain names.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about how Sedo did a new TLD promotion that registrars should be doing.
Sedo looked at its existing customer base for people interested in buying and selling domain names with “club” in them and marketed .club to them.
I finally have an example of a domain name registrar doing a similar thing:
This goes a step further. Rather than just look for domains with “republican” in them (which probably also triggered the promotion), Network Solutions looked for other political domain names.
.Republican is one of Rightside’s domain names. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rightside furnished some of the matching data that Network Solutions used for this promotion. Registries need to work with registrars to make this type of targeted promotion as easy as possible. After all, they’re competing with hundreds of other domain names for registrar marketing.
I’ve transferred many of my domain names out. I’m working on the rest.
The company has fixed a lot of the problems, even if confirmation messages were clearly written by a coder. But as I’ve written before, I’ve lost confidence in the registrar. I’m transferring my domain names out.
I just completed my second batch of domain names and have now transferred out several hundred. It has taken hours of my time to figure out which domain names I plan to keep, unlock the domains (which you can now do in bulk), set up forwarding again at the new registrar, etc. I also have to reset my sales listings for these domains at Afternic. Not to mention thousands of dollars in early renewal fees I’ve paid.
Moniker customers have a reason to be mad. This isn’t a simple case of “oh, customer service went down hill. I’ll use another company.”
It’s like a bank suddenly reported the wrong balances in your bank account and left you to figure out where the errors were.
The most frustrating domains for me are the ones expire in the next 6 months. I’m not sure if I’ll renew them or not. But I don’t want to keep them at Moniker any longer, so I go ahead and pay to transfer them anyway.
This past week I received two renewal invoices totaling about $100 for domain names I was transferring out. (The “renew at expiration” option in the drop down box actually means “renew 10 days before expiration.”)
Yet when I looked up the domains in whois, they hadn’t actually been renewed. Nor where they showing up as renewed in my account.
I called support and they said they can’t renew domain names that are “pending transfer”, so I’ll get refunds on them.
Add these renewals to the list of things still broken at Moniker.
The good news is that phone support picked up in under 10 minutes and was actually able to help me rather than just submitting a ticket.
More surprising are the domain names that were apparently renewed for a year despite expiring under the old Moniker system. I wasn’t charged for them, but Moniker had to pay for the renewals.
What a mess.
Registrars complained to ICANN’s compliance department about program.
Minds + Machines has nixed its Priority Reservation System for new top level domain names after registrars questioned aspects of the program.
The program allowed customers to reserve domain names ahead of launch. Unlike typical pre-registrations, customers were guaranteed they’d get the domain name after sunrise since it was a program run by the registry, not registrars.
Some registrars cried afoul via the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG). They weren’t necessarily upset about the program itself, which let registrars take priority orders as well. The problem, in the eyes of registrars, was that Minds + Machines launched the program before registrars could sign agreements with the registry. This gave M + M a head start and was unfair to registrars, they argued.
Minds + Machines is now converting orders under the program to landrush orders. Customers can still get the domain name, assuming no one else places a landrush order on the domain name. In that case, it will go to auction.
Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, released this statement to Domain Name Wire:
The Compliance Department at ICANN needs to look at every complaint, and so when some of our registrar competitors complained about our Priority Reservation program, they reached out to us for information, which we provided. They asked us to make some changes, which we did. We expect any inconvenience to our customers to be minimal, and to ICANN’s credit this was a major concern for them as well. We expect the vast majority of our Priority Reservation period to be allocated to the customers who applied for them, and any Priority Reservation customer who does not get the name they applied for will receive a full refund. This won’t have any impact on our business, and we are satisfied with ICANN’s assurances that they will strive to prevent the misuse of their compliance function for anti-competitive purposes.
This shows some of the tension that can occur with vertical integration between registry and registrar.
I suspect that the changes aren’t just in response to the RrSG complaint. ICANN has been cracking down on registries earmarking or selling domain names ahead of sunrise. ICANN has raised this issue with other registries, including .xyz and .club. Both registries canceled auctions held prior to sunrise.
Moniker makes it easier to transfer domain names to another registrar.
It’s been a frustrating six weeks for Moniker customers. After a disastrous switch to a completely new registrar platform, many customers wanted to move their domain names to another registrar.
Adding insult to injury, there was no way to get transfer authorization codes in bulk. Instead, customers had to request them one-by-one.
Finally, some good news for customers: Moniker has added bulk auth code exporting. I’m not quite sure when this was added, but I spotted it this morning when I tried to transfer another bunch of domains.
First, you need to unlock all of the domains you want to transfer. (I was able to unlock a couple hundred without any errors this week, which is also good news.) Then, select “Export Authcodes” from the drop down menu. Moniker will email the auth codes to you for the selected domains.
The confirmation page says you’ll receive an email with the auth codes within “minutes”. Be patient; in my case it took about 30 minutes.
Domain name registrars would see good results from a marketing push similar to this.
Sedo just sent out a marketing pitch to people that have listed domains for sale with “club” in them in the past.
The subject line was “Did you try selling [something]club.com? Invest in THESE names now”, with a pitch for investing in .club domains. You can see the marketing email below.
I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more of this from domain name registrars. Registrars are doing blanket marketing of new TLDs to their entire customer base, but I haven’t seen this sort of targeted marketing.
Why aren’t registrars emailing owners of domains with “club” in them and suggesting the matching .club domains?
Sure, it would take a little work. They would need to scrub for availability and do some mail merging. But I suspect the sell rate would be quite high.
Registrars may be wary of bombarding their clients, but I think they could do this is a smart and limited manner. Registrars and registries would benefit.