Verisign presses Network Solutions for details on .XYZ registrations

Company files motion to compel Network Solutions’ parent company to provide a witness.

Verisign has filed a motion (pdf) in a Florida court to compel Web.com, parent company of Network Solutions, to provide a witness to testify about how the registrar accounted for free .xyz domain names.

Network Solutions gave away perhaps hundreds of thousands of .xyz domain names last year. They weren’t just offered for free; They were placed in customer accounts on an opt-out basis.

Verisign is suing .XYZ for false advertising. Among its arguments is that .XYZ used these free domains as evidence that there was high demand for its .com alternative.

Verisign has already deposed one Web.com employee on the matter, but he was not able to answer questions about how the registrar accounted for the registrations.

In the motion to compel, Verisign wrote: Click here to continue reading…

Finally, well-targeted new top level domain name marketing

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:

dot-republican

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 got my first free .XYZ domain name offer today

Network Solutions finally got around to offering me a free .xyz domain name.

The .XYZ top level domain name continues to grow by thousands of registrations each day due to a Network Solutions giveaway.

I got my first such free domain offer today. It’s interesting to see how the company handles the promotion.

As you probably know by now, Network Solutions’ program is “opt out”, meaning the domain name is put in your account unless you specifically decline.

Interestingly, the subject line of the email telling me I am getting a free .xyz domain was merely “Thank You for being a loyal customer”.

Anyone who has domains in a Network Solutions or Register.com account knows that Web.com companies send a promotional email every day. Most of mine land in spam, so I suspect most people don’t even open this email.

The email, which has been widely published already, says that I’ll get a free .xyz domain to match one of my .com’s. There’s no autorenew on the domain and I don’t have to pay anything for it.

If you wish to decline, you click through to a page that looks like this:

xyz-promotion

After reading the details of the promotion again, you have to click on a button to decline the offer. (I’ve already clicked that button in the screenshot above.)

Network Solutions patents domain purchasing system

Patent for domain purchasing system granted ten years after application was filed.

Network Solutions, now part of Web.com, has received a patent for its Certified Offer service…ten years after applying for it.

Network Solutions applied for the patent titled “Certified Offer Service for Domain Names” back in 2004. It was rejected multiple times, but the company successfully amended and appealed.

The service lets customers make an offer on a domain name that is already registered. The patent explains that the first step of the service is providing an automated appraisal to the customer to give them an idea of how much the domain is worth. The customer then makes an offer and Network Solutions tries to verify that the buyer has enough funds to pay for the domain if the offer is accepted. (As I’ve found, this isn’t always the case). Network Solutions then emails the domain owner (presumably using contact information in WHOIS) to present the offer to them.

The company charges an initial offer fee as well as a commission on the purchase price.

The patent (pdf) covers many aspects of the Certified Offer service as it’s currently run today. I tried to verify all of the steps, but they seem to be having technical difficulties right now as the service keeps hanging up when I submit a domain.

certified-offer

Some SnapNames-caught domains to be managed at NetworkSolutions

Domains caught by SnapName’s own registrars will be managed through Network Solutions.

SnapNamesHere’s the first notable change as a result of Web.com acquiring expired domain marketplace SnapNames.

SnapNames announced today that domain names acquired through a SnapNames credential (i.e. registrar) will now be managed via Web.com registrar Network Solutions. Previously these names were managed by Moniker.

I can already hear the collective groan from domainers not wanting domains at Network Solutions given the labor of transferring domains out.

The good news is that domainers will get discounted pricing on domains kept at Network Solutions that were acquired through SnapNames. .Com domains will renew at $9.59 per year. Although a bit pricier than some rivals, at least you won’t feel forced to transfer the domain out after one year to avoid a hefty renewal fee.