Registrar called about a renewal, and it was strange.
If you have any domain names at a Web.com registrar (Register.com and Network Solutions), you know the company is big on marketing to its customer base. You literally get one email every day from the company, promoting everything from search engine optimization to Facebook pages. Most of them end up in your spam folder.
This week I got a call from Register.com that was helpful in one way, but disconcerting in another.
I won a domain name in a drop that’s now at Register.com and it’s coming up for renewal. The company called to ask if I wanted to renew it.
This is actually quite helpful. As it turns out, I’m having a problem with an old email address tied to the account, and I wasn’t aware that I hadn’t transferred the domain to another registrar yet. Many domain names expire because of email problems, and a call from the registrar would prevent many of these domains from expiring.
Of course, most registrars can’t afford to call someone about one domain name. Register.com is able to do it because its renewal price for a .com is a whopping $38! (Try to transfer the domain out, however, and the renewal price suddenly drops.)
So, the call was helpful on one hand. On the other hand, I have to wonder what kind of training the call center reps are getting. This rep told me I had whois privacy on the domain, and the renewal with privacy would be $49. This sounded funny to me. The only way there would be privacy on the domain is if the registrar added it without my permission.
I looked up whois and saw that there was no privacy on the domain. When I brought this up, she said she was looking at the whois record at that moment and it showed privacy. She asked where I was looking, and I said DomainTools.com.
“Why don’t we look it up on Register.com,” she suggested. After finding Register.com’s whois and typing the domain in, we both saw that it didn’t have privacy.
“That’s strange,” she said. She said she just looked it up on Moe’s Whois Service and it showed privacy.
Huh? Surely I misheard that.
“Moe’s?” I asked?
I struggled to comprehend where she could possibly be running whois searches. I offered that perhaps she mean MOZ. It would still be strange, and I’m not aware of a whois search at Moz.com, but it would make a little more sense.
No, she said. She spelled it out for me. Moes.
Why Register.com’s telemarketers wouldn’t use its own whois database is beyond me.
And WTF is Moe’s whois service?
Had I been quick thinking, I would have said, “Sorry, I’ve decided to transfer this domain to Jim Bob’s registrar.”