Network Solutions was the first company that I ever registered a domain name with, which is understandable because they were the biggest in the game at that point in time. Now further down the road I did price comparison and realized it was much cheaper to switch to a different registrar. I ended up going to GoDaddy during college and have been with them for my personal domain management ever since.
Well more recently I offered the owner of A to Z comics help with setting up a web site for her business. Since the website has not been live in years I offered to assist with not only setting it up but managing the whole thing for her as well. Luckily enough the domain name that she was using still belonged to her and hadn’t expired yet, the bad news is the domain was with Network Solutions.
So this is where the saga begins, first of all we had to go through the motions of finding out the information for her Network Solutions account as it had been a long time since she had managed it. It was relatively easy to reset her password as we had a printout she took from when she created the account with her security question and answer right there on it. So after resetting the password I went in and set myself up as an administrative user for her account and reset the information for the whois on the domain so that the transfer confirmation e-mails would go directly to me.
Then I began the transfer and received the emails as expected and went to enter in the code and it kept telling me that the transfer failed. So I went back into Network Solutions account management to try and resolve what the problem was. I turned the domain lock off and requested a transfer confirmation code, which I didn’t receive (turns out it went to the account creator, which I didn’t find out later because I was not monitoring her email). Since on their website they make it sound as if you need to call their customer service to transfer a domain away from them I went ahead and gave their toll free number a call. It ended up being a waste of time.
When I got on the line with a customer service representative I explained the situation and tried to explain the problem I was having. The customer representative then proceeded to try and keep me as a customer, even though I explained that I was not directly or indirectly a customer. She even offered to have someone call me back to see what kind of specials they could offer me. I calmly explained that I was not interested and just stated that I wanted the domain transfered to a different registrar. Ended up getting the domain lock taken off, which is something I already had done through their online tools. So, I didn’t even need their help, even though the website made me think I did. Once I had restarted the transfer I copied and pasted the confirmation code into place this time (rather can typing it in manually) and viola it worked. The code had a lower case l that looked like an I, so here I was thinking that it would be be smooth sailing from this point on.
Boy was I wrong, at about 3am in the morning they flat out denied the transfer due to ‘suspicious activity’ on the account. I’m not sure if it was the recovering of the password or the setting myself up as an administrative user on the account that did it, either way I was pissed. So here I am on a lovely Saturday morning having to spend time on the phone with Network Solutions. I get on the phone and explain the situation and what happened and he goes through the protocol of forwarding it on. Later that day the lock was taken off the account and I was back in business.
This time everything with a lot smother, re initiated the transfer and Network Solutions approved the transfer this time and I received two emails at almost the exact same time, that said almost the exact same thing.
We received notification on October 19, 2009 2:18:40 PM EDT that you have requested to transfer to another domain name registrar. If you would like to proceed with this transfer you do not need to respond to this message. If you wish to cancel the transfer please contact us before October 23, 2009 2:18:40 PM EDT by visiting our secure Website (A link to their registrar transfer site here).
If we do not hear from you by October 23, 2009 2:18:40 PM EDT, this transfer will proceed.
We are committed to providing you with the solutions, services, and support to help you succeed online. We hope to continue serving you in the future.
This is almost the entirety of the email I received from them. The confusion came in after the time of no return had passed and the domain transfer had still not completed. So I went to the URL to find that little to my surprise right next to the option to cancel/decline the transfer was a way to accept the transfer. So I went through the steps to confirm the transfer and it completed almost instantly after that and I began to have access to the domain in my GoDaddy account management.
This frustrates me to no end because of the fact that the emails I received from them said nothing to the effect that I needed to visit this URL they sent me to confirm or deny the transfer. They just said go to the URL if I wished to cancel the transfer before the date specified. I really wish I had known before hand that I could have gone to the URL and accepted it and wouldn’t have waited a week for nothing.
Yep. The real crazy thing is that everytime you do *anything* with Network Solutions, you encounter multiple ways where they deliberately mislead you (love their notification emails) or lock your account because of some strange reason.
I swore off Network Solutions years back when a friend was convinced in an email to get a multi-year renewal (@ $30/year) with Network Solutions because (the email stated) that it was expired. This despite the fact that a) it had never been registered with Network Solutions and b) was already registered for several years at Godaddy (@ <$10/year).
I have no idea why they still have such brand recognition. And I have no idea how they're still in business.
The only thing I ever use Network Solutions for is doing a whois look up. They seem to be the easiest to deal with when try to just find out information on who owns a domain or IP address.
As far as brand recognition goes I feel that a lot of has to do with the amount of money they pump into advertising. I have another website I manage that has image ads on it with more ad space and they are constantly different Network Solutions Ads. A lot of web sites I visit regularly have them as well, I would hate to see how much money they are throwing at those advertisements. Of course the real statistic I wouldn’t want to see is how many mis-informed consumers they are attracting.