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Website Woes - Don't let your domain registration lapse!

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ScottV

Upstate NY
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(PART 1)

I learned a valuable lesson last week. My web designer sent me an email with my annual billing and mentioned that I must have let my domain registration lapse in May '13 for the web address on my mini storage business. I contacted Network Solutions my domain registration company and they informed me that I had failed to pay for the renewal in time and they had already sold my website address to a 3rd party company (said 3rd party company happens to be a wholy owned subsidiary of N.W.). I've been a customer of theirs for 13 years and had paid for a 6 year registration back in 2007. They claimed to have sent me numerous emails (to an old email account that I had failed to change about 3 years ago) and when I didnt respond they let the account lapse. I asked them if they had mailed me an invoice or renewal notice via US Mail and they said that they didnt do that any longer.

About 2 hours later the 3rd party company contacted me and a representative by the name of Rajhan said that I could buy back the web address and reinstate it with N.W. for $1,499. Mind you, the normal annual fee for domain registration is $14.99 so they wanted 100yrs worth as a penalty. I offered to pay them $150 and Rajhan, using his broken English, said that their offer was non-negotiable. I respectfully told Rajhan to take his offer, the old website address, and anything else on his desk within reach and jam it as far up his a** as he could!
 

ScottV

Upstate NY
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(PART 2)

I've since had my website developer register 3 other domain names as close to my old one as possible using .com, .net, and .biz. I've also had him transfer my domain registrations to Verio for the 9 websites that I now have for all of my businesses including car washes. We've also contacted Verizon Super Pages and changed the website link on my online ad, and will update the printed yellow page ad once the new books are published next Feb. Our storage website isnt visited all that often, so the damage is minimal. I can't imagine what would happen if one of my car wash websites had lapsed, because they are all linked together for the Wash Access Loyalty System we have through PDQ so our customers can purchase wash packages online.

Network Solutions will never see another dollar from me as long as I have anything to say about it. Please make sure that you know what "long term" agreements you might have in place, when they come up for renewal, and how the company will be contacting you about those renewals. Also if you're using a different email address, try and think of all of the places that your old one might have been registered, so that information is updated as well.
 

pitzerwm

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This a good lesson, there is also another thing people doing a web site should be aware of. The free web site hosting, free domains, etc. i.e. GoDaddy/Yahoo to name a couple, don't necessarily register your domain in your name. What usually happens is that eventually you will want a better host, and when you go to transfer the domain name, you will find out that it doesn't belong to you.

BTW Years ago NetWork Solutions tried to hold my names hostage, when I wanted to transfer them, even though there was 1 year left. A threat of a lawsuit got their attention. So be careful when you get started.
 

JustClean

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In case you let your web designer do all the technical stuff: Be very careful in which name he registers YOUR website. Happened to me years ago before I did my own website. I lost my domain name back then...and another thing: never use your Internet service provider's domain name as email address. You give it out to people and that makes it really hard to change providers.
 
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