Once upon a time, Network Solutions were the de-facto company for .com domain name registrations and related services.
These days IT engineers and web developers alike shudder at the thought of having to use the Network Solutions website for managing a domain name, the whole thing is really a metaphor for reason they have fallen so far: its slow, confusing and difficult to use even for professionals. Obviously this is causing customers to jump ship and Network Solutions have responded in the worst possible way:
If you try and transfer a domain name away from Network Solutions, prepare for a completely unnecessary uphill battle with a petulant unhelpful child – all professional courtesy to other domain name providers goes out of the window.
I’m not alone in my assesment of Network Solutions, at the time of writing there are 103 complaints about them on ConsumerAffairs.com along and most of these are either about their underhanded delay tactics on outbound transfers or their dubious billing-in-advance: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/internet/network_solutions.htm
Today I attempted to initiate a transfer and got the following:
Doing this displays the following message (which you can safely ignore):
Before you transfer your domain to another company, we would like to extend to you a special promotional offer to renew your domain. This is a limited time offer so please act fast to get this reneweal rate.
Yes the typo is theirs – in their desperation they make errors. you’ll notice a distinct lack of an option to continue – they hid this at the bottom of the page, making it appear your only option is to renew with them. Idiots.
Step 2: Click ‘Continue’
Having failed with the pleading and offer of a discount, Network Solutions now resort to scare tactics:
Step 3: Click ‘Continue Transfer’
Step 4: ‘Click Request Authorization Code’
Finally you get to the point where you can actually request a transfer and unlock the domain name but wait, Network Solutions have one more trick up their sleeves: they make you wait a completely unnecessary 3 days:
Your request for an Auth Code has been received and your information will be validated to ensure the security of your account. If your request is approved, you will receive your Auth Code by email in 3 days.
This is a completely arbitrary period of time clearly designed as a ‘pattern interrupt’ to distract people from transferring their domain names away, other registrars will give you an AUTH CODE instantaneously. Who knows what on earth goes on during the ‘validation of your account security’ but I suspect a dice and a magic eight-ball may be involved.
Step 5: Email from Network Solutions Demanding Call To Continue Transfer
Next Network Solutions send an email implying that to continue with the transfer process you need to call them:
We appreciate the opportunity to serve your online needs. We wanted to let you know that Domain Protect has been turned off for the domains listed below.
Account Number: 231234234
Domain Name Registration: ACME.com
Update made by: John Doe
Update made: 19th January, 2016 7:00:00 P.M. ET
Turning Domain Transfer Lock off removes an extra layer of protection against an unauthorized transfer of your domain name registration(s).
• When turned on, Domain Transfer Lock provides protection from “domain hijackers” or others who may illegally attempt to transfer your domain name registration.
• With Domain Transfer Lock on you can still perform legal name changes and consolidate or move domain names between Network Solutions® accounts.
If you intend to transfer this domain name please call Network Solutions at 1-888-642-9675 to request assistance from a transfer specialist.
Note the last line of the email emboldened- I am assuming that this is another distraction because making a customer phone them simply to get an AUTH CODE must surely break ICANNs rules?