Network Solutions: Domain Name Transfer Delay Tactics

Network Solutions: Domain Name Transfer Delay Tactics

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:

Network Solutions Stop MessageStep 1: Click ‘Turn Off or Request Authorization Code’

Doing this displays the following message (which you can safely ignore):

Stop!

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:

Warning! You have just requested an auth code to transfer your domain to another company.

Step 3: Click ‘Continue Transfer’

Network Solutions Request Authorization codeHere, like the needy brat they are, Network Solutions start asking why you are leaving, what did they do wrong?

Disregard.

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?

Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob McKay works at Perfect Image, is a father, programmer and a self confessed techie-geek type.

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7 comments on «Network Solutions: Domain Name Transfer Delay Tactics»

  1. Darren Jones says:

    Hi Bob, we are at step 5. Do we have to call them then or is there a way around it? We want a uk number if we have to call them. thanks

    1. Bob McKay says:

      Hi Darren,

      Honestly I don’t know if there is a way around – can you use Skype for the call if the international number is prohibitive? For obvious reasons these days I advice any and all customers to move their domains from Network Solutions!

  2. eh says:

    And networksolutions wonders why people want to transfer domains out. It’s because of things like this. Morons. If they treated their customers better, offered better pricing and a better user interface, they could own the industry. They could and should be worth 10 times what godaddy is worth.

  3. Greg says:

    I have used Network Solutions since last century for domain registrations, but have slowly been transferring those domains to other registrars. Other registrars can perform complete outbound transfers in a couple of hours, while Network Solutions can take weeks. They didn’t think this through very well, since it has motivated people to remove more of their domains from NS. My last few will be away from them as soon as the transfers can be completed.

    It is very sad how far they have fallen. I remember them performing heroically in the early 2000’s when somebody tried to snatch one of my domains. If they hadn’t become so bad, I might have left my longer-term domains with them forever.

  4. DVS says:

    Wow, I just pasted the line about the 3-day wait into the Google search bar and this was the first site that came up. What a bunch of B.S. I immediately have the used-car salesman vibe from this company.

    I too bought into their historic name-recognition as a solid registrar of long ago. They’ve obviously been ruined by their scamming parent company with which I have experienced the same unprofessional sales tactics.

    I decided to transfer my domain away because they took it upon themselves to renew it for 5 years @ $40 per year. That’s almost 4X what any other registrar charges. Then, they do this garbage with the wait, most likely so they can sick an irritating salesman on me to see what I’ll agree to if I don’t transfer.

    No. I’m done with this. I don’t care if they offer to pay me to stay with them — I’m out.

  5. It’s definitely a new low. I used to consider Network Solutions in the “ok” category of registrars to recommend to my clients, but this kind of jumps the shark. Deliberately dragging their heels is not cool.

  6. Oswald Jayatunga says:

    Even for very simple support matters you call will be tossed between departments and waiting for live person to answer some time. Really frustrating. I am moving our company domain out from them. After three days never received an email with AuthCode. I had to give them a call. For Domain registration I go with GoDaddy. being with them for years and years, super fast support 24x7x365.

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