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Security

What is Network Solutions afraid of?

Network Solutions registers domain names and keeps the procedure for transferring to another registrar a secret.

Many years ago I dealt with Network Solutions for registering domains and the experience was not a happy one. Subsequently I avoided them, until recently, when a client had a domain registered there. I would have been happy to let sleeping dogs lie, but wanted to use an advanced domain related feature offered by another registrar. It was time to deal with Network Solutions again.

Starting at networksolutions.com I tried to find instructions for moving the domain registration to another registrar. No can do. If the instructions are there, I couldn't find them. On the home page Domains menu, the Transfer Domain Name link takes you to a page with instructions about transferring to, but not from, Network Solutions. You can't find the procedure by searching the web site either - there is no site search. So I emailed customerservice@networksolutions.com asking how to transfer a domain away from them. Network Solutions responded with:

"We are committed to creating the best customer experience possible. One of the first ways we can demonstrate our commitment to this goal is to quickly and efficiently respond to your recent e-mail. Please provide us with the domain name involved, so we could advise you accordingly."

If they really wanted to provide the best customer experience, instructions for transferring domain registration away from them would be easy to find. At this point, I'm thankful that I avoided Network Solutions all these years. After responding with the domain name in question, they came back with this:

"We are committed to creating the best customer experience possible. One of the first ways we can demonstrate our commitment to this goal is to quickly and efficiently handle your recent request. We have received and reviewed your e-mail. Please know that we genuinely want to help you in this matter.

We received your recent request regarding a domain name registration. However, on the account you are not listed as either the Account Holder or as a contact (e.g., Account Administrative or Account Technical contact). Our contracts do not allow us to exchange information with any individual who is not listed as an Account Holder or Account Contact."

Is it just me, or does any company that says how much they want to help you, never actually follow through? For example, if you call LL Bean someone answers the phone quickly and helps you. They don't say how much they want to help you or how committed they are to helping you, they just do it.

The fact that Network Solutions does not want people to know the procedure for leaving them, should tell you all need to know about using them as a registrar. Shades of AOL. All registrars do not do business this way.

One registrar that I like, directNIC, makes it easy to find instructions for transferring a domain away from them. Clicking the Domain Transfers link on their home page takes to you a page with a link to the domain transfers section of their FAQ. One of the questions there is "How do I transfer a domain from directNIC to another registrar?" That wasn't too hard to find.

At Register.com the path is even more direct. On their home page, click on Domains and then Domain Help. This brings up a list of questions including this one "How do I transfer my domain name to another Registrar?"

Register.com and directNIC are not afraid to tell the world how to stop using their services. Good for them. Remember this the next time you go to register a domain name.