Since we offer hosting and domain registration as a part of our Dining Car plan, we often get to work with various registrars and web hosts as we move existing websites over to their new home on WordXpress’ hosting. Previously we told you why we don’t like Godaddy, and how to leave and avoid them, now we’ve got a warning about another popular domain registrar, that also provides hosting and other services: Network Solutions.
In the process of moving one of our clients over to our hosting from some hosting at Bluehost, we discovered they had their domain registered through Network Solutions. So we got access to that account and put WordXpress as the contact for the domains we needed to move to our registrar, in order to complete the move. However, because we requested a move through our registrar, Network Solutions put a lock on the domains we needed to transfer, specifically to prevent the transfer and hopefully avoid loosing our client’s business.
Here’s the really annoying part: unlike most registrars, where you have full control over your domains via their domain admin interface, with Network Solutions you don’t! There is no way to just remove the transfer-lock they placed. The only solution is to email them and request that it be removed. Simple enough, if they were quick to respond. Instead their response time was 3 business days! What takes only a few clicks on Godaddy (even though we don’t much like them) or any good registrar, takes 3 days of waiting with Network Solutions! Unacceptable.
To top it off, once we made the request to remove the transfer-lock, we got a response 3 business days later saying essentially “sorry, we can’t do that because you are not the primary email on the account, even though you are listed as the primary technical contact and registrant for those domains.” So now, I have to make the client email the request, and we’ll probably have to wait another 3 days for them to release the transfer-lock. Once again: unacceptable. And the only appearant reason for doing this is to deter customers from leaving them. Guess what Network Solutions? It’s called bad customer service, and you’ll only get the reverse result: clients even more determined to leave so they can break out of your control and overzealous attempts to keep them. As Mel Gibson once said in a movie, before he lost his mind: “FREEEEEEEEEDUUUUUUUM!”
Strike 3 – you’re out!
As if all that weren’t enough, we wanted to check to make sure the email our client primarily uses, is the one they’d send the request with, to Network Solutions, so there would be no further delay. Well, when I tried to pull up their site, this was the greeting we were presented with:
Now we’re a small company, and though we can guarantee almost 100% uptime of your site, we can’t guarantee a complete 100%, because things do go wrong, and we don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to have redundant servers and all that. But Network Solutions does. Even if they let your website on their hosting go down, their main site should never, ever be unavailable. This means you can’t even login to tell them your site is down, or that you can’t access your domain, because it’s registered through them. Plus we just checked again, almost 30 minutes later, and its still down. And I haven’t even mentioned the broken links and convoluted, unintuitive, interface in their domain admin area.
Even if the previous 2 strikes were unacceptable, we simply cannot believe that their main site is down (and they even have a nice little message acknowledging that fact and telling you to call them). Hopefully this issue doesn’t slow their 3-day response time to our request, so we can finally extricate our client’s domain from their grasp.
If you’re with Network Solutions, we would love to take care of you here at WordXpress, which includes domain registration (or renewal if you already have one), hosting, and we even update your website for you. But if you’d like to keep managing your website yourself, we highly recommend registering your domain somewhere other than Network Solutions, such as Hover. And if you’re using Network Solutions’ hosting, move your hosting to Bluehost, or Hostgator if you need something more robust.