Recommend a Less Evil Domain Registrar

After [thread=406820]this thread[/thread] last year, you might think everything was hunky-dory with me and GoDaddy and the two domains I have registered with them. All they would have to do is send me a billing notice, and I’d renew. No problem.

Sure, Mama Zappa had some complaints about GoDaddy - their stupid anti-spam stuff has blocked legit emails to and from her - but I never had problems.

Until now.

I’m trying to keep out of the Pit, because yes, I should have tracked the expiration dates myself. I just figured a for-profit organization would want a smooth transaction for my next payment. If I was happy I would even have renewed for more than one year, since domain registration prices have been stable lately.

But I am not happy.

I called GD GoDaddy. GD GoDaddy’s claim is that since their system sent me billing emails (which I never saw), my registration has expired. That strikes me as very odd because I got the expiration notices last year with no trouble at all. I had no reason to even think about contacting GD GoDaddy until emails to my domain started bouncing and my web site didn’t come up, so the “grace period” when I could have simply renewed my registration expired as well. Both of my domains have well and truly expired. Luckily for me the one I don’t care about, and the other is a hobby rather than my livelihood.

According to GD GoDaddy, my only immediate recourse its to fork over $90 to unlock the domain. That’s TEN TIMES the renewal price. Nice business model, GD GoDaddy - “lose” the renewal emails, don’t track email bounces on your notices, don’t try alternate contacts in the domain registration, don’t keep alternate contact info on users, don’t have a way to post messages to the users when they sign into your web site, just have the domains go down the memory hole. Then hit the users up for a fee an order of magnitude higher than usual, for your “trouble”. That’s capitalism for you, I suppose.

According to GD GoDaddy, another alternative is for me to pay then to put in a back order for the domain and hope nobody else back ordered it first. Or I can wait for the redemption period to expire and register it before someone else does. Oh, and even though GD GoDaddy can tell me the exact day they sent me the emails I never received, they can’t tell me when the grace period expires. :mad:

Once I’ve recovered my domain (Mama Zappa is putting in a back order for it as I type this), I’d like to move my registration to a less evil registrar.

From my last request to the Dope (the thread I mentioned many, many, words ago), I have these possibilities:

TigerTech

DreamHost

dotster

Anyone have any experiences with these folks, or can recommend another registrar less evil than GD GoDaddy or Network Solutions (see previous thread mentioned many ranting words ago)?

I admit GD GoDaddy is not evil like Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil or Futurama’s MOMCorp or Micro$oft or a major Telco, but they’re Diet Coke of Evil enough that I want to move on and not give them any more of my pittance. I’m open to suggestions.

Oh, and another lesson is that Mama Zappa is always right. I don’t know why I have to keep re-learning this after 25 years of marriage, but I do. :smack:

I’ve been using NameCheap happily for several years.

I seem to be the only one on here who uses Tigertech, but I can tell you it’s painless and has great service.

If you host for them, your domain fees are paid with the hosting fees so you never have to worry about your domain expiring. And it starts at $6.95 per month for a very generous package ($6.25 per month if you pay in advance for a whole year - $75.00).

Now, if you pay for a year, and 6 months later decide you wish to move somewhere else, let them know - and they’ll send you a check for the unused part of your yearly fees. Try to find that at other hosts!

Oh, and if you do decide to use them please use this link. They offer referral pay if you refer someone (maximum $25 per year) but it reduces my yearly fee with them and it doesn’t cost you one penny extra. Thanks!

I have lots of domains I’ve gotten over the years from various ISPs that are scattered among various registrars. I’m in the midst of moving them all over to Dreamhost because I’ve found it’s easier to keep track of them all in one place and because I really like the folks at Dreamhost, plus the moving cost ($9.95) includes a years’ renewal. Can’t beat that. Well, possibly I could, but it’s fine by me.

The same thing happened to me, one of my domains expired because I didn’t get the renewal notice. Luckily I caught it during the grace period and got it moved to Dreamhost.

Besides the ones I got from ISPs (I’ve gotten them from SimpleHost, StartLogic, PowWeb as well as Dreamhost), I own several domains that I got from Yahoo during their blowout sales ($4.99! $2.99! $1.99!!), and I was happy to keep them there, just forwarding to my web sites, and pay the $12.95 or even $14.95 a year , but Yahoo’s now gone up to $34.95 for a year’s renewal! Fuck that noise. I moved all the ones that were expiring right before the price rise (didn’t keep Yahoo from charging me “accidentally” for one of them though) and will move the others that expire later this year and early next year at my leisure over the next few months. Yahoo’s not getting another penny from me.

I don’t know anything about the other two places you list.

I use gandi.net - never any problems over the last five years or so, remind you of expiry several times, fairly straightforward web administration of all the essential services. A friend recommended them to me because at the time most of the cheap registrars registered the domain to themselves, whereas gandi registered it to you directly - I’ve never regretted giving them my business.

Popping in here, rather than starting a separate thread, to ask if anyone has ever done the “backordering” with any success. As far as I can tell, supposedly Godaddy will let their lock go on the domain after 42 days (some sort of 12 day grace period, followed by a 30 day lock period); that would be in a week or so from today.

We decided that since the domain isn’t critical (it’s just something we have our family tree and a few photos on, not a business account), we could take the risk of it getting gone, but if we could salvage it by backordering it (at 18.95) vs. the 90 dollar reactivation fee, then we’d rather do that.

So, I put in a backorder request - which I gather means that once it becomes available (either in a week or so, or if Godaddy decides to hold on to it until next June), I get first dibs. Would they ever accept a backorder request for something that had another backorder request queued up? Could someone else come along and “outbid” me?

Yanno… for all the heat Network Solutions takes (and Typo’s dislike of them is not completely unfounded), the one time I inadvertently let a domain name lapse, there was none of this cybersquatting stuff that Godaddy pulls. I simply re-registered the domain. Sure, someone could have grabbed the domain but that would have been my own damn fault (oh, and they did actually send me renewal notices, numerous ones, well in advance, unlike Godaddy).

Just to let you know, all registrars have the same sort of “final expiration” policy. They all bombard you with renewal notices until you are “really and truly expired” and then your site gets shut off. If you want to renew, you have to pay.

Dreamhost - $100
Namecheap - $200
Dotster - $99.95
gandi.net - 100 Euros
Network Solutions - $150

Every registrar has to do this. It is up to you to make sure you renew on time. If you do not get renewal notices via email it is not because they are not being sent it is because your ISP or your email program is blocking them.

To keep this from happening in the future:

  1. Use a valid email address to sign up for a domain, and continue to check that email address.
  2. Whitelist the registrar’s domain name in your email account to ensure delivery.
  3. Sign up for 1-year terms and use AutoRenew on the account, a free feature that automatically renews your account every year. This should be available from almost any registrar.
  4. If your credit card info changes (new card, renewed card, etc) remember to include your registrar in the list of places to contact with the new information.
  5. If you forget your expiration date, or forget who your registrar is, use a site like www.betterwhois.com to find your whois info to point you in the right direction.
  6. Always register your domain name yourself, at a REGISTRAR, not a hosting company as part of a package. Every hosting company will let you bring your domain with you.

Good luck at your next registrar, Typo Knig. Just make sure to take steps that this won’t happen again, because it can happen at any registrar.

I know I should have set up another reminder to renew, but I truly did not get any notice from GD GoDaddy that my domains were about to expire. I got the notices in 2007, but not in 2008.

Or because their mail program hiccuped, or their own arbitrary anti-spam crap blocked my mail from them, or because their domain renewal messages were sent with subject lines in Urdu promising to enlarge body parts. :rolleyes:

I did this when I signed up. I check my email at least once every 10 minutes when I’m awake. Honestly, if it’s more than 600 seconds between checks it’s not more than 660. I don’t spend that much time every day checking out Mama Zappa, and I like looking at her.

I’m sure every cheapskate who calls a domain registrar about an expired domain claims not to have gotten notice. I’m willing to pay GD GoDaddy, but I did not get any notice. And I do not want to shell out an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE above the going rate when the problem was not mine.

Check. Still no joy.

I didn’t do this because I didn’t want to be stuck with them forever, automatically renewing each year. I’m sort of glad I didn’t.

Good point about the credit card info. Moot in my case since I did not do automatic renewal.

I did forget my registration date, but I knew who my registrar was. I picked them on purpose. :smack:

Also a good point, but I did this too. My domain is hosted at my employer, which is not GD GoDaddy. (If it was, I could start an “Ask the Fired Guy” thread.)

Good points all, ZipperJJ. I hope others learn my my mistakes. Somebody should!

I would add that if one registers foo.com, it is not wise to use a foo.com email address for the registration. If the registrar kills the domain, they have no electronic way to get in touch with you. (Except for fax, phone, text message, and other anti-positronic means they don’t seem to want to use. :rolleyes: )

My rant is not a pure pitting of GD GoDaddy. I recognize I have some responsibility here. However, I did my best, and did IMO a reasonable job of keeping communications open. Between their failures and mine I’m out some extra cash, and possibly a domain name I’ve owned since the Internet was steam-powered. Also, I am a decidedly unhappy customer of GD GoDaddy. They won’t get my $17.00 in 2009. That’ll larn 'em!

Definitely not saying you’re an idiot, Typo Knig. It happens to a lot of people. It happened to another Doper not too long ago and they started a whole Pit thread about it. I just get tired of hearing how “evil” GoDaddy is because they charge these redemption fees, while it’s not only protocol for every registrar but GoDaddy’s fee is one of the lowest around. The same Doper who started the Pit thread about the “evil” GoDaddy popped in to another thread to say how evil GoDaddy was and how he has “no problems” with NameCheap and they are “good” - except he didn’t say anything when I pointed out that NameCheap charges not $90 for redemption but $200.

I’ve been dealing with domain names for a really long time. I have over 100 of them at GoDaddy - most of them aren’t mine, they’re my customers. The absolute most frustrating part of my job - and I do a lot of things - is trying to help people get their domain names back after expiration or even just log into their registrar accounts to make a change or renew. People go apeshit that I can’t fix it for them (I can’t do a damn thing if I didn’t register it myself) and people also stomp and hiss when I try to explain to them exactly what they did wrong to cause this problem.

Registrar email can be accidentally marked as spam. Everyone’s email can be marked as spam. What got through today may not get through tomorrow unless you specifically have it whitelisted at a high level. You do have to make a conscious effort make sure you get their emails. You have to make a conscious effort to make sure you get anyone’s email. It sounds horrible, but trust me on that.

GoDaddy sends about 12 reminder emails per domain renewal (I am letting one expire right now. I’ve been reminded every day.) They hound you. I get them and I ignore them. How is GoDaddy supposed to know to email a different contact (they actually let you put in 3 or 4 contacts per domain, which get reminded at the same time every year) if I am ignoring? How can they afford to call everyone who doesn’t run back and renew? How do they know you want to renew?

Bottom line is that you goofed - and it was an understandable goof because of missed email that was somewhat out of your control - and GoDaddy is not evil. They are exactly like every other registrar in protocol. They send you reminders via email and if you don’t renew your account goes into redemption and you have to pay a lot to get it out.

I just don’t get this whole “GoDaddy Is Evil” or “GoDaddy is shady” thing going around the SDMB. I guess we’ll have to wait a couple of years for everyone to switch over to another registrar and have their domains go into redemption there and we can all bitch about how Dreamhost is evil or something.

Ditto.

Typo Knig, I had the same problem with GoDaddy that you did, started a thread just like yours. If they were a good company, they would save the domain for you and charge maybe $5. But, no they gouge you. I’ve heard Network Solutions gets $200 or so!

The domain wasn’t critical to me, so I just waited to see what happened. After about a month, it was transferred to a Russian company. I thought I was screwed at that point. Then a few days later it was free and I registered with NameCheap.

SO DOES NAMECHEAP

Found an interesting-looking article about grabbing expiring domains, here .

The domain in question supposedly expired June 4, and we would therefore still be in that 40 day “grace period”. Have the rules changed? or is Godaddy trying to ignore the rules? or am I missing something?

And another question: The linked site says “see if they offer exclusive backorder rights to it. Network Solutions does, GoDaddy does”. Does this mean that someone could not go in via a domain-snatching service (pool, snapnames, enom) and grab it that way?

Honestly, it’s not a huge deal if we lose the domain, but this is turning into quite an educational experience. And I’m happier to send Godaddy 18.95 vs. 80.00.

Well that article is from 2005…that’s “old news” in Internet years (which explains why you didn’t run into this problem last time with NetSol - the rules have since changed).

According to Network Solutions at least, they can but are not “obligated to” offer up the grace period:

If you google “Godaddy ‘grace period’” you don’t get an official GoDaddy topic on the subject, but you do get a lot of “informed” messageboard posters saying their grace period is anywhere from 5 to 45 days. So I don’t know what their actual policy is.

Oh go ahead and say I’m an idiot, ZipperJJ, I think so. :frowning:

Well I’m pissed at GD GoDaddy right now because I got not twelve notices before they expired my domain, not 11, but none. That’s zero, ziltch, the number with which we cannot divide, zip, nada, the sum of any number and its negative, null, nothing, the number most easily confused with the letter “O”, nil, nought, the integer preceding one, the number that is its own half AND its own double, none, no notice whatsoever. As far as I’m concerned, my domain just died.

For my failure to respond to the non-existent notice, GD GoDaddy thinks I’m on the hook for ten times their usual fee.

It’s almost as if they had a financial incentive for screwing up the notice about expiring domains …

But that’s not why I think GD GoDaddy is Evil-ish, Evil Lite, Not Evil Enough, and/or the Diet Coke of Evil.

Mainly it’s their half-baked anti-spam thingy. Several times Mama Zappa has had emails rejected because GD GoDaddy decided her email to one person meant that the entire domain she sent it from was a spammer’s domain. GD GoDaddy has been very trigger-happy about marking entire domains as spammers, but getting removed from GD GoDaddy’s spammers list is a kafkaesque nightmare. The only good thing about GD GoDaddy’s anti-spam-going-off-half-cocked is that no matter what happens your domain is sure to be back on GD GoDaddy’s anti-spam list within mere seconds of the end of the phone call where you’ve finally gotten it removed. :rolleyes:

Try Epik.com

Awesome customer service. Lowest reg fee mostly.

Thanks for the recommendation Indian! Welcome to the Boards. It turns out this thread is old, but I can always use a new suggestion for a domain registrar.

Sigh.

I am getting used to new format and this thread showed up in my home page. Don’t know why. Didn’t check the date and awoke a zombie. :grimacing:

By the way, I have been here since September 07.

EPIK has the best customer service even for newbies IMHO, which generally is missing from big names like GD.