Transferring from Network Solutions is like hostage negotiation

Submitted by john bowen on Mon, 09/08/2008 - 15:49

5 or so years ago, I had all my domain management and hosting done through Network Solutions. It turns out they were charging $35 per year for domain name renewal, when relative newcomers like GoDaddy were charge about $8. Switching away from Network Solutions was purely cost-savings for me then, and I haven't been disappointed with GoDaddy since switching.

I just got off the phone with Network Solutions, after about 2 weeks of mind-numbing attempts to wrestle another domain from their clutches. Here's the run-down:

The domain isn't mine; it belongs to a customer. The admin contact has left their organization, and left only the login information for the NetSol account. I logged into his account and changed the admin email address, so I'd get the authorization code, instead of him. I requested the authorization code for the transfer, and when it didn't come, I requested it again. When that didn't come, I requested it a third time (all in the same day).

The first message I got from NetSol (shortly after the third auth code request), was a special 'transfer lock' that was put in place because of 'suspicious activity' on the account. Here are the highlights:

Some of the domains in your account(s) will not be able to be transferred to another registrar for a period of 30 days. This transfer-lock has been applied for security reasons to help prevent unauthorized transfer of your domain registration(s) to another registrar.

To see which domains have been locked, simply log into your Account Manager and click on a domain.

The transfer-lock will be removed on October 7, 2008, after which, you may transfer your domain registration(s). If you wish to transfer sooner, please contact our Customer Service and we can assist you with submitting a request to have this lock removed.

As suggested, I called Network Solutions. They were closed (it was Sunday). I called this afternoon (Monday), and successfully navigated their phone prompts to get to the guy who can help. It turns out, he can't help. Even though my email address clearly is the admin contact, the old contact's *name* is still there. While he was escalating my problem to someone else, I changed the name (via the NetSol site) on the account.

The second guy introduced me to a new problem. Because of the "special lock" (that's a real quote) placed on the account, there's nothing we can do until 1-2 days from now. I asked why he can't just remove the "special lock" right now, and he advised it's against policy. When I asked who's policy...the answer, of course, is Network Solutions.

So, I'm left wondering what is the advantage of having such a policy. You've got a guy on the phone who's information is all over the account, and who obviously has control of the account; why not release it? The answer, I think, is in the sales pitch I was given (by both guys). Why not just migrate all your other sites to us? How about if I make the renewal price $8.95 per domain? We have hosting here too, can I interest you in that?

Blah. Maybe GoDaddy (or some other registrar) would do the same thing, but that's just a ridiculous, used car salesman approach to dealing with people (no offense toward any used vehicle sales people :\ ). Network Solutions will never see any of my accounts.

Prashant (not verified)

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 11:16


I have faced the same problem today, surprising... it is also sunday today !
Were you able to transfer the domain then despite of this special lock ? I am from India and not sure how much network solutions will be helpful in solving this issue.


Kyle (not verified)

Sat, 09/10/2011 - 16:05

Maybe you should have tried negotiating with Network Solutions before transferring. I recently had a domain up for renewal at Net Sol and saw numerous transfer offers for under $10 per yr from competitors. I called the domain sales dept. and explained I was going to transfer unless they could price match or give me something approaching the competitors' prices. They quickly came back with a $9+ per yr rate (on a 5 yr renewal), which is a lot better than the $114 (total for 5 yrs) they were going to charge me for the 5 yr (a 39% savings off the 1 yr renewal fee of $37 and change). So, with a quick phone call, I saved over 50% off the 39% off "deal" I was initiall given via the regular renewal process.

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