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Thread: Domain registrars to avoid

  1. #1
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Domain registrars to avoid

    It seemed as though this might be useful to our newbie pals. Please list here any domain registrars you've had a bad experience with and why you suggest they should be avoided.

    Newbie Traps - these guys spend heaps on advertising to suck in newbies to buy a domain, then they promise to "make it easier" for you by upselling hosting. (To be fair, almost all registrars sell hosting.) However, all this comes with a price. Remember all this advertising to entice you in has to be paid for somehow, so perhaps corners have to be cut elsewhere - such as on customer service - or they fleece you with other charges further down the line.

    We personally had a very bad experience with EasySpace. There's a saga about that on here somewhere, where they swiped our domain from us and moved it into their own account because we were trying to transfer it away from them.

    I could list plenty other registrars with bad reputations, but it's probably better if we stick to our own experiences rather than listing anecdotal evidence.

    PS: We could probably have a similar thread for web hosts to avoid, and I'd bet that a lot of the same names would crop up.
    Last edited by Kay; 14 March 2013 at 9:47 am. Reason: To make a better subject heading
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  2. #2
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    I was once tempted by one.com - they currently offer a "free" domain and a year's "free" hosting for a 9 set-up fee.

    If you realise soon after you go with them that your choice of domain name was ill-advised, you can't change it. You bought a "package deal". You want another domain name, you have to buy another "package deal". No way of adding more domains to your extensive disk space. You have to give notice to quit their service, it tells you how long the notice is in the T&C, it is at least 30 days (I think it is longer but I don't remember). If you don't respond to billing emails, they take the money off your card anyway. When you do quit, they keep your domain up for another year, in which time you can't access it, so you can't get your hands on the domain you didn't want anyway.

    If you have a domain you want to use, I believe you have to transfer it to them. You're not allowed to transfer out the domain in their T&C - they grant you the use of the domain, it is not yours. They register the domain in your name, but they tie it to the email address they provide in the package deal, so you lose control of the domain as soon as you stop paying them.

    The hosting is reliable and affordable. The way they work is rigid and inflexible. Only suited to people that want one easy-build website and then want to forget about it, apart from paying the bills.
    Last edited by crabfoot; 14 March 2013 at 5:36 am.

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    Whilst what you're saying about one.com is true to an extent, I have been able to successfully transfer away two domains that I foolishly had hosted with them at one stage. I was able to cancel my hosting with them, get an IPS tag and transfer the domain away within a matter of 24 hours, so although they are to be avoided, if you do have domains hosted with them, all is not lost and it is possible to retain control of your domains and move them elsewhere.

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    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    With UK domains you can usually circumvent an awkward registrar by using the Nominet procedures - but not always, there's a "handshake" process that needs to be in place, and that could be "unfortunately out of order". And there is no corresponding way to recover ICANN domains. Better to avoid these people in the first place.

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    I made the mistake of using 1&1 to buy two domain names. Never used them for hosting. They exposed my email forwarding address so it received huge amounts of spam. I deleted it. Two years later I received an invoice by post. It looked like one of those typical spam letters "time to renew your domain". It didn't state which domain and I couldn't figure out what it was for.


    However, just to be safe, rather than simply trashing it, I wrote to them stating "happy to pay if you can tell me what it's for". A week later I got a letter from a debt collecting agency and ended up paying 25 to get them off my back. After that I asked my friendly ISP to take ownership of the domain names. He got one but the other got lost in the system. I never got it back. So I won't be using 1&1 again!

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    Top Contributor Dave McM is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    We personally had a very bad experience with EasySpace. There's a saga about that on here somewhere, where they swiped our domain from us and moved it into their own account because we were trying to transfer it away from them.
    In fact, this bad experience was with 123-reg - details here.

    But it's not a surprise that Kay should have remembered EasySpace as being the culprits, as we had a very bad experience with them early on (2002 or so) - they charged us 49.00 to transfer away a domain. But only after they'd already charged us for all sorts of "extra" services that we subsequently discovered other registrars were providing as standard.

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    I'd add 1and1, Register and Networksolutions to the not to use list.
    Also in general avoid buying hosting and domain from the same company.


    Namecheap are pretty good in both ease of use and simplicity, but is not actually cheap.
    Godaddy is the cheapest place around to register domains, but you need to google for the latest coupon codes to get the cheaper rates.

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    I have a feeling that Webfusion might be some part of 123, but whether or not they are definitely one to be avoided.
    Being total newbies we thought it was all quite normal.... until we started using real hosting and domain registrars!

  11. #9
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Thanks to those who have responded with the domain registrars they recommend, but this is a thread about registrars to avoid. We have plenty of threads recommending good registrars, but this isn't one of them. Please feel free to post about who you use and why you recommend them on a more appropriate thread.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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    1&1 for requiring a fax of my drivers license to pass their fraud check.
    1&1 for making me set up something called "glue records" to get their domains working properly with Google Apps.
    1&1 for sneaking in an auto-renewal charge on my card.
    1&1 for requiring a fax of my letters of incorporation to get my money refunded (!?@!)

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