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01|08|2008 02:42 pm EDT

Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches

by Adam Strong in Categories: Featured

A story is developing regarding domain name registrar Network Solutions front running domains. According to multiple sources on DomainState.com, it appears that domains searched via NSI are being purchased by the registrar thereby preventing a registrant from purchasing it at any other registrar other than NSI. As an example (at the time of this writing), a random domain which DNN searches such as HowDoesThisDomainTasteTaste.com can be seen  in this whois search to now be unavailable to register at other registrars but at NSI it can be purchased

The whois contact now says :

Registrant: Make this info private
This Domain is available at NetworkSolutions.com
13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
HERNDON, VA 20171
US

The domains are likely being purchased and held in NSI ownership until the potential registrant comes back to purchase the name through NSI. If the purchase is not made at NSI within 5 days, NSI uses the same 5 day grace period that domain tasting operations use and they delete the domain. Once a search for a domain is conducted at NSI the domain name is registered and only available to be purchased by a registrant at NSI. It is not clear if NSI has increased prices on domains that have received multiple whois searches and that they are front running.

NSI also apparently has no problem taking over control of trademark domains using this practice as well. Searches for names such as microsoft-dell.com and ibm-microsoft-dell.com all appear as registered now by NSI and only available for purchase at NSI.

Front running domain names is a bold move by any registrar as it breaks a certain level of trust that the general public places in using a whois search. ICANN SSAC has conducted a “study” on front running recently in which they wrote “ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement and Registry Agreements do not expressly prohibit registrars and registries from monitoring and collecting WHOIS query of domain name availability query data and either selling this information or using it directly,” Warehousing domains in order to sell them to “potentially interested parties” isn’t specifically forbidden in the registrar contract with ICANN but is addressed in points 3.7.9 and 4.2.5 of the contract in which they leave room for new rules or revisions to the contract. In a quick look search it appears that other registries have addressed this issue. As an example, the SGNIC for example has a contract that expressly addresses this issue.

it shall not engage in and shall prohibit bulk access to Registrant’s data, warehousing of or speculation in Domain Names, and shall implement any policies SGNIC may from time to time prescribe to prohibit or restrict such activities. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Registrar shall not (i) submit any application for the registration, renewal, transfer, modification or cancellation of a Domain Name registration or any other request or transaction relating thereto purportedly on behalf of any Person when it is not in fact so authorized, or on behalf of a non-existent Person; (ii) accumulate or warehouse Domain Name registrations with which Registrar or such Person has no reasonable connection, for the purpose of removing them from availability for others, transferring them for immediate or deferred direct or indirect gain or profit or for any other reason whatsoever, nor shall it knowingly participate in any such undertaking.

Tags:

151 Comments

[…] the rest of this great post here This entry is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the […]

[…] DomainNameNews points out, just imagine the possible litigation they could be risking if someone searches for […]

Dito

January 8, 2008 @ 3:38 pm EDT

Always suspected something like this was happening.

a

January 8, 2008 @ 6:06 pm EDT

¡¡ Qué hijos de la grandísima puta !!

Jim Ramsey

January 8, 2008 @ 6:20 pm EDT

What if I write a script to run whois queries against 100 million randomly composed domain names built from dictionary words. If the name isn’t there, I wait a bit then see if its available for registration. If the name is now owned by Network Solutions, just run a whois query every 4 or 5 days.

In theory, this would make NS spend their money holding on to names that no one bought from them.

I don’t know if this is legal, but it is certainly is as ethical as what NS is doing.

Anon

January 8, 2008 @ 6:26 pm EDT

Hack the planet. Sick the Gibson on them style.

[…] more about it here, and here, if you […]

Ant

January 8, 2008 @ 6:38 pm EDT

This won’t work. Look up Domain Tasting. It is free for 5 days: Domain tasting, is a practice of registrants using the five-day “grace period” at the beginning of a domain registration for ICANN-regulated generic top-level domains to test the marketability of a domain name. During this period, when a registration must be fully refunded by the domain registry, a cost-benefit analysis is conducted by the registrant on the viability of deriving income from advertisements being placed on the domain’s web site.

Javier Pacheco

January 8, 2008 @ 6:49 pm EDT

Check this link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=410854&cid=21959154

Perl, Ruby, Bash and POSIX scripts to run whois queries on NS.

[…] registrar thereby preventing a registrant from purchasing it at any other registrar other than NSI Read more here __________________ Selling your generic domain name? Want CASH now? WeBuyThe.Com is ready to buy […]

[…] points to an important story for those following Internet/ICANN policy […]

Layton

January 8, 2008 @ 6:57 pm EDT

They raised the price to $35 on domains they are squatting. Bastards…

johnnychumpo

January 8, 2008 @ 7:15 pm EDT

why is ICANN not coming down on these assholes?

[…] For further info on the Network Solutions situation, check out DomainNameNews' post here. […]

Ivan Pope

January 8, 2008 @ 8:03 pm EDT

NSI were the most horrible company I ever had the misfortune to do business with – doesn’t look like they’ve changed. If you ask why ICANN doesn’t do something, it’s because ICANN is a posse of wimps. Always was, always will be. The consumer counts for nothing, never has, never will.

shashib

January 8, 2008 @ 8:17 pm EDT

Hi my name is Shashi Bellamkonda and I work for Network Solutions. Wanted to clarify our side.

HEre is a link to our clarification on Circleid: http://www.circleid.com/posts/81082_network_solutions_front_running/

Network Solutions is not front running. “ Front Runners” are people who register domain names known to have been searched, for the purpose of monetizing them and then selling them at inflated prices either directly to the customer who searched for the domain or through aftermarket channels.
We have started protecting all domain name searches at Network Solutions by holding the searched domains for our customers for a short period of time before releasing them. This gives our customers the opportunity to register names later without fear that the name will be registered by a “Front Runner.”
We are not monetizing these domains, nor do we intend to keep them after the holding period.

We did this because we heard customers complain that queried domain names are being snatched up by other people as soon as they searched. Network Solutions makes sure its search data is secure and we do not sell it any third party. I know that Network Solutions has no intention of keeping any searched domain or monetizing it.

holotone.net

January 8, 2008 @ 8:35 pm EDT

[…] Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches » Domain Name News […]

yeah right

January 8, 2008 @ 9:03 pm EDT

Shashi,

This is very much a form of FrontRunning.

What if I want to register the domain with some other service after doing a Whois search on Network Solutions?

Your policy effectively prevents me from doing that for several days, increasing the likelyhood that I would choose instead to register with Network Solutions just to ensure I get the name I want.

Anon

January 8, 2008 @ 9:17 pm EDT

Let’s give ICANN 3 mo. then push our government to permit indictment of ICANN as well.

If our registration fees do not fund appropriate scrutiny then we should sue and charge the bastards that allow others to steal our money.

Sue ICANN

January 8, 2008 @ 9:19 pm EDT

There sounds like we can generate a great class action suit against NS and ICANN

[…] Network Solutions for front running domain names that customers try to register. (See for instance today’s report on DomainNameNews). Jonathon Nevett, Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions, has offered the […]

F'n Bastards

January 8, 2008 @ 9:23 pm EDT

Who hosts Network Solutions?

If ICANN is complicit in the scam then we have to find a legal way to prevent them from offering any whois services.

This is far worse than internet gambling or half the things that get sites blocked.

Someone reading this must know a legal way?…..

novakyu

January 8, 2008 @ 9:34 pm EDT

@Shashi:

That defense might have worked, and some might have believed it too, especially if you were holding it for a particular customer who searched for the domain. But as pointed out here, you sell it to other people at the same high price markup (I’ve been thinking $10 at most registrars were expensive until I saw your price!).

I have never dealt with you, and never will again, but I do know someone who does deal with you at the moment, and I forwarded him this story. And like many of your customers, he will most likely see the light and transfer his domain away from you.

I can't believe this

January 8, 2008 @ 9:38 pm EDT

Even if NSI stopped right now, this should be enough to get the firm, their founders, their hosting providers banned from this business.

If they banked with our firm, I would ask them to take their (shady) business elsewhere.

Any Google Peeps Listening?

January 8, 2008 @ 9:42 pm EDT

Can someone at Google please look into if this can get them PR0’d/delisted/gonged?

Yo Shashi?

January 8, 2008 @ 9:44 pm EDT

“or for any other reason whatsoever”

[…] the deal, as reported at DomainState and a couple blogs: If you try to register a domain at Network Solutions, but decide not to register it, you […]

TN

January 8, 2008 @ 10:33 pm EDT

A similar thing happened to me with GoDaddy.

There was a domain name I had been waiting for for weeks, and it just happened to be in the expiration phase when I first thought of it (the domain name linked to my name above). I purchased a backorder through GoDaddy (original registrar from previous owner) and waited impatiently through expiration and grace period. At the very last second, the domain was swiped up by SnapNames, much to my disappointment, who were then auctioning it for $75! I went ahead and purchased another domain name.

BUT, here is the real kicker, I decided I didn’t need the name that bad so I went on with life. One week later I get an email from GoDaddy saying they were able to successfully acquire the name for me.

WHAT?? So I now have the name, but if I’d wanted it bad enough, despite having paid $20 for the backorder, I would have also bought it for $75 in the auction.

That really, really made me question how these companies operate.

I have email documentation for all of this too. Purchasing the backorder and a name watch, notification that I didn’t acquire the domain in the backorder, status updates on the whois, and then a later email saying I was now the owner of the domain. Very shady…

[…] and Ethics are diligently working on PR damage control after the inevitable public backlash from allegations of domain name front running.  NSI employee responses have been spotted on Domainstate, Slashdot.org and Digg.  Additionally, […]

Dave Zan

January 8, 2008 @ 11:21 pm EDT

Interesting and rather understandable why NetSol’s doing that. Of course, no one’s required to agree with their position.

ripped off

January 8, 2008 @ 11:26 pm EDT

I had this problem recently. i searched for securepress.com which was available and went back the next day to purchase it only to find it had been snapped up by a chinese company within hour(s) of my search. I then contacted them and they stated they would sell me the domain for $25000 US. This is fast becoming a joke and i no longer trust the bigger companies providing domain name searching factilities. my tip. if you want a domain don’t search for it until you are prepared to pay for it on the spot.

Drew

January 8, 2008 @ 11:57 pm EDT

If by interesting and understandable you mean it’s understandable that they would seek to profit on a trust bestowed on them (whois) and try to use the obvious loophole in their registrar contract to profit, and by interesting that they would then turn the tables and try and disguise this has “helping customers”, then I agree.

[…] Network Solutions Sucks Ass Posted in January 9th, 2008 by ChronoFish in Inner Geek, No Where Else Base of story Base of story […]

Frank

January 9, 2008 @ 12:41 am EDT

Unbelievable. Just stumbled on to this scam a few minutes ago while trying to register domains for a small company. I used http://www.networksolutions.com to search for the domain, but minutes later could not register the site using another registrar. Called NSOL and spoke about the scam. They will charge me $35 per year to register the domain name when I can register with anyone else for less than $10 per year. They did offer a discount of $99 for 5 years (haha). I can’t believe this scam is not an outrage! I will wait 5 days and use any other registration means.

WOW!

Frank

January 9, 2008 @ 12:45 am EDT

Jim / Javiar

Started my .NET version a few minutes ago. I will just use the code already available to “check for availability”

[…] Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches [DomainNameNews] […]

[…] it seems that the smelly ballsacks at NSI snatch up any domain you search for, ever. Well, they are a big bag of cocks. They say […]

[…] the deal, as reported at DomainState and a couple blogs: If you try to register a domain at Network Solutions, but decide not to register it, you […]

Frank

January 9, 2008 @ 1:59 am EDT

NetSol – CSV download of expiring sites makes this practice a squatter’s dream come true. NetworkSolutions website allows you to download a CSV listing expiring sites. Want to bet the reserved site shows up on the report? Makes this a nice resource for squatters or a NetSol subsidiary to purchase the domain names under another company name. They already reserved the following names based on my search. Bet they will be on the list of 60,000+ expiring domain names on the CSV export!

NetworkScammerSolutions
NetworkSolutionsDeceptivePractices
NetSols-yousearch-we-steal
NetSols-Loweryourprices
NetworkSolutions-ScamArtist
NetSols-Jan8-2008-StealThis-M-Fer

Kathy

January 9, 2008 @ 2:25 am EDT

Sadly, I was affected by this Network Solutions scam tonight, too. Searched for a domain name, it was available, only to find that a few seconds later it was reserved by them and not available through anyone else. I was monitoring one of the other blogs and found that during that time, some of the “reserved” names had suddenly become available again. I searched Go Daddy for my desired domain and it was showing as available. I registered it, got a receipt showing so, but it’s still not showing as mine in WHOIS. When I type in my domain, it takes me to Network Solutions. Go Daddy says it should be mine once NS finally releases it in a few days, but they couldn’t guarantee it. One thing CAN be guaranteed … I’ll never do business with Network Solutions.

[…] registrar Network Solutions has been caught Front Running domain names. Domain names searched via their whois tool are immediately locked, preventing the customer from […]

Thebes

January 9, 2008 @ 3:23 am EDT

Never did I think I would be more disgusted with a registrar than I was with registerfly…. sadly that day has come.

NSI is now tasting…
westealyourip.com
wesuckbigdonkeyass.com
pleaseddosallourbases.com
and
gofucknetworksolutionsnameserver.com

actually, everything I enter, regardless of what it is…

Some people need to be tarred and feathered here.

[…] hacker? Wrong! It’s one of the largest domain name registrar – Network Solutions. Multiple blogs and other sources confirm that NetSol preserves any .com name searched through their web site for […]

[…] been a strong support of Network Solutions for years. So this come as a big shock as to how unethical this is. Basically, every domain you search using their website, they lock it and register it themselves. […]

guillermo

January 9, 2008 @ 4:12 am EDT

At least they’re ethical in that they’re equal-opportunity when it comes to criticism.
“frontrunnerslikenetworksolutionslickballs.com is registered until 09-Jan-2009″

Look it up yourself ;)

pipstyles

January 9, 2008 @ 4:48 am EDT

Someone set us up the bomb
All your domains are belong to us

Jokes aside, I always wondered about this. It seemed so obvious that I always assumed there were checks in place to prevent it. Apparently not.

[…] (don’t worry, it goes through a redirect that’s blocked in my robots.txt) automatically registers any domain name searched for on their site. Essentially, they’re front running domain names, where if you search for a domain name but […]

[…] Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches […]

[…] trying different domains using the whois tool on NetworkSolutions web page, as it seems they are “reserving” all searched domains with them (knowledge gained through the always-infallible […]

[…] has the full story  Slashdot and Domain Name News picked it up […]

[…] and discussion lists are all abuzz with word that Network Solutions is engaging in domain name front running. What that means is that if you search for a domain on Network Solutions, then want to purchase it […]

Mahhn

January 9, 2008 @ 11:03 am EDT

I just called them and let them know I and my partners will no longer be doing business with them due to this practice (scam). The lady on the phone tried to tell me it’s not true. I told her to look it up on then news today.

[…] Solutions front running domains? According to sources, it seems that domains that you search at NetworkSolutions.com (NSI) are being purchased by the […]

[…] was media-frenzy day in the domain world. Thanks to a thread on DomainState and article at Domain Name News, major media outlets picked up on the story of how Network Solutions is reserving all .com domains […]

TN

January 9, 2008 @ 11:47 am EDT

Absolutely disgusting. Very funny to see some of the domains above that people checked though! Nice work guys!

I’m glad I’ve never done business with them, personally. I worked in IT at a company that used them and I had a domain name coming up for renewal. I called them and said I wanted a better deal than the $54 renewal fee, and said I would transfer to another registrar without a deal. They didn’t hesitate to offer to renew the domain for $9. They’re making good profit if they don’t even haggle and just offer that big of a discount.

I have a small domain company I use for checking domains and I’m certain they do not do anything shady–I’ve been checking domains with them for years and have never had a domain name swiped up, even days after first checking it. Sadly their domain prices are higher than most, so I don’t actually buy from them. =\

share.websitemagazine.com

January 9, 2008 @ 11:55 am EDT

Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches…

A story is developing regarding domain name registrar Network Solutions front running domains…

Anish

January 9, 2008 @ 12:18 pm EDT

Just for the heck of it, i tried to do a check availability for liposuction-india.com which was available and now after 20 min i did a whois and the domain now belongs to

Registrant:
This Domain is available at NetworkSolutions.com
13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
HERNDON, VA 20171
US

Domain Name: LIPOSUCTION-INDIA.COM

What a sick company!!!!

Anish

[…] Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches A story is developing regarding domain name registrar Network Solutions front running domains. […]

[…] out, pretty not surprisingly, that NetSol is doing just this. The best part is that NetSol responds to this all “we do it because we love you” […]

Bill

January 9, 2008 @ 12:40 pm EDT

“Front running” is a fuzzy euphamism for “kidnapping and ransoming” .

Netsol deserves to be removed from the industry and owners of any legitimate domains it holds should be told to pick a reputable registrar.

Arnie

January 9, 2008 @ 1:13 pm EDT

I quit doing business with Network Solutions a few years ago. They sucked then, the suck now. Unethical cheats.

I love GoDaddy and sure hope they don’t follow similar tactics, but some days I wonder how my very unique domains searches are gone the next day.

[…] to slashdot, Domain Name News, and a thread seemingly originating at Domainstate, Network Solutions (NSI) has been locking up […]

[…] Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches […]

tymes

January 9, 2008 @ 2:04 pm EDT

It’s started… this all really started on the 8th. Today it has grown from 2000 to 20000 registrations, and now it seems someone using worldnic.com is registering all those previously unknown uninteresting domains that expire after 4 days that “reserveddomainname.com” is releasing…

Again, this is bad in so manyways… NSI is basically publishing all the whois lookups done on their site for other registrars and squatters and the world to see.

I can’t wait till spammers start using it to get free domainnames to spam from for a few days to avoid “501 Domain Must Exist” errors.

Sue NSI them for stupidity and incompentence.

[…] a buzz today about domain name kiting (tasting) – the practice of snagging names (for whatever reason) but […]

[…] The piece has since been picked up by eWeek and in some depth at DomainNameNews. […]

Snap

January 9, 2008 @ 3:44 pm EDT

GREED – NOTHING BUT GREED!
Network Solutions raised registration prices on .com and .net. Why?? Greed. It makes me wonder what is next. I am in agreement with “Thebes” above. Totally disgusted with this registrar.

ICANN, if you do not move quickly on this one,
then you may have two strikes against you.
Registerfly, and now Network Solutions.

John Stevens

January 9, 2008 @ 3:47 pm EDT

I am a President and CEO of a major Corporation. I just found out about this today. We are presently owners of 1,275 domains through our sub companies. We are no in the process of moving all of our domain names away from Network Solutions. We have Trademark/Patent pending status on 832 of the domains, which entitles us to Trademark infringement damages. 18 of our Attorneys are presently preparing a law suit to sue Network Solutions for punitive and legitimate financial loss damages and devious business practices.

Note: my email and URI posted here is apparently not mine…go figure

Goodbye

January 9, 2008 @ 3:49 pm EDT

Goodbye Network Solutions.

bankruptcy Court is just around the corner.

Myles Agnew

January 9, 2008 @ 4:06 pm EDT

It amazes me that Domain Registrar companies can do this the “tasting” or “kiting” and now what do we call this act of stupidity a 4 day hold on domain unless you registered through them.
“frontrunning”

[…] Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches » Domain Name News Why I’m not a registrant here any more. (tags: domain ethics) […]

Jason Lavigne

January 9, 2008 @ 4:51 pm EDT

@ Shashib

If you are doing this to protect you clients please explain why anyone can register the reserved name and not just the original searcher. Please explain why you are doing this ONLY for .COM, do you not care about your customers that work in other tld’s?

Social Business Project

January 9, 2008 @ 5:24 pm EDT

What is to prevent other companies from participating in such unethical garbage. From what I understand this is legal according to ICAAN. I say every one needs to cease business with Network Solutions.

[…] to Domain State broke the story, it was covered on Techmeme, Digg, Slashdot, and a host of individual sites and blogs, etc. and so on. Heck, it even made USA […]

[…] Today, there are allegations flying around today that Network Solutions, a very popular internet reg…If the allegations are true, then Network Solutions was operating a very cunning business. […]

Roger Rogerson

January 9, 2008 @ 7:07 pm EDT

Okay… apologies in advance for the length of this comment, and the possible tone.
Please feel free to refute or ignore ;)

Shock, outrage and surprise… or not!

A minority of people have been saying for some time that Domain Names are too easily abused, that there ought to be some sort of system implemented to help prevent such occurrences.
Yet for just as long, they have been told it isn’t needed, that it shouldn’t be needed and that it will never happen.

So, what did people expect?
Business is business, and people are out there to make money.
If you are not willing to take action, support action or contribute to action, then I’m deeply sorry, but you get exactly what is coming to you.

I’ve seen plenty of justification and reasoning, as well as some pretty poor excuses for doing such things.
This runs from the oh-so-typical “freedom” comments, through to calling it a business practice.
There are comparisons to renting land, paying taxi fares and applying for patents etc.
There are terms used such as DN Farming or DN Agriculture, even DN Prospecting

This means that there are companies out there that own literally hundreds of DN’s, and are not actually using them “for real”.
They use them as simple bill board advertisements, as pages filled with dynamic adverts, redirects to advertising based sites etc.
Some of these companies are nice, and only retain the DN for a year or two, then release it, where as others may hold the DN for years, with no indication of ever letting it go.

The upshot is that many of us are faced with going for less effective names, or having to spend additional funds on re-branding businesses.
We have to hunt for alternatives, and as is currently obvious, even this is not a safe thing for us to be doing, as other companies seem more than happy on attempting to make money from us even then!

So, how about people start throwing down some ideas to help prevent such things?

I’m not talking about taking DN’s off of people.
I’m not saying that people should be banned from purchasing multiple DN’s.
I’m not suggesting that people lose tons of money on their investments.

Instead, what I’m suggesting is that something is implemented to lessen the likely hood of such occurrences.
Something that basically makes it a pointless venture, or that will reduce the benefits for those companies that insist on such unpleasant practices.

Why not actually do something, together, that may benefit us and others, and start taking steps to protect ourselves?
So, to get the ball rolling, I’ll throw in some ideas, and we can see what could come from this…

:::::: :::::: DN Searching :::::: ::::::

:::::: Ideas ::::::
* Maybe introducing a ticketing/flagging system.
* Those looking for a DN could indicate interest in certain names.
* Doing so would resort in some sort of ticket being made.
* A ticket has a certain life-span.
* Multiple interests in a given name would mean that earlier flags/tickets take priority.
* If someone wishes to purchase a DN, they have to wait for all prior flags/tickets to dissipate.
* It may be possible to introduce a pre-pay system, so that if there are prior tickets, you can pay when you request a ticket. That payment is retained in reserve. If no one acts on the prior tickets, then your payment is acted upon. If an earlier ticket is acted upon (the DN is bought), your payment is not processed.

:::::: Good Points ::::::
* Permits people to take an interest and enable a little safety margin in regards to time.
* Allows other interested parties the chance to state their interest or confirm by payment.
* Retains fairness by keeping things in order of occurrence.

:::::: Bad Points ::::::
* Cumbersome and problematic to implement across the board.
* People tend to dislike queues, (even virtual ones).
* People will complain that the life-span is too-long/short etc.
* Bound to be monetary issues and screw-ups.

:::::: :::::: DN Puchasing :::::: ::::::

:::::: Ideas ::::::
* All initial costs are increased, (i.e. initially purchase a .com for £50).
* All renewals are set at a lower than purchase rate, (i.e. renew a .com for £10).

:::::: Good Points ::::::
* A higher initial price could be seen as more prohibitive to certain practices, (particularly in light of costs incurred in following section!)
* Once a DN is actually paid for, retaining it is much more affordable.

:::::: Bad Points ::::::
* People are likely to dislike the initial purchase cost.

:::::: :::::: Proof of Usage :::::: ::::::

:::::: Ideas ::::::
* There could be some form of checking/validation of a DN.
* The purpose would be to see whether a DN is being used for a website, or as a form of money farming (through advertising or for selling on).
* Reporting sites that are carrying out such practices could be enabled.
* Sites found to be lacking real usage (to an actual function and real website), should be ‘requested’ to release the DN back into the pool.
* Sites found to be lacking real usage and that have no wish to release the DN back to the pool should be made to pay additional “rental fee’s”, on a Monthly basis (based upon the TLD).
* Alternatively, Sites found to be lacking any real usage could be given a maximum time limit for retention of the DN, then refused permission to renew.
* If a DN is not in real usage, and a third party enquiries to make a purchase, the owning company are obligated to agree to sell.
* Selling such a domain should be regulated, and adhere to pre-determined pricing structures (based upon the TLD and the length of ownership/usage, decreasing in value over time).
* Companies that are noted for farming DN’s could receive limitations/restrictions on the number permitted at one time.

:::::: Good Points ::::::
* By allowing people to self regulate will lower costs and ease the task somewhat.
* Companies that conduct such practices can be watched.
* Additional costs are likely to results in an increase in DN’s being released.
* Forced release ensures DN’s being returned to the pool.

:::::: Bad Points ::::::
* Defining “real usage” could be somewhat difficult.
* There is bound to be the creation of “pseudo-sites”; out of a box packages that with hardly any effort could appear as a real site.
* People/Companies practicing DN farming are likely to dislike being forced to release assets, or controlled in regards to the retail value of those assets.

Alternatively, Farming could be embraced.
Additional revenues could be generated through such usages, and time limits set on maximum usage for such practices.
Once those time limits have been reached, the DN can be released into the pool, with a flag that it is not available for such usage for a set period of time.
This means that there is at least some chance of ‘legitimate’ usage by persons/companies could obtain a desired DN.
If the DN remains in the pool for a certain amount of time, or is returned to the pool of after a period of legitimate usage, then it could be made readily available for Farming again.

Just start immediately transferring all your domains away. Be proactive now to avoid additional problems that may arise.

This will make a very loud statement that will reverberate through this industry for years to come. We do not need to tolerate this type of behavior.

Now is the time to unite in showing what will happen to those who dare to violate trusted business relationships. Take action.

[…] our on-going coverage of the NSI front running story, we’ve received this letter minutes ago from NSI staff I wanted to follow up with you and […]

Adam Strong

January 9, 2008 @ 7:45 pm EDT

Thanks “domain pro” that’s why we have our newest advertiser NameCheap now on the site. The owners provide excellent service and domains at an incredibly low price.

[…] Have you ever searched for a domain name, only to find that it was taken already?  Now, Network Solutions has made it even easier to feel that disappointment. […]

Dave Zan

January 9, 2008 @ 11:04 pm EDT

If you are doing this to protect you clients please explain why anyone can register the reserved name and not just the original searcher. Please explain why you are doing this ONLY for .COM, do you not care about your customers that work in other tld’s?

Not speaking for NetSol, obviously, but I’d imagine they want everyone to have an “equal opportunity” to register the domain name. Through them only, though.

I also imagine they don’t have to to do that for the other extensions since .com’s the one being tasted.

It’s a shame, though, it’s come to this if VeriSign would just do what PIR has already done.

chris m

January 9, 2008 @ 11:34 pm EDT

Sound like extortion to me and reasonable grounds for a class action.

Joe

January 10, 2008 @ 9:05 am EDT

Do not believe the excuses you are getting from Network Solutions and Verisign on this. Do you own homework! Network Solutions has ALWAYS been a crooked company that sticks it to consumer every chance they get.

Use Google.com or Live.com to look up some of the things Network Solutions has tried in the past. Authority types have had to step in and stop Network Solutions/Verisign from exploiting consumers on several occasions.

Holding the domain for 5 days does nothing useful and they will not be able to keep doing this for long. Like their previous stunts – they will eventually be forced to stop.

Sergio

January 12, 2008 @ 7:23 pm EDT

LOL, just for fun, I did a Whois inquiry for ‘CocaColaPepsiCola.com’ and guess where this domain is ONLY available at for the next 4 days? That’s right, NetworkSolutions. I find it funny that I can make them infringe on patented stuff. :)

Joe Carolina

January 14, 2008 @ 11:31 pm EDT

If you think about maybe their justification is: by reserving the name they make sure that the name remains available for the person searching on their site. Kinda like when you order tickets on ticketmaster and they save your tickets for 3 minutes while you fill out the forms. I wish airlines would do that, but instead the price changes while you are in the middle of booking. I am just theorizing the EXCUSE that they might use, but I dont buy it either. I use godaddy for my purchases.

Mel Beckman

January 15, 2008 @ 12:17 am EDT

WSJ writer Chris Rhoades has a nice summary article in the Jan15 online edition:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120035979165090009.html
(free sub trial required for full article)
In the article, Rhoades reports a telling statement from NSI about a change they’ve made in reaction to criticism of their name-seizing scam.
NSI says that it will make sure names held in reserve won’t be made public, a revelation that completely unhinges NSI’s argument for “protection”. If nobody can detect domain names searched through NSI (thanks to NSI’s curious “NOW they won’t be made public” fix), then searched names will be completely safe without holding. If, however, someone can detect domain names searched through NSI, then names run the same risk of front-running whether held or not, since NSI will cheerfully sell the name to anyone.

Roger Rogerson

January 15, 2008 @ 4:33 am EDT

Almost a week… and not one person has actually suggested anything as a way to prevent such things from happening, nor voiced anythign pro-active.

So long as people are only ever going to whine/whinge/complain – then companies such as this will always get away with it.

hell, they may get fined this time… the best we could hope for is they are no longer aloowed to trade – in which case they will make their wives CEO’s/Directors, and continue under another name.

If you aren’t willing to at least try to do something, then you quite rightly suffer.

:disgust:

Jay McPherson

January 15, 2008 @ 4:13 pm EDT

Damned straight this is what they do. Did it to me on Saturday 1/12. This confirms what I thought at the time. Seemed strange that the name was registered to Network Solutions the VERY DAY I had made an inquiry as to its availability.

It’s easy for me to simply say I won’t do business in any way, shape or form with any Verio company in the future… Much harder to actually practice, since they are involved in so MANY things.

nick

January 16, 2008 @ 10:39 pm EDT

Just ran into this yesterday with a client. Completely unacceptable. I did a whois search on 12 domain names, noted the availability, and took it to my client for approval. Then when I went to register the approved name(s) through their own service provider, it was taken by NS. This is totally unethical and something should be done about it.

Dave Zan

January 17, 2008 @ 2:45 am EDT

Just ran into this yesterday with a client. Completely unacceptable. I did a whois search on 12 domain names, noted the availability, and took it to my client for approval. Then when I went to register the approved name(s) through their own service provider, it was taken by NS. This is totally unethical and something should be done about it.

Nick, one of NetSol’s people confirmed they’re no longer reserving domain names queried through their WHOIS engine. They’re doing that only for those looked up in their availability search, and will be held up for up to 4 days.

However, I’ve been made aware they can delete those upon request. Worth a try to find out.

patrick

January 17, 2008 @ 4:57 pm EDT

I also just got caught up in this slimy practice of front running by NSI – oh, right, they were just protecting me from other scammers… I followed through over the phone and found out that indeed I could have the hold taken off in 8-24 hrs. This all happened just one hour ago and I must say that I have no confidence in this company. I feel certain that Network Solutions will screw me again… and then tell me it is for my own good.

THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!

January 19, 2008 @ 7:03 pm EDT

An associate of mine had recently searched for a new domain at NSI a couple days ago, and the next day I had went to godaddy.com to purchase the domain name only to find out that it was now unavailable. I checked the whois and it said it was now available at Network Solutions. It had been registered that day we had originally searched for the domain. And NOW NSI is charging $34.99 instead of godaddy price of $9.99. THIS IS NOT RIGHT! And something should be done about this! This is an unfair practice! I will tell everyone that I know to never use Network Solutions again for any reason!

Dave

January 21, 2008 @ 11:35 am EDT

What would the effect be on Network Soloutions if everybody started searching for random rubbish?

i.e. search for “stopfrontrunningnetworksolutionsasdfhlkasdf.com”

:-D

Gary

January 21, 2008 @ 11:45 am EDT

This happened to me today. I searched on Network Solutions for a domain name that I wanted to purchase at DreamHost. So, I found it was available at networksolutions.com and “unavailable” at dreamhost.com. Thank goodness for these posts. I waited about 2 hours, still unavailable. I then called Network Solutions at 800-333-7680 and they promptly released it. I guess in this day of the internet, no one thinks about calling someone, but it worked. Now I am a lot less upset about the whole frontrunning thing though still not pleased.

Daniel

January 21, 2008 @ 12:08 pm EDT

Well Netsol protected me well. I lost 5 .com domains to my competitor because of this practise. I tried to wait the 4-5 days so I could register with another registrar, but my competetion figured it was worth the extra money to swoop me. Thanks for FRONT RUNNING me NETWORK SOLUTIONS. Oh I mean protecting me.

novakyu

January 21, 2008 @ 5:09 pm EDT

@Gary:

If that’s true and they actually released it without making you wait 4 days … well, then they have gotten a lot better since a few weeks ago, and you are lucky that no front runner intercepted the domain with automated tools. After all, domain registration/release is public, so by “reserving” the domain for you, NSI made it far more vulnerable to front runners, regardless of what they say about “protecting” their customers.

Barb A. Ryan

January 22, 2008 @ 10:20 pm EDT

You do not have to wait to get NetSol to release the domain name that you searched and they captured. To reduce the uncertainty of waiting or of having someone else jump ahead of you and get the domain released, do the following.

Until NetSol sees the light or is forced to see the light, you can do the following:
1) Go to the NetSol website, call the 800 number and follow the telephone tree to speak to Customer Service for “other domain name registration issues” or something like that. The wait was short for me (on a weekend).
2) Tell the rep that you want a locked domain name released so that you can register it with you preferred registrar.
3) They will ask you for your name and an email address, but they can and will release the hold immediately. (They do not have a clue as to whom it was that searched, but apparently NetSol has decided the their legal behind will be covered, if they ask for a name and email address — which then insist will not be used for marketing purposes and probably will not be given the reason you called.
4) Be ready to register with your preferred registrar immediately after they release it.
5) Be prepared to say no firmly to their kind offer to register the domain for you at their $35 bargain price.

NetSol pulled this automated registration crap with me. They locked up 6 domains. I called customer service and politely demanded a release. I said that I did not want to go through the delay and hassle of transfers and that I wanted to pay my preferred registrar $7 per name and not $35. The customer service rep released each name and I immediately registered the names through my other vendor. Of course, he tried to get me to register with NetSol, but I told him that I despised front running. He did not argue.

Apparently, NetSol thinks this slimy practice is worth it and it probably is. Apparently they care little for their reputation among those bright enough to research this scam. They must make a ton of money off of naive schmoos who need the name and will pay $35 just to get past the pain. Furthermore, they probably have a large business clientele. Employees are sent to get a particular name. When they search on NetSol and get their name locked up, they have to choose between losing the name and paying $35. Since it is company money and not personal money, I bet a very high percentage pay. NetSol has trained its customer service reps to handle this situation politely and to insist that they are only providing a service by locking the name. Apparently, it is worth the Customer Service expense to do this for the small minority who actually call for a release.

Remember to be polite but firm with the Customer Service Rep at NetSol. Honey will work better, and you will get what you want. The rep did not make the policy, so you might as well have a cordial conversation, while you are getting what you want. Some A-hole managers up the chain have decided this is a good strategy. Some companies care about reputation and others don’t. NetSol is one that apparently does not.

Flip Hambone

January 24, 2008 @ 10:31 am EDT

Here’s a good Network Solution (ha ha). Find a black hat programmer to automate domain searches on Network Solutions–forcing them to buy millions of domains per day. Either they would stop, or they would not be able to distinguish between real searches and auto-searches. Now to figure out that captcha….

P.S. I use NameCheap. Good service, all the tools you need, great prices.

Juan

January 24, 2008 @ 6:33 pm EDT

La verdad, para mi ERAN serios y ahora son unos gitanos…

mike

January 26, 2008 @ 10:07 am EDT

THEY ARE COMPLETE SCUMBAGS, I FELL FOR THIS SCAM AND BOUGHT MY FIRST DOMAIN ON NETWORKSOLUTIONS B/C THE REP AT GODADDY HAD NO IDEA WHY IT WAS AVAILABLE THERE BUT NOT AT GODADDY. F*&^ YOU NS, I WILL NOT EVEN visit YOUR SITE AGAIN.

sue them

January 26, 2008 @ 10:12 am EDT

anyone fall for this fraud? i am looking for a class action lawyer and the class – suensnow@networksolutions.com

jenn

January 30, 2008 @ 7:19 pm EDT

guys I may sound stupid but I’m new in this domain name thing and need a lot of advaice. from a -z somebody help please
thanks

novakyu

January 30, 2008 @ 7:43 pm EDT

@jenn:

First and foremost, “Never search for your would-be domain.” Assume that it’s available, and don’t search for it or type it into URL bar of your browser until the moment you are ready to register (you could be leaking information to front runners). Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a few alternatives handy, in case it turns out it’s not available, but searching for its availability could very well be the very thing that ends it.

Two, as for registrars, in my past experience, I’ve never had a problem when I went with the registrar used by my web host (and it was a pretty good deal, $10 for one year of private registration). If you are doing the hosting yourself and or want to keep domain registration separate, I heard these guys have cheap rates (can’t recommend them myself, as I never have used them): 1and1.com and mydomain.com.

MTF

January 31, 2008 @ 2:50 am EDT

Oh man, this is truly despicable NS.

I think I’ll go out and carjack the next person asking me for directions so they don’t get carjacked by any one else. I’ll be protecting them!

jenn

February 1, 2008 @ 11:49 am EDT

novakyu;
thanks for the info. i have one more question and help me if you can: how much would I really pay for everything. see I work for this small business and they need me to open a web page for them but honestly I dont know how. so once I buy the domain name then what? I need to pay something else or the company help me build the page for free or ? I need to know how much will cost me to open a web page? $10 per year and that’s it o $10 domain name only and something else?

thanks very very much!

Roger Rogerson

February 1, 2008 @ 12:04 pm EDT

jenn

If you buy a domain name, then that is all you will get.

If it helps, think of it like this.

You need a Postal Address and a House for the Postal Address.
Now, you can either build your own house (either manually or using software/tools from others), or pay someone to build it for you.
You then need to pay Land Tax/REnt for keeping your House there.
You then Buy (rent) a Postal address so that people can find and visit your house.

Make sense?

Postal Address => Domain Name
House => Web Page/Site
LAnd Tax/REnt => Hosting.

So you have to buy a domain name, get hosting and attach the domain name to hte hosting, then build your website and upload it to your hosting.

If you look aroudn for hosts, some will offer to buy the Domain NAme for you 9or refund the price of the domain name if you host with them).

Be careful where you buy domain names from.
I get my .co.uk for around £3.00 per 2 years, and my .coms for £8 per 1 year.
Some companiues charge £15+ for a domain name (some upto £35).
So look first!

——————————————-

As for everyone else, I cannot believe so many people are willing to gripe and bemoan the situation, yet no one is willing to actually jpoin together and make an effort to stop such behaviour being permitted.

If you are not willing to help stop such things, then sorry, but you get what you deserve.

novakyu

February 1, 2008 @ 12:55 pm EDT

@jenn:

Just to elaborate: you should be paying about $10 to $15 a year for domain name. If it’s much higher than that, then, you should shop around. ;)

Domain name only tells potential visitors where your servers are located. The company could opt to host their web server themselves, in which case it would be part of normal operating costs, but if they do not, they will have to pay a “hosting company” to host their web server for them.

The cost for this varies wildly depending on the company you work with. Dreamhost (a web host I worked with before) charges somewhere around $10 /month (there are coupon codes that were released for 7th and 8th (and probably more) anniversaries that would get the first year’s cost down to $10 / yr, but that’s only the introductory rate). On the other hand, if this website is not for heavy use and/or if it’s only a test launch for something bigger later on, you might benefit from NearlyFreeSpeech’s hosting plan: $1/GB, no minimum bandwidth purchase required.

And finally, once you have webhost (so, you have something around $10 / yr for domain and $120 /yr for hosting as an upper limit to reasonable cost), you have to actually build the web page itself … and this is something I can’t exactly put a cost on. If you know HTML and some scripting language (PHP, Python, or Perl), then it would be “free” (or included in the bulk cost for the company). If not, you may have to hire a web developer, and I don’t think you could find anyone competent willing to work for less than $20 /hr. And just as a rule, hosting companies may have some “webpage building tool”, but they won’t help you with personally building the page—they will help out with technical issues, like if you can’t get PHP working, but you still have to know how to use PHP yourself.

Anyways. This is getting long. Let me know if you need more info.

novakyu

February 1, 2008 @ 7:50 pm EDT

@Roger Rogerson:

In Europe, do you have to “buy” your postal address, or the mail doesn’t get delivered?

I just read your post again, and unless that’s the case in Europe, the analogy makes no sense whatsoever.

Web servers (and “cyberspace”, for that matter) are fundamentally different from physical locations and cannot be made into an analogy like that. I think the just about the closest real-world analogy to buying a domain is paying a map-making company to put your, say, restaurant on the map as a way of advertisement, but as you can see A LOT of details are plain wrong, even in this case.

Roger Rogerson

February 1, 2008 @ 8:31 pm EDT

I can see where you are coming from… bnut I use that analogy for those of my clietns that are not sure how thigns work… and they seem to understand it well enough.

MAybe isntead of Postal Address I should say “P.O. Box”… then again, I do not know if other coutnries use such thigns… but all coutnries seem to have a postal service, which is why I used that analogy.

As to A LOT of details being plain wrong, I disagree… then again, I would.

Please, feel free to post your own analogy :D

novakyu

February 2, 2008 @ 12:15 am EDT

@Roger Rogerson:

Well, I must be thinking in a different way than others, then. No single explanation/analogy ever works for everybody.

BTW, U.S. does have P.O. boxes (although … a lot of shipping companies won’t ship to them), so if you are speaking in English, that’s a large fraction of the audience guaranteed to know what a P.O. box is. ;)

Roger Rogerson

February 2, 2008 @ 6:56 am EDT

Thats wonderful information… yet I’m suprised that you can so quickly point out flaws in an analogy, yet are unable to provide one yourself…?

Still, enough time spent on pointless banter.

Bruce McFarland

February 7, 2008 @ 5:02 am EDT

I just experienced Network Solutions’ predatory frontrunning practices. I believe their actions are illegal – it’s extortion and deceptive advertising. I don’t care about any warning somewhere on the page about so-called “New Protection Measures.”
If they want warn me before telling me whether a domain name is available, by saying “If you continue, the name you chose will be reserved and will not be available for purchase anywhere but with Netsol for four days,” it would be better.
If Network Solutions doesn’t stop the current practice, I bet some clever programmer types will start bombarding them with hundreds of thousands of domain name searches.

edward wilson

February 11, 2008 @ 7:41 pm EDT

Network Solutions stole my domain name as well.

this is an evil company with lousy customer service.

I will never use them again.

mischiefmanaged

February 12, 2008 @ 6:34 am EDT

kindly read this guys.
http://customersupport.networksolutions.com/category.php?id=178

you can actually call NSI to have the reservation for your domain, deleted. if you don’t want to wait for the 4-day holding period. once the reservation has been deleted, in will be available for purchase in other registrars in a few minutes.

tom

February 13, 2008 @ 12:11 am EDT

@mischiefmanaged

“you can actually call NSI to have the reservation for your domain, deleted. if you don’t want to wait for the 4-day holding period. once the reservation has been deleted, in will be available for purchase in other registrars in a few minutes.”

Unfortunately, they’re not following their own policies, so I don’t put a lot of stock in the support article you cite. They pulled this on a friend’s search in January and the domain is still held on their reserveddomain NS.

Absolute scumbags.

Jess

February 13, 2008 @ 12:49 pm EDT

I just got my domain released with a 3 minute phone call to 1-800-333-7680.

I was planning on doing a lot of business with NS, hosting, e-commerce, marketing, the whole package, but if this is the way they extort their customers on the front end, I certainly won’t be dealing with them in the future.

Len Chaney

February 13, 2008 @ 9:39 pm EDT

I searched for a domain name on NSI, went to some place cheaper to register it for convenience (I already had 8 domains registered there) and the fact that is was a bit cheaper. I could not register the name with them because it was locked. I called NSI, notified them what had happened and they unlocked the domain. I registered it a few seconds later with their cheaper competitor.

I don’t see the issue guys. If you the policy, go by it. It is only a minor inconvenience.

If you are getting this pent up over something this small, I’d hate to see what you do when you get a virus or DOS attack or similar emergency. Life is rough enough. Take it easy.

Read Matthew 6:25

God Bless,

Len

novakyu

February 13, 2008 @ 9:54 pm EDT

@Len Chaney:

Here’s the difference between getting screwed by NSI vs. getting a virus or DoS (or even DDoS).

When you are getting a virus or a DoS, it’s like when you are being mugged by some masked guy on a poorly-lit street. Shit happens.

When you get screwed by NSI, it’s like when you are being mugged by a cop. That cop should be pulled from line of duty and blacklisted from any kind of security-related job.

It’s one thing to take advantage of others, but it’s quite another to take advantage of others’ trust in you.

And that’s why NSI needs to go out of business.

John

February 15, 2008 @ 3:09 pm EDT

Unfortunately, this is only half the story. Network Solutions is the proud owner of another site Snapnames.com that will try to get you to place a bid for the domain name they grabbed from under your nose.

For example, using the microsoft-dell.com example, go to snapnames.com and look it up. There you can place a minimum bid of $59 to get the domain…$50+ dollars more than most any other domain service.

Is this legal what they are doing? If not, where do we go to start a class action lawsuit?

John

Adam Strong

February 15, 2008 @ 3:20 pm EDT

John your information is wrong. To post this is at best irresponsible and at worst libelous.

Firstly, Snapnames is NOT owned by Network Solutions and never has been. See this article : http://www.domaineditorial.com/archives/2007/05/31/overseenet-buys-snapnames/

Secondly, there is nothing illegal about their services of acquiring previously registered domain names upon expiration or deletion. A brief explanation of their service is stated on their website as “SnapNames was formed in 2000 to provide the first commercially available technology for “back-ordering” a currently registered domain name. This pioneering service helped customers gain access to domain names that were thought to be forever out of reach. In reality, most domain names cycle back into the market at some point in time, though without specialized help, most people are unable to find or buy them.”

Please refrain from posting inaccurate and misleading information here.

John

February 15, 2008 @ 3:29 pm EDT

I stand corrected that Network Solutions owns Snapnames.com. However, no question there is a business relationship in place. It’s easily proven; go to network solutions and query for domain name (one that is not yet taken), NS will grab the domain making it unavailable to any other provider. You can then buy the domain from NS for $34.99 (an inflated price) or you can go to snapnames and find the domain there for a minimum bid of $59.

This isn’t about acquiring domain names that have been previously registered, it’s about acquiring domain names that have been searched for availability and grabbing them and offering for sale at an inflated price.

ken

February 19, 2008 @ 3:24 pm EDT

Sadly, I checked a domain name on Networked Solutions just to see if it was available (it was!) Then when I chose a different hosting provider I was told the domain was registered! When I called NS, they said they would release it in four days. I am something of a newbie at this, but still, this strikes me as at least unethical and should be illegal. Also, looking at the ICANN explanation of AGP, if I never registered, they should not be able to claim AGP.

Dustin Hamilton

February 20, 2008 @ 8:00 am EDT

Front running” is a fuzzy euphamism for “kidnapping and ransoming” .

haha.. too funny.

Dustin Hamilton

earth

February 21, 2008 @ 2:16 pm EDT

What a scam they are, did my search on NSI and then went to register it at another site and was like wtf.-..anyways they got me…I personally favor a script that just starts searching every domain name that NO ONE ELSE WOULD WANT Like NETWORKSOLUIONSSUCK123456789(WELL MAYBE THIS ONE IS NOT A GOODEXAMPLE) are everyone just start flooding them with bogus searches, if it is a automated response, however if it is a manually response, then maybe someone should go visit them in person.

john

February 22, 2008 @ 7:15 pm EDT

I had this happen to me when I checked to see if a domain was free. I now hate network solutions. Network Solutions is making a lot of enemies with this move, a lot of enemies that have web savvy and have hacking skills. I predict many more attacks on network solutions site. I am all for that.

Jonas Quin

February 28, 2008 @ 9:47 pm EDT

I had EXACTLY the same problem with Dotster and 000domains yesterday. I had viewed a domain name Monday, got approval for it from my client Wednesday and went back to secure it. It was taken and I was asked to bid for it. I ran a whois search and found it was still available. I then purchased it immediately on a competitor to Dotster, then wrote Dotster an email demanding an explanation. No reply yet. This could have cost me a contract. If I were based in the US I would now be talking to my lawyer regardign legal action.

Dotster have lost my business forever. I will be transferring my domains away from them as they come up for renewal. Idiots.

Dotster tried to screw me for a few bucks and now they have lost my business forever. I have already told as many of my friends who use, or considered using them, of this practice.

davidhardy

March 17, 2008 @ 2:54 pm EDT

FYI, this just happened to me – but I called up Network Solutions and asked them to explain it – and the guy offered to released the domain for me. I registered it at my registrar 5 minutes later. Their # is 1-800-333-7680

Jonas Quin

March 17, 2008 @ 8:43 pm EDT

Is the number 24 hours? I live in Singapore so we are 12 hours ahead of NY, meaning that if this happens to me during normal working hours my hands are tied.

B.K.Saravanan

March 18, 2008 @ 2:14 am EDT

This is a age old news. All domainers know that such a scam is done there. but they have grabbed the ideas of other domainers to register 100s and 1000s of domains. Now domainers wont even check domain availability with them. Some newbies who are new to this may check with them. domain purchase needs a lot of home work + domain knowledge + brain storming + experience. A lot of domainers wont trust networksolutions because of their activity.

Best Regards

Shaun Clark

March 31, 2008 @ 11:42 pm EDT

Domain Holding for 4 Days

My sister-in-law was looking into some domain names for their new business and was on the website domaindirect.com.

She found three domains names that she wanted to register and called me to get my Registrar’s website address because I let them buy domains at my cost.

She tried to register one of the domains and was having some issues which said the domain was already taken. She had looked up the Whois; and apparently clicked some link to buy it now, and was sent to Network Solutions to register one domain for 5 years at around $100.00. My sister-in-law called me to ask some questions before she paid for the one domain.

I told her to hold up and not pay Network Solutions – that was too high. I logged into my own Registrar website and proceeded to register the domains for her. I was unable to register any of the three domains because they were all taken.

I thought this was strange because all of the domains were just available, then within an hour not available. I looked up the Whois and on all of the domains said Network Solutions was the owner with the registration date showing today.

I called Network Solutions and had them to look up the three domains my sister-in-law was attempting to buy and asked why they were showing Network Solutions as the owner and registered today just after my sister-in-law searched them on domaindirect.com.

The lady at Network Solutions said she would be happy to release them. I asked why they attempted to hijack these domains. She said that on their website and some other website they are associated with they put a 4 day hold on the domain name to assure you won’t lose it.

I have heard of this happening some years back but wasn’t aware it was still going on. The lady released the domains and I was able to assist my sister-in-law with purchasing them under my Registrar.

I believe this is wrong and unethical.

Public Citizen

April 1, 2008 @ 12:57 pm EDT

I just became aware of this after a domain I wanted, which I searched using NetworkSolutions website, and which was available, has now been hijacked by Network Solutions.

Out of anger I searched for “imprison-networksolutionsmanagement.com” and guess what, they now hijacked that too!

Lynder

April 6, 2008 @ 11:05 pm EDT

right now i’m asking them to release one of my searched domains. i’ll keep you updated

Greenville Computer Support

April 10, 2008 @ 1:01 pm EDT

I had this happen to a client who is an attorney.

He thought it sucks, and figures that someday soon someone will file a class action about it, but in the meantime it goes on.

The best the everyone can do is to complain about this in as many forums as possible so that if anyone searches for network solutions on google they will be able to see that networks solutions = domain pirates.

Joe Ray

April 11, 2008 @ 1:50 pm EDT

I used to have to deal with netsol back in the ninety’s and they sucked big time.
A few years ago I picked up NetworkSalutionsSucks.com and at the time they owned that name in .net and .org but somehow missed the .com.

GTP

April 16, 2008 @ 9:51 am EDT

GoDaddy.com Front-Running

I have been doing business with GoDaddy for years. As of yesterday, April 15, 2008 our business relationship is over. I had just finished a website and was now in the process of finding a good domain for it on GoDaddy. I came up with a very simple, short domain that said it all. http://www.ibuynsell.com “Nice don’t you think?” I was very excited to see that is was available. I tested a few others ideas that I liked and some where taken, some were not. I came up with three domain names that that were available. and proceeded to register them. When I attempted to register http://www.ibuynsell.com it was taken. I couldn’t believe it! I typed in the domain in the address bar and sure enough it was parked on GoDaddy’s website. Now it was only about 1hr and 45 minutes from when it was availibale to when it was taken. I work from home and got a call that I had to deal with, other wise I would have registered them immediately. This has never happen to me before. So I did a little research. I am not the only person this has happened to. Many other using GoDaddy to search for domain names have had the same expirence. You could say it was a fluke, I say GoDaddy is using unfair consumer techniques. Don’t believe me? Come up with a good domain name. Search it on GoDaddy. Wait an hour or then check it again. Boy will you be surprised as I was, how fast a good domain idea gets taken by GoDaddy. Search the web for “GoDaddy steals domain” You’ll see. This is no coincidence, This is an unfair practice by GoDaddy.com

Lemuel Chua

April 26, 2008 @ 9:47 pm EDT

I’ve just whois a domain in network solutions and it says the domain is available. after an hour or two i decided to have it registered to godaddy.com and look what i found. networksolutions had it registered on the very moment i queried that domain.

Greg

May 3, 2008 @ 11:46 am EDT

First time this squatting thing has happened to me but I’m through searching on NetSol as well!

I will say that the phone call works like a charm. I had to wait 6 minutes, not 4 days, so I do commend them for at least doing that…as slimy as their practices are, they will release the domain if you call them.

Here it is Saturday and I waited on hold about 2 minutes…not bad for a weekend. They never questioned my desire to have it released nor did he try and convince me to register it there. One quick call, $25 saved.

So, if it happens to you…WHEN it happens to you, just call them.

travesti

May 28, 2008 @ 7:15 pm EDT

This is a age old news. All domainers know that such a scam is done there. but they have grabbed the ideas of other domainers to register 100s and 1000s of domains. Now domainers wont even check domain availability with them. Some newbies who are new to this may check with them. domain purchase needs a lot of home work + domain knowledge + brain storming + experience. A lot of domainers wont trust networksolutions because of their activity.

joe

May 29, 2008 @ 8:12 pm EDT

We’ve bought quite a few domains, most of which can be found at arrowbranding.com, over the past few years and I must admit I would never trust networksolutions for domain purchasing. We usually go with godaddy as they seem to be a little less slimy. It seems as though domain selling has been not as compelling as it once was though. I think additional work is needed to increase the value of a domain like tying the domain to a logo or image that helps you remember the domain. At any rate, it’s still a little disheartening to see the kind of back stabbing attempts that companies like networksolutions try to make at domainers.

DigitalRev

June 4, 2008 @ 5:23 am EDT

Holding the domain for 5 days does nothing useful and they will not be able to keep doing this for long. Like their previous stunts – they will eventually be forced to stop.

Portable Media Player

June 12, 2008 @ 11:22 am EDT

I am a President and CEO of a major Corporation. I just found out about this today. We are presently owners of 1,275 domains through our sub companies. We are no in the process of moving all of our domain names away from Network Solutions. We have Trademark/Patent pending status on 832 of the domains, which entitles us to Trademark infringement damages. 18 of our Attorneys are presently preparing a law suit to sue Network Solutions for punitive and legitimate financial loss damages and devious business practices.

t rex

June 29, 2008 @ 10:20 am EDT

Anyone sent this to the Department of Justice? Looks actionable.

toys

July 10, 2008 @ 7:53 am EDT

Sashi’s comments above are incredible. Of course they’re front-running. There’s no way of explaining this. So they’ve had ‘customers complain’ that those domains are already taken, eh? Well, you know by who

Frank Michlick

July 12, 2008 @ 10:28 am EDT

It seems that Network Solutions stopped this practice since ICANN is now charging the $0.20 ICANN fee per domain also for domains that are deleted again within the grace period.

SEO Services Provider

November 7, 2008 @ 4:08 pm EDT

Holding the domain for 5 days does nothing useful and they will not be able to keep doing this for long. Like their previous stunts – they will eventually be forced to stop.

sohbet odalari

December 3, 2008 @ 7:02 pm EDT

they will eventually be forced to stop

youtube izle

December 8, 2008 @ 2:04 am EDT

NS will grab the domain making it unavailable to any other provider. You can then buy the domain from NS for $34.99 (an inflated price) or you can go to snapnames and find the domain there for a minimum bid of $59.

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