The company I work for took on a new client to revamp their online presence as their existing website is outdated. The client has four domain names which are registered with Network Solutions and has asked us to manage the registration of these domain names going forward.

Normally the process of transferring domains is straight forward, you use the EPP or domain password and initiate the request. Approval for the transfer is sent to the email address of the registrant or admin contact. In many cases where the domain may have been registered over 10 years ago, the email address on file is obsolete or no longer in use. In these cases it is not unusual to update this to a current email address, which is what we did and then removed the transfer lock.

Well this is where Network Solutions true colours come through.

On behalf of the customer we submitted the transfer request at our end, the admin contact approved the transfer and after 5 days we got a response.

Transfer Denied (contact registrar for details)

We contacted Network Solutions via a support ticket and got a response a few days later saying we have to phone them for support and cannot use email/web.

As you can appreciate not everybody lives in the United States, so calling from Australia is not preferable, however we did call and they advised us that they can only accept calls from the individual on file and not anyone on his behalf. They require verification by supplying the credit card when the domains were registered. OK, I can understand this may be required from a security point of view.

Our client is travelling frequently, and he wanted to leave this matter in our hands, but now we had to contact him to make contact with Network Solutions to approve the transfer. By this time our client had already received several emails from Network Solutions saying, we notice you want to move away from Network Solutions, what can we do to keep your business, we don’t want you to move, almost suggesting that if you move your whole world will fall apart, and your pet dog will get cancer, the whole internet will stop working.

This is obviously aimed at terrifying the customer, in the hope they will be too scared to move away from Network Solutions.

Our client did reply to Network Solutions asking them to proceed with the transfer, in which they then replied saying he must contact them via phone only to proceed. At the same time his domains were then set to transfer locked again. It looks like they actively go looking for people who wish to transfer and reset the lock transfer.

Our client did eventually contact Network Solutions, and was advised by Network Solutions that the transfer lock will be removed within 2 days. We waited 2 days but then Network Solutions sent our client an email as follows …

Dear Client,

Thank you for contacting Network Solutions Quality Processing Department. We are committed to creating the best customer experience possible …

Please supply a signed statement requesting the lock be removed from the applicable domain names. Print the request on Company Letterhead, or provide a Business License, Company by Laws, or trademark papers. Please also include a photo copy of your state issued ID or Passport. The signature on your ID should match the signature on the request. Please fax this information to 570-708-0171

So whats next, front up to their office for narcoanalysis, biopsy and DNA analysis.

Right now our client is considering getting new domain names, while Network Solutions holds his domain names up for what appears to be ransom.

And they have the audacity to operate a Twitter account called @netsolcares

For those of you who use or a thinking of using Network Solutions, beware, you may be locked in for life !

I believe they should have a new slogan “Lets make it near impossible for customers to move away from Network Solutions and pretend like we care”.