If you’ve ever registered a domain, there is a high probability that you’re dealing with folks in a far off, perhaps even exotic location. Australia, India or perhaps even as far off as Philadelphia.
Allow me this short history:
I don’t know if this makes me “old school’ (I’m not “OG”…you know, “Original Geek”), but while I didn’t begin my internet experiences on a hacked Commodore 64, I do recall the painstaking days of domain registration and management that involved returning delicately prepared text-based emails. It was a nerve-wracking process where a misaligned “X” could result in an error of some sort. And worse, the edits that can now be seen in minutes, really DID take 24-48 hours to propagate. Beyond that, domains were a whopping $100, and then finally down to $50 a pop. Only after some sort of “ICANN deregulation” was put in place were there options beyond what is now Network Solutions. For some time–that was the only game in town. Love it, or leave it.
But now we have a multitude of registrars available to us and as such, prices are extremely affordable. If you want to buy a domain for your cat, it’s not that big of a deal…pathetic, but financially viable. The flip-side to this relative registration ease is that there are some players that have no business being in “the business”; sub-standard business practices and sloppy or non-existent customer service.
Prior to our business relationship, a client of mine registered their domain with 2000domain.net. Kudos to them for being on top of the game, but shame on them for using a fly-by-night service like 2000domain.net. And proving that the internet business really can be a home-grown business jewel (I have no issues with that at all), the 2000domain(.net) address returns to a condo/apartment in what I’ll assume is a Philadelphia suburb.
For several years, I’ve been trying to transfer my domain to another registrar as 2000domain.net continues to charge a whopping $35.00 a year. No, it’s not a lot of money, but it is terribly out of step with competitive pricing schedules and I wanted out. Going back at least 3-5 years, I would attempt to initiate a transfer to a preferred registrar. But with German-grade precision, my emails and phone calls were systematically ignored. I never got close: any lip-service or no empty promises and a “support” answering machine that leads to nothingness. Eventually, the renewal date would draw too close for comfort and I would relent by paying the bloated renewal costs vs. finding my domain expired and snaked up by an automated domain skimming bot.
This year, I decided to take another route by stepping around my friends in Philly and heading down-under to Melbourne. I don’t know why it took me so long to take this angle, but 2000domain.net is an affiliate/re-seller for Melbourne IT in Australia, so I opted to contact them indirectly. Since it was their affiliate providing sub-standard services, one could argue that it was reflecting poorly on their organization. Work the business ego, I say. Contacting Melbourne IT eventually worked (it took weeks) and they returned with the required transfer authorization codes–but with less than ten days before my domain was scheduled to lapse. Nevertheless, I scrambled and forwarded the codes to 2000domain within 2 minutes and again found myself at the will and whim of Philly. Days and then more days passed with no word about releasing my domain and the 2/26 expiry date was looming.
After two more phone calls literally pleading with them to “do the right thing”, and as many emails, I actually got my first email from the “support” team at 2000domain(.net). Comically, they offered instructions for transferring the domain TO them vs. away. Ugh.
The Anti-Climactic Ending
After yet another email clarifying my need, the domain was transferred with two days to spare (a mere 3-5 years after my first effort) and now the planets have aligned and cats are living peaceably with dogs. I decided to post this for others that have most certainly found themselves in similar situations with 2000domain(.net). Likewise, let this be a lesson in business diligence: work with reputable organizations, take a few moments to investigate, ask a question and see how long it takes to get a response. When you’re handing over your brand and your identity to another party, take the time to learn what they’re all about or you might find yourself being held, hostage. Take it from me (and my client).
Did not try to transfer my domain to another registrar, but did send 2000domain.net payment by mail to 7234 Kindred St. Philadelphia, PA 19149 three weeks prior to the expiration of the name. This was not an odd thing for me to do as I have paid by mail before within these last 9 years, but this time there was no response as to receiving the payment or the posting of the $35.00 to the account. Thereafter the domain name continued in its expiration status, regardless of 4 e-mails to Support and a response to the expiry of the name from Melbourne IT. Melbourne, however, stated that I could renew for two more weeks, but 2000domain.net sent me a third expiry notice and pulled down the site prior to that date which forced me to pay, once again, online. So now they have my credit card payment for $35.00 and perhaps the $35.00 payment that I mailed to them. All in all the experience has been a tiring and scary one. I did not experience this sort of service when I started out with 2000domain.net. Apparently they have gone downhill, can you suggest a more reputable organization?
I am also on the same boat. I also contacted MelbourneIT but haven´t got any response yet.
I wish you well. Again, it took a couple weeks of leaning on MelbourneIT so some patience is required.
Also, consider this option–complain to ICANN http://reports.internic.net/cgi/registrars/problem-report.cgi
Finally–mention MelbourneIT by name when writing ICANN. At the end of the day, it is THEM not managing their clients/affiliates and they need to carry some weight.
Thanks so much for writing about your experience with them…I’m having the exact same problem and didn’t really know what to do about it. I’m going to do everything you’ve suggested.
Have same problem. Want to transfer my domain to godaddy from 2000domain and I can’t rich them , no reply back to my phone calls to my emails.
What to do?