Thursday, February 28, 2008

Network Solutions Wants to Make Sure that Nothing Unfortunate Happens to Your Domain

Network Solutions has hit on an ingenious business strategy. If you ask them if a domain name is available and it is, they'll hold it for 4 days so you can only purchase it from them. No need for any pesky shopping around - you can't. If you want it, you need to fork over $34 instead of cruising over to GoDaddy or some other site and paying $10.

They say this practice combats folks who capitalize on Domain Name Front Running or finding lists of domains that were recently queried and buying them in advance, so they can extract a higher cost in resale. In an extraordinary act of Chutzpah, Network Solutions insists that its practice prevents such front running by keeping a customer's recent query from being purchased by another party who could then charge them a premium or otherwise keep them from purchasing the name.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, people, but Network Solutions is holding the name so that they can charge a premium over other providers. That is the definition of Domain Name Front Running. Thank goodness they are protecting me from the bad guys.

Not surprisingly, I'm not the only one who's noticed and they are subject to a class action suit. Now to wait four days to register our wedding site with GoDaddy. Glad I didn't just order all the Save the Date cards with the domain name printed on them after checking first on Network Solutions to see if it was available or anything and then getting the bright idea to shop somewhere else. Really that would have been quite foolish.

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