Network Solutions Doesn’t Disappoint

At least, if you have some ridiculously low expectations.

Before getting into the substance of this post, a few stipulations of my attitude towards Network Solutions:

At this point, I really can’t see why anybody should be using Network Solutions for domain registrations. They are considerably more expensive than any other domain registrar we use, and IMHO they do not offer as high of quality of service and options. At one time they dominated the domain registration industry, completely. Now they are a small player. The market has spoken, and there’s really no reason other than a willingness to throw 20 bucks away every year on what the market has determined to be in excess of true domain registration costs.

Seriously, just do the diligence, find a domain registrar that does what you need for a more market-driven cost, and move. (Although I don’t recommend GoDaddy, either, but for different reasons.) Don’t satisfy yourself that it’s just $20 extra per year. Be part of the results-driven market. Strive for the better.

A friend passed along a notice she received from Network Solutions in email the other day (and she’ll be getting a softer version of this recommendation) and I was amused and what NS is up to now.

They’ve recently offered a Domain Expiration Protection service for $9.99 per year. Details are here:

They don’t tell you much here on what this does, but that’s by design. It’s a scare tactic. They basically want $9.99 for a year from you IF you have registered your domain with Network Solutions (that is, $9.99 beyond the domain registration price)  so that you can “secure” your domain for another year if your renewal doesn’t happen as it should – either you have an expired credit card on file, or your email has changed and you didn’t receive the renewal notice, etc.

“Secure” doesn’t mean operational and I don’t think anyone should assume that it is. Secure means that nobody else can register that domain for the year. It doesn’t mean your domain actually works for purposes of web, email, and other internet purposes. It doesn’t mean you can move it to another registrar.

Now, I don’t see anything wrong with some sort of protection, even for a price. But $10? That’s what other registrars charge for a domain renewal – an operational domain for a year (depending on the domain type).

Now if you accept the premise that market offerings are solutions to a problem, then what is the problem Network Solutions is trying to resolve with this offer? Do they have a substantive issue with renewals not happening? That could be the case. I can’t see many new domains being registered there – pricewise, it’s not competitive. As I said before, NS was DOMINANT in the 1990s and early 2000s, and I suspect most of their domain registration clients at this point come from that time. That’s a LONG time for emails and billing contacts to remain unchanged, and people are notoriously bad about keeping that updated. So it’s quite possible they are having an issue with domains lapsing – a bigger issue than other registrars because their domain registrations have existed longer and have older information assigned to them. A bigger issue means more work means more cost – and that could be why the cost is basically THE SAME as an actual domain renewal at another registrar.

Please, do yourself a favor – don’t do this with Network Solutions.