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What to do when your registrar (NSI) ignores you? 333

Frustrated Webmaster writes "For the past two days, I've been trying to make modifications on a domain name I registered through NSI/Verisign. The problem is, they refuse to accept changes through email, and their login system is apparently broken. What are my options? How do I transfer the domain away from NSI if I can't even login to their system?" CD: When I heard that NSI was going to go through yet another interface change, I moved the domains that mattered to me to another registrar. For what it is worth, I can totally reccomend EasyDNS.
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What to do when your registrar (NSI) ignores you?

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  • Dotster (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:02PM (#2593369)
    I personally think dotster [] is the best. They have great online management tools and bulk management tools for managing all your dumb novelty domains at once.

    They're cheap and the customer support is good too.

    I don't work for them, I just like them, disclaimer, etc.
    • I have [] registered at GANDI [], a French registrar that is simply the cheapest I could find -- theyll charge you 12 euros a year (approx. 10.6 USD, according to []'s Universal Currency Converter []).

      Notice that a friend of mine reported some trouble with them, with relation to GANDI supposedly transfering one domain without asking, thus resulting in lots of trouble to him, but I don't know if it was really their fault.

      In any case, you should check them out, at such low price.
      • Re:Dotster (Score:2, Informative)

        Well, I guess I was wrong. I've checked out Stargate Communications Inc. []'s page, as a comment in this story suggested, and found out they're charging only 8.85 dollars. 8.85, man! That's like a meal or something! :) I'm gonna be transfering my domain over to this registrar next year if they keep up with this price.

        Anyone registered a domain with him, BTW? How are they?
    • I have 10 domains with dotster and am pleased with them as well :) I think my only complaint is there should be able to ake all your domain renewals land on the same date. I registered many of my domains at different times, so I have to pay doster 5 times a year :)...
    • *me too*! </aol>

      I've transferred all of my domains to dotster. They're $15/year, and usually run a $12.95 special every now and then that covers moving a domain to them AND renewing it for a year.

      Yes, they're a bit more than other registrars, but the service is *great* and makes up for it; I've been able to reach a human on the phone *fast* (the ONE time I needed to do so). "cheapest price" isnt always the best thing; you get what you pay for.
      • Re:Dotster (Score:3, Informative)

        by kilgore_47 ( 262118 )
        I used to really like dotster, and still have several names registered through them, but the past few times I've used their site it was painfully slow. A few weeks ago, when I went to renew a domain, it took so long to send me the confirmation page that I eventually gave up and did it later.

        I suppose I still like their service -- I just hope they get their act together and buy some new servers/bandwidth/whatever-it-takes.
  • Registrars (Score:2, Informative)

    by 1alpha7 ( 192745 )

    NSI is the worst registrar out there. Here is a list of registrars [], any one of which is better than NSI. Personally, I use Bulk Register.


  • by Snowfox ( 34467 ) <.snowfox. .at.> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:04PM (#2593388) Homepage
    JumpDomain [] has been pretty amazing so far. They're not the cheapest, but they're under $20 a year with no premium on the first year, and commitments in one-year intervals, including a single year.

    They've been really responsive when I've suggested features or had a question, typically responding in under an hour business days, and same day even on Sundays.

    I don't know if they have an e-mail interface, but after NetSol, I sure as hell don't miss that. The web interface is nice, letting you apply changes to one or all domains at once, view domains sorted by expiry date, and there are no locks on company names like NetSol and all have or had.

    • by jCaT ( 1320 )
      Seconded! jumpdomain handles all of my domains, and even some hosting for me. They rock! :)
    • Yup. Jumpdomain is just a Tucows reseller, but the guy running it has _always_ responded to questions within a day, and has a perfect attitude. (I can be nasty in my quest for perfection too; I don't say that lightly.) Plus the Tucows scripts he's running are really pretty good (altho Konq can choke on some of the Javascript - fine under Netscape though). Transfers usually process in about a day, too, and then you're in control. I _always_ have clients with NetSol-registered domains move 'em to where we can control 'em without the never-ending NetSol glitches. It's basically free, just the $15 for whenever the next year starts. Someone who wants to see the service for less than that, I wouldn't trust 'em to stay in business.
  • Do What I Do... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by danheskett ( 178529 )
    Call your credit card company (you did buy that domain with a credit card, right?) and tell them you'd like to report a case of credit card fraud and non-delivery of services. If you're registrar promises anything like "24x7 online interface" or "easy customer service!" than you have been defrauded. The accounting department at that registrar will find out real quick when disputed charges get charged back.. they will contact you at that point :] (and if not, hey, you got your $30)
    • Re:Do What I Do... (Score:4, Informative)

      by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:22PM (#2593488)
      Then they freeze the domain untill you pay back the fees plus processing charges or such.

      Before you do anything like that read the terms of use from your cc. This is not an acceptable form of use. Your card may be suspended. Call their 1-800 and let the charge accumulate untill someone responds.

    • Re:Do What I Do... (Score:2, Informative)

      by macrom ( 537566 )
      And then what? Now you have a domain being held by NSI, they're not receiving payment from you for it and you're going to expect them to suddenly comply with your request? If anything, a tatic like that will get your domain stuffed in a hole even further from reach.

      You may try [] They've helped me get domains away from the clutches of NSI in the past. Like all of the other registrars mentioned here, they have good customer service, bla bla.

      • Hey, cool. I used to work for the guys at GKG a few years back as a web developer when I lived in College Station, TX. Paul and Taylor are really nice guys. Glad to see things are worked out well for ya.

    • Unfortunately, this does work, even when the charges were perfectly valid. You would not believe how many of our customers (sometimes accidentally, their brother or someone used their CC to purchase a domain or hosting account without them knowing) call their CC company and request a charge back. 99% of the time it goes through and they get their money back. The point is a domain registration is such a small ticket item that most companies just write it off since it is too small to waste the time fighting. If for whatever reason you are being defrauded, then by all means use this method, because it does work. Even if you do make a mistake, usually the merchant or CC company eats it anyway, especially if it is a small ticket item. That is the unfortunate part about it for merchants like ourselves, but I guess it is one of the costs of doing business. Fortunately most people are honest and don't do charge backs unless there really is reason to do so.
  • by Lokni ( 531043 ) <reali100@chapman ... du minus painter> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:04PM (#2593390)
    That's typical registrar behavior, especially with NSI/Verisign. Since they have had to deal with competition, they have been doing some pretty nasty things including not doing domain transfers. Their reasoning is that they don't know whether it is actually the owner requesting the domain being transfered, and they don't want to be liable for domain jacking. Well, that should be solved by a phone call and maybe a fax of ID, right? Wrong. They have made it super tough to transfer a domain because to transfer a domain means they are losing business to competition so they are going to hold onto your domain for as long as they can. Call it Reverse Domain Jacking if you will.
    • Or MAYBE they made it super tough to transfer a domain so that crackers would have a hard time hijacking someones domain? We've been through this numerous times, You have to write them a letter and you have to PROVE that you are who you say you are. Sounds like tight security to me. We've never had any problem in the end, although the process can be a pain in the ass. Rather have that that someone who descides they hate me calling up EasyDNS and social hacking my domain away from me! But if everything wasn't a conspiricy, then /. would be a field of crickets...
    • What is even more interesting lately is they have added in a second confirmation step. They have deliberately worded the confirmation so as to make it confusing, many of our clients reply "yes" only to find out that they basically had confirmed: "Yes, I want to keep my domain registration with Verisign". When in actual fact they thought they were replying: "Yes, I want to move my domain to the new registrar". They are using every tactic in the book trying to hang onto their sagging market share, of course trying to keep everything "borderline" legal so they stay out of real trouble. If you read through the ICANN website and visit the forum section you will see how many complaints have been filed regarding this sort of treatment and unprofessional tactics on Verisign's/NSI part.
  • (Score:2, Informative)

    by Electrum ( 94638 ) [] is $15 and has nice features like free hosting, paid DNS and paid POP3 email accounts. They also have the best interface I've ever seen for a registrar. They make it really easy to mange lots of domains (even hundreds), which is really nice if you have more than a couple domains. Transfering your domain to them or another registrar is a painless process that doesn't involve the original registrar.
    • I switched most of my domains over to DirectNIC when I got fed up with NSI about 6 months back. There were many things, but the last straw was that my newer domains were in a different system (some crappy web interface) that wouldn't let me specify more than two DNS servers. I used their support e-mail to ask if it was possible, and after about a week got an (automated) message back saying that their automated help system couldn't answer my question and to fax the information in. Forget that.

      Anyway, I just started looking at registrars at random, and ended up at DirectNIC. I've been very happy with them so far. It costs a third as much, and while it uses a web interface, it's a nice one and makes it really easy to manage multiple domains. You can even get SSL certificates through them -- I'm pretty sure it's just a standard Equifax [] SSL cert -- if you can ignore Verisign's FUD (doesn't bother me one bit, I got a few Equifax certs after balking at Verisign's insane pricing for 128-bit). NSI's "new" interface always just seemed hacked-together to me.

      Anyway, ditching NSI made me very happy in itself, and DirectNIC has been pleasing to deal with. I'd gladly encourage anyone to give them a try. The transfer process from NSI is relatively painless; I've heard a lot about them trying to hold on to domains but an email confirmation with a special key to put in a web page was all I needed.

  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:09PM (#2593412) Homepage Journal
    These ones spam:

    You can find out more by asking on However, here's some that don't spam, haven't given any problems, and are groovy all around.

    • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @10:16PM (#2593917)
      I can vouch for []. I've been a customer for little over two years. Everything -- I mean everything -- is done via e-mail and browser. Which means the only authentication required of you is your password. In fact, they discourage phone calls, which is fine by me, as they have been most responsive to e-mail on the few occasions I've had to ask a question.

      Their TOC is reasonable as well: You own the domain, plain and simple, until you let the registration lapse.

      • Let me also add my vote for these guys. They have the right idea and business model (imho) where they simply resell domains through an automated system for a tiny cut. Domains cost 12 Euros per annum (.com, .net, .org) and that includes the ability to use an email forwarding and web forwarding service or even to edit your own zone (but no sub-domains at the moment). I chose them (along with some friends of mine) for the seeming perfection of the legal side of things and between us we have over 100 domains (maybe more like 2-300) and no complaints.

        Still paying some monkeys like NSI to host your new domains? Then get a life and a brain and stop! For existing domains however, I hope you are a masocist as NSI seem to be just plain nasty about everything to do with stopping giving them money (unlike gandi who couldn't care less what you do and provide straight forward ways to do it all)!

        The closest to a complaint I have had about gandi was that when someone set up a new domain with a wrong email address, we had to send passport shots AND a copy of the marraige cert to confirm the person had changed their name! Personally I thought this was great! True reassurance that theys guys are diligent (as if the site and srvice didn't give that away).

        My apologies to any other registrars who are as good, but I don't know or have experience of any! And btw I have zero affiliation with gandi except that I register domains there.
    • So, how's in your opinion? I've been using them since I bought my domain 6 months ago or so, and they're "OK" at best. After getting very frustrated with their website, which didn't seem to function properly in any web browser, I just called their 800 number and got my problem taken care of within 3 minutes or so.

      I'm not sure if they've sold my email address and name, etc. to any pro-SPAM folks, however.
    • FWIW. I've yet to get any spam from
      I've one domain with them, and on that domain I haven't received a single piece of spam yet.

      Furthermore I haven't received any mails from joker, apart from confirmations of changes I made to my DNS.

      I am not in any way affiliated with them. But the parent looks more like a commercial post to me, slandering a few large registars to draw to some small ones. Cheap promotion.
  • EasyDNS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <<ac.xunil> <ta> <rdoowrah>> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:11PM (#2593425) Homepage Journal
    They rock. They're cheap. They do dynamic DNS, a store and forward MX...

    I haven't found a better service.
  • what about joker (Score:3, Informative)

    by BlueLines ( 24753 ) <slashdot@divisionbyzer o . com> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:12PM (#2593428) Homepage
    i've been using Joker [] as my sole registrar for the past 2 years. Super cheap, free dns, easy interface, good service. Only minus would be the sometimes awkward translated website / documents (they are a german registrar)....

    • Re:what about joker (Score:3, Informative)

      by macdaddy ( 38372 )
      They are also the exclusive registrar of Alan Ralsky [], a notorious spammer. An excellent method of blocking Ralsky spam to to declare that all domains are spamming domains. I've seen it done. If you use it and than it's highly likely that soon you'll come across someone that rejects your mail as spam. Then you'll become a casuality of war, an anti-spam war.
      • by Phroggy ( 441 )
        This is really irresponsible. I mean, you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn't affect anyone else, but most of my friends have domains registered through, so when you find that you can't communicate with those of us who have found to be a very reliable registrar over the last few years with good support and no distateful commercial flavor, don't be surprised.
  • I transfered a couple from NSI to Gandi [] and it was fairly painless. The new registrar you choose should have instructions on how to transfer your domain to them, and as part of the process, NSI should contact you to verify it. I had a bitch of a time getting NSI to do things, but they kept pace on the domain transfer. Check out this site [] for a review of registrars that includes ratings of their terms of service (privacy and who owns the domain). Gandi is currently ranked first for legal policies. =D
  • Similar Problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by matth ( 22742 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:13PM (#2593437) Homepage
    I had a similar problem. We had transfered our company website to another server, and I needed to transfer DNS record information over in NSI.
    Unfortunately the MAIN e-mail for their records was going to a non existent e-mail Yet, on the contact it listed I still dont' totally understand it, they said something about how that e-mail address is hard coded when you setup the account and you can't change it... so I'd either have to send an e-mail from the address or the address.
    Our mail system runs on a dynamic DNS system. My e-mail would come from:
    but for some reason NSI would read it as our dynamic DNS name which would be: Needless to say, they said I needed to fax a document over with identification like a phone bill or drivers license ID. I said, umm look here, there aren't any phone bills that come to the business because it's a home business, and my drivers licenes doesn't have the business address, because I don't live here! They were like, ok then just fax it over, and exlpain that. I did.. it came back.. you must include ID. After several days I called them again, and said, that I'd like to know why their e-mail system is reading my dynamic domain instead of the domain I'm sending e-mail from, they said it wasn't their problem. How can you argue with someone who's reading from a script and doesn't understand what you're talking about!??! even when I got someone who understood, somehow they still seemed to find an intellegent way to not answer the question. In the long run I ended up forging an e-mail from the main e-mail address for the account which no longer existed (the main problem in the beginning) So I forged the e-mail, and forged a return form, and got the domain trasnfered. *sigh* Why does NSI make me do things illegally in order to transfer my DOMAIN? I even went over this on the phone with the lady.. I said.. look why do I need to fax you all this junk? I could just forge an e-mail from my old address, and have it work. she's like well I'm sorry that's how things are.
    • Why does NSI make me do things illegally in order to transfer my DOMAIN?

      So true! I once wanted to change contacts for the domain for my school newspaper, and they said I had to fax a letter on company letterhead, where the letterhead had me as having some lofty position. I told them we didn't have letterhead, and asked if I should make some up. I even asked what position I should be. They suggested managing director. A download of the paper's masthead from the web and a few clickety-clicks in Word later, I had my easiest promotion ever and new contacts on my domain. Pretty stupid, but that's NSI.

      Of course now, all my domains reside with Gandi []. It's very simple to transfer it from gandi's web site - all you need to do is reply to an email, and they do the rest.

    • If you can get them to transfer you to a level two technician, you'll probably get your problem solved. Level one is pretty incompetent though, and they seem to have trouble speaking English clearly.
  • Switch To OpenSRS (Score:4, Informative)

    by tomblackwell ( 6196 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:13PM (#2593438) Homepage
    OpenSRS resellers have a super-easy set of password-protected web forms for updating all of your info. The cool thing is, if for some reason your reseller goes out of business (imagine that!), you can still do maintenance through

    Two that I like and have used are

    Domainmonger []
    and 000domains []

    Plus, the price is usually cheap ($13-17 per year).

    It's easy to switch from NSI/Verisign to these guys. The instructions are on the sites.
    • Re:Switch To OpenSRS (Score:3, Informative)

      by The Dev ( 19322 )
      I use Domainmonger [] for all of my personal and business domains. I absolutely love their service. If there is any kind of problem with a transfer, *they will call YOU* to straighten it out before you even know something is wrong. I also like the way you can
      apply one set of changes (like contact info) a bunch of domains at once.
      • I can't say enough good things about DomainMonger. Incredible service, good price (cheapest is not always the best deal), and excellent control/management software. No complaints.
    • Me three! I have six domains registered through Spy Productions [], and it was extremely fast to change domain information. Everything seemed quite secure too, and the people there clearly have clues, so I recommend them.
  • sometimes, everything was fine back during the dotbomb domain name speculation period. Now everyone is offering discounts on what is basically a commodity, while at the same time cutting back on costs.

    You can end up at a place that used to be okay, and now has gone down the tubes.

    I wonder what happens if one of these places goes under?

  • Registrars (Score:3, Informative)

    by kupekhaize ( 220804 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:15PM (#2593456) Homepage
    Personally, I like Domain Discover []. Their privacy policy is good, and you also own your own Domain. Tierranet (the parent company of Domain Discover) actually states that you own your own domain name, and they can't take it away from you if someone were to offer them a truckload of money. NSI recently changed their policy to indicate that they own all domain names registered through them, and they can sell your domain to someone else if they want.

    Also, Domain Discover makes it incredibly easy to transfer your domain to them. They have a SSL web based interface for making changes.

    Note: I don't work for them, but I do have ~15 personal domains registered through them so.. Slightly more expensive them some of the other registrars out there, but I think its worth it to know that my registrar won't steal my domain name if it suits their interests...

  • Working as a DNS Admin for a webhosting company often brings forth problems with client domain names. I've had to deal with everything that you can imagine through them. The best way is to call them. If it's something simple, they'll often accept it instantly right there. If it's something more complex they'll often give you a tracking number and you just fax them proof of yourself and that you own the domain name, and within 24 hours most changes go through. At the first sign of trouble through web/email call them.
  • I've been using for over 6 mos. No problems with the domain. All very "easy". I've never needed to contact them about any issues, or even had any issues in the first place!

    I was using the "dynamic" DNS service that they were offering with a DNS client updating my IP address everytime it changed. No problems reported by people trying to connect to my mail or web servers :D My ISP was Bell Sympatico, and their PPPoE implementation seemed to ensure many and frequent IP address changes.

    My biggest issue (ha!) with easydns is updating dynamic IP addresses from Linux. They recommend ez-ipupdate, which is fine if your box is connected directly to the internet. Mine wasn't: it was NATed behind a router. In this situation you have to jump through some hoops to get the IP address updated. Does anybody know of a ddns client for Linux that works straight-off from behind a firewall, *and* works with easydns? Not that it is important anymore as I have a static IP from, and better service ;)

    Finally, I like as they're just down the road from me in Toronto. That means my money isn't going to some huge ugly US corporation. As I understand it, was set up to compete with the US companies, hence they're happy to accept USD$.
  • for my domain.

    Assuming you pay through a credit card, call up your cc company and complain. They tend to be pretty good at satisfying their customers.

    Register is the standard $35/year, but they have been responsive to my questions and inquiries. Even through email I got a 2 day response. I'm not saying they are the best or anything, just solid and pretty straight forward.
  • The only bad thing I've seen in the threads so far is that they spam you. I have NEVER found this to be true, and in all the years I've been using them, I've had the BEST service, the LOWEST prices, and the overall best experience with this registrar.

    I even have an opensrs reseller account, and I like this better. (costs like $1 more per domain/year, but don't have to buy in bulk).

    In the early days of their service, I even got quick replies from their head admin for some issues I was having transfering domains.
    • I've been using them since March 2000, and I've never seen any spam from them either (unless you count all the confirmation messages from the web interface). 13 euros/year (slightly less than $13 US), and they finally got a web interface that doesn't suck. Their old interface sucked horribly, especially when you had to move your DNS server to a new IP block. But you can send e-mail to a real human who (apparently) knows how things work. I guess they haven't discovered the evils of CRM yet. And there is a bit of translation wierdness from German to English in their documentation.
  • Network Solutions (Score:3, Informative)

    by Micah ( 278 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:24PM (#2593498) Homepage Journal
    Network Solutions is BY FAR the WORST place to register a domain.

    Their forms are confusing, even when you know exactly what you're doing. And that assumes you can find the right form in the first place -- even the list of them is confusing! Changing basic things like DNS servers is a nightmare.

    Compare to Domain Maniac. [] It's a snap to change basic info -- you just log in and do it.

    So on a purely technical basis, pretty much anything is better than NS.

    Oh yeah, then there's the fact that DM charges less than half of what NS charges.
  • I've been dealing with NSI since 1995. During the middle 90's, they were the only registar company, and when dealing with them for the local ISP I worked for, found them to be un-responsive and totally non-caring.

    It took me 6 months to move a personal domain away from them. I tried using their website, and their email forms. Old but still valid email forms from my ISP days. Made some 30 phone calls, and spent over $150 dollars on long distance, because at the time, they did not offer an 800#.

    Then, when they did offer an 800#, the call volume got so bad that the only way to reach them was via email, and that was just a large black hole.

    In the last 2 years I've migrated every domain I admin to a small registar who offers wonderful website control of my domains, 24 hour tech support (who know what they are doing) vian an 800#, and IF they f8ck up, which happens now and then, they have, EVERY single time, excalated the problem to the right deptartment and it's fixed within a few hours.

    NSI is one of the very worst service companies I've ever encounted, and I'm aghast that they are still in business, and screwing with people's domains left and right.
  • Stargate Inc. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cosmic Cow ( 537462 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:26PM (#2593507)
    I applied for the .BIZ domain for my company,
    I've had nothing but troubles with NSI.

    First: The application, they gave me a customer #, a login and a password... few days later, I couldn't log back in the account to see if my application passed, if my domain was accepted or if my company credit card was billed (although I could see it from the receipt generated by the CC company).

    Second: Tech support, forget about their email reply, they NEVER reply

    Third: I went online with their chatroom stuff, I thought "hey that's a good service" (I hate using the phone), finally they answer your question, it makes sense (I asked why my account wasn't working, they replied they didn't have an account or domain under what I registered, but if I check the neulevel whois database, I'm there (?) , so they told me they would send a password back within a day... of course it never happened).

    After a week, I went back to check with them what was happening with the BIZ domain, they told me they didn't have my account and no record of me applying... funny, my credit card does!

    I asked what the Fsck was going on, how come I couldn't access my .BIZ domain, they told me they aren't administering it, it's neulevel that takes care of it...(that sounded like a ping pong game is about to start).. I asked who to contact at neulevel, neulevel told me NSI would take care of it (ARGH), anyways last time I tried was 2 weeks ago when the .BIZ was supposed to be online, asked them what was wrong, they told me they had a database screwup (good timing guys) and they would get the Neulevel transfer within a week and mail me the new password... that was around november 8th if I recall.... so it's more than a week now and still nothing... god...

    This brings me to stargate Inc, saw them by a pure coincidence, guess what? 8$/domain when you register at least 2... you get: Email fowarding, static web page, unlimited DNS/NS changing with a nice configuration toolbox, *FAST* service, *FAST* confirmation, heck, Why are companies like NSI still around when you get that kind of royal treatment for a mere 8$??? I was really shocked (and still pissed at NSI). If you can't carry a buisness, let the others do it, we don't have to pay for their incompetence nor the fact that their tech support people don't even know the earth is round yet (so imagine anything having to do with your account).

    Anyways, thanks for bringing this up, I almost forgot about it, I'll ask stargate if they can transfer the authorization, and if I'm lucky, maybe I'll be able to actually USE that domain before it expires and I have to renew it...

    I don't know about you guys, but they claim software piracy costs BILLIONS per year, but calculare how much is lost in time wasted if we calculate 1-2 hours a week per IT administrator such as myself times the amount of companies that went thru NSI. 35$/yr for a domain might be cheap for corporate usage, but 2 hours/week to fix domain issues and bouncing paperwork around adds to quite a lot, this could almost be worth a class action suit, maybe the management would wake up.
  • Great website, tools, etc., don't know about service cause I haven't had to bug them yet... have done dozens of registrations and transfers... highly recommended.
  • Transfer Away ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by RWarrior(fobw) ( 448405 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:31PM (#2593533)
    Any of a number of people have suggested transferring your domain away from NSI, and have suggested replacements. There is one big hiccup to beware of, however:

    If you try to transfer your domain away from NSI by letting your domain expire and then reregistering it with another registrar, you may find that NSI is holding it hostage.

    A customer of mine let one of her domains expire for lack of funds; when the money came in to pay the $30 registration fee, NSI didn't want $30 or $35 or even $70 to re-up it ... they wanted $150 for a year. Calls to customer service to get the mess straight proved totally fruitless. We're still unable to register it with another registrar because NSI won't let it go, and NSI won't reregister it for anything like the usual price.

    Also, I moved a domain from NSI to another registrar back in July; in September I started getting bills from NSI for the domains' registration which expires in October, 2005.
    • Re:Transfer Away ... (Score:4, Informative)

      by NatePWIII ( 126267 ) <> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @10:18PM (#2593926) Homepage
      Yes, this is a problem that plagues almost 90% of our customers transfering their domain away from Verisign. It is simply their policy to lock the domain name down, I unfortunately have to deal with it on a dail basis, as a result I have posted up a warning on our transfer page: Registrar Transfer Page []
      Even with this notice posted, most people ignore it somehow, then when the transfer comes back declined they want their transfer fee refunded which of course we lose money on since crediting back a credit card (even a small amount) costs us a dollar. Its gotten to the point that I don't even want to try to do registrar transfer anymore. Too much hassle and headaches...
    • Re:Transfer Away ... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Legion303 ( 97901 )
      NSI didn't want $30 or $35 or even $70 to re-up it ... they wanted $150 for a year.

      That sounds like fraud. Has your friend contacted the BBB and state attorney general's office for her state and the state NSI pays taxes in (Virginia)? If not, she should give it some serious consideration.


    • I transfered all of my domains away from NSI last year. A few weeks ago I got a FINAL NOTICE bill for a domain I am using for mail. First I tried to call them - I gave up after 25 minutes on hold and decided to jump through their online hoops instead. I finally got a message to them, the gist of which was:- THIS DOMAIN IS NO LONGER REGISTERED WITH NSI - PLEASE CORRECT AND CONFIRM.

      Yesterday I finally got a response from them stating that they had recieved my message that I had paid, but their records said I didn't. I NEVER SAID I HAD PAID. I don't NEED to pay NSI for a domain that is not registered through them. I wrote back attaching the Whois record for clarification.. See, not NSI registered domain. Mm'K?

      I figure I'll get another mail from them in the new year saying that my account is seriously past due, at which point I can once again try to explain to them that THERE IS NO ACCOUNT.
      Why the hell do they hire people that CAN NOT READ? All this does is clog up their system with unnecessary noise..

  • You can transfer to another registrar without initially contacting NSI yourself. Instead, your new registrar will handle everything. If things go as they should, NSI will shortly send you an automated message asking you to approve the change. You merely reply to the message, filling in a couple of fields in the form. I've done it several times now, it only takes about 48 hours.
  • by ftobin ( 48814 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:35PM (#2593553) Homepage

    I highly recommend checking out the DomainNameBuyersGuide [] to see how various registrars rank among various dimensions (legal, pricing, etc). This is how I found my excellent registrar, DomainDiscover [], which has proved to be great.

    For the record, I too, am a huge fane of EasyDNS; they provide 4 secondary DNS sites and 2 backup MX for $15 yearly.

    • Like almost ALL the other ranking sites out there, the company must pay a 'sponsorship fee' to get on the list. Funny coincidence is that the ore you pay, the higher you get ranked. This same phenomenon exists on the web host ranking sites too.
  • by ftobin ( 48814 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:41PM (#2593574) Homepage

    When I moved my domain,, away from NSI, I didn't have to deal with NSI at all. I just told DomainDiscover that I wanted them to take over control of my domain, and after filling out the proper paperwork, I was homefree. I never had plow through NSI roadblocks.

    I remember getting an email from NSI saying "We're so sorry to see you go; could you fill out this form and rank us?" I filled out the form, just to vent the problems I saw with NSI.

  • Ripp-a me off-a! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nick13 ( 235886 )
    Recently, NSI deactivated one of my client's domains with no notice six months after the yearly renewal fee had been paid. NSI customer service informs me that the domain was shut off because the renewal fee was never paid. When I told the service rep we'd already paid, he told me they had no record of it. Lacking a confirmation number or credit receipt, my client decided to pay them again. Cool beans, right? Not exactly. Three days pass and the domain is still inactive. I call customer service and they tell me that payment is due on the domain. Amazed, I get the go-ahead from my client and we pay for the domain. Again. Cool beans, right? Wrong. Three more days go by, and you can guess what customer support told me when I called them. So after paying them a _third_ time, NSI finally reactivated the domain, much to my client's clients' joy.

    This incident has actually inspired my client to get into the registrar business. He figures he should have no shortage of rebounding disgruntled NSI customers available for the taking.

    Personally, I recommended that my client fax a copy of his credit receipt to NSI and formally dispute their ripping him off, but the invoices weren't available, and it would have only been more customers and email lost if he had taken the time to get them.

  • by nihilogos ( 87025 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @08:47PM (#2593606)
    These [] 'people' (actually I'm not sure if they are people, I've certainly never been able to speak to a human there. I suspect it might be more of an evil artificial intelligence) are the worst. I have been trying to update an out of date email for an admin contact for months. Last time I faxed them official company letterheads, drivers licences, you name it and other than the automated email "we got your request" they maintain a stony silience and the domain info remains the same.

    They are more evil than microsoft. I wish someone would declare a Jihad against them.
  • After having countless problems transfering domains from NSI/Verisign, Updating DNS or changing emails I decided to consult their 'Ask Jeeves' powered question and answer system...

    The answer..


    You Asked:
    how do I transfer my domain to another registrar?

    Thanks for asking your question!
    Unfortunately, we couldn't find any answers for this one.

    Says it all...
  • (Score:2, Informative)

    by Phil Hands ( 2365 )
    NSI are utterly without value.

    The only way I ever got them to do anything was by listening to their phone system for an hour or two (I'm not joking, and that was at international phone rates, several times over the years) until someone picked up the phone, and tried to do the Dogbert-esque "How may I disconnect you" thing.

    With a just a little bit more persistence they would finally react.

    I transfered to gandi (which went totally smoothly, and only took about 3 days to happen, and costs about half what NSI charge) and have never had a problem with them. They have a web interface that works, they have a mail system that means that a human gets to see your queries within less than a day, and replies --- In short, they do a proper job.

    Why the bloody hell NSI are still allowed to have anything to do with domain administration is totally beyond me. It's about time that someone brought a class action against them for wasting tens of thousands of hours of other peoples time.

    Further examples of their uselessness:
    • They took to returning every request I sent, saying that it must come from one of the domain contacts. The only address I ever used was listed as all three contacts. The bounce would helpfully inform me that the domain contacts had been informed --- I never saw a single such message --- several phonecalls did nothing to rectify this
    • They switched my account to PGP authentication at some point, without associating a key with the account (or at least, no key I've ever used. I tried them all), thus locking me out.
    • They also managed to look after a mail they sent to me for 2 months, in a queue on their web server, before delivering it to their mail server, and then (about 5 seconds later) finally to me.

    Use gandi, use anyone --- just run screaming from NSI and your problems will be solved.
  • company I have ever dealt with. Not only was their webpage hosting advertisement deceptive, but they have refused numerous times to update my account. Their website constantly has problems, and I am still waiting for a reply to a complaint I made in mid-October.

    I tell everyone I know not to register with NSI. If there ever was an example of corporate credit card fraud, NSI is it. I prefer to call it e-fraud .

  • I have it worse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gabeman-o ( 325552 )
    Unfortunately, NSI has much worse problems than that. My domain has been expired on their database since Dec 99 and they wont let me transfer it to another registrar because it is "on hold". I called them and asked them how long it would take until it is deleted from their database and told them it has been over a year and they said "Oh, it will be much longer than that".

    This has to be a violation some kind of law.

    Anyways, all of my new domain business goes to Dotster, as well as my clients'. Too bad I purchased the domain before NSI lost their monopoly.
  • You should switch registrars as soon as possible, not only because NSI is unethical [], but because your first few attempts may fail because NSI is very, very bad [].

    I work for an small ISP and whenever an NSI-registered domain we host comes up for renewal, we suggest that the domain owner switch registrars. We recommend Gandi [], a bunch of French Linux geeks who we've never had a single problem with. They charge 12 euros a year, about $10-11. It helps that they are one of the cheapest, because transfers are often denied by NSI, meaning you lose your 12 euros. Make sure to start this process a while before your registration expires, so you can attempt multiple transfers if need be.

    Be very, very careful not to let your domain expire. Occasionally, a customer will call up because their web site isn't working and we look into it and see that their domain name expired (generally because they forgot to pay their bill). In that case, we tell them to pay NSI ASAP or we often pay it ourselves, because of the NSI horrors we've had in the past.

    One of our customers forgot to pay their NSI bill and the domain expired. NSI deleted it from their database, but it was still in the master registry. So the registry shows the domain as registered through NSI, but NSI has no records for it. This means that nobody can register the domain until it is expunged from the registry (which, funny enough, is also run by NSI). This takes an undetermined amount of time, meaning that they could do it today or they could do it in six months, but they absolutely will not tell you when they're going to do it.

    In the case of our customer, it took about six weeks for NSI the registry to expunge the domain, which generally happens around 6:30 a.m. eastern time []. As soon as it was expunged, a domain name hijacker registered the domain and won't relinquish it without getting a wad of cash.

  • Dude, I hate to break this to you, but you're worrying about nothing. You don't need to log in/e-mail/whatever to NSI to transfer your domains away. Simply choose your registrar and request a domain transfer from them. All the rest is done for you. End of story. You never have to touch NSI at any time during the process...
  • by seppy ( 2431 )
    We are doing everything in our power to eliminate doing any business with network solutions. When I started at ISP A, they were using previous BAP (some sort of business partner agreement) as the basis of doing registrations. Network Solutions proceeded to move towards their new interface, things changed subtley. Things would stop working one day. Managing a NIC Services domain was pretty easy to do as long as you were the proper contact, under the BAP agreements. managing WORLDNIC domains, which were the new interface worked horribly. I spoke with multiple people trying desperately to come to some sort of terms with their new partner agreements, as I was under pressure to maintain our previous level of service. What really bothered me about there new agreement programs was how silly they were. If you are an affiliate partner, network solutions/verisign would only allow you to list two nameservers. We maintain four for redundancy. Every domain that we'd register would have to be corrected afterwards. Verisign said it was technically impossible to change the number of name servers for an affiliate partner. What ended up coming out later, after a couple of conversations was that they wanted to discourage the affiliate program, so that people would become preferred partners. If you were a preferred partner you could list four but not otherwise. I thought this was lame. All of these problems all because there was no way that we were going to take over billing contact for domains.

    In the past year, registrar agreements have posed the biggest nightmare in my daily duties.

    We have looked to GKG.NET, and they seem reasonable. I would like to explore their affiliate/partner programs more.

    Oh, and did I mention I had to submit 12 different Global Updates to update 750+ domains. I submited the first one, called them up as our deadline approached. I was asked for my TRACKING NUMBER. Explained that I did not get a tracking number. Was told to send it again. Wash, rinse, repeat. 12 times. Finally right before our deadline, I get an email stating it has been completed. Shortly afterward I get my Tracking Number. Periodically for the next two months my global update requests would be return rejected. Very bizarre. I guess their is one man behind the curtain responsible for global updates, I was told their was at least a 30 day delay. Man, I don't want to have to do it again, but our domain count will in the near future triple due to migrations coming to fruition....

    What a nasty business... I don't know if I ever figured out the process for transferring registrars with network solutions either...
    • We have looked to GKG.NET, and they seem reasonable. I would like to explore their affiliate/partner programs more.

      FWIW, my company is an affiliate of GKG and I would recommend them. The API to interface with their systems is in perl, so it is easy to customize to your own needs. Right now I have a domain transfer pending with them (NSI to GKG). This is how the procedure has gone so far:
      1. I requested the domain be transferred at GKG's Site.
      2. GKG sent a confirmation message to the email account listed as the contact on the domain. This comfirmation consisted of following a link and pasting in a key.
      3. NSI sent me a confirmation as well. Their method involves replying to the mail and pasting a key into the subject line.

      I started the transfer monday morning and did both confirmations monday afternoon. I haven't heard back from either registrar yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I have been trying to change my DNS servers with NSI for over a year and have been unable to do so. I have chatted and spoken with their support many times, and still have been unable to resolve the issue. My domain expires December 6th, I just hope I can get it transferred before then so it doesn't go into "limbo".

  • (Score:2, Informative)

    by ChiefArcher ( 1753 ) rules.. $8.88.
    Can do multi-domains at once..
    very easy to transfer domains as well..
    Web based changes.. .. They'll even do DNS for no additional charge.. (A and MX records)

  • Last year, I decided to move away from NSI. I was in the same boat : broken web site links, no email reply, etc... A total mess. I lost about one month of getting nowhere with NSI. I contacted a company to do the transfer and then took it from here. The name of the company is They charge a very reasonable fee, and most importantly they offer the best support I've ever seen on the web so far. Writing a mail on Sunday gets me an answer in the following hour.

    I don't have any stock in this company, don't even now if they are public, all I know is that they deserve to succeed in this market, compare to some huge sharks who don't give a darn about your problems.

    Try them, you won't regret it.

  • So long as your domain isn't past its expiration date, NSI can do nothing to prevent you from transferring it out of their control. Just go to another registrar and follow their procedure to move a domain to their aegis.

    I use, myself (not; that's a squatter, and costs a lot more). Gandi charges 12 EU (about $10 US) to transfer the domain, and tacks on an additional year of registration. Check them out. []
  • by SimHacker ( 180785 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @09:38PM (#2593790) Homepage Journal
    I registered a domain with Network Solutions, but made a typo in the email field and entered my email address as "" instead of "".

    Of couse Network Solutions would not answer any of my email or phone calls, for which they are infamous.

    So I had to register the domain name "" (with ANOTHER registrar, of course -- I never used Network Solutions after that), and then I simply sent them email from that domain name asking their automated system to fix it.


  • by alexburke ( 119254 ) <> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @10:03PM (#2593872)
    How do I transfer the domain away from NSI [] if I can't even login to their system?

    Well, take a peek at the link you've been using, and you'll be one step closer to your goal. ;)
  • OpenSRS/Tucows (Score:5, Informative)

    by NatePWIII ( 126267 ) <> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @10:11PM (#2593898) Homepage
    Granted I am a bit biased, since we are a Tucows/OpenSRS reseller. However, I have not found a more reliable and friendly company to work with than Tucows. The development team is awesome and their support staff is more than willing to work with you. We have been registering our domains through them over a year and a half now, and have never once regretted the move from first NSI and then later
    We currently retail domains at $13.00 per year (which isn't the cheapest price out there) after buying them wholesale from Tucows at $10.00 year.
    If you are serious about registering lots of domains I strongly suggest becoming a Tucows reseller.
    • I've got all mine registered through

      They have the best interface I've seen and you can gain access through any opensrs reseller control panel.

      Customer support is top notch too. I've used a lot of guys and so far have been the best.
    • I'm an OpenSRS reseller as well, we have about 300 domains hosted for our various clients. The few times that I've had to talk to their tech support they have been friendly, helpful and actually know their product. I think that OpenSRS is still a small shop, and their tech support people actually know the developers personally. I can't think of the last time that they have had an unscheduled service outage and their web CGI's seem to be well written and feature-complete.

      I highly recommend finding an OpenSRS reseller and get rid of the useless dirtbags over at

  • DNS for $30 per domain... for life. And if you decide you want to drop a domain and get a different one? $0. You already paid for 1 domain worth of DNS, and that's what you'll get, regardless of what the domain is called.

    Of course you still need a registrar. I've had no problems with with my 3 domains.

    Oh, and they're a not-for-profit.
  • by bruthasj ( 175228 ) <bruthasj&yahoo,com> on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @10:27PM (#2593955) Homepage Journal
    You really should remember about the whole fiasco where their domain was hijacked by some crackers with a simple forged email to NSI. You shouldn't use email as the method of change and hopefully NSI has disabled this feature.

    The book should provide more information on this front.
  • I am dealing with these jerks right now. They store your credit card without telling you and insta-charge it if you show interest in any domain. They also charge you for a domain even if the registration fails.

    Sometimes the cheap choice isn't the best. Actually I must admit that I've never had any big problem with NSI other than the fact that they promised me a t-shirt if I renewed for 2 or more years and never sent it. (and didn't respond to my email asking why they didn't send it)
  • I had the exact same problem and their admin pages were "broken" for at least 3 weeks. I irc'd their support desk and walked through it with them, only to be told that that portion of the web site was not yet functional. I went to registerfly, where I had one domain already, and transfered it off NSI for $8.99, which included the first year. No fees to change information, no hassels. The transfer took about 3 days! NSI still sent me a bill for the next year, but I just pitched it. What a joke.
  • I still haven't been able to find a registrar other than NSI that allows you to make changes to your registration via PGP-authenticated e-mail. And they're slowing phasing out that feature.

    Anyone know of another registrar that allows this?
  • by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2001 @11:13PM (#2594066) Homepage Journal -- I moved to them after Domain Bank started spamming me. I've found Stargate to be very inexpensive ($8.85/domain), and they have a full-blown web-based configuration section where domain owners can make whatever changes they want at any time.

    As for the service, Stargate really does make NSI look like the sick joke they've become. When I had some minor trouble assigning two new domain names I'd registered to my own DNS boxes, I simply dropped a note to Stargate's tech support. The problem was promptly fixed in less than 24 hours, and I had a courteous and informative response to show for it.

    Whatever registrar you select, let THEM take care of the transfer paperwork for you. SG did an outstanding job here as well.

    FWIW: I wouldn't go with Dotster. They support spammers. Avoid as well -- big-time spam support, despite their ToS.

    Good hunting.
  • Am I the first person to click the NSI link? Or did no one else notice the bad link (that still worked).
  • by bert_mcdoy ( 300528 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2001 @01:37AM (#2594429)
    I feel your pain. A couple of months ago, I had to transfer some domains for a few websites that I was taking over when the last webmaster quit and the host went bankrupt. I've done this before and never had any problems, BUT there were two emails set up to allow changes to the domains, and neither email was active anymore. So I made some phone calls, and I'm pretty sure that verisign has all of their tech support done in call centers in India. I was listening to the BBC a while back and they were talking about how its a big business over there to have call centers for US companies since it's so much cheaper for them rather than having it in the continental US.

    Anyway, I appreciate the hard work phone tech support people do, they have a tough job, but I could not understand anyone from their end. I called back every other day for 4 weeks because nothing was done to make changes, and everyone gave me the same story.... "wait for 2 days, the system just takes a little while to get everythign through" Talking to their supervisors did nothing to expedite this either. It took over 1 month to finally change all of the DNS settings, and the sites were down in the meantime which meant lost business (and a lot of explaining on my part). My advice is to make sure you know that email address and it's active, give verisign plenty of time to make any changes, and just hope your host doesnt go out of business, because if you have to call Verisign to make changes, you're in for a big headache.
  • by howiefl ( 231059 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2001 @03:10AM (#2594698)
    I worked for a hosting company and it was my job to deal with NSI daily. They only way to get anything done is to CALL Verisign and ask to speak to the BAO (Business Affairs Office). They are the ONLY people there that have any power. The customer service reps that you talk to sound like indians for a reason.. Verisign uses a Call Center in India (no lie).
    Virginia Office
    21355 Ridgetop Circle
    Dulles, VA 20166
    Main Number: 703-742-0400

    Good luck!
  • Well...

    Since one of my domains was also registered directly at Internic (back when it was called that) I got an email that NSI are migrating their domains to a new webbased admin app.

    And I recently got an email that the domain in question had been migrated. And that they would be sending out new logins at some point soon...

    So I'd guess that's the problem here.
  • by Kenneth ( 43287 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2001 @03:34AM (#2594743) Homepage
    I read once (I forget where) where someone was describing their expierence with network solutions. Their software was choking on their email, it had something to do with not liking how most mail software creates mail headers. This person had to use trial and error to figure out which one, then forge a 'properly' formatted email from himself.*

    Another solution would be to get a decent regristrar, but that can cause other problems and can take even longer to sort out. Once you get it sorted out it will probably be very good, but actually making the transfer will make you question why you are doing it.

    The easiest solution is likely to figure out what it doesn't like about your email, and forge one it does like.*

    *Note to U.S. government. This is merely offered up as a hypothetical solution. I do not advocate the forging of email, nor the impersonation of oneself.
  • by Phroggy ( 441 )
    It occurs to me that the only thing the Better Business Bureau requires is that a company respond to every complaint. Not that they resolve the issue or that they respond favorably, but simply that they respond. Since NSI is infamous for not responding to complaints, perhaps alerting the BBB would be a good idea?
  • Registrars react promptly to WIPO UDRP decisions. If your registrar ignores you, the fastest solution is to get a UDRP ruling from WIPO and let the registrar implement it.
  • You got to love google caches []...

    DA & I alerted Davey to it yesterday. Wonder when those "Our sites been compromised, change your password" emails will start flying??

    BTW? How do you contact google and tell them to stop caching something like this??

  • I have a relevant experience to relate concerning this issue:

    About 6 months ago, I wanted to transfer a domain name from NSI to another registrar. I'll mention here that the domain name is a fun one, and could potentially be used by any flesh peddler out there (although that's not what I'm using it for).

    I tried the transfer at least 3 times over a two week period. Failures every time. At the same time, I successfully transferred three unrelated (and less valuable) domain names from NSI to my new registrar using the exact same procedures and information.

    I became suspicious, and figured that maybe NSI had some kind of technical problem. I then read an article on /. about how NSI was getting ready to take possession of unrenewed domain names, auctioning them off. I was starting to feel a little paranoid about losing my domain name, so I decided to just do the more expensive thing and renew the name with NSI in order to avoid the transfer process and simplify the issue.

    I couldn't renew the domain name through their website either. I got very odd, vague error messages on their website when I tried to pay via credit card.

    So I decided to call their 800 number and renew over the phone as a last-ditch effort. First the person on the phone told me she couldn't renew the domain name. When I pressed for details as to why, she claimed that she didn't know. She sounded confused by what she was seeing on her computer, and put me on hold. I was transferred to someone higher up the food chain, who tried the same process, and apparently encountered the same difficulty.

    After about an hour on the phone and 4 or 5 long hold sessions, a person in accounting took my credit card info and forced the transaction through.

    Funnier still - the computer system wouldn't allow me to renew for only one year, until the issue was manually overridden by someone in accounting. My only option was a two-year renewal according to the people I spoke with before that.

    I was very concerned at this point. I waited on the telephone until receiving my renewal confirmation email specifying the new expiration date.

    At the end of the phone conversation, I told the latest representative of the problems I had run into on their website paying by credit card, despite successfully doing the same thing with another domain the day before. She sounded surprised, and put me on hold again.

    When she came back on the line a few minutes later, her voice had gone very stiff. She said "There is no problem with our website, sir." I expresses a little surprise, and told her that she could check the unanswered technical support emails I had sent a few days before to confirm that I had been having the problem I described.

    "There is no problem with our website." she replied, very monotone, all traces of her previous friendliness completely absent.

    I transferred the domain name the next day to another registrar. NSI still sends me renewal notices for this domain name.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.