rants from the dark side of marketing

Network Solutions is evil

A member on DomainState reports that Network Solutions is registering domains after availability lookups, follow-ups on Conceptualist, Elliot’s Blog, Dominik Mueller, DomainBits
DotSauce. The only thing I have to say is that this is utterly ridiculous. Not to mention that NetSol is now the proud owner of the following domains:


Jonathon Nevett, Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions responds on CircleID:

I’d like to clarify what we are doing. In response to customer concerns about Domain Name Front Running (domains being registered by someone else just after they have conducted a domain name search), we have implemented a security measure to protect our customers. The measure will kick in when a customer searches for an available domain name at our website, but decides not to purchase the name immediately after conducting the search.

After the search ends, we will put the domain name on reserve. During this reservation period, the name is not active and we do not monetize the traffic on these domains. If a customer searches for the domain again during the next 4 days at networksolutions.com, the domain will be available to register. If the domain name is not purchased within 4 days, it will be released back to the registry and will be generally available for registration.

This protection measure provides our customers the opportunity to register domains they have previously searched without the fear that the name will be already taken through Front Running.

You are correct that we are trying to take an arrow out of the quiver of the tasters. As you know, domain tasters are the largest Front Runners. Due to no fault of registrars, Front Runners purchase search data from Internet Service Providers and/or registries and then taste those names. Some folks may not agree with our approach, but we are trying to prevent this malicious activity from impacting our customers.

Another response in Bill Hartzer’s comments:

Hi Bill,
I work for Network Solutions and saw your tweet on Twitter and would like the opportunity to respond, This measure is geared for our customers. It gives them a chance to look for domains consider if it’s what they want and then have an opportunity to register it.

Network Solutions is not front running. “ Front Runners” are people who register domain names known to have been searched, for the purpose of monetizing them and then selling them at inflated prices either directly to the customer who searched for the domain or through aftermarket channels.
We have started protecting all domain name searches at Network Solutions by holding the searched domains for our customers for a short period of time before releasing them. This gives our customers the opportunity to register names later without fear that the name will be registered by a “Front Runner.”
We are not monetizing these domains, nor do we intend to keep them after the holding period.

We did this because we heard customers complain that queried domain names are being snatched up by other people as soon as they searched. Network Solutions makes sure its search data is secure and we do not sell it any third party. I know that Network Solutions has no intention of keeping any searched domain or monetizing it.

Thanks for listening,

Word on DomainState is NetSol shut down their stealing machine but I doubt anyone feels like regging or even looking up domains on their site right now. Not for a couple months at least.

Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 5:17 am under Rants. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Thomas Says:

lol the domain name evils i like them all. the point is you can register 5000 domains if there is only one good int it it will be worth it. possibly one in 10.000 depends on how good it is :)

Gab Says:

I’m friendly with shady, so I decided to check out who he links to… Nice blog.

Regarding shashi’s comment, that’s self-contradictory. They’re front-running to protect you fromt… front-runners? That’s BS. And if they’re not selling your search data, how could “customers complain that queried domain names are being snatched up by other people as soon as they searched”?

Jeff Says:

Yeah, it looks like they did stop doing this…

Damn. Just when I found a good use for it too.

I wrote a little script to run just dropped domains through it, thereby giving me more time to decide if I wanted to buy them or not.

If I found one I wanted, a call to their customer service was all it took to get the hold dropped.

Lan Says:

The claim that Network Solutions buys domain names out from under your feet for your benefit is a downright lie. They purchased a domain name I searched for minutes after I learned it was available. Then they tried to sell it to me for 100 dollars a year. I will never do business with this company again and I highly recommend that you don’t either.

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