Network Solutions Registrar Nighmare
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Nightmare on Web Street!
by Mike Banks Valentine

I need access to online database tools from my host and call
them up to ask about availability. OK, I find that it costs
a few bucks a month extra to access those tools for my site.
Hmmmm. Well I've got someone telling me that their host is
offering those very same tools and more storage space for
half of what I'm paying!

My Internet Service Provider (ISP) has been good to me for
two years now. I have almost no complaints and, when I have
complained, they have resolved the issue quickly and with
little fuss. I'm loyal and I'm reluctant to move but the
monthly savings is too good to pass up and I decide to go
ahead and upgrade my services and move my site to a new host.

I was careful in checking out the new host. They come highly
recommended. It's a major nationwide network. Their record is
nothing short of stellar. OK, let's give it a try.

Big mistake! It's like having a nightmare and you can't wake
up from! There is nothing worse than having to deal with
issues you are entirely unfamiliar with and basically put
yourself out of business in the process!

Dealing with Network Solutions, my registrar, to make changes,
update the records, transfer the domain name server from the
old host to the new is one of the most frustrating and pro-
tracted battles I've ever had to fight! I thought I would
understand the process having just transferred *eight* other
domain name servers for clients with three other registrars.

But Network Solutions does it differently. They require that
the request be done via a form on their site, that's simple
enough. But I repeatedly fill out that form, which generates
an email to me which I must now return to them to verify my
email address. OK, I return it and get no response, so things
must be progressing smoothly. No doubt I'll receive a notice
soon stating that the changes have taken effect.

No notice. I fill out the form again, generate the follow-up
email again, return it again and wait again. Two weeks and
no notice. I've got to do something to effect this change!

I call them using the phone number that I found on their site
after nearly 40 minutes of searching from page to page to FAQ.
Now I get to spend 40 minutes on hold, listening to a repeating
recording telling me how "important" my call is to them. I've
got a meeting to attend and give up for the day. I'll get back
to it tomorrow.

Bright and early I'm back on the phone and get through this
time after only 30 minutes on hold! It's going to be a good
day! Well, guess again Bub. The phone representative I speak
with checks the records and tells me that the times I've
submitted my change request previously were fruitless due to
being returned from an email address that is different from
the one used to register the site. Why didn't you tell me?

I ask the rep to stay on the phone with me and walk me through
the process. OK, we get the form submitted, I change my email
client "from" line to reflect the address given when I regis-
tered with Network solutions for this domain. He checks, it's
been received, and I'm on my way to making the change!

After another week of waiting, I call NSI and get through to
a representative after only 10 minutes! Great! Things are
getting better! "What is holding up my DNS change request?
I was told it was approved and that my follow-up email had
been received but the record still reflects the old host
and no change has been made!"

"You submitted the form to change the host contact info sir,
not the form to change the domain name server. The contact
info was not different, so no change was needed."

"But wait a minute!" I'm fuming now and do my best to keep my
temper in check. "The person I spoke with told me exactly what
to do, I did it, he said it would be handled within 24 hours!"

"You filled out the wrong form sir." Bureaucrateez for, 'It's
not my fault!' Who did you speak with, sir?" Oh man! I didn't
ask his name! He walked me through the process, I trusted him,
and I did what he said to do!

They're trying to convince me I've done something wrong now.

"Is there a different way to do this process?" I said through
gritted teeth.

"Yes sir, you can fax in your change request."

Good God I hope I've got the correct form! I did fax in my
request but missed some obscure detail on some obscure page
of the directions.

No change. Call back. More buck passing. More fuming, another
walk-through, this time I get his email address and name. Still
no change. I email him. No response. No change. Call back and
I'm told I need a "Problem tracking number". The problem now is
near insanity! I'm assigned a problem tracking number. E-mail.
Wait. Fume. Complain.

One morning I woke up and checked to find the changes had now
actually been made and the records changed.

Was that all a nightmare? No! It's incompetence, bureaucracy,
buck-passing, archaic and confusing. But it's very real!

I recommend you change your registrar if you used Network
Solutions when you reserved your domain name. The others
can make the change overnight using a simple password and
username. Freddy Kreuger couldn't have made it more of a

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July 26, 2001