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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    Unhappy Registrar Search Frustrations

    Finding a decent registrar is proving to be as difficult as finding a good hosting company. I've looked at most of the popular names, as I don't want to go with a no-name registrar for obvious reasons.

    What I'm running into, and what I'd like some feedback from the community on, are your opinions on the following doubts/questions, and a recommendation based on these concerns.

    1. It seems most registrars can pull you domain offline for almost any reason. If they receive a complaint, regardless of whether it's substantiated or not (most don't even care or check), they shut you down. Even anonymous complaints. Does anyone have any recommendations or anecdotal links of a registrar who has NOT been so quick to pull a domain after someone complained, or at least is not notorious for doing so?

    2. The whole 'privacy' deal seems awfully fraught with danger. Most registrars who offer this service place their names, or a proxy company's name (3rd party) in place of your own. Only one company I found offered a privacy service where your name remained, but they replaced the rest of the info with their 'forwarding service' info. This seems like a hijack opportunity just waiting to happen.

    This is pretty much the case with all the registrars I've looked into. I'd like to use one that's likely to be around in a year, and that isn't ridiculously expensive. I'm pretty much turned off by the privacy thing, too.

    Heck, if they're all the same, and can pull your domain at the drop of a hat with no justification, I might as well go with the biggest, cheapest one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    4,377
    1) Do you have any examples of registrars pulling domains with no justification? For $1 profit/year no registrar is going to go to the wall for you. Godaddy gets the most complaints about this but that's partly because they are the biggest registrar with over 25% market share. The next biggest (enom) only has 8% market share.

    2) Whoever is listed as the owner in the WHOIS is the legal owner, so yes, it is dangerous to use your registrar for privacy.
    It's better to get a PO Box, register a business name and use a free phone number from someone like grandcentral.com.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techno View Post
    1) Do you have any examples of registrars pulling domains with no justification? For $1 profit/year no registrar is going to go to the wall for you. Godaddy gets the most complaints about this but that's partly because they are the biggest registrar with over 25% market share. The next biggest (enom) only has 8% market share.
    It depends on the definition of justification. There are examples on the NoDaddy site. Two high profile examples are the ratemycop.com issue discussed there, and NetSol pulling Geert Wilder's site fitnathemovie.com, which still has the BS disclaimer page up. This last page was pulled, mind you, before he had even completed his movie.

    I don't plan on doing anything that is illegal, immoral, blah-blah-blah... but that decision is apparently at the sole discretion of the registrar. If someone doesn't like my website, due to competition, criticism or insanity, they can apparently have my domain disrupted, or even worse, cause it to be taken away, and I assume, auctioned off by the registrar (potentially to the person who complained). I guess the thing that irks me is how easily our first amendment right can be taken away when it comes to the internet, and how quickly a registrar can buckle to a complaint, even an anonymous one.

    2) Whoever is listed as the owner in the WHOIS is the legal owner, so yes, it is dangerous to use your registrar for privacy.
    It's better to get a PO Box, register a business name and use a free phone number from someone like grandcentral.com.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I would still like to hear from anyone who has heard of any registrars who aren't so quick to react. I guess some who register pornography sites or other morally questionable sites aren't. But, I would guess those registrars probably also charge a premium for their complicity, or have some other expensive hurdle like demanding a liability policy or waiver exercised by an attorney.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dengwms View Post
    I guess the thing that irks me is how easily our first amendment right can be taken away when it comes to the internet
    Unless I missed something, the U.S. First Amendment doesn't say anything about non-government entities like businesses not allowed to "censor" certain people from doing stuff within their premises. Don't we rather "censor" certain people from saying or doing stuff in our backyard, especially if we consider what they say or do "bad" based on our subjective preferences?

    That being said, it can be a concern that the registrar can shut down your domain name for whatever reason. Potentially violating any term of their registration agreement, receiving a court order, take your pick.

    Then again, we live with the uncertain but realistic risks of being run over, getting robbed, or seeing our art works burned. In this case, all of us domain registrants face the uncertain but realistic risks of seeing our domain name/s shut down and/or taken away.

    Or to take it further, another risk is the registrar we're currently using might be acquired by another registrar or so and service could possibly degrade. It's happened before, too.

    The important thing is to try to be aware of those risks and factor them into your overall decision on what you intend to do with the domain name. Once you've pretty much gotten an idea or so (and it appears you do), then you can read the registrar's FAQ (or even the fine print if you're up to it) and/or ask them questions.

    However, don't expect them to guarantee they won't shut down your domain name for any reason. No registrar on earth is going to realistically promise that, especially if other parties out there are prepared to hold them liable for your actions.

    Anyway, check Moniker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Toronto
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    That is at least one of the reasons I go with a PUBLICLY TRADED company (Tucows). At least I won't be subject to the PERSONAL preference of some even single owners.
    Co-Founder @HostHideout. Profoundly influenced by #Bauhaus, @Nameslave unrepentantly embraces #Minimalism with a bias for functionality, color theory and pixel precision: a #multimedia messenger in the McLuhan sense. His totally irrelevant M.Ed. dissertation examines Organizational Culture and Change Management. He also likes Patrik Ervell, Wong Kar-wai and IKEA.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Dave - good points, and I don't disagree with what you're saying. In my reference to first amendment rights, it's more in reference to freedom of expression on the internet. Maybe I just shouldn't expect that there is a freedom of expression on the internet! But it's odd that porn sites, and sites like rotten.com (which btw is registered through NetSol!) don't get complaints.

    I also agree 100% that the registrar has to have a right to protect itself. But, what bothers me is they seem to err on the side of caution, which I understand is a business decision, I guess, but it's my business that they are depriving, based sometimes on little more than a whining, anonymous complaint. If they required a court order, I'd understand that.

    As far as comparing them, and reading their TOS... they ALL have a weasel clause, and it is their discretion to define what 'morally objectionable' is... or at least the complainant's definition.

    nameslave - maybe Tucows is better than the rest, but I'm not a reseller, and I don't think they have a direct registration system. And, I'll bet if you read their TOS, they have the same weasel clause in their's, too!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dengwms View Post
    But, what bothers me is they seem to err on the side of caution
    It's case to case whether the registrar will shut down the domain name or not. But another important point I forgot to mention is to be ready to work with them to try to resolve the issue.

    Nowadays, one does what they can under the circumstances.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameslave View Post
    That is at least one of the reasons I go with a PUBLICLY TRADED company (Tucows). At least I won't be subject to the PERSONAL preference of some even single owners.
    Fabulous (Dark Blue Sea) is on aussie stock exchange isn't it?
    Kevin Ohashi - Founder of ReviewSignal.com - Honest Web Hosting Reviews
    Check out our WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks (Updated: Sep 2016), the most comprehensive look at WP performance

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zan View Post
    It's case to case whether the registrar will shut down the domain name or not. But another important point I forgot to mention is to be ready to work with them to try to resolve the issue.

    Nowadays, one does what they can under the circumstances.
    You hit the nail on the head. The problems is, some registrars are apparently not reviewing the complaints and working with the domain owner, at least in the cases I mentioned, unless the domain owner 'forgot' to mention that. They accuse their domain registrars of just shutting them down with no warning. THOSE are the one's I'm trying to avoid. I would readily work with a registrar if they came to me first and let me address the issue.

    After sifting through the different companies I can find, it's amazing how closely you have to read the TOS. Some don't seem to give you full control over the domain and settings, which is what I'm looking for. And many muddy the water by offering hosting, email, blogs, etc...and biggest of all, don't tell you outright the cost of the domain and renewals.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    CH
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohashi View Post
    Fabulous (Dark Blue Sea) is on aussie stock exchange isn't it?
    There company name is Fabulous.com Pty Ltd, therefore they are privately owned.

    But it's possible that Dark Blue Sea is on the stock exchange, they are the parent company of Fabulous and Fabulous domains

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