I have 5 domain names registered with Netfirms. My most recent renewal bill was paid June 3 yet today (June 25) when I tried to change the DNS for one of the domains I got a message about not being able to make changes with the account in its current status.
I called them and their rep said that even after I renew the account, it has to be "finalized" which is an automated process that can take up to a week. In other words, I can't manage my domains for a week or more (three weeks in this case) after I pay the renewal.
I noted that I don't have this issue with enom or godaddy but the Netfirms rep said they do it too. He couldn't answer why an "automated" process would take three weeks. He did whatever was necessary manually but I wasn't impressed with his explanation.
Is this true or was he blowing smoke?
I have many domains at godaddy (on auto renewal) and i never had any problems with them ... also nothing like your problem. I just get an email every time when one of domain has to be renewed and that's all.
You should move from netfirms to anywhere because i never heard something like "renew has to finalized".
I recommend Godaddy, Joker and EuroDNS.
Have a good luck!