February 19, 2017 | 3:00 am
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The Network Solutions Nightmare

The following notes are from my dealings with Network Solutions this last month.

I will add that I’m a GOLD VIP member.

December 24th, I get an email from Network Solutions telling me that one of my .net domains has been automatically renewed.  For $114! The following quotes are some posts I made on Facebook concerning this whole thing:

On the phone with Network Solutions right now. They tried to charge me $114 for a .net domain name renewal! I’m transferring all my domains away from them as we speak. That’s just crazy!

So I called them and got everything worked out. I even got them to refund me the $114. Seemed like it was just a waiting game at this point. Boy was I wrong:

Wow. Network Solutions is worse than I thought. So I get the email confirmation from idotz.net to approve the transfer. Then I got 10 emails in a row from Network Solutions about the transfer. 2 emails for each domain. One says that I should verify that the emails and such actually came from network solutions because they’ve gotten reports from customers about 3rd parties sending phishing emails about domain transfers in attempts to transfer the domain to some unknown 3rd party. The second email contains a “secure” link that I need to click on in order to either approve or cancel the transfer.
The link in the email is to https://www.registrar-transfers.com. When you mouse over the link, it actually goes to a non-secure site: http://cclinks.networksolutions.com, which then transfers you back to https://www.registrar-transfers.com, which has a SSL certificate that expired in May of 2014, almost 8 months ago!
So, I called them again to just do the approval on the phone since their emails and website cannot be trusted. I mean really? Displaying a secure link that actually goes to an insecure link which redirects to a site with an expired certificate? Keep in mind that these urls include details in the POST string about the transfer. Sure. Just send all that in the clear.
That just reeks of a phishing site. I told them as much and they have “escalated” my trouble ticket. Hopefully to someone who knows something about how the web works.
These guys are morons.

Also, all the emails I’ve ever gotten from NetworkSolutions have been marked as phishing emails automatically by Thunderbird, mainly because their emails contain links that say they go to one location, usually an https site, but really redirect to a second, different domain that is normal http. So I was told that even if I don’t click the link from the email they sent me, that the approval will be automatically approved in 5 days. Then this happens:

The drama continues. You had one job Network Solutions. This is from the email I received at 1am:
“We understand that you’ve initiated a transfer on 12/26;however, we regret to inform you there is a technical problem with the outbound transfer request. The issue will cause the transfer to fail after a 5-7 processing period. In order to avoid unnecessary processing time, we’ve canceled the transfer on our end. ”
And they keep asking me why I want to transfer away from them. They can’t even maintain their core business without problems. Oh, and that secure site they wanted me to click on? The SSL certificate is still expired.

First, notice the grammar problem. “5-7 processing period”. It’s missing the word “day” in there. Second, I thought it was taken care of?!? So I called them. Again. While on the phone, they keep asking me if there is any way I want to stay with them. “We’ll drop the yearly rate to $9.99 if you stay”. Well here’s the problem with that. The main reason I stayed with them this long was for the auto-renewal they had. That way I don’t have to worry about renewing manually. The catch? If they drop my price to $9.99 per year, then I will have to call them each year, for each domain, in order to keep that price. So I can get it for a normal price, but then I have to waste half a day to get it. Screw that!

One of the biggest things that bothered me about netsol is that they try to upsell too much. If you just want to log in, you get like 4 attempts to upsell you crap, then if you want to do something like update a dns entry, you have to go through 3 more pages of upselling. It’s awful.

So now they told me that they will cancel the domain transfer on their side, and I’ll have to re-initiate the transfer with my registrar again. Then I will need to call them AGAIN to bypass their expired and untrustworthy SSL email and start this all over again.

I told them that all they need to do to fix all this is to update their SSL cert on www.registrar-transfers.com and I’ll click on the link and that will avoid any issues.  This is their CORE BUSINESS and they can’t even handle that.

I’ll update this as the nightmare continues.