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How to win against Verisign’s NetSol domain Transfer Adventure

November 5th, 2002

I finally managed to get my domain transferred away from Network Solutions, the Verisign company, after multiple unsuccessful attempts. I feel like I’ve played a big adventure game, trying to learn the secret to finding the treasure, dying in the process and then having to start over again each time I fall into a trap.

First attempt:

My new registrar initiates the process. They look up my domain with Whois and send a message to the administrative contact, inviting me to confirm. I confirm.

A couple of days later, NetSol sends me a message saying my request was denied either because I declined it or I didn’t respond in time. I send them an email to say I must have missed their message because I certainly responded to the one I got.

Second Attempt:

My new registrar initiates the process. They look up my domain with Whois and send a message to the administrative contact, inviting me to confirm. I confirm.

A couple of days later, NetSol sends me a message saying my request was denied either because I declined it or I didn’t respond in time. I told them again that I confirmed it.

I looked myself up on their Whois and confirmed that my address information was all correct, for the domain, and for my contact record – I was listed as both Admin and Technical contact.

I went to their website to look at my account information. Not knowing the login, I had them mail it to me. After not receiving it for an hour, on a whim I checked an old email account I still keep around although I haven’t used it in a year. I used to have that account as the contact for this domain, but I don’t use that dialup ISP much anymore. They had sent the account info there! I tried to log in, but it then had to send me my password. I waited but it never arrived at either account.

I phoned up NetSol’s customer service. They said yes, the contact info points to the old address. I said no it doesn’t I looked it up on Whois. It turns out that NetSol uses a different database internally than the whois database and the only way I could make the transfer is to change the record in their internal database. I told her to change it then, but she said it could only be done by sending me the login information to the account listed in that database and having me enter it via their website. If I didn’t have access to that account, I would have to fax them photo ID proving my identity before they could do anything. Luckily I did, so she sent me the info and I logged in, changing it to an email address that was absolutely completely far removed from Netsol or any domain in its registry.

Funny how they could send me the denial to my current address. Think about that.

Third attempt:

My new registrar initiates the process. They look up my domain with Whois and send a message to the administrative contact (at the new address I provided), inviting me to confirm. I confirm.

Today, Tue 6 Nov 2002 at 107pm EST, I receive a slippery-crafted note from NetSol doing everything it can do to distract me from the part of it that tells me how to actually authorize the transfer. Its subject is “Information about your account”, and it’s from outbound-response@networksolutions.com, which of course almost immediately got trashed as SPAM, another cunning technique to get you to ignore the transfer authorization and therefore stay with them.

This email says among other things that you must respond within 72 hours of the timestamp of the email. I look at the timestamp, and it’s 12:20 AM yesterday. They want me to believe that this email took 37 hours to get to me. I checked the mail headers:


Received: (qmail 7792 invoked by uid 508); 5 Nov 2002 18:07:13 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO mail.dnsvr.com) (64.21.143.21)
by warp.phpwebhosting.com with SMTP; 5 Nov 2002 18:07:13 -0000
Received: from networksolutions.com (nat.networksolutions.com 216.168.237.71])
by mail.dnsvr.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 44AB83C59D
for ; Tue, 5 Nov 2002 13:06:24 -0500 (EST)
Received: from csr-prem (csr-prem [10.203.38.54])
by networksolutions.com (8.8.8+Sun/8.8.8) with ESMTP id AAA02358
for
; Mon, 4 Nov 2002 00:20:07 -0500 (EST)
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 00:20:07 -0500 (EST)

The mail sat behind their own NAT for nearly 37 hours before being sent to me. I only had less than half of the 72 hours in which to respond. I wonder how often that happens.

So I finally figure out how to authorize the transfer and a few minutes later I get the confirmation. I hope that’s the end of it. It’s certainly the last dealings I will ever have with Verisign. I’ve never seen such slimy prevarication and wholesale incompetence.

The biggest lesson in all of this (besides the obvious one – get all your domains out of there as soon as you can) is that whenever possible, you should hang on to any email addresses that you ever had associated with any NetSol account until you are certain that you will never have to deal with them again. And pay complete attention at every step in the process or you’ll fall into one of their traps apparently designed to get you to throw up your hands and just stay with them because it’s too much of a hassle to leave.

7 comments to “How to win against Verisign’s NetSol domain Transfer Adventure”

  1. As an employee of a company that has tried in the past to help transfer potential customers to ourselves from verisign, I can tell you that your experiences are exceedingly common.

    “I wonder how often that happens.”

    Every f***ing time. Congrats on getting it away from them. :)


  2. I tried and tried and tried and tried this summer. Finally I gave up. So I’m still verisigned but wishing I wasn’t.

    They do suck though.

    Scott


  3. This is exactly the same horror story I am going through. I even called 3 times and told the clerk they were lying to me and how dissappointed I am in their company. I have 10 names still hostage to this company and I will have to pay soon because I can’t get out. They have not sent me any emails requesting transfer. Maybe you can tell me exactly what I have to do to get out of Verisign. They are a bunch of unethical people to scam off nickels and dimes from people. I do not want to stay there.

    I have even turned over my dealings with them to the Better Business Bureau. I don’t know if this will help.

    So any help on how to get out of NetSol is appreciated.

    Thanks.


  4. Try http://www.verisignoff.com – there seems to be a lot of people there in the same boat.


  5. Same with me…
    Well, it just helps to know you’re not the only one… :-(


  6. Any experience with Australian’s TotalNIC.net? I tried to move my domain to joker.com but failed. Unfortunately joker.com charged me for transfer request either successful or failed, thus I don’t want to make second attempt. Now I got REGISTRAR-LOCK status of my domain in whois info :(


  7. Verisign has changed their transfer policy on Oct. 8. 2006, and now they also require the secret transfer code. The challenge is that an average webhosting company does not know about at, and we have to explain it to everbody from whom a client of us wants to bring away a domain. Verisign should announce this new process to every users of them!
    Janos