A few years back, I planned to start a business hosting web-sites for estate agents, under the name Property Triangle. The software was written and working well, but Life intervened and I never put in the hours to make the business fly. So I no longer need the propertytriangle.com and propertytriangle.co.uk domains.
I had registered them online with Network Solutions back in the day, so I went to their site to cancel them. Went to their web-site, logged in, clicked through to the “Renewal Center”, only to find:
On calling the number I had to go through a seven-minute dance with electronic account-number entry and (mostly) waiting before speaking to someone. I then had to have an eight-minute conversation about deleting my unwanted domains.
And it’s still not done. I should expect an email about the request “within 24 hours”, at which point I guess I will find out what I have to do next. Presumably I’ll have to meet a Network Solutions representative at a safe house and do the “Can I borrow I match?” / “I use a lighter” / “Better still” / “Until they go wrong” handshake before I receive my next set of instructions.
Is there a legitimate reason for this? My first reaction was absolutely not — that they are just trying to raise the barrier to cancellation so they can continue to collect automatic renewal fees. Then I wondered whether requiring a phone-call was a legitimate security measure to help prevent malicious imposters from deleting my domains. But I think not. A hypothetical malicious imposter could take my websites down anyway, if he had access to my account on the Web-based console, by changing the DNS settings.
So Network Solutions’ domain registration feels like a lobster pot: easy to get in, hard to get out.
It certainly doesn’t leave me wanting to register any more domains with them.