Paul Roub

blah blah blahg

Fun With Domain Renewals

No, not another encounter with the domain-squatting weasels.

This time, it’s a reputable registrar, albeit one with slightly overzealous renewal automation.

I got this notice from register.com last week:

  From: support@register.com
  To: paul@roub.net
  Subject: Re: SafeRenew Billing Failure
  
   ...
  
  Dear Paul Roub,
  
  This is to inform you that our SafeRenew i.e. automatic
  renewal system was trying to renew your domain name and
  the renewal process failed, as the credit card which you
  have submitted could not be processed.
  
  Unfortunately, Register.com is unable to process your 
  credit card for the following domain name renewal:
  "openmikes.org"
  
  The information entered in the billing section is 
  invalid.
  
   ...

The reason behind the specific problem mentioned is that the credit card I had filed with them had expired, and I hadn’t given them the new expiration date. The larger problem: I had transferred the domain away from Register, to GoDaddy, a few months ago. Oops.

Naturally, I thought I’d fill them in…

  From: paul@roub.net
  To: support@register.com
  Subject: Re: SafeRenew Billing Failure

  While this is all very interesting, a *more* interesting
  question would be: "Why is register.com trying to charge
  a renewal for a domain that has been transferred to 
  another registrar?"  It would be great if you would stop
  doing that.  Thanks.

And today, of course, the form response:

  From: support@register.com
  To: paul@roub.net
  Subject: Re: SafeRenew Billing Failure
  
    ...
    

  We would like to inform you that since the SafeRenew(TM)
  Service was enabled in your domain name, our system had 
  automatically tried to renew your domain name.

  In an effort to protect your online identity, we are 
  providing SafeRenew(TM) automatic renewal service for 
  your domain name. This means that upon expiration, we 
  attempt to automatically renew your domain name and 
  charge the most recent credit card on file for each 
  domain name for one additional year of registration.  

  This service ensures that our customers' domain name is
  secured in the registry for one additional year from the
  current expiration date.

    ...
    

Love them form letters. Oh, and since the transfer, the domain has already been renewed for another year.

One of the reasons I switched to GoDaddy (aside from price) is that, in my experience, had I sent a letter like this to them, a human being would have responded to my actual question.

One more try, sent today:

  From: paul@roub.net
  To: support@register.com
  Subject: Re: SafeRenew Billing Failure

  Please, please, someone *read* the question.  Please, no
  form response.  The problem is:  THIS DOMAIN IS NO LONGER
  REGISTERED WITH register.com.  It's at GoDaddy.  You 
  don't get to auto-renew it anymore.  Please, give me some
  hint that someone at register.com understands why this is
  a bad idea.

Let’s see where that leads…