As part of our acquisition of the hosting business of MyRedGecko, TheCodeShoppe and ActiveImageStudios back in 2006 we had inheritied a great number of domains registered under a provider called OnlineNic.com. Our experience with them over the years can be likened to nothing better then pulling ones nails out with rusty pliers. The reason for this boils down to one thing, Onlinenic does not operate like a company that cares about providing the service that it does.
Onlinenic is one company in a sea of competition, a landscape that offers no end of examples of how to run a domain registrar. Even given this endless oppertunity to play copy cat no one at Onlinenic seems to have a clue at how to learn from these examples, take the following as an example.
Over the years after domains have freed up we’ve moved them one by one to a much better provider, Wild West Domains. However today we’ve gotten into a bind once again with onlinenic over their Delay period for transfers.
First we had a customer who was slow to send payment on a domain renewal, after the typical expiration of the domain we got the typical call to renew it. One of our staff went ahead and did that which is where the problems began. After the domain was renewed we took the normal step of moving one of these last domains over to our new domain registration provider. Wild West is great and generally these transfers complete in under a 12 hour period, often times less. But not with onlinenic apparently.
While the domain is expired onlinenic takes the unprofessional opportunity to replace the given site with an ad page for the duration of the grace period. Once the domain is renewed the name servers are supposed to change back to their original setting, bringing the site back online, onlinenic system is apperently a least a few hours slow in doing this. Once the domain was renewed by our staff they shortly there after went ahead and started a transfer. Once a transfer occurs the domain is locked, and Onlinenic processed the transfer before changing the name servers back locking the domain in an offline state. This is a problem, but one that can be fixed as soon as the transfer is complete, which should only take at most a day or two, and usually takes much less when working with two good registrars.
Unlike most registrars onlinenic offers NO mechanims to approve a transfer away from their service. ICANN clearly recommends registrars implement a Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request letter. The purpose of which is to notify the admin contact of domain that transfer has been approved and to ask what action the admin would like onlinenic to take. Approve the transfer, or reject it? Onlinenic instead opts instead to ignore the process at this point entirely, aka to be as unhelpful as possible. After 5 -7 days, depending on the TLD the transfer is auto approved. It could have been approved alot sooner but b/c onlinenic doesn’t care to engage in the process each and every domain moving out of their system has to wait the full timeout period.
Most registrars take the opportunity to engage in the process, to send an email to the customer, try and win them back, but to also give them the ability to accept the transfer immediately and be on their merry way. Even when talking to reps at onlinenic about this problem they have no inclination and/or ability in their system to manually approve the transfer. The mechanism is available to their developers, their competitions has implemented it in their system but onlinenic stands itself apart.
They can’t even reject it so the domain can be updated with the proper name servers, the domain is simply taken offline, showing their ads for the full timeout period until the TLD auto approves the transfer on their behalf.
Needless to say after being on the phone for the better part of an hour trying to get them to reject or approve the transfer and being told more then once or twice to “just be patient for a few days”. I’m more then a little angry, again at this company.