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January 25, 2002

Verisign using questionable tactics?

We host an OpenSRS register (http://register.t3link.com). Most of my observations come from me trying to deal with Verisign in that capacity. Although I have spoken with several other Registrars and they are seeing these same tactics. Note:Yet another story in the chronicles of commercializaton gone wrong. Verisign has always bugged me for their business practices. This diatribe just adds to the list of things they do wrong.

When someone creates a new DNS server using a registrar other than Verisign it is suposed to be entered into the master database that Verisign is still maintaining. The problem is that it is not happening! We have spoken with Verisign and their response was to instruct us that we had to fill out a DNS registration form on THEIR site! This alone makes me furious! How much confidence can we give my customer if they have to go to Verisign to do anything.. It's like saying "well, we are not a real registrar but hey Verisign IS". To make matters worse I have found that even after filling the Verisign DNS registration form out it takes at least 3 to 4 weeks to actually happen and only happens at all if you make many aggresive calls to Verisign!

The latest tactic I have seen Verisign using is to ignore domain transfers. Doing a domain transfer is a 3 step process. First the user goes to the new registrars site and requests the transfer. A message is sent out to the administrative contact for the domain that has to be acknowledged to authorize the transfer. Then an email goes out to your old registrar that has to be acknowledged as well. Lately it appears that Verisign is simply ignoring these. I have seen many domains pass the administrative contact authorization but fail the registrar transfer. This seems to happen only with Verisign. The last domain transfer from Verisign that I was part of it seems to me that Verisign is trying to extort money from the domain holder. The domain was expired and Verisign stated that the user would have to pay at least 1 more year with Verisign before they would authorize the transfer! Yikes! Can they be for real? Do they expect the user to pay for service that they will not be receiving? Or are they hoping that the user will simply give up and keep their domain registered with Verisign?

My next step is to go to ICANN and see if they can help. Also, if you have experienced anything similar when dealing with Verisign please help me spread the word so we can stop this and really get to the competitive registartion service that ICANN invisioned.

Nick Powers
www.t3link.com
nickp@t3link.com