Register.com: As close as they can get to unethical.
A friend wants to consolidate his domain registrations. Not technical, so they ask me to help. What seems like the right approach? Let’s log in to your account at Register.com and make me the Admin contact, so I can help you out. Simple enough. Hum. Your domain is set to auto-renew, be locked, and have safe-auto-renew protection. Guess we’ll have to turn all those off to be able to transfer. Okay, I suppose they should tell you that by turning all that off you might lose your domain if you don’t know what you are doing, but we do. But, you can’t turn off auto-renew, because you have “mail” and “hosting” bundled with this domain. Ok, how do we unbundle those? Turns out you haven’t been using these features anyways, since your webmaster is hosting your site and email accounts on their server. Maybe if we just turn off auto-renew on those… That seems to do the trick.
Now, we need to request the transfer. We’ll log in to the registrar you want to consolidate to, and ask them to initiate a transfer. That’s working, I got an email (as admin) and they just need me to enter an “auth code” to proceed.
Back to Register.com. How do we get an “auth code”? Burrow down about 5 levels… aha, there’s the “request auth code” button. WARNING! Turn back, you surely don’t know what you are doing. Yes I do. Okay, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. BTW, did we mention that this is a bad idea? Yes, but I want to do it. Okay, but you know you could LOSE YOUR MANHOOD by hitting this ok button! Are you really sure?? YES! Just one final question, since you are trying to leave us, we’ll offer you a nifty renewal package at 10% off. I don’t want that. Are you sure? Yes. Ok. We will send you an auth code IN 4-5 DAYS, after our “security staff” have had a chance to evaluate your request.
4-5 days? Surely you jest. Gee, that’s just long enough for my transfer request to time out because I haven’t confirmed it…
[5 days elapses]
My friend gets an email from Register telling him that his request for an auth code has been denied due to “suspicious activity” on his account and that he has to call a customer service rep to get one. What is the suspicious activity? His domain records were recently updated to have a new Admin contact!
I volunteer to make the call, but of course, I don’t know the answer to the “security question” (What is the name of your great-grandfathers previous ex-girlfriend?). That’s ok, they can send an email to my friend so he can reset that question, or, they can call me (using the suspicious update that made them deny the request in the first place) to verify that I really am the admin contact. Anyone else think this is a sham yet?
So, I hang up, wait, they call, all is well. We’ll send an auth code. To me, the admin contact? No, we’re not allowed to do that. It has to go to the owner. Ok fine, just send it. I will have him forward it.
[2 days elapse]
We have an auth code! Well, I have to refresh my transfer request, because that has timed out in the interim. We plug in the auth code. Things seem to go through. Our transfer is now “Awaiting Registry Approval”.
My friend gets an email from Register. They are sorry to see him go. Just to make sure, they are NOT going to okay the transfer for a week, in case he would like to take advantage of this really tempting offer to renew his domain services for 10% off…
Funny how that is justshy_ of the maximum possible time they are allowed to actually effect the transfer.
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