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Network Solutions “Steals” Domains

January 12th, 2008

I went to Network Solutions today to check the status of some domain names.  After I found the one that I wanted available, I went to another registrar (one that charges far less than Network Solutions $34.99) to make the purchase. 

At the new registrar, I entered the domain name of interest and found that it was no longer available.  According to the Whois results for it, it was registered on 01-12-2008 (the same day I was looking) by Network Solutions and if I wanted to buy it, I HAD to buy it from Network Solutions for $34.99 for 1 year.  It looks like they swooped in after I had been looking and bought it before I could.  So, if I want it, I HAVE to buy it from them.

Now, they may release it back after a 5 day grace period known as “Domain Tasting” and then I could try to register it myself at the other registrar, but I don’t know for certain if they’ll do this — I’ll follow-up once I find out.

I wanted to do some research to find out if others have experienced this same issue.  My Google search for “network solutions registering” returned several articles of others experiencing this exact situation, including an article from Computerworld indicating that they may end the practice (Network Solutions calls this a “service”).  

We’ll see what happens moving forward.  But I’ll avoid Network Solutions (as much as I can) and will advise my customers that have domain names with Network Solutions to move to other registrars — ones that are cheaper and that don’t “steal” from their customers.

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