Searching for a Domain Registrar

I've also been told that Dotster is refusing to receive spam reports at their abuse mailbox. Instead, they've adopted the old trick of using an ignorebot to direct people to a web form to re-file their report. In the short term this works great, because the extra hurdles reduce the number of abuse reports you have to handle. In the long term, it bites your ass, because spammers flock to services that discourage spam reports with tactics such as this.

I've been searching for a replacement domain registrar, but so far have failed. My two basic requirements are under fifteen bucks and a privacy policy that protects me and my clients from spam. I'd also prefer a registrar that can handle a number of top-level domains, such as .US and .INFO. I've found a number that meet these requirements, but so far all have had usability problems.

My first choice was Go Daddy. Some time back they had a significant spam problem. Once they got listed on several blocking lists they woke up and got tough about spam. They no longer host spammers and they have a very good privacy policy. Plus, they get extra double bonus points for filing a lawsuit against Network Solutions to get Site Finder stopped, an issue I've previously discussed.

Unfortunately, when I went to test the Go Daddy registration, I ran into some terrible difficulties. First, they only allow two name servers to be listed on the registration and I need to list three. I went all the way to the end of the registration procedure, hoping I could find an "edit info" link to add the third, but it never happened. In fact, once you get to the final checkout cart, you cannot examine or make changes to the registration, only delete it from the cart.

Also, it requires an incredible amount of typing to do a Go Daddy registration. There are four contacts that must be provided on a domain registration: owner, administrative contact, billing contact and technical contact. The default values aren't what I want, so I had to go into each one and edit it individually. Dotster doesn't have this problem: you can edit one and click off checkboxes fill in any of the other contacts with this info.

Next, I tried GKG. They are a local (College Station, TX) company. I already had an account setup with them and I'd had some good reports on their service. Their process, however, was even worse. They too limited me to two DNS servers. Even worse, they would not allow me to put somebody else's name as the registrant. I had to create a new account for them.

I'm surprised and disappointed I've been unable to find a registrar that meets my needs. I think I'm going to look into an OpenSRS reseller next. I'm starting to appreciate the Dotster platform an awful lot. Pity they are so spam friendly.

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re: Searching for a Domain Registrar

I just got a response from Dotster to my spam complaint. They quoted their privacy statement, telling me I had to opt out from their spam.

I'll do that: I'm going to opt out by taking my business to a registrar that won't spam me.

re: Searching for a Domain Registrar

I've been happy with gandi.net - one of the first fully automated registrars around. They're french, though, and the cost is 12 euros/yr... but I've had ZERO spam problems with them. The only thing I don't know if they handle is the .us and .info top-level domains.

re: Searching for a Domain Registrar

We happen to resell OpenSRS, and we've been very happy with it ever since we managed to ditch NSI. It's a "do it and never look back" type of thing.

OpenSRS is nice in that end users are allowed an immense amount of freedom to change their own domain settings and information. Chip, check your e-mail, as I sent you info on how to try out a demo.

To date, OpenSRS appears to respect that they are selling through resellers, and does not seem to do anything like spamming the customers of their resellers. I think a bunch of us resellers would be really up in arms if they did, so I think it to be somewhat unlikely in the future.

Chip, if you're interested in registering through us, drop me a line. Or find just about any other OpenSRS reseller. Whatever you do, ditch NSI.

... JG

re: Searching for a Domain Registrar

GoDaddy actually allows you to add many name servers per domain; I stopped at 5. This may only be available after you've completed registration. I've been very happy with GoDaddy; I was worried about the spam issues as well.

Best, Michael

re: Searching for a Domain Registrar

I sent this message to dotster last week:

Hi. I just got six messages from you of the form "X.COM is available
now", where X is one of the .org domain names that I own. I want you
to stop this, and I want you to stop it NOW. I purposefully have .org
names and I don't WANT .com names, NOR do I want to be SPAMMED by a
vendor. Okay? Got it?

re: Searching for a Domain Registrar

Especially heinous about the domain spam is that it gets copied not to us technical geeks who know to ignore it, but also to our passthrough customers, who in our case are pretty computer-ignorant. All it takes it one paniced phone call from one of these folks saying "what should I do about this?" to really, really, sour you on Dotster.

Folks, we just need to vote with our bucks on this issue. In a competitive market, there is no reason to put up with tactics like this.