Tuesday, September 30, 2003
One of the Most Egregious Opt-Outs of All Time
A pox on Register.com.
I got an email from them today, inviting me to renew my domain names, and indicating that if I didn't take specific action, not to worry, I was included in their SafeRenew service that would renew those domain names for one year using my existing credit card info.
That's funny. I don't keep my domains registered with Register.com. I use NameBargain.com.
Now that's not to say I didn't know that NameBargain is owned by Register.com. I'm aware of the connection. But I had assumed that one would stay distinct from the other when it came to the issue of renewals. That's a fairly important point, especially if you own, say, 20 domain names. NameBargain's $8.88 a year. Register.com soaks you for $35. That's a difference of $234/yr. just for some silly addresses, which are, of course a commodity. That doesn't come with storage space or anything else, including integrity, apparently. I sure as heck didn't sign up with NameBargain for the cute name, or for my health. I signed up with them, because, like the rest of you, it will be a cold day in hell before I hand $35 to Verisign or Register.com for a domain.
So anyway, there's a link in Register.com's email to opt out of the SafeRenew service. Unfortunately, when you click it, the website tells you that the request can't be processed at this time. That means you have to phone customer service.
That's one weird opt-in, I'll tell you. I register domains with one service, and now find that their parent company is going to use the credit card information I trustingly provided to automatically renew me in a different service class costing nearly four times as much!
Even if NameBargain had opted me into the SafeRenew thing without my permission, it would have been wrong. But to opt me into it and have me leap over the fence to a whole new premium pricing scheme is just outrageous. There ought to be a law. Hopefully there is.
It's a bit like your Toyota dealer dropping you a line (by email) telling you that when it comes time to trade in your Corolla, you'll be opted into a nice new Lexus, and "by the way, you'll be billed for it." For shame. I might just as well have had my credit card stolen by some joy-riding street thug.
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