Domain Names Held Hostage
Yes that right, in a recent change that was not communicated to Customers, 123Reg, a subsidiary of Webfusion Ltd, is now holding your domain name hostage for £9.99+VAT.
So we have a bunch of client domains sitting with 123Reg, to reduce admin overhead all domains are being moved to one registrar. On moving the 123Reg domains we were suddenly confronted with a £9.99+VAT charge to change the IPS Tag!
No Notice of Change
123Reg didn’t inform Customers of the ‘new’ £9.99+VAT charge … or give any notice of the new charge. Indeed this is a stance that 123Reg are not disputing, simply put, 123Reg slapped on the charge without telling anyone, probably hoping that nobody would notice.
“Some Registrars Will Charge Huge Fees Just to Leave Them”
What is there not to love about 123Reg’s statement (see cached screenshot below) “Some Registrars Will Charge Huge Fees Just to Leave Them” … yes in your own words you said you’d not do this – come the evening of 27th March 2014 you start too!
If you take a look at the current 123Reg page for the Customer Charter, the text, “In the unlikely event you want to transfer your domain away we don’t charge any extra fees” has been deleted from history.
Lets break this down:
- Customer Charter clearly states that no fee to transfer away in not one, but two prominent positions on the same page
- “No Hidden charges to transfer away. In the unlikely event you want to transfer your domain away we don’t charge any extra fees. Some registrars will charge huge fees just to leave them.”
- Promise is made by 123Reg to not charge for transfer fees
- Customers sign up with 123Reg in order to avoid future Transfer Fees
- Customers understandably get miffed when 123Reg change their mind and charge for IPS Transfer Fee
- Customers on both 123Reg’s Facebook Page and 123Reg’s Twitter account vent their fury!
123Reg have re-written history on their Domain Transfer out fees and hoped nobody would notice – well we did and 123Reg need to fall on their sword and make this right.
- Amanda Mayne - The Mayne Design
Next Steps from 123Reg & Nominet
So what should happen next?
- 123Reg should fall on it’s sword and refund everyone that has been charged the £9.99+VAT
- 123Reg should reimburse everyone that has paid Nominet to bypass 123Reg to get control back of their domain names
- 123Reg should email all current customers, give 30 days notice of the £9.99+VAT charge to allow folks to move their domains elsewhere for free or the £9.99+VAT charge should be for new domains and re-renewed domains only
- Nominet should sharpen it’s teeth and give 123Reg a good talking to – after all Nominet you are supposed to be making the UK domain spare a safer place to do business?
We have informed Nominet – whether they do anything remains to be seen – after all you don’t bite that hand that feeds you?
Discussion On Twitter
Here’s a screenshot of the current Twitter Conversation on this with 123Reg – it seems they want to talk about this in private. Well after a email from them saying offering to “Forward your feedback to the Product Manager” I have yet to hear a response.
Your move 123Reg, do the right thing and let us all move on to something more productive.
I’ll update this story as and when – and please do add your comment below.