“We had to destroy the village in order to save it, sir!”
That was basically the response of Network Solutions when it was caught with its hand in the cookie jar, registering domains for themselves that people had looked up in their whois registry. NetSol basically defended their contemptible practice by saying, “In order to prevent domain registration abuse, we’re committing domain registration abuse.”
WARNING: If you do a WhoIs search on a .com or .net domain at the Network Solutions website, NetSol will immediately register that domain. They will then kindly allow you to register it at NetSol — but they’ll also allow anyone else to register it, too.
Their claim that they’re “protecting” the domain “on your behalf” just doesn’t hold up. What they’re doing is ensuring that you cannot register the domain at some other registrar, such as GoDaddy, NameCheap, DotRegistrar, or any other registrar that actually charges a reasonable fee for domain registration. The only place you can register the domain is with Network Solutions, at their highly inflated registration fee of $35 (compare that to GoDaddy’s fee of about $10).
This practice costs Network Solutions nothing — by dropping the domain within the 5-day grace period, they don’t even have to pay the registration fee. Yet — yet — when they drop it, that domain goes on a list of dropped domains, and the domain tasters will snap it up. So, if you simply decide to wait it out until NetSol drops it, then register it at the registrar of your choice, you’ll likely miss out.
ICANN should stop with its hands-off posture toward registrars abusing their position of trust, and take action to prevent this sort of thing. NetSol should start behaving ethically, and should start charging fair prices for domain registration. Everyone should avoid ever using Network Solutions, for anything, ever again.
What’s next, Network Solutions? “We had to destroy the internet in order to save it, sir”?