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Summary:

Last month we asked you if Network Solutions was being evil. Network Solutions “registers” domains that people search at their site, thereby locking users out of the opportunity to purchase those searched-on domains anywhere else during the allowed 5-day “tasting” period. The overwhelming response in that […]

Last month we asked you if Network Solutions was being evil. Network Solutions “registers” domains that people search at their site, thereby locking users out of the opportunity to purchase those searched-on domains anywhere else during the allowed 5-day “tasting” period. The overwhelming response in that thread showed that Network Solutions was right up there with the worst of them in the eyes of the public.

Now lawyers and judges can decide. Ars Technica reports that search engine optimization engine specialist Chris McElroy has filed suit in an effort to stop this practice once and for all:

McElroy believes that the grace period and refund policy should be eliminated entirely. “The only real solution to domain tasting is to eliminate the 5-day grace period,” McElroy commented in a recent blog entry. “There is no real need for the grace period. For every one legitimate person dropping a domain name because they changed their mind, I’m betting there are 100,000 domain names that were ‘tasted’ by the pros.”

As Ars points out, this case isn’t about the potential financial windfall. Until the case is decided, the best course of action is to only search for domains on sites you either trust do not taste, or on sites you know for sure that you will stay to purchase the domains you find are available.

  1. Thanks for posting it and for pointing out this is not about money for me. ICANN has had the ability to do something about domain tasting and has done nothing.

    What netowrk solutions is doing is no different than domain tasting. It keeps domain names from legitimate users wanting to register them.

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  2. Man, i was so confused by this recently. I kept searching for domains on Netsol.com – found that they were available, then the next day or so would goto Godaddy.com to register them and find that they were taken. After my initial shock and frustration – i realized that Godaddy must have just been wrong/mistaken/or broken and went on my way with registering the domains via Netsol. Sucks that for this reason (mentioned in the article) alone I was forced to pay Netsol’s 35.00/yr instead of Godaddys much more affordable 9.99/yr for both domains I wanted.

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  3. I don’t see an issue with “holding” a domain for a short period of time (similar to Ticketmaster holding seats). But it should be 5 minutes, not 5 days. This should be a convenience for the customer and not a method for tricking a customer into a higher price.

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  4. I can see the settlement now. Network Solutions will offer 50% off coupons to each party, giving them a great bargain of just $17.50 per year.

    And the lawyers will get cash.

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