Jay Westerdal of Seattle-based DomainTools has cracked a story that all entrepreneurs should pay close attention to. How many times have you checked on the availability of a domain name when brainstorming a new business idea? With over 70 million dot.com addresses already registered, it’s hard enough finding a worthy website address for your new business without a domain registrar poaching your idea.
I am confirming that Network Solutions steals domain ideas when people check domain availability on the Network Solutions website. They seem to have started the practice of stealing domain ideas on December 16th 2007 according to our Domain History database but I was just made aware of this practice today. I am appalled at the concept of taking people’s domain ideas and registering it before the consumer has the ability to manual register the domain.
For years there have been rumours of unscrupulous registrars stealing domain name research and selling it to 3rd parties who cherry pick the quality domain name ideas. However in this case, Network Solutions is front running domains which forces customers to purchase the name from them instead of going to a reasonably priced registrar. While they’re not demanding a huge ransom for the domain name, they are still holding the customers hostage as they’ll have to register the domain name through Network Solutions if they don’t want to lose it.
You see, if a consumer chooses not to register their domain with Network Solutions they are forced to wait 4 days for Network Solutions to delete the domain name during the free add grace period. After the four days the consumer is free to register the domain somewhere else. Problem: Network Solutions has now exposed the domain to domain tasters that will snipe the domain up immediately after Network Solutions deletes it. By registering the domain in the first place Network Solutions has exposed the domain in the DNS and every computer in the world now knows about the domain.
Has this happened to any of our readers? If so, which registrar stole your name?