Some domain investors received an email from Enom’s legal department yesterday notifying them about a subpoena that was received by the company. Enom sends these emails when the recipient’s information was found during an internal (Enom) search for documents related to the subpoena. If an investor received this email, it could be related to a Scratch Foundation lawsuit that was written about by Andrew Allemann earlier this year.
According to a press release that just hit the wires, Web.com acquired Tucows’ ownership stake in NameJet. With this acquisition, I believe that the auction platform is now solely owned by Web.com.
As you may recall, NameJet was initially a partnership between eNom and Network Solutions. The platform was owned by Demand Media, which owned eNom, and Web.com, which owned Network Solutions. Tucows acquired eNom in early 2017, and with its acquisition of the registrar, it also acquired a stake in NameJet.
My quick thought is that this will be good news for NameJet and its users. I presume that having two different publicly traded companies own NameJet could have been difficult to get things done. This should help streamline things for NameJet leadership, and hopefully it means Web.com will continue to invest in the platform. I am sure there are plenty of improvements that could be made, and having one owner should help in that regard.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the eNom expiry stream now that Tucows doesn’t have an ownership stake in the NameJet auction business. I believe Tucows has been sending its expired domain names to auction at GoDaddy Auctions. I think the majority of domain names I win on NameJet are registered at eNom, so that will be something to watch.
I am sure there is more to come….
The press release is below:
Enom customers should expect to see a “temporary $1USD pre-authorization charge” on the credit card associated with their Enom account. The company cited a merchant provider switch, which requires the temporary pre-auth charge to authenticate credit card holder information.
I presume this announcement was sent to all Enom customers, but in case you missed it, here’s what was sent:
“Notice: temporary $1USD pre-authorization charge
As an ongoing effort to improve payments at Enom, we will be changing to a new merchant provider over the next few weeks. Please be aware that during this transition, you may notice a pre-authorization charge of up to $1 USD on your credit card statement or online credit card portal. This pre-authorization charge is required by the merchant provider to authenticate card holder information, such as the billing address. This is not a permanent transaction, and the charged amount will be rolled back at the end of your billing cycle, if not sooner, depending on your credit card provider.
If you have any concerns, please contact support at email@example.com.
The Enom Central team”
It is not often that a company issues a public apology, but Enom apologized for poor customer service in a tweet yesterday afternoon:
We’ve failed to provide the support you deserve. Here’s our plan to attack the backlog and continually improve: https://t.co/Hq5ECm9SEF
— enom (@enom) June 16, 2017
Earlier this year, Tucows acquired Enom from Rightside, and it appears that the company has been making efforts to create a better user experience for Enom customers. In the meantime, the company acknowledged that it has not been able to offer up the customer support that should be expected. From a blog post that was published yesterday on Enom’s website:
“Tucows makes it a priority to set the bar for Customer Support in our industry. We hold ourselves to a high standard, and we know that lately, Enom has fallen short of it. We want to acknowledge the frustration this has caused our customers over the last few months. We’ve failed to meet your expectations, and for that, everyone here is deeply regretful. “
In addition to the apology given to customers, the blog post outlined some of the improvements that are planned for Enom and its customer support team. In addition, the post highlighted
I was alerted to an apparent ongoing technical support issue at eNom. A friend and colleague emailed me about having trouble accessing his company’s domain names at eNom this afternoon. I logged into my own eNom account, and I see the same error message that says “Failed to retrieve domain list.” I also confirmed the issue with a third person.
Obviously an error message like this is scary when it involves assets like domain names, but I presume this is some sort of system-wide outage. I do not see any notice on the company’s Twitter feed or Facebook page, but I presume they are working on the issue.
I am going to email a couple of contacts at eNom to see if I can learn more about the issue. I am publishing this before hearing back because I presume they are working on the issue and I also presume it is a system-wide issue since it is impacting more than one account.
Hopefully the issue is remedied quickly.
Late last week, I shared news of Tucows’ acquisition of eNom. This is big news for a number of reasons, especially because Tucows will reportedly become the “second largest domain registrar in the world,” trailing GoDaddy.
One unfortunate side effect of this deal is layoffs. I ran into Bari Meyerson at NamesCon, and she shared the news that she was let go. I worked with Bari for a number of years at Moniker, and I continued to work with her when she went to work at eNom. On the infrequent occasions that I had an account management issue at eNom, she would either help solve it or connect me with the person who could.
I reached out to Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu to ask about the layoffs, and he told me the company made about 35 layoffs as a result of the deal. The company now has approximately 125 employees following the conclusion of the deal. Taryn felt it was important to note to me that “the 35 layoffs were not a result of performance or ability, but the ugly side of deals of this nature.”
It is unfortunate that layoffs resulted, and I would imagine it can be attributed to some job redundancy at the two companies. The good thing, I would think, is that there are now some experience domain industry veterans who may be looking for work in the domain space. Hopefully they land on their feet soon.