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Invalid Whois Problem at Go Daddy

It’s an ICANN rule that Whois information for domain names must be kept accurate. If a domain name is found to have inaccurate or false Whois information, the domain name can be suspended. This obviously could be problematic for a domain owner, especially if the Whois data is inaccurate due to issues out of his control.

I transferred a number of domain names from Moniker and Network Solutions to Go Daddy a couple of weeks ago, and I want to share a problem I encountered to prevent you from having the same issues. I thought the issue might be isolated to one registrar, but I believe it impacted all of the domain names I transferred from both registrars.

For some reason, my contact information was transported upon the transfer, but it didn’t all get carried over to the correct fields. For instance, my company name appeared on the address line. In my Godaddy control panel, there was an error message that said, “Contact Validation Failed” and “Invalid content,” as you can see in the screenshot above.

I don’t know if this type of error would be enough to have a domain name suspended if it was reported, but having a problem like this isn’t good, especially when it appears the domain owner needs to manually correct each domain name rather than making a change for the entire account.

One other issue I encountered was that there was nothing I saw in the account manager to tell me which names have Whois issues. I had to go to the individual domain names in my control panel to see. I am concerned that there may be other names I previously transferred that have invalid Whois data. If you know of a way to find out globally in my account, please let me know.

This is something you need to be aware of when transferring domain names to Godaddy.

Where Is Moniker Support?

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Over the weekend, I received an email from Moniker that said four domain renewals could not be processed for me. I later figured out that these are names that are currently pending transfer to another registrar, but at the time of the email message, I didn’t realize that was the problem.

Below the error message in the email I was sent, there were three options listed. One was to manually renew the domain names and the second was to update an expired credit card. Since my credit card doesn’t expire for a few years, I knew this wasn’t the problem. The third option was “Please contact support if you have questions or comments” and support hyperlinked to the email address, support@moniker.com.

I sent an email inquiring about the problem, and almost instantly received an auto-generated reply: “IMPORTANT: THIS E-MAIL BOX IS NO LONGER BEING MANNED BY MONIKER SUPPORT STAFF.” Why give an email address that isn’t being monitored?

Below this message, there is a notice telling customers they need to log into their account and follow the customer support links. “Log into your account” is hyperlinked, but when clicked in Macmail, there’s an error that says “Error No associated application could be found.” Same thing happened when I clicked the hyperlinked “Log in now to request service on your Moniker account or ask a question.”

When I pasted the code into my blog, it read:  <a href=”blocked::http://support.oversee.net/”>. When I visited support.moniker.com, it forwarded me to help.moniker.com, which unfortunately, is a dead page. Because of the forward, I assume there was something there at one time, but that is no longer an option. When I clicked the support button in my control panel, I was taken to  https://support.oversee.net/index.php. Since Oversee no longer owns Moniker, I have no idea if this is even an option any longer.

Anyway, customer service and support are two of the most important aspects to a domain registrar for me, going hand in hand with my number 1 priority which is security. I know Moniker was purchased recently and announced about 3+ weeks ago, but I would have hoped this type of important issue would have already been addressed.

For years, Moniker was known for its extraordinary customer service and support, as I wrote about before when discussing Bari Meyerson. Hopefully, this and related issues will be looked at and rectified ASAP.

After the Sale, Are You More or Less Likely to Use Moniker?

I’m sure you’ve already read the news that Moniker and Snapnames  were  acquired by KeyDrive in a private transaction. I am very surprised that neither Oversee.net nor Key Drive sent an email to Moniker / Snapnames clients, and I don’t see anything that would indicate that either company issued a press release to announce the news yet.

I have met a few employees of KeyDrive, although I don’t know a whole lot about the company, aside from some of its business assets and location. For some people, having a registrar whose European corporate “home base” will come as good news, while others may not wish to have their domain registrar located outside of the United States (keep in mind that the .com registry is of course located in Virginia).

Technical support and customer service are both important to me, and I don’t know anything about the support or service that will be given by KeyDrive. At one time, I knew I could send an email to Bari Meyerson, and she would handle any issue very quickly. That changed in recent months, and I was then required to submit everything directly to Oversee.net support.

With all of this said, I am wondering what your immediate thoughts on the sale are, and if you plan to use Moniker going forward.


Importance of an Account Manager at a Domain Registrar

A little over a week ago, I expressed my dismay that Bari Meyerson no longer works as my Account Executive at Moniker. Today, I want to share some reasons why having an Account Executive or Account Representative at a domain registrar is important to me.

Obviously we all put a lot of trust into our domain registrar. Our assets are digital, and there is always a concern they could be stolen and pushed to another account or transferred out all together. Should something like that happen, the process to recover domain names is a bit opaque, and having someone to help with that process is assuring. Knowing I have someone to email who would advocate for me and help me is important and reassuring.

In addition to this worse case scenario, there are every day issues that come up. There have been a number of times where transfers were denied for various reasons, and it’s always helpful to have someone tell me exactly what the problem was. Further, instead of having to submit a ticket to resolve the issue and then submit a ticket to get a refund and re-try the transaction, it has been helpful to have someone willing to make this easier and expedite it.

When I receive renewal notices via email, I am often away from my desk. It’s great to be able to forward the email to my account representative and ask him or her to take care of the renewal for me. It’s one less thing for me to worry about, and it also means that I won’t end up transferring the domain name elsewhere.

Oftentimes, domain registrars are larger companies with various products and services (hosting, web design, marketing…etc). When a problem arises, it’s nice to know you have an ally within the company that will speak with the people who can get things done when they aren’t able to do it themselves. My account representatives know what steps need to be taken to resolve an issue or head off potential trouble, and they are proactive on my behalf.

In various domain related surveys I’ve taken over the years, I’ve been asked to state the importance of having an account representative and/or good customer service compared to other needs like pricing, security, back-end user interface, additional products and service offerings, and other features/aspects. I am pretty sure that customer service was the first or second choice for me – always.

With a dedicated account representative, it’s likely I will do more business with the domain registrar. I am inclined to work with people I like and trust, and if I have an established relationship with an account person, it’s more likely I will register and renew domain names at that registrar.

I understand that it wouldn’t be economically feasible for companies to assign Account Executives to each client, but I can tell you that it does impact my decision when it comes to registering and transferring domain names.

Bari Meyerson Out at Moniker

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I was very disappointed to learn the my longtime account executive at Moniker, Bari Meyerson, is no longer with the company. Unfortunately, Bari could not offer information on her departure from the company, but I understand that she may not be the only Moniker employee affected.

Several years ago, I met Bari and Moniker founder Monte Cahn at a TRAFFIC conference, and I immediately felt comfortable using Moniker for my most valuable domain names. Whenever I had any type of issue with Moniker, I could always count on Bari to resolve it. With Bari, I felt that I had a ally within the company who would go to bat for me if needed.

I am upset to see Bari go, but I am confident that she will find employment in the domain industry. Bari knows the major players in the domain business, and I am sure someone will hire her ASAP.

Moniker Auction Ends This Afternoon

Moniker’s end of year auction, currently running on Snapnames, is ending this afternoon at 3:15pm EST. I highlighted my favorite domain names from this auction a couple of weeks ago, so no need to re-hash those selections.

Listed below are the domain names that currently have bids, although some of the reserve prices have not been met. Most notably, CE.com has a $1,000,000 bid, although the reserve price is apparently higher than $1 million and the auction page states that the reserve has not been met.

If you have an interest in any of the domain names, now is the time to head over to Snapnames to place your bids (or at least set a reminder for later this afternoon).

Domain Name Reserve Price Current High Bid
paternitytest.com $5,001 – $10,000  $21,500
fyny.com No Reserve  $375
omib.com No Reserve  $351
qx.com $50,001 – $100,000  $82,500
apw.com $10,001 – $25,000  $12,999
mentality.com $5,001 – $10,000 $6,751
conp.com No Reserve  $375
ce.com $1MM – $5MM  $1,000,000
f.biz $10,001 – $25,000  $10,001
mock.com $10,001 – $25,000  $10,000
yogurtshops.com No Reserve  $300

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