I am going to write a post about my move to Google Domains explaining the why and my experience with Gmail and email aliases…as expected it has been all kinds of crazy fun but first wanted to share my experience with moving my domains over.
The process for moving a domain from one Domain Registrar to another should be pretty easy in this day of data integration and automation. You basically ‘unlock’ your domain, get the authentication code, and then you use that code with your new registrar to start the process of moving the domain.
Pretty straight forward. They have a lot of bulk management tools which I found pretty handy for unlocking multiple domains at once but you do have to click in to each domain to click the ‘Email my Code’ for the authentication code which was a little tedious but nothing compared to what I was about to experience with Network Solutions. Once I retrieved the auth code from emailed, which came in seconds, I used the Google Domain console and quickly ran through their ‘Transfer In’ Process. It is quick and easy. Google sends me an email to the domain contact email to confirm the move and then Godaddy shortly after (a couple hours) sends me an email confirming the move and then viola! It is all done. I’m pretty sure human eyes look at these requests through some sort of ticketing system but kudos to the Godaddy process as even when done at night and/or on the weekend the process only took a couple of hours to complete.
Network Solutions Experience
First know that I am a long time customer and love and have recommended them to many business for their domain needs. The only reason I use Godaddy is that with the amount of domains that I own and manage, Network Solutions renewal rate was just too damn high! So I have (or should say had!) a hand full of domains with Network Solutions (Netsol for those old school) but the time has come to move on. My dollars just go farther with Google for more free included services and less money.
So like Godaddy, the initial experience is very straight forward. You log in, hit your domain management screen, navigate to your domain details, scroll to the bottom and click the ‘Turn On or Request Authorization Code’. Now this is where things get a little ridiculous. You are then presented four, yes count them 4, screens that you have to navigate through in order to complete the process. Mind you with Godaddy you only have to click the link and confirm the request. Persnickety!
First Screen Network Solutions presents you with an ominous ‘Stop!’ and offers you a special $10 renewal rate, valid today only of course, if you stay. I should have used this for all my renewals!
Second screen another dire warning with FUD about your personal information being made public with the transfer. You are presented with a check box that has to be checked before you proceed. Woohoo!
Third screen…now the survey! Four questions that you don’t have to answer but still annoying. I filled them out the first time, I’m sure I’ll get lots of marketing emails from that interaction.
Forth and final screen, the home stretch! Network Solutions presents you with a radio button as to whether to keep the domain locked or not (it needs to be unlocked but thankfully they do default it to unlocked) and a check box for the authentication code that was unchecked. Was that so hard? Had this been the first screen I wouldn’t have had to write this crazy blog tirade. Oh and just to make sure you are full of doubt they also throw in another FUD message about how DNS changes have to be made before the process starts like someone would need to make DNS changes in the middle of a domain registry change. I can see how someone not used to these types of requests would be scared and confused. It just annoys everyone else that knows.
So now the kicker: “Your request for an Auth Code has been received and your information will be validated to ensure the security of your account. If your request is approved, you will receive your Auth Code by email in 3 days.”
Count on those 3 days.
I got the authentication code 3 days and 1 hour from when I requested it.
Not out of the woods yet!
The final insult is that after you get the code you and start the process with Google (or really who ever) you get an email from Network Solutions with a link to go ahead and accept the change/move except that when you click submit it informs you get:
The system is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.
Update (01/28/2015): The website did start working later on 1/26 but even though I confirmed the move nothing has changed or been updated on the Network Solutions side. I’m pretty sure that on 1/31 the domain will move over due to a timeout.
Yep, that’s right. I have to wait another five days to complete the move. Needless to say after transferring one domain I went ahead and queued up the rest of the Network Solution domains. And I could call but I am not in that big of a hurry. I can wait the five days for the process to ‘Auto Approve’ as I am not in that big of a hurry. This is more of a consolidation and expense reduction exercise than it is trying to move services over in a timely matter which is what makes this so funny. All this waiting is not going to change anything other than frustrate me and cause me to second guess recommending Network Solutions in the future.
BTW I also had one domain with Dotster.com. Like Godaddy it was pretty easy and painless. I respect and recommend businesses and companies that do not make terminating or cancelling services overly painful (like Network Solutions).