When Husband started doing freelance work he set up a website for the business. We were referred by a friend to Network Solutions for our domain name and we purchased our domain name for five years. We did not shop around for price. At the time I didn’t completely understand or trust this whole web thing so I wanted to go with a company based a trusted referral.
Since then I’ve learned a great deal, but am an expert in no one’s eyes, especially my own. I know just enough to get myself in trouble.
Our domain registration is up this month, and Network Solutions haws been e-mailing me to remind me to renew. The e-mail included the renewal prices:
- 1 year $34.99/yr
- 2 years $29.99/yr
- 3 years $24.99/yr
- 5 years $19.99/yr
- 100 years $9.99/yr
I was not impressed. Last year we signed up for a virtual server so we could do our own web hosting for ourselves and our clients. The prices for domain names with the company we use is far less than Network Solutions charges. A one year registration is only $14.95 for the year. Additional years are only $1 less, so we decided to switch the registration to our server company for one year.
I needed to contact Network Solutions to get an authorization code to complete the transfer. I had no issue with making the call as it’s a good protection against domain theft. Before I called, though, I wanted to see if Network Solutions would offer me the same price on their website. So I went to their website, signed into my account and started the process to get a price on a domain.
I was surprised to see:
|jewbie.net||Keep my information private||$9.00/year|
Huh. $9.00 a year? That’s much less than the $34.99 my renewal reminder offered. And notice there’s no asterisk pointing me to a disclaimer about that price… I thought perhaps it was a deal they offered when a client added a second domain.
I called Network Solutions and spoke to a very pleasant girl who informed me that the $9.00/year was for a 100 year registration and that I would discover that fact “later in the registration process”. While on the telephone with her I went further into the registration process and had to move three pages ahead before they were forced to tell me that:
|Domain Name: jewbie.net||100 Year Domain Service*||$999.00|
Of course I had to use the drop down menu to see the single year price:
|Domain Name: jewbie.net||1 Year||$34.99|
I have problems with this type of deceptive pricing, most of which I don’t need to explain to you.
And really. Can they not even multiply? Last time I checked 100 X $9.00 = $900.
I decided not even to get into it with the girl on the phone. I was going to be good. I wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation. I just informed her I was transferring my service and asked for the code.
Then she made me a “special offer” to renew my registration for only $15.00 for the year.
Oh really? Why wasn’t I offered this already? “Well,” she replied, “because you called. On the phone.”
I told her the same thing I tell car dealers and finance managers when they initially offer me a higher interest rate than I could get on my own and then, after being informed of the lower rate I had already secured on my own, offer to meet the lower rate.
“I don’t do business that way,” I told the Network Solutions girl. “If you aren’t willing to offer me the lowest rate from the start then you don’t deserve my business.”
The Consumerist is going to love this one. I think I have my first submission.
And Network Solutions has one less client.
The Bottom Line: Make sure you’re getting the best available price. Today that means checking the website and calling.