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HowTo Fly Away... Or How to Escape From the RegisterFly Nightmare: Part2 - HOW

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In Part1 of this post I have explained the problem I had faced, when trying to renew one domain registered with RegisterFly. This is the second part of the post and shows a step by step procedure describing the solution that worked for me and allowed me to move away from registerfly and not loose my domain.

1. Why is this happening?

Registerfly is not explaining to their customer what the real problem is. From my own experiences and findings here is what is happening:

  • RegisterFly used to be an ENOM reseller. All this started when they moved away from Enom and become a standalone registrar.
  • Earlier this year, anyone renewing their domains on registerfly have seen that instead of the normal instant action this required a two step process. This was actually transferring their domain from Enom to RegisterFly’s own system. This caused some confusion but it was working and myself have renewed a few domains like that without any problems except the longer time to finish and the fact that I had received a transfer request that needed to be approved for the renewal to work.
  • Starting around the end of October (presumably October 26th), .COM and .NET domains can be only transferred with an AuthCode, as well as .INFO or BIZ domains. This means that you will need the domain authcode in order to make any domain transfer.

I don’t know (and I don’t really care) what exactly is the problem, but it appears that the introduction of AuthCodes has broken the renewal process of RegisterFly domains still hosted on Enom system. The transfers are failing probably because of no authcode being known by RegisterFly.

2. Is your domain renewal problematic or not?

I have about 30 domain registered with RegisterFly and unfortunately only the one that was expiring soon was problematic. Why? Well if the domain is already in RegisterFly system the renewal will take place as expected in matter of minutes without any problems. The problem appears only on domains that are still in the Enom system and RegisterFly tries to actually transfer them in order to renew the domain. Using a simple whois query on the domain you can see if the domain is problematic or not:

If this says:

Domain Name: yourdomainname
<strong>Registrar: REGISTERFLY.COM, INC.</strong>
Whois Server: whois.registerfly.com
Referral URL: http://www.registerfly.com

then you are safe and you will not see any problems caused by this (and don’t need to follow up this post at all ;))

But if this is says:

Domain Name: yourdomainname
<strong>Registrar: ENOM, INC.</strong>
Whois Server: whois.enom.com
Referral URL: http://www.enom.com

then you are probably in big trouble and this post might help you solve the renewal problem.

3. Try to renew it anyway.

If you see one of your expiring domains in the situation presented above (still in the Enom system) then you should try as soon as possible to renew it. Who knows? maybe they have fixed the problem in the meantime, and you will no longer need to get through all this… But if it fails as shown in Part1 for my domain, read on…

4. Preparing to move away…

The next logical thing is to try to move the domain to some other registrar in order to not loose it. Normally any transfer will add one extra year also to the valability of the domain, but our main concern here is to transfer it safely (as this will fail if you are not following all the required steps presented bellow). So let’s see what you need to prepare the move:

  1. if you are using ProtectFly disable it. ProtectFly has various problems and at this time if I send an email to a protectfly enabled email address it will not be forwarded to my own email address, meaning that I will not receive the transfer notifications.

  2. ensure that you have a correct admin contact email address. You will receive here the transfer notifications and need to take actions based on the information received in that email (to approve the transfer).

  3. unlock your domain: you will not be able to transfer the domain if it is locked. If you had tried to renew it on RegisterFly and it failed they have already unlocked the domain and left it in that state.

5. Get the domain AuthCode

You will need the AuthCode (also referred to as an authorization code, Authinfo code or an EPP code) in order to have the domain transferred. Where can we find this information in the RegisterFly interface? Well from what I have found out we can’t… But let’s try it out anyway:

  • once you have protectfly disabled, go into the domain management for the domain.

  • enter in edit mode in the domain contact information page (this will only be showed in edit mode and not view mode).

  • just bellow the billing information you should have the Auth Code. If you don’t have it then read on…

Assuming that there is not AuthCode for the domain in the registerfly interface you could try to call them and ask for it. From my experience this has failed and they said they don’t know the code and they can’t give it to me! (unbelievable, right?). The discussion of course finished with the registerfly slogan: ”try again in 24h and maybe it will appear in your account).

The way how I was able to solve this, was calling Enom. I called them and explained that I have a domain expiring and this was registered with their former reseller registerfly. I have asked them if they can’t send me the authcode. I don’t know if this will happen the same for everyone, but the person I spoke from Enom was very nice and professional, and he sent me the authcode (on the admin email of the domain) and while I was still speaking with him (he was of course trying to convince me to move my domains to enom, but I explained that I have already started the process with a different registrar and have paid already for the transfer, and he backed up very polite no longer insisting into this), I already got the email with the code. Unbelievable what a difference from RegisterFly support peoples.

Note: the strangest thing is that after I finished the call, and looked again in the registerfly account the same authcode has appeared there also… very strange, and probably if I was not so scared to lose the domain and started the transfer already the next registerfly renewal probably would have succeeded.

6. Move away…

With all this information I could start the transfer successfully. I approved it, entered the authcode and the process started. I was looking into the status and it stayed for about 2 days in the same state (waiting for authorization from previous registrar).

After 2 days I got an email from registerfly about the transfer out (Domain Transfer Request for domain). If I would have not taken any action the transfer would have completed in about 5 days, but of course I opened the link from the email and approved it at once. The next minute the domain was safely in my new registrar’s account and extended until 2008. Victory!… After all this fight I was able to renew the domain and lost only my time, my nerves and maybe some other things that I can’t see right now, but the domain was safe after all…

Conclusion: I have written this post hoping that it will help other peoples in similar situations. The lack of information and the horrible registerfly support makes it very hard to solve this problem. Also being on time pressure like I was (assuming from previous experience that the renewal process is something very easy and takes just a few minutes) is not helping at all… This post was not intended to be an anti-registerfly one, but just to help you renew your domain if you are in a similar situation (as probably this is all that matters for you) regardless if this is on registerfly or somewhere else.

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