RegisterFly.com, inc. is an ICANN Accredited registrar with over 2 million names registered by customers in all 50 states and 120 countries (from their own sayings). They are a cheap domain registrar solution, and from my own findings at the time I have chosen to work with them (about 3 years ago), they had the best prices on the domain registration marked. Being a cheap provider I would not expect some stellar technical support, but not even like this…
Peoples that know me at least a little, know that I am normally a very calm person and I will normally not start a post that denigrates others services… I am just to busy to think that it is worth to waste my time with such discussions, and better use my available time to write about something positive that might be useful to others also. But during the last days that I had some terrible problems with RegisterFly while trying to renew one of my friends domain, that just made me so upset and nervous on these incompetent peoples and made me decide to write about this. I assume other peoples are in the same situation and might benefit from my experience because in the end I was able to save the domain and move it elsewhere.
This article is divided into two parts one explaining the reason for this post (showing the problems I have encountered) and the second part showing how I was able to solve this problem and escape from this nightmare that is registerfly renewal system.
In Part1 I will give a very short description of the problem I had and the situation I was facing when trying to renew one of my domains registered with registerfly. This shows the reason for my frustration and the reason to write this post… So here we go…
I have used RegisterFly for my own domains and some friends also, for several years. The reason why I have chosen them was because they were one of the few registrars that were accepting payments from my country (that most of the internet seemed to ban a while ago) and also because of their good prices. Later on I had no problems at all and continued to use them without even thinking to move somewhere else. There was no reason for this as I was not using any other services that I have seen peoples complaining on the internet about them (no hosting, no dns, etc… I am hosting my own DNS and I don’t care about other services then the ones for registering my domains).
Normally when you have one domain expire then you only have to pay for the extension and the change is almost instant (a few minutes and the process is done). You don’t even think that there can be problems there and the only thing that matters is to remember to renew the domain and pay the actual extension on time. This on any registrar but not on registerfly of course… So here is my story:
1. The domain under discussion was one of the domains I am maintaining for one of my best friends. If this would have been my own domain probably the situation would have been different, but I could not loose his domain and have him get upset with me because of registerfly incompetence.
2. I received the email notification on 13-Oct (1 month before the expiation) notifying me that the domain will expire soon. A few days after that when I had some time I went to registerfly interface and tried to renew the domain as I have done many times before. The system took the money from my account and sent me a notification (Registerfly.com - Renewal/Extend domain Request). This was saying that the process has started and the TRANSFER has been initiated. I was not worried at all since I have renewed some domains earlier this year and it happened the same (with the transfer). They have a faq page explaining this… so all looked ok.
3. After a while (2 days approx) I received an email notifying me that the process has failed… Hmm… No error in the mail saying why it failed. At this time I got a little worried but assumed that there are some problems on their system, so I have opened a support ticket explaining what happened. Their response came after one day and looked like a standard reply sending me to their faq page. I replied and said I have read that, but the process has failed. After a while again their reply came and it was basically saying that they have some problems with their renewal system and I should try again in a few days (24h-72h). Ok, I can understand that… we all have problems and this was not pressuring… So I let it be and marked it as something I had to return and have it done in a few days.
4. I was obviously not considering what a mess this company is… So I got back to my works and being involved in some major projects I have left it untouched for a while. On the 1-Nov I have remembered to try it again. So again I started the process to renew the domain. I forgot to mention that they refunded properly my money at the failed renewal so this was ok. So basically I have done again the renewal process and it was exactly the same (send me a notification, linking to their faq about the transfer, etc.). After a while (1 day) I received the same failure message… Hmm… This time I was getting nervous… how can they still have problems after so many days I was wondering? So I decided to call them and see what is the problem.
5. Anyone that has called RegisterFly support knows what comes next… When you call them the answering machine greets you with an incredible message (for ex: you are caller no. 14 waiting in line, and the estimated time of waiting is 64mins)… ouch… and they don’t have toll-free number… so waiting is costing money… Anyway after many tries at different hours of the day I finally was able to get someone on the phone. I asked what is the problem, and the reply was that they have some problems with their renewal system and I should try again in a few days (the way they say that is something like: “Sir, please try again in 24-72h). I explained that I have tried again 2 weeks ago and got the same answer and I am getting nervous of loosing the domain, and he responded that I don’t have to worry and I should try again. I was trying to see if he can’t force the process and he said sure… I will do that for you sir.
6. After getting off the phone I have received the same email notification I got already 2 times before and this appeared as I have done that myself. But I said to myself maybe they have done it in a different way… But after another day I got again the failure message.
7. To keep the story as short as possible in the next days I have tried this again: failed renewals attempts, calling them again, tickets, etc. The result was the same: there were only a few days left to renew the domain and nothing changed: failed renewals/transfers and the same replies (try again in 24h).
At this point I have already searched the Internet for other peoples with similar problems and I was horrified on my findings… Just look at a few links:
Registerfly Gripe Site
My domain in RegisterFly can not renew and transfer
Registerfly, such crap!, etc… (just google it)
showing that other peoples had similar experiences. Peoples were loosing their domains because of registerfly incompetence and some even lost their business because of this..
With the help from the information gathered from other online resources and lot of determination I was able in the end to renew the domain. In Part2 of this post I will describe a step by step solution that worked for me.