Newest Domain Squatters: Network Solutions

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If you search for a domain name on Network Solution’s web site, be warned that you are setting yourself up. Once Network Solutions is alerted to the fact that you are interested in a particular domain name, that is their signal to grab it themselves. Here is how Network Solutions domain name squatting practice works:

  1. You visit their site to search and see if a particular domain name is available
  2. You type the domain name into their search (I searched for “networksolutionsnorthcarolina.com“).
    domain name squatters network solutions
  3. You see that it is available and proceed through their lengthy checkout process.
  4. In the end, you decide you do not want to pay Network Solutions outrageously high domain name registration fee – $34.99 for one year.
    network solutions high domain name registration fees
  5. You then go to another domain name registrar that has reasonable prices and check their rates, let’s say GoDaddy. However, when you search for that very same domain name, you are surprised to see that the domain name is already taken! How can that be? Network Solutions just said a few minutes ago that it was available and you were getting ready to purchase it until you decided they were charging too much.
    network solutions domain name takendomain name hijacked

It appears that Network Solutions registered the domain name immediately after they were alerted to the fact that I was interested in that particular domain name. What? Surely you can’t be serious. Yes, I am serious and stop calling me Surely (movie quote – what is the movie?).

I first read about this yesterday on Aaron Wall’s SEO Blog and I was quite amazed. Several other bloggers are also talking about it:
Search For Domains At Network solutions, Face Extortion
Network Solutions + Unethical go hand and hand
NSI Registers Every Domain Checked
Network Solutions’ Defensive Measure for Whois Searches
Network Solutions Front Running
Network Solutions Faces PR Nightmare Over Domain FrontRunning
NetworkSolutions Scandal: Hijacking User Domain Searches

They have even hijacked Bill Hartzer’s personal name. It is absolutely crazy that Network Solutions would do this and amounts to domain name hijacking. So, steer clear of Network Solutions. We don’t like dealing with them anyway and this is just another example of their “strong-arm” tactics that have negatively impacted numerous unsuspecting people.

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8 thoughts on “Newest Domain Squatters: Network Solutions

  1. Chris Estes

    I have read about them doing this before. I suspect noticed two other companies doing this very same thing. One of them being 1and1.com and the other goddady. I have no proof and only speculate. This is a terrible business tactic and someone will eventually take them to court over it.

  2. Anthony

    Hey Chris – I especially think it is pathetic that Network Solutions charges $35 a year for a domain name registration. Thank for commenting!

  3. Anthony

    Hey – its the owner of my favorite scuba dive shop! Yes, when it is time for you to grab your next domain name, you should probably go w/ someone else like Godaddy.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Anne

    I have all of our domains (about 50 or so) registered with Network Solutions and I have never had a problem coming back and buying something that I looked for previously. Also, why would anyone actually buy a domain for only a year – buy the 10 year package for $150. I also like Network Solutions for their ease of use with the domains like web forwardind, redirecting DNS and web design.

  5. Anthony

    Hi Anne,
    Network Solutions is defending this, but they could probably handle it a different way. And, yeah, registering the domain for 10 years is always best because it shows Search Engines that you are planning on being on the Internet for the long haul. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  6. Paul

    I just got stung by this. Is there a timeout period to how long they hold it? I figured it may have been like a ticketmaster style of temporary hold that releases it after a minute or two but no luck. It has been over two hours and it still shows up as being a Network Services URL.

    Complete Bull****. I would not think that ICANN http://www.icann.org/ would allow this. I am going to go see if there is any kind of action that can be launched through ICANN against this.

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