I’ve dealt with my share of registrars in the past, but this one is by far the strangest. I’m writing this blog entry because I want to share my experience with the transferring of a domain I have registered with them while the process is going on to shed some light on any issues that occur for your future knowledge.
First off, I used SnapNames.com to acquire my full name as a domain so I can redirect it to this site. Since SnapNames is a domain backordering service, it needs to utilize many registrars in order to win the backorder race from other services like it. Because of this, any domain you ‘win’ from SnapNames will have been registered at a random registrar and then login details will be emailed to you in order to manage the domain.
The problems arise when you use one registrar for all your domains and you now have this new domain somewhere out there in a space that might not allow the same controls as your preferred registrar. The other problem is that you can’t transfer a domain until it’s been at the current registrar for 60 days.
Anyway, SnapNames registered my new domain over at DomainMonkeys.com and I must say that I’m surprised this company gets any business with the way it’s run and the lack of services and features that you can use on your domains. Regardless, I want my new domain in my GoDaddy account and on Sunday (1-10) I placed a transfer order there. In the past, all you needed to do was unlock the domain from the losing registrar and then retrieve the transfer codes to input into the site, but now, you have to wait for the “Transfer Concierge” to do things.
So I wait. And what happens? Well, because DomainMonkeys’ whois server is not using the standard port 80, no other whois servers can access it and therefore appears down. Now I have to wait for some type of human interaction on GoDaddy’s part to move this thing along.
As of this writing, I’m stuck of step 1 of 4 and the actual message I’m getting is:
Step 1: Initiate Transfer is waiting for the Transfer Concierge to address a whois data problem. We were unable to get the whois data from the losing registrar. The Transfer Concierge will resolve this issue. Recommended Action: No customer action is required at this time.
I’ve already unlocked the domain and have even requested the authorization code, but since I can’t input it, I’m stuck waiting!
UPDATE – Jan 16, 2010
A couple days ago, I was moved up to step 3 which is the Accept or Decline step and normally when you receive an email from the losing registrar that someone is trying to transfer your domain away. At this point you can allow it or not. This is all contingent on two things: 1, the domain is not in “transfer lock” status and 2, you have the correct email address set for the admin contact. I have satisfied both of these requirements. I have the domain in “ok” status and is ready for transfer and I also have the right admin email address.
Easy enough, right? I should have been transferred by now. But no, I’m still waiting for that accept/reject email and there’s no way to force it through at DomainMonkeys.com! So, back at GoDaddy, it says that if the domain transfer is not accepted or rejected within 5 days, the transfer will proceed.
Well it looks like after about 7 days after everything was started, the domain is now resting comfortably in my GoDaddy account. I’m feel much better now.
Review of DomainMonkeys.com
If the first indicator of their professionalism didn’t come from the fact that their name contains the word “monkeys” in it, then maybe a quick look at their homepage did the trick. Here’s a screenshot as of today (Jan 18th, 2010):
The rule is and always has been, never judge a book by its cover, but this website is lacking everything but the cover. First off, my impression is that this company is simply one of the hundreds, if not thousands of ‘dummy’ registrars setup by sites like SnapNames.com, Pool.com and whoever else in an effort to add more outlets to snap up all the deleting domains coming out each day. I came to this conclusion because I discovered this site after a successful auction with SnapNames. They also don’t sell any other services or even try to offer you any type of support.
Updating your domain for those of you who use sites like GoDaddy, Register.com, Moniker, etc. is fairly an easy process and these days, you can probably add all sorts of free services to spice up your cool domain. The best part about DomainMonkeys’ domain update page is the login requirements!
As an example, say your domain is: LEDFROG.COM, your email is: email@example.com and your password is: passw0rd. This is how you login:
You click on the Update link from the homepage and you’re taken here:
In the account verification box, you are to type in this string: firstname.lastname@example.org
No joke. That’s the login. All three. All together. No spaces. Plain text.
Once you’re in, you’re golden until you want to transfer your domain to someone else. More on this later as the developments of my own transfer unfold!
Final decision: I will never use DomainMonkeys to register any new domains and I’m likely to never deal with them again unless I’m forced to by SnapNames.