Network Solutions – Can I Just Renew My Domain Already?

What does Network Solutions, the original domain registrar and Danny’s Family Carousel, a chain of car wash/oil & lube facilities have in common? They try to up sell you to the max. In other words, they not only want to sell you what you originally came in for but add on as many items as they can.

Here is the scenario every time I take one of my vehicles to Danny’s. First the car wash attendant comes up. “What can we help you with today, sir?” “I need a wash. Make it the works.” They then proceed to try to up sell me a hand wash and car wax. I tell them, “No thanks, I wax my own cars.” They ask me if I’m sure because it will not take that long at all. Precisely why I wax my own cars which typically takes me a half a day because I do a good job.

Then comes the glass guys. “Sir, do you see that small chip? We can fix that at no cost to you (my insurance company pays for it).” “No thanks,” I say. “I like the chip. I want it there. It gives a ‘rustic’ look to the car.” No I don’t really tell them that but I do have to spend at least 2 – 3 minutes convincing them I don’t want my windshield fixed or replaced. If I did, I’d call a glass company and have them come to my home or business.

Then if I get an oil change, they want me to change the air cleaner as well or flush something such as the coolant, transmission and/or power steering. “No, no, No! Just change the oil!” I am exhausted after the event. I know they are just doing their job as ordered by corporate but jeez, gimme a break, will you?

So how do they compare to Network Solutions? I go to renew a client’s domain today because they are not all that savvy when it comes to domain registration, web sites, hosting, etc. I select the renew services, add the domain and immediately see the option to renew domain, right? Wrong. The first up sell is an option to make my domain private. Here is their reasoning why I should make my domain private for an extra $9 per year.

When you register a domain name, ICANN (the organization that oversees the domain name system) requires your name, address, e-mail, and phone number to be listed in the public, searchable WHOIS database. Protect this personal information from spam, unsolicited e-mail, or fraudulent activity. Choose Private Registration to make your domain name private and to keep your personal data hidden in WHOIS.

Who really cares? My information is already all over the place anyway. Is making my domain private going to really protect me from everyone that is going to bombard me trying to sell me something? I seriously doubt it! If I really want my information private, I’ll just submit a false address, false name, etc.

So I get past that and now can renew my domain name, right! Wrong. Now they offer me web hosting. Three packages are available for $9.96, $13.30 and $29.13 a month. Weird amounts. Why not $10, $15 and $30? What’s with the cents? With the most expensive option, I can have a whole 30 MB of disk space. Big deal. 30 MB is nothing these days. At least they offer an option for Unix or Windows.

The next screen must offer me the ability to renew my domain name now, right? Wrong! They want to design my logo… for only $499.00. I don’t need a logo. I already have a logo and if I did need one, I’d hire a graphic artist, not a domain registrar.

Good, past that and now I can renew my domain, right? Wrong again! Now they want to sell me a Search Visibility Package for $34.95 /month (+$79.00 set-up fee). This is what they offer.

Want to connect with customers and prospects via such search engines as Google┬«, Yahoo!┬«, etc.? We can help. When you sign up for Search Engine Visibility, we submit your Web site address to major search engines and national and local directories. Plus we provide personalized recommendations for optimizing your Web site’s content and layout to be more search-engine-friendly so you can get better rankings in search results.

First of all you do not need to submit your site to the search engines as they will find it all by themselves. They are very good at that. I can see submitting to directories but then I question if they are going to write professional descriptions, select the most appropriate categories, submit according to guidelines of each specific directory and then follow up on all of this? Or, more likely, will they use some third party auto submission program? Which directories are they submitting to? Finally, why a monthly charge? Do they submit every month? Gimme a break.

Okay, I need a nap at this point. Can I finally renew my domain name? Yes! Finally I am given the option to renew my domain name. Even with that there is a choice – 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 9 years or 100 years. 100? Who cares what happens 100 years from now? None of us will be around.

So at this point, let’s assume that I selected every up sell item and selected just 1 year for the time frame. My check out price is a mere $1,320.95. I originally came to renew a domain name that costs $34.99 and I am now paying $1,285.96 more. What am I getting for that? My information is kept private (which they should do anyway), I get a cheesy hosting package, I get a logo, I get my web site submitted to some engines and directories (which by the way will not increase your visibility in and by itself) and I get to do this all over in one year.

Does this mean that up selling is bad? Certainly not but this is to the point of being ridiculous. I guess that is why I use DirectNic as my domain registrar. $15 a year and no up selling. Sure all the bells and whistles are there if I want them but they are not forced upon me.

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. Follow +David Wallace on Google + as well as Twitter.

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