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They sent an email message informing Domain Name owners (you) that your Domain Name was being (stolen) transferred away; they could lose their rights to their Domain; and did they request a transfer to an unknown party? Most of public had no idea who was Network Solutions or who held management of their Domain Name. Out of fear and misunderstanding of message, most said they did not know that their Domain Name was being transferred to another party.
To prevent this mass exodus Network Solutions seems to have develop several quasi legal techniques: put off renewal process until name is close to expiration, they can then legally lock up Domain and prevent you from transferring away from their control.
They do this, by at least two ways we know. When Network Solutions receives notice of transfer, they...
1. Sent a notice that someone is trying to transfer your name. You will get feeling that someone is trying to steal your Domain. This frightens most people who respond to not approve of transfer (or do they nothing). Network Solutions then sends an email telling renewing registration company that Domain owner refused to reply (timed out) and transfer was canceled.
2. Somehow don't send required notices. They say they did not receive an answer and lock up name. The Domain Name owner must now quickly renew with them or Domain Name goes up for resale.
This is borderline honest but... YES, plot thickens.
When a Domain Name nears renewal time Network Solutions will lock up Domain Name and not transfer it. If a transfer has been requested, using one of above rip-off techniques, Network Solutions denies transfer. Then they will quickly immediately after expiration date, offer Domain Name for resale on one of their many sites. If they can not sell name (after an unknown time) Domain Name will then be available to general public.
This problem swells when somehow Domain owner requesting a transfer does not receive notice. Without notification their name can be resold to a third party. Bam... total rights to their Name belongs to third party. Although this is legal, it is not fair. We have seen this happen several times. They seem to only cancel quickly if a transfer has been requested. We have seen expired Domain Names sit for as much as four months before cancellation.
There are several other nasty quasi legal tricks being performed by Network Solutions. We will get into these at another time.
Our partners, Tucows, have filed an official complaint to governing body, ICANN, against Network Solutions for these and other borderline practices but it will take months before this is resolved.
The Bottom Line. You have right to chose who manages your Domain Name in master database. You can reduce yearly cost of your Domain Names by 50%, but you should renew at least a month before expiration date. In fact, you can renew at any time with no loss and renewal is added to your current expiration date. You can renew a year or two years in advance with no loss of time. A month before expiration date will give you time to get by tricks of Network Solutions. Do not wait, if your Domain expires in a week, it is too late to transfer. You can pay Network Solutions for one year only. They will try to get you to renew for two years. You can then choose a new registrar and get your Domain Name management moved.
Blatant Plug... Of course, there are benefits with going with a smaller company. You can get a real email answer from us as to your Domain problems within 24 hours. We do not use autoresponders to reply. You can get us on phone between 1 and 5 P.M. EST, most time on first try. Please call us with only Domain problems we have registered or renewed.
At DomainNameVault.com our security is unique, a human firewall, all of our registrations and renewals are hand processed by a live body. This prevents hackers from getting control of your Domain through automatic processing.
Really, it doesn't matter if you renew with us or one of our competitors, like Register.com, but it is wise to do it now and get it out of control of Network Solutions. Who knows what they will try next.
Dr. Tag Powell Alpha@DomainNameVault.com http://DomainNameVault.com http://Renew-Your-Domain-Name.com