By this time everyone should have already knew it — ICANN has terminated the accreditation agreement with RegisterFly because of the issues that I will not talk about here, but are thoroughly tracked and documented at RegisterFlies.com. The fiasco has caused 900,000+ domains in limbo over the past few weeks — people cannot log into their account, cannot renew nor transfer the domains to other registrars. To some it might mean $10 registration fee doing down the drain. To others it might mean lost of a few very important domains!
Any way to prevent your registrar to do the same?
In the article Tips for Not Getting Screwed by Web Hosts, I discussed why it is a good idea to separate your domain and web hosting companies. However, what happen when it is your ICANN accredited registrar that is screwing you? RegisterFly has done it, and how do I know that shareholders in GoDaddy or Enom will not have fight and hold all their customers in ransom?
I know people should have pull the trigger and request for transfer when they started going downhill. However, how can you find out, as you do not go register/renew domains every single day, nor read domain name related forum for all the latest gossips?
Anyway. At least in the case of RegisterFly, ICANN stepped in and proposed a solution. Other registrars and web hosting companies are not slow in advertising their “refugee camp” package as well. GoDaddy is giving out a special package for them — $6.47 for transferring .COM and .NET, and GoDaddy is still receiving a nice 25 cent revenue from these transactions (assuming $6 wholesale price to Network Solutions).
On the other hand, DreamHost is much more generous. They are currently running a promotion for RegisterFly refugees, as posted on their blog, that if (1) your domain is currently registered with RegisterFly (2) you are a new customer to DreamHost, then with coupon code FLYAWAY you can get 1 year of domain registration + web hosting absolutely free.
Since many would have used those $97 promo code anyway, they are only paying $22.40 extra per new customer, who might not even use their hosting service. Sounds like great marketing to me.