Update: As a result of this posting, I was contacted by the Customer Service Director for Dotster. We discussed the issues surrounding my situation and what they might do to help prevent this from happening to others in the future, such as allowing for multiple email contacts to be listed.

While I’m still unhappy that I had to waste a couple of hours on this, at the end of the day my primary domain is working and I’m very satisfied with Dotster’s response to my issues. The fact they were able to refund my entire redemption fee didn’t hurt, but neither did having a great customer service experience.
End Update

After a 10 year relationship, I’m considering breaking up with Dotster. Neither the best nor the worst domain registrar, and neither the most or least expensive, I started with Dotster around 10 years ago, as they were one of the best at the time.

So, why am I thinking of leaving after all of this time? It’s because I lost 2 domains, including one I had owned for 10 years, due their lousy system for processing updates and sending notifications regarding pending renewals. They didn’t auto-renew my domain, even though I have that setting enabled, and all of their renewal emails were flagged as SPAM. Interestingly, the dotster messages were the only false hits in the last 6 weeks; that tells me the problem is on their end.

It cost $99 to get one of the domains back, and the other one just isn’t worth it.

Plus, even after I paid the ransom for my kidnapped domain, I had to make a 20 minute call to tech support, and get a bit huffy with them, before my domain was restored. They kept trying to tell me it would be 24 to 48 hours until my domain was active. Sorry, wrong. Today, a domain is usually active within minutes after being purchased.

To their credit, once I let the customer service rep know I knew what was going on, she escalated and within minutes, my domain was back on the air.

Then, when I called sales to let them know that the $99 would cost them that much and more due to the lost revenues when I move my domains, they transferred me to tech support. That wasn’t so bad, as they were able to refund half of the ransom fees; ICAAN gets the other half.

In terms of my second domain, it’s not worth $99 or even 1/2 of that, so I’ll take my chances on being able to purchase it once it completely expires.

So, bottom line, I have issues with Dotster, but their customer support was pretty good and given the amount of effort to switch registrars, I’ll probably just stay put … and hedge my bets as well; the next domain I purchase will be from another registrar, likely pairnic.com, and we’ll see how it goes with them.