Rearranging Deck Chairs on the SS Registerfly

20 comments

As reported here registerfly appears to be taking on water and quickly sinking. They have an announcement on their homepage for damage control.

We have brought in a team of independent systems and security analysts to review our current procedures and identify any shortcomings that need to be addressed. While a key focal point will be the weaknesses that precipitated the recent events here, we are also taking a more general approach to ensure that our systems and procedures, as a whole, are up to date. In this way, we can address not only the current problems, but ensure that any other potential vulnerabilities are remediated.

One of our key priorities is ensuring that our customers either receive the services they've paid for. Critical to this is ensuring that our site works properly, and that accounts are properly funded. We are also working with ICANN and the registries to recover any lost domains as quickly as possible.

Additionally, we have been working around the clock to restore full access to our staff, enabling them to serve you efficiently and effectively. We understand that one of your key concerns has been our staff's inability to access crucial systems, rendering us unable to adequately meet your needs. It is for this reason that restored access has been our main priority over the last few weeks. We have a highly qualified team of technicians working around the clock to bring our systems back to full speed. Due to their tireless efforts, our support staff is now able to access the information and data that they need in order to address your requests. We've also hired additional staff in order to improve response times to your queries. Effective immediately, we've closed down all operations in Miami, and have expanded our New Jersey-based team to handle all sales, billing and support issues. If you require any assistance, please call 973-404-8430.

I got lucky and got some of my stuff out saturday night, some are still stuck in transfer, and some are stuck in some weird limbo. I've spoken to quite a few people via PM and have have experienced it first hand myself, the programing allowing you to unlock, and remove the private registration features is "non functional", while I have no proof I will say the timing is coincidentally convenient for registerfly as this prevents you transferring domains out. Additionally they have removed the EPP codes which were present on saturday and sunday, as you need this to complete a transfer out seems it also coincidentally convenient.

Hey Registerfly you admitted you made the mistake now man up and take the punishment. Locking in customers who are pissed at you isn't doing you any favors or making you any friends.

Comments

Nearer My God To Thee.

One has to wonder, given the spate of unending bad press concerning Registerfly, if it doesn't make sense to close down the brand and try to resurface as something else.
The top 10 results for registerfly in Google besides the domain itself are all negative.

And just in case, you don't have time to Google it, the subject is the name of the song that the violin quartet played as the Titanic sank.

6 hours wasted

I spent over 6 hours yesterday pouring over threads and comments around the 'Net looking for proof I wasn't crazy yesterday when:

a - Registerfly would not disable ProtectFly. Any domain that had its whois information protected is now blocked from disabling this.

You can not transfer domains without first disabling ProtectFly.
You also can not transfer domains unless you "unlock" your domain at Registerfly. (I was able to do that.)

b - If you can manage to get to your domain information, the EPP has been removed. This makes it impossible to transfer.

c - You can not get to any EPP auhorization code if you have a domain under Protectfly. They have disabled the application.

A phone call message says the wait is over 30 minutes long. Who in the hell is going to sit on hold for that long?

No support emails have been responded to.

I understand there is a class action lawsuit for residents in California. I hope to find out more. This is dangerous and sheer hell for everyone who runs business online and is held hostage by Registerfly.

In addition, since Enom first sounded the panic alarm, and strongly hinted that they were the better choice and everyone should move their domains to their service, they would incredibly smart to make the damn process easy and work out something with Registerfly. To Enom's credit, I managed to move out what I could to them yesterday and it went smoothly.

It is the frozen domain and "broken" applications situation at Registerfly that is horrific. In addition, the site is down often (likely due to server load). It took me a good hour or so before I got my turn.

Who is Unified Names?

I don't see Unified Names on the ICANN list:
http://icann.org/registrars/accredited-list.html

Am I not just seeing it?

Either...what?

One of our key priorities is ensuring that our customers either receive the services they've paid for.

Or, don't?
Or, lose their domain?
Or, [fill in the blank]

Kim, I guess I was

Kim, I guess I was posting at the same time as you.

I'm still wondering who Unified Names is. Could it be this: http://www.unifiednames.com/first.html ??

And then we have from StopUnifiedNames.com:

"Also known as: Appraised.com, Entryhost.com, ExpireFish.com, FlyServers.com, idotnames.com, Registerengine.com, RegisterFly.com, RegisterFlysupport.com, NameRenters.com, Nametwist.com, etc."

And this:
http://www.registerflies.com/component/option,com_joomlaboard/Itemid,26/func,view/id,1619/catid,8/

RegisterFly.COM has been wrestled away from Kevin and is back in RegisterFly, Inc's hands however Kevin put up a copy of the site on registerfly.net.

With that, he has full access to your usernames, passwords, and everything else.

He cannot muck around with RegisterFly, Inc's back end any longer, does not have access to their financials, bank accounts, or any other resources, but with your login credentials he can log in as any user, change the WHOIS, transfer your domains away <snip>."

I don't use RegisterFly, but this doesn't look too good (assuming the above information is true).

Michael, did you not get the

Michael, did you not get the auto-transfer email from Enom?

I transfered out to Moniker in September after renewal problems, but I'd forgotten about a few domains I'd registered for my girlfriend - the Enom email is practically a 1-click transfer procedure with no fees, as they likely admin the domains anyway, and once at Enom, will be easier to move out as required IMO.

The one click

procedure was for domains that hadn't been rolled over to RF yet. It's confusing but apparently when RF started out, ALL domains sat with Enom and Registerfly was the reseller (if I'm understanding it right). When the partnership started to falter, RF started moving domains to their "side" (whatever that really means). I had some domains on the RF side and some on the Enom side, and the Enom side transferred fine because RF hadn't gotten their claws into them yet.

yeah

yeah what kim said in waaaaay less words than I would have taken to say it.

unified names

Diane, I have no clue on that. Never heard of them and RF's notice makes it sound peachy but I've never heard of the place.

Incidently, I got a weird phone call today from someone who claimed to be from, I think, "Domainnames.com" wanting to fax me information about one of my domains. He had a thick acccent and I was in a hurry, so not very patient with him. Not even sure I got the company name correct and a check in Google shows no such URL. Anyway, I kept asking him to tell me what "information" he had about my domain but he kept insisting he needed to fax it to me. I lied and told him I had no fax, and asked him to email me the info. Haven't gotten anything yet. The domain he was asking about was not one I wanted to give out any information on, esp. to someone who wouldn't answer my questions.

Diane, thanks for the info btw. Further reading suggests that everyone change their RF passwords pronto.

Okay, Kim

The quote from my post above (if it contains true information) indicates that UnifiedNames.com is RegisterFly.

The strange phone call you got today sounds pretty odd, too -- unless it just (coincidentlly) happens to be one of those domain slamming services (like a phone slamming service -- they offer to "renew" your service when what they're really doing is moving it to a new service provider).

I hope you get your domains out and safely somewhere else.

Huh. DomainNames.com doesn't

domainnames.com doesn't work, but www.domainnames.com redirects to Network Solutions.

IF, of course, that's the name the guy gave you.

Yuck. More from registerflies.com

This from registerflies.com (I hate quoting things when I don't know if they're true, so pardon me if they're not) - link:

I appologize for having to be the bearer of bad news but I'd just received word back from the court hearing today in Newark New Jersey and the Judge gave the company back to Kevin Medina. Yes, you heard that correctly... Kevin Medina will soon be in full control of your names once again.

What is ICANN doing?

Nothing much....

...apparently.

Maybe they were paid not to act.
Maybe not tho. Of course I can't tell.

From ICANN.org

From ICANN.org:

RegisterFly Update

8 March 2007

The United States District Court in New Jersey today awarded Kevin Medina control of RegisterFly.com Inc. The decision resolves a dispute over ownership of the company.

The resolution of this issues does not alter RegisterFly obligations to immediately cure the breaches of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement, as noticed by ICANN.

ICANN has been advised and has confirmed that RegisterFly is aware of the issues raised by many registrants, regarding their inability to transfer their registrations away from RegisterFly to another Registrar.

ICANN has demanded that RegisterFly immediately act to provide authorization codes and has also demanded a meeting with RegisterFly (and other relevant parties that are assisting ICANN) to resolve RegisterFly's reported failures. We will provide an update on the outcome of this meeting.

There's more at the link.

Nuff said...

Quote:
...dispute...obligations...demanded...meeting...

Yada yada.

Loophole found, I tested it the other day

I would have blogged on this, but wanted to test it to make sure it would work first, and then feared RF would block the loophole. Since it's making the rounds in blogs anyway, here is another link to a recent one.

Essentially, the workaround is to register for a new free acct with RF and "push" your domains from your old acct into the new one. When you do that, all ProtectFly locks are no longer enabled and you can get your EPP codes.

I retrieved mine several days ago, and so far, Enom has successfully transfered 2 of 7 domains I submitted for transferred. The others await processing and it's been days.

I'm taking a wild guess that word got out and it slowed down everything, but if you're stuck, try it.

Fantastic, Kim

I was reading this and thinking I ought to send it to you when I realized that *you* had written it. :)

LOL

I just got another one put through. I went through each of the 15 steps involved for the push and had no trouble. The comments at the Poker site where the word first went out (that I found earlier in the week) show some folks have problems.

That must be ...

... a huge relief.

but its all over now

http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-2-16mar07.htm

RegisterFly has two weeks to unlock and allow transfers.

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