Choosing where to purchase your domains is a hectic process. If you’re not careful you’ll quickly find yourself succumbing to shady registration services and paying exorbitant prices. To make the process a little easier, I’m going to tell you about one domain registration company I think you should avoid.
I discovered Register.com a little over a year ago while searching Google for “cheap domain registrations.” One of the paid Google results I came across was for Register.com, and it was advertising $0.99 domains. I should have known right then and there that Register.com was a scam, but all I could think about was scooping up the domains before my competitors could get a hold of them.
As it ended up, I never used any of the domains I registered that day. They sat dormant for over a year until earlier this week when I noticed an odd charge on my bank statement. After a little research I was able to determine that Register.com had auto-renewed each domain I purchased. At $38 a renewal, my tab came nearly $160.
Needless to say I was pissed. My first instinct was to remove the auto-renew from each domain. However, Register.com perpetuates this scam by making it impossible to remove the auto-renew feature without calling their customer service hotline. On their “Why choose us?” page they rave about this 24/7 customer support line, but the line itself is contemptible.
Upon calling you will be immediately greeted with a confusing array of automated directions. Press one for this, press two for that, and so on and so forth. I was already annoyed by the time I got through to the support line. But then, before I had a chance to vent, another automated response informed me that my expected wait time was 32 minutes. To their credit they did make clear that at any time I could press pound and enter my phone number, and they would have someone call me back.
I waited, and waited, and waited. Over an hour later I finally gave up, and hit pound. I entered my number and the automated system read it back to me. The only problem was that the number it read back to me was not the number I entered. So I tried pressing pound and entering my number again, but the result was the same.
It is at this point that the whole Register.com scam becomes incredibly clear. First they hook you with a shockingly cheap domain. You think you just scored a major deal. You tell your friends, they too buy domains. Time passes. You get busy with other things. Then just when you have forgotten about the domain, they auto-renew it. Pissed, you try to remove the auto-renew. However, in order to remove it you have to call their support line. Some give up at this point, others press forward.
Those pushing forward will be greeted with the nightmare that is the Register.com customer support line. It is on this line that they will spend hours waiting for an answer, only nobody will ever pick up the phone at the other end. Again, some will give up here, others will attempt to leave their callback number. Of course, that won’t work because the automated system will discombobulate the callback number. For most, this is the end of the line. The point where they simply give up and accept the fact that Register.com is a scam and they will be forever victimized by this monster.
I am not a victim. I took to email, sending them notice after notice, threatening suit and informing them I wanted a call back. Finally, earlier today I got a call from Prince Edwards Island, Nova Scotia. It was a lowly Register.com employee who wanted to know how she could assist me. In her defense, she was actually very polite. She seemed to understand full-well that the company she was employed by was nothing more than a gigantic scam. When I asked her why it was not possible to remove the auto-renew online, she very candidly told me that she suspected this was done to “make it more likely that people will renew, even if they weren’t planning on it.”
In the end, the auto-renew was removed from my account, but I was still stuck with the four domains and the hefty price I paid for them. With this, I advise you to avoid Register.com like the plague. And, if you don’t want to take my word for it, then perhaps you can be convinced by the 40 or so others who have posted complaints about Register.com here.