Netsol tries to force 4,625% price hike for domain protection

Company claims apparent automatic opt-in to new pricing was not worded properly

Many years ago I ceased having anything to do with Network Solutions. I found their tech support to be slow to respond and their overall service to be sub par. So when I read of Brent Simmons' problems with Network Solutions I wasn't at all surprised.

Brent recently got a message from Network Solutions (now part of Web.com) that his two web sites, which are apparently in the top 1% of web.com's traffic, had been automagically enrolled in their WebLock Program. 

WebLock is much like Verisign's Registry Lock and simply masks the domain's registration details and requires an authorizing phone call and a PIN to prevent unauthorized changes. In other words, it's belt and braces for anyone paranoid about their domain names.

So, what should a service like that cost? Well, it used to cost $40 per year but NetSol recently lost its mind and upped the price rather a lot ... here's the email message Brent received:

To help recapture the costs of maintaining this extra level of security for your account, your credit card will be billed $1,850 for the first year of service on the date your program goes live. After that you will be billed $1,350 on every subsequent year from that date. If you wish to opt out of this program you may do so by calling us at 1-888-642-0265.

The fact that it was opt-out rather than opt-in was stunning to Brent as was the 4,625% price hike. NetSol has reportedly backed down claiming that the implied automatic opt-in was "not worded properly."

What Network Solutions is thinking in raising prices like this and amateurishly up-selling into its user base is hard to imagine but one thing is certain, Brent is moving his domains to a different registrar.

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