I might of chose the wrong place to register my domain. What's the best way to handle this?
January 19, 2011 6:33 PM   Subscribe

I might of chose the wrong place to register my domain. What's the best way to handle this?

Hello. Well I should've done more research but I wanted to save a few bucks and just googled to find the least expensive registrar, and found "1&1".

My site is hosted by another company that I trust. I should've just registered the name there, but I was stupid and wanted to save $5, so I used this 1&1 to register. Had a problem pointing the name server.. took forever to get a person on the phone. They say wait 24 hours. Okay, fine.

But I found tons of complaints about them with shady rebilling and what not. I just want to cancel with them and do it with my current hosting company for peace of mind.

What's the best way to go about this to ensure I keep the name, and no longer get charged by that other company?
posted by Like its 1997 to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1&1 is awful.

What you want to do is transfer the domain registration from 1&1 to the non-shitty registrar.

Domain transfers aren't rocket science, but they're usually fiddly, and can take a while (mostly waiting), and it works a little differently with every registrar.

Also, you usually have to pay for a year's registration at the new registrar (as if you were registering a new domain), and due to ICANN rules the domain must have been registered at least 60 days ago.

Start here.
posted by ixohoxi at 6:39 PM on January 19, 2011

Your best bet is likely to let 1&1 do it for now. As long as their nameservers work you can always transfer registration services later.

here's some help

Note those above instructions indicate that you might need to leave it where it is for 60 days.

I use GoDaddy for all my domain names, I'd switch to something better, but honestly its not even worth the effort to switch at this point.
posted by bitdamaged at 6:40 PM on January 19, 2011

You can transfer the domain to another company.

You might have to wait a grace period of like 30 days.

Find another company you like for a price you can afford. Almost all the ones I've worked with making the transfer process very simple. I transferred from GoDaddy to BlueHost last year, and all it took was filling out a form. GoDaddy and BlueHost called me on a conference call, confirmed I was who I said I was and asked for my permission to transfer the domain. Boom, couple of days later it was transfered to BlueHost.
posted by royalsong at 6:40 PM on January 19, 2011

I've been using their $5 a month hosting service and own a number of domains through them. Never had a lick of trouble.

Changing/updating nameservers always takes time. 24 hours isn't out of the ordinary.
posted by gjc at 7:39 PM on January 19, 2011

Here's the difference between knowing what you're doing to DIY and having to rely on someone else's service to do it for you.

I'm going to get famous on these forums as the dude who trashes GoDaddy at every opportunity, but I seriously, seriously, seriously cannot even stand to deal with them to the extent that I charge a surcharge for clients who have already started and/or paid for service there. No joke. I know your post is about 1&1, who is equally as horrible, I just really want to do everything I can to keep you from GoDaddy.

Changing name servers should be something you can do in 20 seconds from login to your nameserver. The propagation of that change should take less than 30 minutes. In most cases, it should be almost immediate. The idea that it's a 24 or even a 72 hour change (as GoDaddy likes to tell you) is rubbish. Absolute, specific rubbish. Today I changed a clients DNS for them on my nameserver and it took, no joke, 10 seconds to be live.

So what I recommend that you do is that you run screaming from 1&1 and stand prepared to dispute charges. Make sure you keep emails. Transfer the name to another nameserver. Seriously. I recommend namecheap and use it for all my clients who haven't already purchased a name. You can usually find a coupon code at retailmenot. Looks like right now you can save an extra dollar transferring using code SWITCH2NC. Transferring will require requesting an EPP code from 1&1, which will probably take a day or two. (Relative to about 20 seconds at a reputable host like namecheap) Please be aware that EPP's are only valid for 12-24 hours, so make sure you hop on that donkey when it comes around, or you'll be waiting for a new one.

IDK if you're just hosting the name or the site too at 1&1, but if you are, run screaming from that too. Hook up with a good company like asmallorange (my fave) or nearlyfreespeech.net, and you'll see VERY QUICKLY what you can do with a legitimate name host and a good CPanel.

Seriously, I will help you with the technical aspects of this for free if you promise to stay the HELL away from GoDaddy.
posted by TomMelee at 8:18 PM on January 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ok, so caveat, your own local DNS also matters for propagating changes---BUT if you've got any kind of good/normal/common ISP, they won't be the holdup. The first query should point to the new server, unless your site is already getting a lot of traffic and there's a caching issue. Even then, 2 hours at the outside.
posted by TomMelee at 8:19 PM on January 19, 2011

I have been using 1&1 for at least 7 years, if not a decade. I signed up when they were first spreading from Europe to the US.

I have had no problems with them. My bills are always low and consistent. I host several domains with them.

It's not unreasonable for a DNS change to take time to propagate. The default setting for DNS is to update changes every 86400 seconds, or 24 hours.
posted by MonsieurBon at 8:21 PM on January 19, 2011

I'm always amazed at folks who say "it's normal for it to take 24 hours". It's not. Once, yes, not any more. It can take 24+ hours to propagate, but the change should be made within a matter of minutes. There are many registrars who make these updates every 15 minutes.

Regardless, you can absolutely do better.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:03 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only information we have from the original poster is "Had a problem pointing the name server.. [...] They say wait 24 hours. Okay, fine."

I think it's reasonable with that limited information to say "yes, wait 24 hours," if 24 hours is the outside limit of time that it might take for a change related to DNS settings to take place. Or, if you were a customer support rep, perhaps the policy is to tell people to wait 24 hours, even if in 99% of the cases, whatever change is being referred to takes less than an hour.
posted by MonsieurBon at 9:16 PM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: Tom I shoulda asked you before I did it..

I use nearlyfreespeech as my host. Love them. Afterwards I went to their transfer DNS page, tried to do it but saw it would charge another 9.99 or so, and I wasn't sure what happens with 1&1, do they simply no longer control my domain? Do they still charge me the yearly fee? Does that 'close' the account with them, or will I find next year a charge on my bill renewing? That's what my concern is, after reading so many complaints, I don't want to be charged or renewed again by 1&1, being that my credit card will be on file with them.
posted by Like its 1997 at 9:21 PM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: BTW, I have no problem waiting 24 hours, I mean, in my case I can wait and if it's just a one time thing... that's not a big problem for me.

But with that said I'm sure it can be done faster and is a matter of politics as usually the case is.

My concern is all the complaints about them doing shady things... I just don't like that and don't feel comfortable with companies like that having my credit card on file.
posted by Like its 1997 at 9:24 PM on January 19, 2011

You can't believe everything you read on the internet. Satisfied customers rarely spontaneously go to ratemyprovider.rant and talk about their good fortune.

The DNS confusion is this: the provider should make the change within minutes. But they don't control DNS. They make the change with their DNS provider, and the change propagates up to the top. Meanwhile, all the other lower DNS servers are still giving out the old IP address. It takes time for the change to propagate to them.

A new name should, in theory be faster than a changed name. A new name will never be in the DNS cache and the DNS will shoot it to the top to try and find out if it has a name. Changed names have to deal with stale cache data and how the various servers deal with it.

A change also has to go through the process of getting released by the old registrar before any of this can even begin.

So, it is quite possible that the rest of the internet can see your change, but you can't because your ISP's DNS is late on getting the message.
posted by gjc at 6:04 AM on January 20, 2011

I have a client who uses 1&1 - can't say I'm wild about them, but have had no problems with "shady dealings." However, if you're really concerned about them having your credit card, you could contact your card issuer to have it canceled and get a new number. YMMV but with my bank it was really no big deal - got to keep all my transaction history in my online account, and just got a new number to use going forward.
posted by evilmomlady at 7:27 AM on January 20, 2011

If you transfer, you will have to terminate the account with 1&1, as without specifically pulling up your domain, they'll have no way of knowing it's not being used.
posted by TomMelee at 10:56 AM on January 20, 2011

Response by poster: Ok, so here's my problem now.

I added the name server from nearlyfreespeech to 1&1's edit DNS panel. After the so-called 24 hours, I see it shows up on both 1&1 and nearlyfreespeech's DNS panels, as though it's 'accepted' it.

But going to my site I get page not found if I type "mysitename.com", but if I put in "www.mysitename.com" I get taken to my ISP's page not found (Time warner.. http://dnssearch.rr.com)

I really, really hate all this DNS, cname, alias, blah blah hahahah... OMG it drives me nuts.

Okay thanks tom. I'll keep it for now and just see how it goes....

Thanks guys.
posted by Like its 1997 at 1:14 PM on January 20, 2011

Response by poster: out of curiousity Tom, how much DO you charge clients for, say, this exact problem I'm having?

I figure they usually don't come to you ONLY for this problem... it's problaly the whole package they're after.

Because I may need to just hand this off. I need to focus on my site and design and business and this crap is really being that annoying screaming baby.
posted by Like its 1997 at 1:17 PM on January 20, 2011

I'm hesitant to answer because it's really important to me that I not come across as fishing for clients on here. Extremely important. I'm going to answer you, but in MeMail so's I stay in the good graces of the Jessamyn's and Cortex's and those sorts of folkses.
posted by TomMelee at 4:24 PM on January 20, 2011

Oops, I can't. MeMail is disabled for you. Figure out how to get me your email address and I'll shoot you a message. I've got many contact methods in my profile.

(The answer is really that I've never done just that for anyone, it's always sort of a package deal. I transfer people to my hosts all the time.)
posted by TomMelee at 4:26 PM on January 20, 2011

Response by poster: Tom, no problem, totally understand. Thanks for the offer though...

I figured it out... Had to create an alias for 'www.mysite.com'

Called 1&1 and actually got on the phone quick. Apparently they seem to have caught on to the complaints because they actually have a FAQ question regarding renewal scams.

I'll give them a chance, but guess that's the prob companies have is reputation can make or break em and the public doesn't know what to believe.
posted by Like its 1997 at 4:51 PM on January 20, 2011

Oh, sure, most definitely. Stick with 'em till they give you a reason not to. :)
posted by TomMelee at 5:07 PM on January 20, 2011

Response by poster: *Can we ask supplemental questions related to our original post??

If so, I got my site to work. I type in, "mysite.com" or "www.mysite.com" and it goes there.

But, if I type in "www.mysite.com/blog" it goes there still, but the url shows "xxx.nfshost.com/blog" (it changes back to the nfshost.com name, which is the default name)

Also, when I hard code links, such as some page a few have randomly changed the url in the browswer back to "xxx.nfshost.com/sites/somepage.htm" rather than what I expect it to be, "mysite.com/sites/somepage.htm"

Why is it doing this?? Thanks a lot. Again.. if this is considered a cheap attempt at getting two questions out of one, fine I'll wait 2 weeks. ;)
posted by Like its 1997 at 10:19 PM on January 20, 2011

Response by poster: Woops, I wanted to display the code itself, not an actual link to 'some page'..

I meant: <a href="/sites/somepage.htm>some page</a>
posted by Like its 1997 at 10:23 PM on January 20, 2011

Response by poster: updated: I figured it out..... had to change cononical name settings.
posted by Like its 1997 at 4:17 AM on January 21, 2011

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