RealTime IT News

Network Solutions Angers Domain Holders

Several holders of domain names are angry at Network Solutions after their domain names disappeared from root servers Monday night, making it impossible for Internet users to navigate to their sites or send them e-mail.

Although some were able to resolve the problems Monday, others said their domains were still not functioning properly on Tuesday.

Everyone who spoke to InternetNews.com said their domain names had been paid for and were still valid. They expressed frustration not only at having their domains go offline but also because they were unable to get information about the incidents from Network Solutions.

Mike Sandburg, vice president of 1000 Islands Internet, a Watertown, N.Y. Internet provider, said three domains his ISP registered were dropped, although renewal payments on them were not due until the end of March.

One of the companies affected was Frink America, a large manufacturer of snow plows that Sandburg said does millions of dollars in business every month on its Web site.

"Their domain disappeared. Their marketing person tells me they get 10 to 15 e-mails from prospective customers every day. He lost all that--all that mail bounced. He's mad and has every right to be," Sandburg said.

Sandburg contacted Network Solutions late Monday night, which maintains the root servers that authenticate domain names. He said after more than three hours on the telephone, his domains were restored after Network Solutions performed an emergency root server update.

He's demanding that Network Solutions compensate him and others affected by the glitch.

"Even now, I have customers complaining they can't send their e-mail because various mail servers bounce mail if the from address doesn't contain a valid domain. My customers are trying to send e-mail using 1000islands.net and it's bouncing. I have thousands that fall into that category and they're all mad," Sandburg said.

Gelinda Rogers, a Williamsburg, Va., Web designer who holds more than 690 domains, said the problem has caused some of her clients to actually lose domains.

"Localnews.org is one of my clients and they were not due until March 22. Now it's gone and someone else has registered it within the last few hours. It's killing me and I can't get anyone to answer the phone," she said.

Jesse Schachter, director of operations of Micro-Net Online Services, a New Haven, Conn.-based ISP, said two of his customers domains went offline even though according to Internic the domains were valid.

"Their domains basically stopped working on the rest of the Internet. After searching for two hours trying to find something wrong with our domain name servers, I looked at the top-level root servers. I saw the domains were undelegated, which means Internic pulled the domains out of the root servers," he said.

Schachter asked Network Solutions officials to explain the problem and was told the domains were probably deactivated due to non payment. He said no one would explain why the domains were pulled out of the root servers without the domain owners being notified first.

Chery Regan, a spokesperson for Network Solutions, said NSI always notifies clients when payments are due. In cases where one individual or company has registered many domains, Regan said NSI may require prepayment

"It has to do with an excessive number of registrations or a history of non-payment. We notify them we may require prepayment for new registrations," she said.

If payments aren't received in a timely manner, Regan said NSI will delete the domains.