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 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
, 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 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

“ 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.

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