How Network Solutions Inc hosed the Posse

After finding that our nameservers disappeared and that it was intentional, we waited for the root nameservers to get the net zone with the 1999090800 serial number. Once they finally picked it up at 11:45 a.m., we discovered that our zone was still missing.

So I called Network Solutions, Inc. I dialed continuously for more than 10 minutes before I got the phone to ring instead of getting a busy signal. Then I sat on hold for 20 minutes before I was able to talk to someone. I asked what the holdup was. He told me that we had just been pulled off of the "ON HOLD" status that morning, so we'd need to wait for the next root nameserer reloads to reappear to the world.

After having a go-round with the friendly customer service representative who told me that if this were so important, I would have updated my physical mailing address the day that we moved and went on to insist that NSI was completely free from blame, I spoke with a customer service manager person.

During the course of the conversation with the manager-type, I discovered a few interesting things:

This whole business is completely unacceptable. There's no way that with physical mail forwarded to my present location and with perfectly functional electronic contact information that I should not have heard anything more than a "do not pay until you receive an invoice" message. The majority of the known Internet sites inside of space under the control of Network Solutions Inc., which is now in the business of making the most money possible. Without anyone else able to handle registration of the com, net, and org domains, NSI has little reason not to operate in such a ridiculous manner. (It's interesting to note that the US Security and Exchange Commission is investigating NSI at present.)

Very small organization are dependent upon things like this working. Unlike NSI, most companies have not been handed a US government-sponsored monopoly where they can capitalize on a vertical market. Shutting down a small for-profit enterprise can have a devastating effect. For it to happen in a manner where constant bumbling led such a shutdown to be for duration of half of a week is absolutely preposterous.

For some time, we have advocated greater use of the country code domains, particularly the underutilized us domain. You will be seeing more from us about this business and how to free yourself from the incompetence of Network Solutions, Inc.

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Matt Curtin
Last modified: Thu Sep 9 10:38:43 EDT 1999