Just got off the phone with Godaddy. I hate Godaddy as a company, but their support is amazing, but that’s beside the point.
I’m planning on buying up quite a few domain names in the near future, and I’ve been shopping around for the best price etc… etc… Finally I broke down and decided to buy the names through Godaddy (they seem to have the best bulk registration process and prices).
Back on point: I don’t want my personal information plastered all over the WHOIS page for the sites I’m buying, so I was planning on getting Godaddy’s FREE(***) Private Registration service (only available if you buy over 5 domain names at the same time). The catch is that the “FREE’ness” is only valid for as long as you choose to register the domain names for initially.
So say I wanted 100 domain names for 10 years. I would pay $0.00 for the Private Registration for those ten years, but at the end of the 10 year period, I would be stuck with the standard Private Registration renewal fee (which just happens to be $8.99 PER DOMAIN). That’s a quick $899.00 added to your bill at the beginning of year 11.
Now that this is understood, lets talk about how I got to this point of understanding.
I check the WHOIS information on a lot of web pages that I frequent out of routine. I noticed on one of the websites that I checked the WHOIS information for, the registrant didn’t pay the Private Registration fees. To dodge having to pay for that crap, he simply put “UNKNOWN” on all of the fields that he didn’t want to share with the world. i.e. email address, physical address, phone number, city, state, fax etc… Then he slapped his business name in the “Registrant Name” field, and called it a day.
I specifically asked the Godaddy Tech Dude if this was “illegal or something”. For real, I said “or something” after that. Anyways, he told me that there should be a “report invalid WHOIS information” link at the bottom of the page, and there is a good possibility that the domain owner would lose that domain for not providing valid information.
Now, mind you, I don’t necessarily care that this person filled in junk WHOIS information. I’m not going to report it. Heck, I’m half tempted to do it myself, but won’t. And I really wonder what the process is for whomever the mysterious agency (ICANN?) is that takes care of these online rebel bandits is anyways. What are they going to do? Subpoena Godaddy, and ask for your information so they can track you down and file a complain against you all over a $9.99 domain name? I would imagine that they really do have quick access to the information pertaining to every domain on the web, or enforcing such a rule would be damn near impossible.
MORAL: I don’t know what the Fudge Monkey to do. I don’t want to pay register 100 domain names for 10 years just to skip out on the Private Registration fee. Crap, by the time 10 years is over, there will probably be something cooler and more convenient that will nullify the importance of Dot Com names anyways. But at the same time, I don’t want to shell out the cash money for 100 domain names and only register them for 1 year either, and then have to start paying for Private Registration at the end of that one year. Suck me sideways.
Do you have any suggestions for me? Ever been through the bulk domain registration process? Have a better registrar? Been busted for having bunk WHOIS information? Lose your domain because of that? Fill me in in the comments. I’d love to hear.