Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

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Facing a Reputation Crisis, Network Solutions to Change Front-Running Practice

As we reported yesterday, Network Solutions has been in a lot of deep-water after many people discovered the company was guilty of "front-running"–the practice of registering a domain name after someone has checked on its availability.

Today, CNET is reporting the company is reeling from the backlash and has announced they will make changes to their practice.

One change is that the company will offer only an "under construction" page for sites that it has reserved…Another change coming soon is that Network Solutions will register domains only when people search for domains from the company’s home page. No longer will it do so when people use the company’s Whois search page.

It make you wonder what went through the minds of the executive that make these reputation-risky business decisions–probably just dollar signs.

Seriously, when you thing about the potential value to your bottom line, consider more than just the cash that comes in the door. A great reputation takes many, many years to build and trust is hard to gain, but easy to lose.

While NetSol might have fattened their revenues over the past couple of weeks, they’ll now likely lose out in the long run. Of course, 95% of their customers will have no clue of the dirty tricks that just backfired, but those that did hear about it–marketers, webmasters, web designers–are the ones that can influence others.

Imagine the next time an ordinary business owner asks his web designer, "Where should I register my domain name?" Do you think that guy is going to recommend Network Solutions?

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com/ Jaan Kanellis

    I still dont see any reason to register the domains from the home page as well.

  • http://www.theratingblog.com Alan Johnson

    This is just hilarious: they should have had the common sense of knowing that something like this will backfire. They can try to save appearances all they want, it was their decision and now they just have to live with it.

    Alan Johnson

  • http://www.myslips.com Mike Monaco

    oh thanks for not stealing domains from the whois search WOW lol did we even know they were doing that?

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    So the NS change is instead of being unethical on every page of their site they’re only going to be unethical on the home page of their site. Sorry I’m not satisfied and won’t be recommending NS to anyone.

    I mentioned this in the other post, but why don’t we all start searching for completely useless domains at NS and let them register away.

  • http://www.theratingblog.com Alan Johnson

    I honestly can’t understand how a company can come with “hey, use us, we aren’t stealing…anymore” as an approach and expect things to work out for them.

    Alan Johnson

  • http://www.freeg131.com Phil Gamble

    I can’t believe they are getting away with this. And I also suprised that no other sites seem to have jumped on the bandwagon, perhaps everyone else is too sensible.

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