Andy Beal and I have both talked some about Network Solutions and their recent policy decisions as to how they manage their domain name purchasing services. Well TechCrunch is reporting that now Network Solutions has adopted the practice of “hijacking unassigned sub domains” by placing ads on these sub domains without notifying the site owners.
This “new” practice, and I call it new because this is the first we are really hearing of it, is already affecting hundreds of thousands of sub domains. How long this has been going on is hard to tell, but based on Network Solutions recent behavior closer scrutiny will most likely be applied to all of their business practices.
The comments on the original TechCrunch post have provided some highly interesting insight for all individuals who might be using the Network Solutions hosting services.
1. Speculation as to why this might have happened. Initial thoughts are the DNS is not set up properly on many sites and those sites are the ones being redirected to the Network Solutions page.
2. Examples have been provided of the harm this practice has already caused with a site that had this done to them and the negative effects the site had with Google.
3. Potential options Network Solutions could have implemented other than this one.
Needless to say Network Solutions is failing to improve on their existing reputation of failing to look out for their customer’s best interests. Many commenters have encouraged people using Network Solutions to find a new service provider.
The Network Solutions brand, was for many years, a brand that was associated with trustworthiness. How much longer can their brand take a beating before their customers start to abandon them? Or will they find a way to rebuild trust with their existing and future clientele?
Also everyone should remember that ICANN has plans to take action to try and limit or eliminate the practice of domain tasting in their June meetings.