Posted April 10, 2008 12:31 am by with 8 comments

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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.

  • I think domain owners have rights to brign a suit against Network Solutions.

  • Someone is trying to manage NetSol into the ground.
    The offenses are serious and non-stop, in an age where transparency wins.

    Their actions are baffling.

  • They are sinking lower and lower. I still want justice against their domain tasting practices. They are one of the reasons that many 2-word domains are not available. Once the final ruling is given by ICANN about their domain tasting evil…hopefully it will free up many domains again.

  • they still charge 35 bucks per year for domains, even lowered their prices.

    im glad godaddy stole soo much of their market share. what a failure to innovate and adapt to the changing environment.

    and the only reason i know they still charge 35, is because i still have one domain there which is used for nameservers, so i dont want to risk interrupting a dozen sites with a domain transfer.

    netsol, what happened? u used to be the industry standard…

  • Wow. When the domain tasting thing came out, I thought, “Could they be any shadier?” I guess I have my answer now.

  • Marc

    i wish i had the time to go into all the foolish and shady practices they are engaging in overthere

  • Ars Technica has a really good follow up to this story that is worth reading.

  • Thanks for the follow up post Roderick. Not quite as nefarious as this story first appeared, but still NS should realize they’re going to be under scrutiny after the last go round.

    Their brand is quickly eroding.