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October 24, 2005

Yahoo domains: read this before you register a domain name with Yahoo

Yahoo! has a service called Yahoo! Small Business that sells domain names at a very attractive price. If you think of registering a domain through them, read on. And maybe also have a look at what others say.

First Yahoo! is not an accredited domain registrar, but simply a reseller for the Australian domain registrar Melbourne IT. If you ever have a problem with you domain registration however, you'll have to deal with Yahoo!, and their support is appalling to an extent I have never met before. They consistently and repeatedly reply to emails with irrelevant pre-made messages: this did not happen to me once or twice, but about fifteen times.

Given my first experience with their support staff, I rushed to transfer my domain to another registrar as soon as the 60-day no-transfer period after registration was over. The transfer was systematically denied. Whenever I got a human to reply, their answer showed a striking ignorance of .com transfer procedures, replying with transfer requirement only applicable to other types of domains (.info,…).

After three days, I ended up calling them and I was told that they could not do anything and referred me to Melbourne IT. Emailing and calling Autralia several times, I was told that I had to deal with the reseller (Yahoo!) directly.

I don't know at this point if my transfer will finally go through, but I have already spent much more in international calls than even the most expensive domain registrar around (e.g. Network Solutions sell domains at USD35).

If you want a cheap domain registrar with capable support staff, I recommend, for having tested them for years:

  • If you only want the basic registration with no options (e.g. private registration), GoDaddy will do the job. But beware, these people are master marketers and they will try every trick to sell you additional products.

  • Gandi is a bit more expensive mostly owing to the low rate of USD, but their service includes at no extra cost features sold under "private registration" by some other registrars, allowing e.g. to hide your email address in the WHOIS database to avoid spam. They also include virtually unlimited email and web redirections.

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