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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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I had registered a domain name with yahoo in 2005. i did a stupid thing by registering the domain name under my secondary-rarely-used-yahoo-id. I don't remember the password for this id or secret question's answer, date of birth etc, as most of the info typed while I created the secondary id was not real and I don't remember what I typed in.

I have the credit card information I used when i registered the domain.

I really want to get access back to the domain or transfer it to some other register. I am doing the rounds calling yahoo who say if I don't remember the secret question's answer or Date of birth, they can't help me.

Can anybody suggest the best approach to do this.

Best regards

Is there a legal organization that overlooks scams like the YAHOO and MELBOURNE syndicate? After all if this happened in a grocery or other shop (You have to keep it and you have to keep paying me), the law would get involved.

Thank you again for your post. Same song and dance from Yahoo. I had 3 domains with Network Solutions was able to transfer them w/o hitch, I had one with Dotster, also transferred w/no problem. I'm thinking, wow, this is easy...Then my two YAHOO domains: 1) Their customer service people are downright condescending 2) They told me "just wait a few days and try again..." 3) Why is it so hard for them to get an auth. code when everyone else plays fair?

ps. My domains other domains are safely parked w/godaddy who i like a lot better already.

I had the exact same experience. I will never do any type of web business through Yahoo. All of their services are AWFUL. I have made several complaints to officials re: Melbourne IT as well. They should not be a certified registrar.

YAHOO DOMAIN IS ATROCIOUS!!!!! I registered a domain name and decided to cancel it within 24 hours. After I got confirmation for cancellation, I only found my credit card to be charged with the domain name fee. In addition, the domain name is still registered under my name and not available for the public. Better yet, I have no access to the domain until it expires! GREAT!!!!! When I emailed domain-tech at yahoo, my email never got through. I received an email from mail delivery subsystem says that has permanent fatal errors! Why is Yahoo domain still in business?

I am also having problems with a domain transfer from Yahoo/Melbourne. The thing is I want to keep my Yahoo hosting account (Yes I'm crazy). When Yahoo thought up this scheme they didn't realize that some people would actually want to keep their hosting services under but a different registar. I guess we can see what they thought about their own ability to provide a decent service.

I freaking hate Yahoo! Business with a passion! I am a web designer, and my client registered his domain with Yahoo! before he brought me on board. We've been trying to transfer it over for several weeks, and 1) you can't get a hold of these people easily, 2) they don't know what they're doing, and 3) they are really starting to irritate me!!! Ahhh!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's having trouble with them. :)

I had a nightmare with Yahoo. Transferring a .org domain is even more difficult because registrars require that you provide an "auth info" code.

Yahoo's customer service people were willing to take us half way (cancel our yahoo account so that the domain / email no longer functioned) but then bailed, backtracked, and left us in the ditch.

As you can imagine, Yahoo claimed Melbourne IT should give us the auth code, Melbourne claimed they only release it to Yahoo and that Yahoo was aware of this. 10 emails, 20+ calls, and 30+ days later, I called Yahoo with one of many case numbers and flat our refused to hang up until they provided me with the authorization code:
866-562-7219, x2,1,2,4

Finally, the Yahoo rep was able to provide me with a "registry key" that matches my .org domain at Melbourne. With that, I could login and retreive the authorization info code to allow the transfer of the domain name to my new registrar.

Unfortunately, I found that after 30 days of complete Yahoo incompetence and mis-informaiton, the only way to handle it was to take off the gloves: call a lie a lie, refuse to be pushed into the Yahoo/Melbourne revolving door, submit a compliant with ICANN, and post these messages.

Yahoo's marketing scheme is to (1) offer easy, inexpensive process to sign up for a domain, (2) charge high yearly fees with low service / functionality, (3) use unfair business practices to prevent customers from moving to a better service.

If anyone starts the class action against Yahoo!, sign me up!

hurrrrrrrrrrray! I was just registering my domain at yahoo, i went to the order page ,was just going to input my credit card info and thought of checking out issues regarding yahoo. Thanks a lot for this post and helpful comments out here.

I am in the process of transferring right now, my yahoo domain (.com) to GoDaddy. GoDaddy's customer service is good .. not excellent but good ... however i am at the stage of Yahoo replying to GoDaddy to finish the domain trasnfer.

However, worst than yahoo is 1and1 web hosting. Their customer service reps are terrible. Their customer service reps are terrible and treat the customers badly. I would never recommend service to anyone.

I just got off the phone with them trying to get a refund for my automatic domain renewal. They totally charged me on the first of this month even though I registered on the 13th of last year. Of course they didn't give it to me because they have their evil terms and conditions, i can't believe that they don't even bother to send an email reminder, that is just pure evil business. I would never recommend them to anyone for any service, I make websites for living and I used to recommend their hosting service to my clients but never again.
If anyone here knows what I can do further to damage their reputation please let me know I am all for it!!!

I'm also dealing with a Yahoo problem of a slightly different nature.

While the .org domain was registered through over a month ago, any lookup (via Internic whois or other sources) on the domain says it is not registered. If you query MelbourneIT, they say it is.

After a month, I would expect data sets to be synced. But the whole world cannot see the domain/website because nobody but MelbourneIT knows it's been registered for over a month.

(An interesting side effect is that other registrars continue to show the domain being available for purchase, which would surely confuse who ever bought it second and was later rejected retroactively. Figure out that mess!)

I totally agree. I have been in the domain business for ages. When you look at threads like this on yahoo domains:

you totally realise that they have MANY problems, and that MANY people have been experiencing them. It seems ridiculous to offer relatively high renewal prices and low introductory prices.. any customer looking for cheap domains is just going to be upset over time.

I too have discovered Yahoo’s abysmal procedures and support. My Small Business .org website has been down for 6 days already with 404 error! And finding the correct information for transferring your .org domain away from Yahoo is a nightmare.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

First you should change your Yahoo name servers to point to your new ISP’s name servers. This is not required, just recommended.

Second, you must cancel your Yahoo account. You can do this on your Yahoo control panel. You must do this before you can get your registry key and/or authorization code.

Then you have to call Yahoo about 4 hours later and tell them to release the domain name to MelbourneIT. At that point, Yahoo will send you an email with your domain registry key.

Then you can login into MelbourneIT using your domain name and registry key. But there’s no menu choice to obtain an authorization key automatically or to initiate an transfer, so you still have to send an email to das@ or open a support case. Bastards!

I am this step right now, don’t know what the results will be yet.

All I can say is, Yahoo Small Business and MelbourneIT are the worst I’ve encountered.

Washington, DC USA

If have booked a domain at $2,99 then beware... Their terms & condition clearly states domain is non transferable which I’m sure is an illegal condition from yahoo. Also be aware of the fact that all domain name will be automatically renewed (at a higher price of course) on or before 30th June 2006 even if it were to be booked on 29th June 2006 (at least that’s what they mean I suppose). In case you have booked more than one domain name at this rate then you are a defaulter as it stated you are only eligible to book 1 domain at this price. Very only get what you pay. If you are wise cancel your domain, cancel your credit card & renew the same name when available with some honorable guys on the net.
Yahoo Terms & condition cut n pasted for your info:
(1 Domain registration discount offer is open to new customers who purchase a Yahoo! Domain and applies only to the first year. Domains discount fee offer expires on and must be redeemed prior to 6/30/2006. Domains discount fee offers expire without notice. All offers are open to new Yahoo! Small Business customers only, and are only available through Yahoo! Small Business. Customers are limited to one Offer per customer on a single account for customer's own purchase only and is non-transferable, and may not be combined with other offers and discounts, exchanged or redeemed for cash. Other terms and conditions apply; see the Yahoo! Small Business Terms of Service when you sign up. Yahoo! expressly reserves the right to change the price or features of these services in its sole discretion at any time.)

I too am experiencing the joys of my registered domain with Yahoo. I am trying to transfer the domain to DreamHost (and the have been wonderful in trying to help me). Now I find out that Yahoo isn't so great when it comes to this.

Dave, what GoDoddy needs is the email address of the registrant, not the address of the registrar or technical contact. So you need to give them your address (i.e. admin contact for your domain).

JMR: In your response to Ali, you mentioned that it simply needs to be unlocked. My domain is unlocked, and I tried to initiate a transfer to GoDaddy. Nothing happened. GoDaddy needs the email address of the current registrant to initiate the transfer; I gave them "", from my WHOIS record. This didn't seem to work. Any ideas on what I should be trying?

You mentioned both Yahoo domains and Yahoo web hosting. If you only want to change your hosting, you don't need to change your registrar, and conversely. That being said, the procedure to change registrar depends on the extension of the domain (.com, .org., net, .info, etc). For a .com, all you should have to do is unlock your domain in Yahoo domains console and initiate the transfer with the new domain registrar.

hello JMR,

i'm also facing the same thing that due to their 3rd classes services, i'm trying to change registrar so can hire another hosting company.

can you pls help out?

Tim, could you contact me at dave [at] truly crazy .com ... I would like to find out what to do to get my domain away from Yahoo/Melbourne IT.


Hi Rob,
Have you tried to call Melbourne IT directly? Because an easy reply from Yahoo in California will be to blame Melbourne IT, in Australia.
Also, the ICANN accredited registrar is Melbourne IT, not Yahoo, who is just acting as a reseller.

Yahoo Domains & MelbourneIT still won't tell me the AUTH code for my .org. They don't reply at all. I have contaced a lawyer in California and am putting together a case (small) I don't want money I just want the code!


I'm experiencing the same problem as well. Could you please email me and let me know how this turned out? I think we need to publicize Yahoo's appalling behavior to warn people against registering domains with them.

tlee (a)

You have to cancel your account with yahoo, and then ask them to release your domain to Melbourne. You might want to set up an account with Melbourne first. It's stupid as they already control your domain. But once you set up that account you can request your auth code. Be prepared to do this more than once and hopefully you will finally get the right one. If you need more help email me. I am extreamly pissed at both Yahoo and Melbourne and will be glad to help you get away from them.

I'm trying to transfer a .org to another registrar, but Yahoo won't tell me the authorization code. They just don't reply to emails. Even though I've unlocked the domain I can't transfer without the code.

I reinitiated the transfer after a few days and it finally went through.

How did you resolve the transfer with I'm working on the same problem.

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