A few months ago we were about to launch a new blog. We spent 3 hrs trying to think of the perfect name. And we found it!

Boy was I excited. I had one of our editors search to see if the name was available while I hopped out of the office for lunch.

It was available! And it had never ever been registered in the past.

She was unable to register the name till I got back.

2 hours later we went online to try to make the purchase. But the name was snapped up? How on earth did a name that had been available since the dawn of the Internet suddenly disappear within 2 hours of our search?

We were shattered!

Someone was snooping on us. And you would not believe who.

Turns out that many domain registrar have been snooping on customer searchs and quickly registering any hot name a customer searchs for but does not register immediately. These registrars know these domains can later fetch premium prices.

How Vile!

One of the biggest culprits is Network Solutions (www.NetworkSolutions.com). Before GoDaddy came along with its SuperBowl advertising, many people foolishly paid Network Solutions premium prices to register domains. GoDaddy by comparions – charges way less.

Network Solutions (NetworkSolutions.com) lost a lot of business to GoDaddy. So they apparently turned to the business of snooping on customers and grabbing names that people search for but do not immediately buy.

According to discussions cropping up at Domain Name News, Slashdot, Reddit and DomainState discussion boards.

“Network Solutions has instituted a four-day lock on all domain names searched on their site. They are effectively using phishing techniques to hijack or steal domain names and forcing domain name registrants to register their names at Network Solutions. The standard domain name registration fee at Network Solutions is $34.99–significantly higher than the leading alternatives,” complained one commenter.

The deny this charge of course.

But one creative user at the site Reddit.com proved their guilt by searching for the domain name:

http://www.YouGuySeriouslyRegisterEverythingISearch.com/

Which Network Solutions promptly snapped up. You can see what they’re doing with it here:

http://www.youguysseriouslyregistereverythingisearch.com/

The full story on what they’re doing and how is avalaible here:
http://commandline.org.uk/more/squat-for-the-win-2008-01-09-03-36

Have you been screwed by Network Solutions? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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