Last year I wrote about getting a new web host and domain registrar for the Engineer’s Association website. It was time for the host and one of the domain names to expire. Because I didn’t want the accounts to be locked in to my e-mail account like they had been with the previous webmaster’s personal e-mail account (causing a lot of problems with last year’s transfer), they sent the expiration notices to a Yahoo e-mail account that I created and never use. So by the time I realized what was going on, my domain at NameCheap for gdotea.org had expired for a couple of days. I went ahead and tried to renew at NameCheap and after it took my credit card information I got a message that said it had failed “for some reason”. Don’t know why. I tried a couple of more times and got error messages again, including ones that said I couldn’t renew a domain I had already put in an order to renew.
Fed up with NameCheap, I decided to transfer the domain to GoDaddy, where I had gdotea.com registered. First I had to get the release code from NameCheap, which I got no problem. Then I paid my $7.21 to GoDaddy for the transfer and a one-year extension from the current expiration date. After a few hours the process was stuck and it said I needed to release the domain from my current registrar. Back to NameCheap where I found out that any domain within a couple of weeks of expiration is locked and can’t be transferred. And, further, the only way to transfer an expired domain was to first renew it. So I wound up paying to renew the domain at NameCheap (something at work was blocking the secure credit card process, so I found I could only renew at NameCheap from my computer at home). In the confusion, they ran my credit card twice but only extended the domain for a year. So I asked them to refund one of the charges on my credit card (which they did once I identified their own transaction numbers).
However, GoDaddy had not given up, and once my domain was renewed for a year, the transfer proceeded (hoping GoDaddy would eventually give up (I couldn’t see a way to cancel the order) I had tried to lock the domain at NameCheap but that checkbox was grayed out). Worse, GoDaddy only gave me the extension from the original expiration date when I had placed the order, not the renewed date I had already paid NameCheap for. So I wound up paying NameCheap and GoDaddy to extend the date by one year. I’m just going to eat one of the charges since I shouldn’t have let the thing expire in the first place.
Back to GoDaddy. When I went to gdotea.org it was some goofy parking page advertising tea and noni juice (because the domain has “tea” in it). I went to the control panel and said that gdotea.org should forward to gdotea.com (like it had done at NameCheap; I had thought this would be automatic since the GoDaddy transfer process asked me if I wanted to keep the same settings for the domain). The forwarding can take up to a day to go into effect so I had to wait until this evening. It was still showing the ad. I found out GoDaddy will only forward domains if they are first parked at GoDaddy. I guess maybe that advertising page was actually being served up by NameCheap. So I set it to park and activated forwarding, which I hope will go into effect soon.
Registrars are such a pain. Admittedly I brought some of this on myself for letting the domain expire (the Yahoo e-mail account gets surprisingly little spam, so I think I will have it automatically forward messages to an e-mail address I check up on), but NameCheap is terrible and I am glad to be rid of them. Why would they even give me a release code if they had a policy not to release expired domains? Why didn’t their credit card processing work? Why did they charge my credit card twice? GoDaddy really isn’t any better and their interface is even worse than NameCheap.
Note for next year: change the domains to the current web host, A Small Orange for $10 a year each. Renewing the hosting agreement with them was a snap. It used to be it was hard for ASO to deal with two domains, but they now have a setup for add-on domains that will forward (like I want to do) and actually let you run multiple domains from a single web hosting account.