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Domain Registration Mayhem

I don't think it's a secret that the domain registration business is kinda whack. Just look at all the domain parking companies out there which take "shady business" to the whole new meaning. What I don't understand is the rationale behind some of the rules that govern domain business. For instance...

How does NetworkSolutions Inc gets away with charging $34.99 a year?

Seriously... WTF? I am hosting my domains with 1&1 Hosting, which charges $6.99 a year. This seems like a reasonable price, but here's the main reason the guys like NetworkSolutions are still in business:

You can not transfer your domain 2-3 weeks prior, and two months after the date of your domain renewal.

This dead simple, but annoying rule guarantees that everyone who WANTs to transfer their domain, but is trying to wait till last minute and/or forgets till last minute, CAN NOT move their domain to a more competitive provider. Please give me one good explanation on how this rule protects consumers...

See also: Network Solutions rules of domain transfer.

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