Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beware of net4.in

For those of you new to websites - there are two parts to any website going live one is to buy a domain name (i.e. Domain Registration) and the other is to host the website content (i.e. Hosting Services) and this can be done with the same service provider or two different service providers. If you host the content on one service provider and buy the domain name from a different service provider then you have to go and tell the Domain registrar (the service provider you bought the website name from) the server address of where your website is hosted (you can get this from the hosting provider) and this is called changing of the name servers.

Net4.in is a service provider in India that provides all these services and many more and I have been developing some websites for a client that had registered their domains with net4.in. About a couple of days ago the client realised that his site was down and was not able to understand why it had suddenly stopped working so he checked on the net4.in website and he realised that the registration had expired earlier this month but when he checked on the internet using a whois search the site was still registered in his name. So he tried to contact net4.in to renew the website, they asked him to pay a premium of Rs.10,000 on the website if he wants to buy it. So if the client wants the website address he has to now pay Rs. 10,599 and not just Rs. 499. This is in the so called grace period of 7-15 days that they have in case you forget to renew the registration and this fact is not mentioned anywhere in their FAQ.

They claim that after the grace period they will release the domain name to the public to buy it again but going by my experience with them I am sure they will get a subsidiary to buy the domain name and charge you a great deal of money to buy it again. A domain name is like your brand name and you are completely lost if you don't have it and these guys are using that fact to make more money. If you do not trademark the name there is pretty much nothing you can do on the legal side to try and get the name of the domain.

This is downright cheating as most websites now do an auto renewal and also remind you a million times that your domain name is expiring. I have registered domains with domaing8.com (.com domains), one.com (.in domains), 1and1.com (.com domains), indiatimes.com (.in domains) and I have never ever faced an issue with anyone of them.

Some of the other issues with net4.in that I have encountered are
  1. Their support is just pathetic. If you call up their helpdesk numbers you are put on hold and then suddenly the line gets cut informing you that the mail box is full. You have to call multiple times to get thru to them.
  2. After you get thru to them the person answering the phone cannot really help you as they are not technical staff so all they ask you to do is raise a service request and they will answer it in 4 hours.
  3. I raised a service request and it was not handled for close to 1 day and that too after giving them calls every 4 hours.
  4. Their online support on their website is offline all the time. I am not sure why they even have it there.
  5. They completely ignored what I had written in my service request and sure enough the problem was never solved. The service request was that changing the name servers on their site did not work as it was always getting reset back to the net4.in nameservers but they didn't read the issue properly and they tried changing it themselves and without monitoring if it was getting reset they closed the request and sure enough the nameservers got reset to their own name servers and my site still does not work.
I hope anyone wanting to buy a domain name or space to host their website stays far away from this service provider as the basic issues that they have will not make it a pleasant experience. There are a lot of better service providers out there and many of them are a lot cheaper than net4.in.

9 comments:

Atul said...

I have faced the exact same issues and much more.. they do not give you auth codes in one go and when after following up with them for like 15 days, they provide you incorrect auth codes.. as a result you have to renew the domain with them since the expiry is due

Srinivas Maharaj said...

Hi,

Were you able to reregister the domain after expiring?

Regards
Srinivas

Sudeep D'Souza said...

No i lost the domain. Luckily for me it was not a very critical website and so we were able to migrate the functionality to another domain.

Domain Registration india said...

I have faced a same problem with the customer services and technical.

Tavashi Singh said...

Your domain name application, renewal application or registrar transfer request will not be submitted to the applicable registry unless we receive actual payment of the registration, renewal or transfer fee or reasonable assurance of payment of the registration, renewal or transfer fee from some other entity (such reasonable assurance as determined by Net4India at its sole discretion). In the event of a charge back by a credit card company or dishonor of cheque / demand draft in connection with your payment for the registration, renewal or registrar transfer request, you acknowledge and agree that the registration shall be transferred to Net4India as the entity that has paid the registration, renewal or transfer fee for that registration to registry, and that we reserve all rights regarding such domain name including, without limitation, the right to make the domain name available to other parties for purchase. We will reinstate any such registration solely at our discretion, and subject to our receipt of the applicable registration, renewal or transfer fee.

As per the ICANN Policy the Registrar shall send atleast two reminder mails/notice to the Registrant for a domain approaching expiry. It is also the responsibility of the registrant to renew the domain name on timely basis. However, at the conclusion of the registration period , failure by the Registrant fails to pay the renewal fee within the specified time as mentioned in the second reminder notice/mail, results in cancellation of the domain registration. We may send you more than two reminder mails for renewal prior to the date when a renewal is due. (Though renewal reminder is automated, We owe no responsibility if we fail to notify prior to due date. You are requested to make the payment for renewal as and when due). Domain renewal status can be checked by you from the control panel provided to you. Should a renewal fee go unpaid within the time specified regarding renewal, the registration will be cancelled. Payment must be made by cheque/demand draft/credit card or such other method as we may indicate in the registration application or renewal form. We will renew the registration for the term specified, provided your credit card or other billing information is available and up to date, unless you instruct us otherwise within the time specified. If your billing information is not accurate and you wish to renew the registration, we will contact you to update this information and charge you accordingly.

DOMAIN NAME RENEWALS AND DELETION POLICY
If you fail to renew your domain name, the domain names under Net4 will be renewed automatically by Net 4 India on your behalf for a period of one (1) Year. After auto renewal of your domain name by Net 4 India you will have a Renewal Grace Period of 38 days during which you may reimburse Net 4 its renewal fee and keep your domain name. That a Domain under Renewal Grace Period shall on expiry of 21st day be put on HOLD (i.e. domain gets disabled and all services like hosting/mailing gets stopped). If you do not reimburse Net 4 India such renewal charges during the renewal grace period your domain with Hold status shall be flagged for deletion on the 38th Day, after which you will have a 30-day redemption period during which you may pay Net 4 India Redemption fee and renewal charges and redeem your domain name from the Registry. The maximum redemption fee is INR 10,000/- and is subject to change under the terms of this agreement. If you do not redeem your domain name prior to the end of the Redemption Period the Registry will release your name and it will become available for registration on a first-come-first-served basis.
Renewal Grace Periods and Redemption Periods vary for different ccTLDs. Please refer to the specific terms for the applicable ccTLD. In the event of a conflict between this paragraph and the ccTLD terms, the ccTLD terms shall control.

donthecat said...

Hee hee Sudeep, you posted this in 2008 and Net4 decided to counter it in 2013.... what a riot :-) :-)

I transferred my Domain to GoDaddy long back and I'm still getting reminder mails to renew :-) :-)

Sudeep DSouza said...

@donthecat looks like net4.in has still not got its act together, although they have put some sort of a process in place to counter all the bad publicity it continues to grow.

The funny thing is that they have put a comment with such a text book answer that is sure to lose a persons interest in the first couple of sentences.

Naveen yadav said...

can you help me out i have hosted my site on github and registered domain with net4.

here is description of the problem i'm facing http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20288670/github-user-pages-for-my-domain-not-working.

I'll be thankful to you.

Leanne Morgan said...

I have also faced this problem with my hosting provider, then I checked the online reviews for the hosting companies and I found Go4hosting more suitable for it. Now all of my problems have been resolved.