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Network Solutions apologises for 'You just paid us $1850' email

'Badly worded e-mail' should have explained new WebLock service was opt-in

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Domain Name registrar Network Solutions has blamed a backlash over extra fees for secured domains on a “badly worded e-mail”.

Customers of Network Solutions recently received an e-mail saying that to combat domain hijacks, “Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014, all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program”. This would only allow pre-registered Certified Users to make any changes to a domain name's configuration settings.

Network Solutions would check all requests for changes via an outbound call to the pre-registered telephone number, with the recipient to use a unique nine-digit PIN to confirm their intentions; and all Certified Users would be notified of the request to make a change, along with which user made the request.

All of which is well and good, but it was this line in the e-mail, spotted by Tweeter Brent Simmons, that enraged customers:

To help recapture the costs of maintaining this extra level of security for your account, your credit card will be billed $1,850 for the first year of service on the date your program goes live. After that you will be billed $1,350 on every subsequent year from that date.

The e-mail was sent to 49 customers.

According to Domain Name Wire, Web.com (owner of Network Solutions) has backed down from what looked like an enforced price premium, with COO Jason Teichman saying the program will be opt-in, and that all customers targeted by the program will get a call from the company.

The program will only be put to the top 30,000 or so customers – the largest 1 per cent of Network Solutions' book – and the charge will cover an entire customer account, regardless of how many domains are registered by that customer.

The program, in other words, focuses on big-name brands and major resellers, for whom $1850 is back-of-the-sofa stuff and the service sounds like a good idea. As does asking them politely to pay up, Network Solutions now realises. ®

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