Important Information Regarding the Recent Sale of SnapNames to Web.com

Moniker send an email containing some information regarding the recent sale of Snapnames to Web.com. Moniker will continue to work with SnapNames as in the past and the usual business will not be interrupted for clients.

Moniker, under the leadership of the recently appointed CEO, Bonnie Wittenburg, now plans to work more closely with KeyDrive and it’s sister company, Key-Systems.

Here is the email I received:
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Moniker Doing a Service-wide Password Reset

Moniker’s Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Moniker network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access a number of Moniker user accounts. So Moniker is doing a Service-wide Password Reset and you will not be able to access your account until you reset your password. It is not clear if this has affected Snapnames that is also part of the Keydrive group.

Here is what Moniker said about the issue:

As a precaution to protect your domains, we have decided to implement a system-wide password reset. Please read the below instructions to create a new password. You will not be able to access your Moniker account until these steps are taken.

In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that domains have been lost or transferred out. We also have no evidence that any confidential or credit card information has been compromised.

While our password encryption measures are robust, we are taking additional steps to ensure that your personal data and domains remain secure. This means that, to be absolutely sure of the security of your account, we are requiring all users to reset their Moniker account passwords.
Please reset your password by following the directions below.

1) Go to Moniker.com and click the “Sign In” button in the upper right hand corner of the home page. Select the “Forgot Your Password” link.

2) You will be directed to a page to “Retrieve” your Moniker Account Password. When prompted, enter your account number and click “Submit”.

3) You will be directed to a page that displays the message below. You will receive an email from Moniker. Please follow the instructions in this email to complete the password reset.

As recent events with other large services have demonstrated, this type of activity is becoming more common. We take our responsibility to keep your domains and personal data safe very seriously, and we’re constantly enhancing the security of our service infrastructure to protect our customers. We feel it is also important to be clear that we view this as attempted illegal activity and have taken steps to report this to the appropriate authorities.

There are also several important steps that you can take to ensure that your data on any website, including Moniker, is secure:
•    Avoid using simple passwords based on dictionary words
•    Never use the same password on multiple sites or services
•    Never click on ‘reset password’ requests in emails that you did not request

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience of having to change your password, but, ultimately, we believe this simple step will result in a more secure experience. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Moniker Support. Our support team is standing by to assist at 800-688-6311 or outside the U.S. and Canada: 954-607-1294.

Moniker/Snapnames auction sells 31 domains worth a total of $30,877: StumpRemoval.com $11,770

The Moniker/Snapnames premium spring auction sells 31 domains worth a total of $30,877. There were 168 other domains that didn’t get the reserve such as kx.net $8,500, ylq.com $5,250, yogaclasses.com $10,250, 20.net $10,000, so.net $10,000, vivas.com $5,001 and capm.com $3,000.

Here are the 31 domains that were sold:

Domain Name Price in USD
stumpremoval.com 11770
temperature.co.uk 2950
cranerentals.com 1850
greatreviews.com 1550
bookingtickets.com 1152
bombay.co.uk 1050
autocarecenter.com 675
bookingvacations.com 590
sfey.com 590
jnu.net 531
arrd.com 530
gzw.net 485
tireandauto.com 475
bzo.net 473
xre.net 460
xgs.net 444
vyc.net 429
jxb.net 410
jzy.net 410
wxg.net 410
qrn.net 398
bqp.net 385
fqw.net 385
eromances.com 375
dcze.com 300
golfingschool.com 300
joggingshorts.com 300
seem.net 300
uheo.com 300
vuvu.net 300
xpix.org 300

Moniker and Snapnames are down

Both Moniker and Snapnames websites are not responding at the moment.

I was trying to backorder a domain and when that failed I remembered I wanted to renew some of my expiring domains at Moniker. When that didn’t work either I started thinking that my internet connection was down which of course it wasn’t. I then remembered that both Moniker and Snapnames are owned by the same company. DOH!

Moniker and Snapnames are owned by the same company, KeyDrive, that bought both companies from Oversee.net. I thought that they were going to try and fix some of the bad reputation that has been building up for the 2 companies but this is certainly not the way to do it. I once had most of my domains at Moniker but now I have there less than 5% of what I once had.

Moniker .ORG Renewals Are Failing

I have tried renewing the same .org domain name at Moniker.com 3 times today within a 6 hour period and all three attempts have failed.

You will not get any indication about the failed order from the subject of the order confirmation email that Moniker sends after an order has been completed. You have to open the email from Moniker or visit the status center at your Moniker control panel to know that a domain renewal has failed.

The error message I get is:
Failed to renew domain in registry. Error code: 2104 – “Billing failure”

I have enough funds in my account to renew 10s of domains but even one .org is failing. Moniker has been having system issues for years now. It seems that the new owners haven’t had the time to fix any of the old issues. KeyDrive acquired Moniker and SnapNames from Oversee.net about a year ago.

Cheapest .xxx domain renewal and transfer prices ($68.17 is the best price)

Extension .xxx is approaching its first anniversary on December 6th and it is time to renew your .xxx domain names. Many people like me used backordering and pre-registrations last year. Some may choose to transfer the domains in order to consolidate them from various registrars to their favorite one. But I think the list below is worth a look so you can see market prices for .xxx renewals and transfers. You might choose to change registrars after all.

Please keep in mind that the registry price for .xxx domain names is not even close to .com or any other major gTLD. It is a staggering $62 and retail prices are of course more than that. So choose wisely what domains you renew and what you drop.

The cheapest price came from what was a surprise to me: GoDaddy at $68.17 (using a coupon). Then there is DomainMonster that has a $69.99 price for .xxx transfers. Name.com (for transfers) and 101domain.com have their pricing set at $75 for .xxx domains.

There are a couple of European Registrars like dinahosting and gandi.net offering .xxx domains for €52 ($67.57) and €55 ($71.47) respectively but depending on where you live you may have to pay VAT tax and also you may have to make substantial purchases to get this rate.

Do you want cheap .xxx prices? Please find below the complete list of prices for .xxx domain names renewals or transfers from most of the .xxx accredited registrars.

North America:
GoDaddy $100.17  ($68.17 with 32% off coupon IAPWD32, expires 12/4/2012) Go Daddy Deal of the Week: 32% off your entire order! Offer expires 12/4/12.
Network Solutions $129.99
Enom $120 – $108 (or less depending on the reseller plan)
Name.com $84.99 ($74.99 for transfers)
101domain.com $75
EnCirca $99
Marcaria.com $79
Webnames.ca $129
register.com $?? (I had to create an account to see the price)
tucows.com $80.18+ (depending or the reseller on opensrs)
NamesBeyond $99
007names.com $92
Moniker $98
Dynadot $84.99 – $79.99 – $77.99 (depending on account discount)
Namecheap $78.88
Latin America:
directNIC $99
namescout.com $85
namevault $79
dattatec.com $99.99
Europe:
eurodns $95.17
domaininfo.com $76
register.it €99
core €66+ (depending on the reseller)
domainmonster.com €89.99 ($69.99 transfer)
easyspace €74.13
Safenames $120
Mailclub € 89
Gandi.net €65,00€ – €55,00 (depending on account discount)
CDmon € 69
Entorno € 59
DonDominio €59.95
Networking4All € 64
united domains € 69
epag € 85
1API (hexonet.net) $79.90
key-systems (dd24) € 88
namebay € 80
dinahosting €52 (€47 registrations)
OVH.com €69.69
Netim € 69
register.eu € 95
NordNet € 79
variomedia € 105
BookMyName.com €62.99
InterNetworx €79.90
Joker.com €91.73
Asia – Pacific:
IpMirror $98
Insta Corporation $119
DomainTheNet $99
MelbourneIT $160
iisp.com $142.39 – $115.05 – $110.03 (depending on account discount)
fabulous.com (.xxx not supported)

A few registrars may offer bulk pricing that is not depicted on these prices. If a registrar is missing or a price is wrong or missing please let me know.

Snapnames got me 3 domains I backordered 5 years ago in an account I thought was closed!

A few days back I got an email with subject: “Notification of domain transfer-out” from Moniker. The email message was:

Congratulations!

The following domain has been automatically transferred out of your Moniker registrar account xxxxxx to a new owner. This transfer out was a result of a completed sales transaction you initiated from SnapNames or Moniker.
XXX.XXX
If you have any questions or concern, please submit a ticket at: http://support.oversee.net

Thank you!
Moniker Support

The account number was mine but the problem is that I didn’t have a sales transaction for any domain name at Moniker or Snapnames. Especially for that domain in the email that didn’t remind me of anything. But I have a lot of domain names so that wasn’t such a big surprise. I checked and found that the domain in question was in fact in my Moniker account.

I asked Moniker support what was this all about. They told me that my domain was still in my account. Well I could see that!

At about the same time I got a text message from my bank that my credit card had a charge from Snapnames. But I hadn’t made any orders at Snapnames.

That “SnapNames or Moniker” ambiguity in the email got me thinking. I asked Moniker support if I had won the domain in Snapnames. They asked me for my credit card number.

I gave them my credit card number. I got 2 more charges on my credit card from Snapnames. I hadn’t received any emails from Snapnames telling me that I had won any domains. I had only got the “Notification of domain transfer-out” email. They told me that I had indeed won the domain at Snapnames and they asked me what my Snapnames account was. I gave them the one I had. They said that wasn’t it. I told them that I didn’t have any other account and I asked them to find which account had won the domain I knew I had won. They said that they couldn’t do it without an account name!

At this point I have to say that my communication with Moniker support is at least terrible. It takes them 24-48 to reply to emails and they don’t work on weekends. This whole process had already taken about 2 weeks! In August Moniker and Snapnames announced a Priority Call-Back Service and they closed that press release  ”Contact us online 24/7.”. They didn’t explain that although you can contact them 24/7, they will not be responding 24/7. Also this email above proves that Moniker’s system is broken. It is time to rebuild everything.

After all this (and more) they finally told me that the domain in the original email was won by an account I thought had closed in 2007. I checked the email address that was associated with that old account (that I am not currently reading) and I found the 3 “congratulations you have acquired” emails. I haven’t used this account for the past 5 years so these 3 domain were backordered 5+ years ago. 2 of these domain names actually dropped a couple of weeks ago! I am not sure how my credit card from back then is still working but I think that the credit card number hasn’t changed. (expiration date and 3 digit code have changed) Time to change my credit card number…

I just checked and I have been in about 200 auctions without knowing since 2007 with this account and I only won my first domain this September.

New auction from Moniker, SnapNames and Afternic

Moniker, SnapNames, and Afternic will be sponsoring a new online domain name auction beginning August 29th and running through September 20th. Most names will have low or no reserves.

In the previous auction domains like Paranormal.com and Hipsters.com were offered and went for $65,000 and $28,500 respectively.

Included in the upcoming list are the following names:

MartialArts.com (my favorite)
ScholarshipHelp.com
TranslationSoftware.com
MusicProducers.com
FutonBeds.com (my second favorite)
RewardsPrograms.com
ThrowRugs.com
Kamikase.com
LagunaVista.com
MarriedCouples.com
SleepExpert.com
GirlsSoftBall.com
BritishCitizenship.com
ConverterBoxes.com
DecoratingTips.com
… and more.

Moniker and Snapnames announced a Priority Call-Back Service

I got 2 emails today, one from Moniker and one from Snapnames announcing a Priority Call-Back Service. The emails were word for word the same as Moniker and Snapnames are owned by the same company, KeyDrive, that bought both companies from Oversee.net. This is a step to the right direction although a lot or credibility has been lost to Snapnames through the Halvarez scandal and the company acquisitions over the years. Similarly Moniker has lost most of the momentum it had in 2005 when it was the top registrar choice to many people in the domain industry. Since then Moniker is stale with no system or interface upgrades.

Here is the email:

Dear Valued Customer,

We are pleased to announce our new Priority Call-Back service for phone support inquiries! What does this mean for you? If there is a wait time when you call Moniker (Snapnames) Support during our recently extended phone support hours, you now have the option to reserve your place in line and we will call you back as soon as a customer service representative is available. Simply provide us with a number to reach you at and carry on with your day, simple as that.

This increased service level is effective immediately.

Contact us by phone any day of the week.
Toll free in the U.S. and Canada: +1 800-688-6311
Outside the U.S. and Canada: +1 954-607-1294

Monday through Friday
7:00am to 8:00pm US Eastern Standard Time
4:00am to 5:00pm US Pacific Standard Time
11:00am to 12:00 Midnight UTC

Saturday and Sunday
8:00am to 6:00pm US Eastern Standard Time
5:00am to 3:00pm US Pacific Standard Time
Noon to 10:00pm UTC

Contact us online 24/7.
To access Moniker (Snapnames) support information, simply Login to your Moniker  (Snapnames) account then click on the “Support” icon from the upper right hand corner.

We value your business and are available to assist with any questions.