DomainTools is making a huge change in memberships and is increasing the price of personal accounts from $49 to $99 per month.
In 60 days, DomainTools will begin sunsetting all existing membership levels and add-ons and updating current customers to the packaging and pricing of the new Personal Membership.
The Personal Membership package adds four products that have never been offered before to individual members but I don’t think this justifies such a price increase especially considering the competition from DomainIQ.com and Whoisology.com. Whoisology.com memberships start at $30/month while DomainIQ.com plans start at $24.95 per month. Each service has different features.
DomainTools will now be offering Bulk Parsed Whois and Reverse Whois Research Mode ($1000 or more in value) that were previously only available to Enterprise members. They are also including their newest product, Reverse IP Whois, which works like the Reverse Whois for domain Whois, but across IP Whois records. And finally, Personal Membership includes 5 Domain Reports per month (a $245 value if purchased separately).
The price for Personal membership will be $99/month or $995/year.
DomainTools will probably loose a lot of customers that use their service 2 or 3 times per month and can’t justify paying $99.
Existing customers can use the special promo code UPGRADENOW for a discount of 30% off their first month (save $29.70) or first year (save $491.85 off 12 months). If you do not take action, your account will be automatically upgraded to the new pricing effective on your next billing cycle after June 25, 2016.
Unbelievable that they didn’t grandfather legacy members. Upon receiving the email I promptly cancelled my account that was active for nearly 7 years @ $500 / year. Looks like DomainIQ or Whoisology will be getting my cash from this point on. Poor decision Mr. Chen.
I agree that they will lose a lot of customers this way.
Estibot did something similar. They upped their pricing a couple of years ago. Luckily I was grandfathered in. I’m paying $39.95/month and can do more or less the same as the $99.95/month membership. I assume if Estibot would force senior members to suddenly pay $60 more per month for no additional functionality I’m sure a lot would leave as well (including me).
When a customer is lost, the cost to get the customer to return is much much greater than any profits that would be realized. That is why many companies “grandfather” customers when increasing prices dramatically.
I guess they think they will keep more than 50% of customers and thus make more money. But even those that will stay will not be happy and will leave more easily in the future.
Laughable greedy, silly strategy …
They have lost another customer, we are not using it anymore …
Plus they should keep free Whois lookup, for people using it only, since Whois data are free, publicly accessible data.
One month ago, after a clash with DT support, I wrote an email to Ammar (Kubba) about it, see an extract below.
We are suggesting all our clients and contacts to avoid using DomainTools.
“I’ve been using DomainTools for my Whois lookups since 2010, with a personal account.
After using it for 6 years without any particolar issue, at the beginning of March 2016 I noticed that they put the Lookup limit to just a few ones on my account.
Please note that I’ve always used it only for lookups, while I’ve never used any of their other services, and that Whois data are free public data, publicly accessibile without charge.
In the meantime they totally disabled the option to open a “free” account, forcing people to pay at least 99$/month even for just doing a few Whois lookups.
In the last few days I talked to their Support, and their reply was suggesting me to use a different Whois data provider and cancelling my account.
I’m used to pay for all useful services which are not freely and publicly accessibile (public resources).
That said, IMHO, charging 99$/month for providing free public Whois data is “legalized extortion”.
They should keep Whois lookups free, while charging users for all their other services, that would make more sense.
Otherwise, if you need to force people to pay for free Whois lookups, that means that your other services you are offering are not so useful or atractive to end users, which means that your business model is weak, with no competitive advantages, probably doomed to fail.
Unless they change this silly way of doing business, we are going to suggest all our many business contacts not to use their services.”
Why do you have pay so much when there are other free tools out there?
Unwise to suddenly double fees while slashing services by half. Effectively, they quadrupled the cost overnight.
If DomainTools wanted to pull this off, a sneak attack would have been more effective. Raising prices 16% per year for 5 years, for instance, would have made them more money. Customers would stick around because people put up with gradual deterioration and price hikes. But not this.
I have a $49.95/month Professional Account and I currently use 10 registrant monitors. Apparently I’m “upgrading” to a limit of three registrant monitors for an extra $50/month. I’m cancelling my account.
Estibot grandfathered prices for old accounts, the smart decision, and that makes them different… There was no public backlash and they kept happy customers. What is the cost to acquire a long-term customer on this niche?
How come there are not so much great news for domainers nowadays? Is there anyone who sold a domain for $1MM or above recently?