Uniregistry issued a press release today that was pretty difficult to understand until you reached the end of it. And even then it is pretty cryptic.
In essence they mumbled that grandfathering existing registrations was “technically difficult and confusing for customers”. Registrars complained about different premium models being hard to implement back in 2014 but since then both Donuts and MMX managed to make a similar price change while operating very complex registration/renewal models that seem to work fine at the registrar level. I guess explaining that they now have to pay $300 per year for their $20 domain was easier to explain.
Bret Fausett, head of the Registry Services Team, said today: “So, for the names in our highest-priced tiers, the price changes will affect only new registrations. We are asking our registration partners to do whatever is necessary to enable this approach.”
Registry price protections will be in place for customers registering in .Audio, .BlackFriday, .Diet, .Flowers, .Guitars, .Hiphop, .Hosting, .Juegos and .Property. The new price increase will take effect on September 8, 2017. Customers who register domains in name spaces with price protection before September 8, 2017 will have their domains renew without any increase in the registry fee.
That is too little, too late by Uniregistry. The damage is done. Trust to Uniregistry is lost in the majority of the domain name community. And they picked to protect some of the extensions with the lower registration count. They left out .click and .link.
Is this a compromise to satisfy GoDaddy that has stopped accepting new registrations for the Uniregistry extensions?
And Uniregistry is only talking about the wholesale prices and doesn’t explain to huge price hikes in retail prices for all extensions.
For example before these price protections announced today, the .Hosting current retail price was/is $29,88. The wholesale price for new registrations goes up by $280. So the expected new retail price would be $309,88. But the new retail price will be $498,88. So the registrar added another $189 on top of the wholesale price increase. The announcement says nothing about the retail price of legacy .hosting registrations. Will these be sold for $29,88, $218,88 or somewhere between $29,88 and $218,88? Who knows…
In .click, .link, .help, .pics and .tattoo the absolute retail increase is actually even higher than the wholesale increase. For example, the wholesale increase in .help is $6,67 while the retail increase is $12,33 resulting in an overall increase of $19. From $19,88 to $38,88.
You can follow how this story unfolded in these 3 posts and the almost 200 comments:
Here is the complete press release so you can judge by yourself:
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On March 8, 2017, the Registry Services Division of Uniregistry, Corp., a leading domain name registration services company, announced price increases on many of its top-level domains.
Prior to that announcement, Uniregistry had consulted with many of its registration business partners about the upcoming price increases. “The registration providers we consulted reported that differentiating prices based on the time of the registration was technically difficult and confusing for customers,” said Bret Fausett, head of the Registry Services Team. “Based on that feedback, and considering the small number of registrants affected, we made the difficult decision to raise prices for all registrants.”
“After the announcement, however, we, and our registration partners, have heard clearly from our end users that the ability to register ten-years at the existing price does not ameliorate the pain of subsequent price increases for registrants facing substantial price increases,” said Mr. Fausett. “So, for the names in our highest-priced tiers, the price changes will affect only new registrations. We are asking our registration partners to do whatever is necessary to enable this approach.”
“Creating a legacy tier of prices for inaugural registrants in our niche, premium top-level domains is technically more difficult,” said Frank Schilling, Managing Director of Uniregistry, “but it’s the right thing to do for those pioneering individuals and companies who have staked their claims in the new Internet real estate.”
“I am also pleased to report that we will use the occasion of these price changes to vastly simplify our premium names program,” said Mr. Schilling. “Rather than many tiers of premium pricing, we will now have only one. Most of our very best names will move to the base price, freeing up large swaths of Internet real estate, at lower prices. This change will reduce prices on more than one million premium domain names, which represents hundreds of millions in price reductions. These reductions will be announced to registrars later this month and should reach consumers this summer.”
The new price increase will take effect on September 8, 2017. Registry price protections will be in place for customers registering in .Audio, .BlackFriday, .Diet, .Flowers, .Guitars, .Hiphop, .Hosting, .Juegos and .Property. Customers who register domains in name spaces with price protection before September 8, 2017 will have their domains renew without any increase in the registry fee.
Uniregistry will have price reductions for its premium domain name program in place by the end of Q2, 2017.