Too little, too late: Uniregistry will offer price protection on 9 domain extensions

uniregistry

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:

Frank Schilling just killed the New gTLD domain name program (Warning!)

The real percentages of the upcoming Uniregistry domain extension price increases (5% to 3115%)

The Uniregistry disaster continues: registrar increases domain retail prices by 62% to 75%

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.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

27 comments

  1. Anyone who touched the new G’s deserves what they get. Its fools gold. Pretty obvious too.

  2. Yes, definitely too little too late. STAY AWAY from Uniregstry

  3. They were being blackballed by the industry, the Frank Schilling brand does not carry a good feeling with investors in these extensions anymore. Nobody was going to play ball, and screw over their clients for uniregistry’s master plan. Godaddy blacklisting their extensions, would not have been the first of many to follow, they were pretty defiant on their stance, this does not be coming from a warm place, more without a choice.

  4. Doesn’t this feel like a domestic abuse relationship, he beats on you, then says come back, and says I am sorry, then does it again, and again.

    What happens next year, when the numbers aren’t good, all the people who register in 2017, and build a site, are at the mercy of the hands of their master once again.

    When you sell 4L.com for like $40K Frank, just give the gtld’s a few years man, let people build, play, and develop on them. The path you are going down in self destructive.

  5. When a “Grandfathered” domain is sold from one entity to the next, the conversation will look like this:

    Buyer: How much is the registration?

    Seller: I pay $20 per year

    Buyer: Why do they want to charge me $300 per year?

    Seller: Not my problem brudda, you should have done some research.

    Buyer: I am not your brudda and you schlonged me big time.

  6. I JUST RAN YOU OVER WITH MY TRUCK!! WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUY SOME CATASTROPHIC HEALTH INSURANCE NOW?

  7. Variable pricing must be confusing for the registrars too.
    But they have to deal with unhappy customers. The registry never does first line support.

  8. What about them and Donuts taking down renewal prices of their premium domains?

  9. You can’t close Pandora’s box. Frank made the Average Joe domainer realize that any new gTLD registry can jack up their renewal prices. You could build your business on one and then be held hostage by the registry. No thanks.

  10. I for one am glad Uniregistry is taking a step back from the cliff. I might not dump my .diet names after all. That said, if I have to prune my portfolio the Uniregistry names will be the first to find the exit.

  11. Does anybody trust Frank anymore? Not 1 person I talk to does!

    • Nothing he says carries weight, he is to self inflicted. He just became to much of an infomercial that shipped an inferior product. Nobody needs another one of those so called widgets anymore.

      Was he really losing all that much money on the extensions, I doubt it, any business that competes with it’s own customers, and uses it’s own customers money to bid against them on a daily basis, should be able to take a segment of the business on the chin in the startup stages.

      He just wants it all, well he is the darling of the domain world now.

  12. my .property domains went from 29.00 to 168.00
    I dropped them

  13. @ Konstantinos Zournas, your blog is one that bubbled to the top with a gap left by theDomains, and I am a fan, though I do not comment often.

    But, isn’t what the people wanted and commented on in the previous 3 blog posts about the UniRegistry price increase given? the commenters asked if their domains could be grandfathered, and it happened. I do not see a need for a negative view.

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