Once upon a time, there was a registrar. They had a cute name: RegisterFly. I was in the market for a new place to handle my domains after the old stargate.com site stopped working properly in Firefox and the support people told me to use IE. Not to mention they had no whois protection. Paradigm recommended the Fly, so I went to check them out. Within hours, I transferred all my domains to them.
Minor Glitches? Or Blissful Ignoance?
Over the course of the ( I think ) 3 years I was with them, there were some small snags. A renewal here that didn't take, a new domain there that didn't fully register. Whois information that couldn't be properly updated, ProtectFly ( anti-spam stuff ) settings that didn't hold. I muttled through figuring it was normal in such a complex system.
Right about this time last year, some of the domain renewals I had failed. I got emails saying something about how they needed to transfer from their old site to the new. I was a bit confused, thinking "what old site?" but it didn't click. I wish it had. As it turns out, this was when the Fly got their precious little ICANN sticker and struck out on their own. Before this they were a reseller with eNom Inc. Would have been nice to know this, but whatever, right? It can't be that bad. If only I had been more diligent with my credit charges.
Paypal and Falcon Fraud vs The Fly
Roll into this month. Server upgrades are done. I check my Paypal account. That's .... odd.... what the hell are these "Hosting Services Group" charges and why am I paying for it? So I go through my account history. Oh dear. They got me twice and I didn't even notice. So I file a fraud claim with Paypal. Cancel the debit card.
Move up to this morning. I sit down at my PC at work. Log in to my desktop. And in typical fashion, waste the first 30 minutes doing personal stuff. So I checked my home email. Oh yeah, that's right, can't pay the DSL bill with the Paypal card this month. I just canceled it. So I used my regular ATM/Debit card. Declined it says. Ok, whatever. It's a glitch. Paid with another card. Drove home after work, noticed I need gas. Bleh. So I stop at the Shell station down the street from home. Tried to use the ATM/Debit card. Declined. Again. Um. WTF. Pay with another card. So by now I'm wondering what the hell happened. So I go across the street to the bank.
As it turns out, Falcon Fraud, which is a division of Visa, noticed some very suspicious activity on my card. They froze the account. Apparently tried to call me but I was ignoring the phone over the weekend. Server upgrades and all. I'm rather glad they did though. It's come to my attention that the Fly has been posting bogus transactions for all of the domain renewal failures and other fuckups they caused.
The charges all showed up under the name "Hosting Services Group" - which won't click in your head as being them. Which led to me telling the nice man on the fraud prevention line that the charges were all unauthorized. Which led to me now needing a brand new debit card with a new number and all that shit. There were also several charges made on the card for internet dating sites such as match.com, now I don't know what this implies, but it certainly seems to me the Fly was involved somehow.
So what now?
Obviously it's time to find a new registrar. It was also during this last week that Asylumius IM'd me asking if an email he got from eNom was legit. Some poking around on Google led to [defunct spammer link] and the enlightenment began. It's far FAR worse than I thought. The fraud complaint hasn't gotten far enough for them to find out yet, so I spent the better part of the night unlocking domains, setting proper whois into ( ugh, the spam! ) and beginning the long process of transferring out what I can. Some of the domains are already under the Fly's control. Others are still listed with eNom. I ended up choosing http://www.1and1.com for now. Only time will tell if I jumped from one fire into another.
What's this mean for you?
It means that you too should get out. Get out now. I don't care where you go from the Fly, but run, fast, to the nearest registrar of choice. Even Godaddy would be better than this mess. eNom has dropped them as a reseller, or will anyway, as of March 9, 2007. One wonders why it took this long, but whatever. The point is, don't do business with these jackals.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil
Well. I guess that's that then.
Now if I could just get the other group pushed to Enom so I can transfer them as well we'll be in good shape. Along with eventually getting iguanadons.net off of Network Solutions.