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Businesses The Almighty Buck Networking Security

Network Solutions Opts Customer Into $1,850 Security Service 405

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-your-new-registrar dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Brent Simmons has posted about a troubling email he received from Network Solutions. He registered two domains with them in the 1990s, and the domains remain registered today. Simmons just received an email informing him that he'd been opted into some kind of security service called Weblock, and that he would be billed $1,850 for the first year. Further, he would be billed $1,350 for every year after the first. Believing it to be a scam, he contacted the official Network Solutions account on Twitter. They said it was real. The email even said he couldn't opt out except by making a phone call."
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Network Solutions Opts Customer Into $1,850 Security Service

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  • Re: Call a Lawyer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:48PM (#46031867) Journal

    Unauthorized charges to cards are pretty damned illegal.

    Are you sure that the charges are unauthorized? What's in Network Solutions customer agreements? There might be some very small print that allows NetSol to add security services and charge for them.

    I just scanned the agreement and could not find anything that would allow NetSol to add products without authorization, but then I am not a lawyer.

  • Re:Not exactly new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:49PM (#46031869)

    If you think this falls within the EULA/TOS precedents, you obviously weren't paying attention in (or are still taking) your first year contracts course.

    This is clearly an attempt to foist terms completely outside and beyond the scope of the original contract of sale onto the user, and the alleged new terms stray far into the territory of unconscionability without the formation of a new and independent contract.

    There are also major problems with the extent and quality of notice given (a single email to an email account that may or may not be monitored?) and questions as to whether the "Head of Security" of Network Solutions has the authority (legal or corporate) to effectuate this contract on behalf of the company.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:18PM (#46032033)

    Unless he specifically selects the three domains to be covered he gets nothing for his money anyway:

    The Service and related Service fee shall cover up to three (3) eligible domain names that you have registered with Network Solutions, whereby such eligible domains include .com, .net. .tv, .cc and .name domain names. However, during the onboarding process for the Service you must specifically identify the eligible domain names within your account that are to be covered by the Service. Any domain names not identified, even if eligible and registered with Network Solutions shall not be covered under the Service. The Service shall require a one-time set-up fee and a recurring annual fee billed in advance each year.

  • NWS -- more info (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:24PM (#46032051)

    A couple years back, Network Solutions "opted me in" for automatic payment of all my domains via credit (debit) card. I didn't want this, as I don't habitually keep enough money in the account to cover random charges; I put in what's needed, when needed, and that's how I like to roll. There's an opt-out checkmark; but it doesn't work. You have to call and it tells you so. Then when you call, they say "oh, hey, for some reason this isn't working..." So since I couldn't turn it off, I just changed to an expired card. Then I get panicked form emails about how it won't charge, and I pay by paypal. That worked last year. THIS year, though, what happens is that the Paypal charge is now automatic -- by paying once, you're opting in (without recourse of course) to paying them via paypal automatically forever. I found that once you paid, Paypal (not Network Solutions, but Paypal) has a way to disable the "agreement" and get you back to payment only when you authorize it. Takes some menu mining, but it's there. Or at least it was a few months ago.

    The only reason I continue to use Network Solutions is because over the years (and yes, some of my domains have been up since the 90's as well) I've watched other name registering outfits come and go, seen various name server problems, etc., and for all their horrifying business practices and high prices, my sites seem to always work, which is what I place the most emphasis on.

    Interesting note: When the above happened, I submitted the story to slashdot. Initially, it got high ratings, and I thought for sure it would post. Then it disappeared. I mean literally -- I could no longer find it in the submissions cue. It disappeared from my profile, too. Older and newer submissions remain. I have no idea what that means, but I thought it was weird. No other story I have submitted has disappeared like that.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:49PM (#46032207)
    The real solution for the "natural monopoly" is to have the infrastructure owned by the government, and providers buy service from there. It works great for mobile service in Europe (or did, until privatization took hold, and the assets were sold off below market, and the profits were lost and service got worse.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:57PM (#46032243)
    Chances are, if you send them a properly formatted invoice for toner, they'll pay it (most companies do). See how much you can get before someone notices. It's no less fair than what they do. Just make sure you have a payment EULA that authorizes the charges.
  • by egcagrac0 (1410377) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:14AM (#46033779)

    Fraud would be charging without notice, and without offering an opt-out.

    This isn't fraud, it's just a bad marketing strategy. It's also unlikely to work, since a lot of people will likely call their credit card companies and say "I didn't agree to that - reverse the charges."

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