I want to take a minute to talk about something that was eating at me all weekend. Throughout my career, I have registered 100’s, maybe even thousands of domain names. Many of those were for myself, but the majority of those domain names were for customers. Well, last Thursday I needed to register a domain for a new project I’m working on as a side project. So, having used Network Solutions plenty of times in the past, I decided to use them to register my new domain name. During the registration process, one of the fields that required input was for a phone number. According to the registration page, this was a mandatory field and would only be used for security purposes in the event that I forget my password. Another step in the registration process asked if I would like to receive news, products offers, and guides from Network Solutions or if I would like to received selected and relevant information from Network Solutions partners. As always, I selected “NO” for both of these questions and completed the registration process.
On Friday, I received three calls from an unknown number at the number I used during registration. As I was extremely busy with work on Friday, I didn’t answer any of the three calls. Saturday morning, I began receiving calls again from the same number. When I answered, here is how that call went:
Lady on phone: Hi. This is (some name). I am with Network Solutions. Can I speak with Lucus Darnell please?
Me: This is Lucus.
Lady on phone: Hello Mr. Darnell. I want to begin by saying thank you for registering your domain name with Network Solutions. By doing that, you are automatically eligible to participate in our upgrade program.
Me: Thank you, but I’m not interested.
Lady on phone: Well, if you will just give me a minute to explain, I’m sure you will love to hear what I have to offer you.
Me: No. I’m not interested in anything you have to offer me.
Lady on phone: But sir. If you will just give me a minute…
Me: No! I am not interested! Take me off of your calling list.
Lady on phone: Sure. I will do that. But first, will you please explain to me why you want to be removed from our calling list?
Me: Really? You seriously want me to explain to you why I want you to remove me from your calling list?
Lady on phone: Please. I don’t understand why you would want to do that or why you would want to give up an opportunity like this.
Me: First off, I only wanted to register a domain name. I did not ask for any extra automatic upgrades. I did not ask for you to call me and I especially did not authorize you to call me on a weekend. I do not like solicitation calls.
Lady on phone: Sir, this is not a solicitation!
Me: Yes, it is a solicitation. If you are calling to try and talk me into giving you money for something I did not ask for, that is a solicitation and I do not appreciate it. I am on the do not call list. Therefore, you should not be calling me.
Lady on phone: I’m only calling you because you gave us your number.
Me: The only reason I gave you my number was because your site would not allow me to register a domain name without entering a phone number, I tried. The only reason I did finally enter my phone number was because I thought you were a reputable company and that the message that told me my phone number would be used only for security purposes was the truth. Now I know it was not the truth and that it was probably a mistake doing business with you at all.
By that point, I was frustrated and hung up. I understand trying to upsell people on things. However, before the registration process was complete, I was bombarded with all kinds of attempts to upsell me with other domain names, extensions, email service, web hosting, etc… That I can understand. Heck, I can even understand attempting to upsell someone via the email confirmation that was sent after the registration was complete. What I can’t understand is why you think it is ok to call someone in an attempt to sell them something they weren’t interested in to begin with. If I was interested in anything else you had to offer, I would have purchased it on my own. For you to call me three times in the same day and then again on the weekend is completely unacceptable. I think this is bad-practice on your part. In fact, this one little experience has upset me enough that I will no longer do business with you. If you want an explanation of why this upset me so much, let me further explain.
If I was to receive a call from every company I do business with, I wouldn’t have time to do anything else. The phone number I used during registration happened to be the number for one of my cellphones. So, you are wasting my minutes. I have better things to do, especially on the weekend, than to hassle with one of your employees over something I didn’t ask for to begin with. If I had been registering the domain name for one of my customers, I would have entered all of their information instead of my own. Had I done that and you had called my customer, my customer would have been questioning me as to why you were calling them, possibly ruining any chances of that customer ever doing business with me again. When you cost me money, I will no longer do business with you. When you waste my time, you are in turn costing me money as my time is very expensive. Therefore, again, I will no longer do business with you. If the call I received did not in fact come from Network Solutions, my number was still shared with one of your partners who called me on your behalf, even claiming to be with Network Solutions. Either way, I shared my number with you and you abused it whether by calling me directly or by sharing my personal information with someone else even though I opted out of any of that.
My point here is that if your business is hurting for sells so bad that you would stoop so low as to do something like this, then you are not a company I would want to do business with even aside from this experience. I believe that what you have done is shameful and completely bad practice on your part. It is my opinion that you need to change some of your policies as you are not the only game in town and I for one will be using your competitors from now on.
P.S. I even went back to the Network Solutions site to make sure that I did in fact select No to the questions about being contacted or having my information shared with partners of Network Solutions. The answer was “yes”. I did in fact opt out of those, but you still contacted me anyways. Here are the privacy settings as they appear in my account.
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