Network Solutions was once the pioneer of the internet domain registration process. Many years later, the company does not have a domain business monopoly that it once did. Neither are their prices the most competitive. Now if you search for a domain at NetworkSolutions.com and if the domain is available, Network Solutions will place a “client lock” status on the domain which will prevent you from booking this domain from any registrar on the internet except at NetworkSolutions.com. This lock will be in place for about 4 days after which if you still have not booked the domain from Network Solutions, you may be able to purchase it from any other registrar.
What this practice amounts to are the following:
1) Providing a supposedly confidential service to check for domain names and then capitalizing on this knowledge that someone is looking for a domain name and placing a lock on it. It’s your idea and someone now is using that knowledge to capitalize without ever letting you know that this is the accepted business process at Network Solutions.
2) This lock is placed by the registrar without anyone paying any money for it. Which means that the registrar is giving preferential treatment to people who purchase a domain from them rather than following an equal opportunity mechanism for registering domains. What Network Solutions is doing here is illegal in my opinion as Network Solutions has no right over a domain till the time it is purchased and right now is abusing its powers as a domain registrar.
3) By placing a lock on a domain, Network Solutions exposes your idea to people in the domain squatting business and you may never get the domain because by the time you finish your research, the domain could already have been purchased.
Following are screenshots for a random domain booking process performed today over a 2 minute time period – See how NetworkSolutions rips you off:
1) Search for a domain at any registrar. It is available!
2) Now go over to NetworkSolutions.com and search for the domain. It is available!
3) No go back to the previous registrar. It’s Taken! And you’ve not even paid any money for it. Now you are forced to buy this domain from Network Solutions. I think a class action lawsuit is sure to follow.