Netregistry must die!

My experiences lead me to view Netregistry as a prime candidate for corporate execution.
Last update: 20 June 2018

Quite apart from their reputation for atrocious service, Netregistry has a history of misappropriating funds from customers' accounts and bullying attempts to extort undue payments. In my case they misappropriated funds then, when I recovered what they'd stolen, broke our contract by suspending service. My advice is that, if Netregistry looms, then RUN!

Netregistry on ProductReview (102 out of 103 "Bad" or "Terrible")
Netregistry on WebHostingReviews (average 0.22 out of 10 for customer service & billing)
Avoid Netregistry on Whirlpool
Problems with migration from Uber to Netregistry? on Whirlpool

Much of what follows is based on posts to Choice Community.

[13 June]
In 2009, I opened an account for web and email hosting with Jumba, a small Canberra-based firm with a good reputation for customer service. In 2011, Jumba was taken over by UberGlobal. They had a far poorer reputation but the service was still OK, so I stayed.

In February of this year, Uber informed me that they were "moving to Netregistry". I think that's marketing-speak for a takeover.

In May [originally reported as March], I received another email. Among other things, it said:
"When your existing cPanel service is migrated to our state-of-the-art infrastructure, it will have an ongoing monthly fee of $9.95"
I responded with:
"My current Uber account costs me $49 per annum. By my calculation, the new charge is about 144% more; almost 2.5 times as much. You're telling me to find another provider, is that right?"
In part, their reply was:
"As part of the consolidation we are reducing the amount of packages offered so we can better support our customers, as the $9.95 plan is the closest fit to what you are currently on under UberGlobal it is the plan you are being moving to.
If you do not wish to continue your service you may cancel it prior to migration ..
My reply:
"My current subscription runs to 11 January 2018. Are you dishonouring that contract?"
Their response:
"The comms for this were poorly worded, that is what the price will be if paid monthly beginning with your next renewal (11 January 2018)."

An email dated 23 May, I found somewhat amusing (red highlights are mine):
"We’re contacting you again as your migration to state-of-the-art infrastructure, and our new account management portal, The Console, is scheduled for Invalid date.

What this change means for you

No action is required by you today
However ACTION MAY BE REQUIRED on Invalid date. (see below)
The message made little sense, so I ignored it. They followed up with a message that at least had the dates. Migration was scheduled for 30 May.

On that date, another email arrived:
"We recently informed you of your upcoming service migration to NETREGISTRY. This migration was due to be completed on Tuesday, 30th May 2017. Unfortunately we were unable to complete your migration due to unexpected technical issues.

At this stage no changes have been made to your account. We will reschedule your move and will notify you by email of your successful migration shortly."
The next day:
"Welcome to Netregistry!
We're happy to announce that your UberBusiness domain(s) have been moved to Netregistry.
So far, so good, I guess.

Today (13 June):
"Please find attached the current paid invoice for your Netregistry services."
The attached invoice shows a charge of $119.40. A check of my bank account showed that it was debited yesterday (the 12th).

I've sent the following to my bank, via their secure messaging facility:
"The following transaction on account ####### is not authorised:
12 Jun 2017
Please cancel it and credit the amount of $119.40 to my account. NetRegistry is not authorised to debit any of my accounts. Please block any further debits from NetRegistry."
and to Netregistry:
"On 5/05/2017 11:01 AM, wrote:
"... paid monthly beginning with your next renewal (11 January 2018)."

As it is not yet 11 January 2018, no payment is due. Please cancel the debit. Any authorisation you think Netregistry may have to debit any account of mine, whether explicit or implicit, is hereby explicitly revoked.

My account is fully paid to 11 January 2018. If there is any interruption to or degradation of service before that date, then I will expect compensation."

I'd already decided to find a new hosting provider. Any chance Netregistry had of retaining this customer is now irretrievably gone.

I've often thought that business attracts criminal minds. Netregistry has done nothing to dispel that notion. Their poor reputation is richly deserved.
[End edited 13 June post]

The answer from Netregistry was less than helpful:
"This email is in response to your enquiry about the Invoice no. 10143363. We would like to inform you that the payment is already reflecting in our database. We do appreciate you doing business with Netregistry!"
Playing dumb is a pretty common tactic. I 'phoned my bank to organise a chargeback.

Tempting fate, they asked for feedback. I resisted the temptation.

[17 August]
My bank processed the chargeback on the second of August. This morning (the 17th), I found my account suspended.

I immediately hopped on my high-horse and emailed Netregistry:
My account is now showing as suspended. As I've pointed out (see below*), it's fully-paid to 11 January next year. Reinstate service immediately. I expect a refund for the entire period that the site was off-line.
* I included my email of 13 June

I don't hold out much hope, but a little high dudgeon doesn't hurt. :wink:  
[End edited 17 August post]

 Next morning, there being no response from Netregistry, I informed them of my intention to go elsewhere. I followed up immediately by 'phone for the EPP code, speaking to a chap with such a heavy south Asian accent that I had to repeatedly ask him to "say again". That done, and with confirmation that the domain is not locked, I was in a position to take up an offer by Net Virtue. In hindsight, I should have bailed as soon as the chargeback took effect.

20 August: When it came, Netregistry's response could easily have been compiled by a machine. It occurred to me that the same is true of many of the messages I get from them. Does Netregistry employ an Artificial Stupidity system?

Out of pure curiosity, I tried the instructions in Netregistry's message. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work. Among other things, my response reads:
"The account showed a spurious outstanding balance. I'm paid up to January next year. Please have your accounts department correct the error."

22 August: A couple of days later, there being no further contact from Netregistry, I followed up:

"My account is still showing an outstanding balance of $119.40. As I've pointed out repeatedly, the account is actually in credit.

I paid Uber Global to 11 January 2018. Refer case number #01207726. When Netregistry took over Uber, you inherited that contract.

Please correct your error."

24 August: The answer from Netregistry tends to confirm my suspicion that they use an Artificial Stupidity system:
" The charge for the invoice is valid as we received a chargeback request from your bank."
Again, they asked for feedback. Again, I resisted the temptation.

My answer might have been a little terse:
"You received a chargeback because the debit was invalid. You stole and I recovered what you stole.

As I've repeatedly pointed out, my account is paid in full to 11 January 2018."

28 August: The next Netregistry comedy routine had me conceding that their Artificial Stupidity must be compounded by something else:

Natural stupidity

"The payment is not for the re-registration of the domain, But for the service called Basic cPanel Hosting and the service needs to be paid to settle the amount."

29 August: Getting a bit tired, but determined not to be worn down by their sheer idiocy, I provided more detail (which, having taken over the business - including its records - they'd already have):
"Uberglobal Invoice #INV0174015 is for 12 months' cPanel Hosting. I paid that invoice on 11 January. I therefore have no current liability for cPanel Hosting. Please correct your accounts."

02 September: Their next effort seems to concede that Netregistry got it wrong. I have to admit that they've succeeded in confusing me, so I don't really know what  they're saying:
"I'll be setting this case to resolved status now."

05 September: Netregistry's left hand seems not to know what the right is doing. The confusion leads to abused customers letting things slide, so it's profitable. My inner Machiavelli doesn't believe their ineptitude is anything but tactical.
"I have reviewed the records of your account with Uber and I have confirmed that you have paid for the service subscription attached to the domain name that is valid until 11/01/2018. I have voided the invoice (#10143363) so you no longer have to pay for it and I have also corrected the next invoice date on your domain name. This has been a migration error when your account was transferred from Uber to Netregistry, and we apologise for the inconvenience."

Netregistry still have my payment to the 11th of January. As they broke our contract, they're not entitled to keep it. My sites and associated email addresses were off-line for about a week. I had to organise (and pay for) alternative hosting. I reckon I'm due a refund and compensation.

14 September: My response reads, in part:
"Netregistry still have my payment to the 11th of January. As you twice broke our contract (by misappropriating funds from my bank account, then by suspending the web & email hosting that I'd paid for), you're not entitled to keep it. My sites and associated email addresses were off-line for about a week. I had to organise (and pay for) alternative hosting. I reckon I'm due a refund and compensation."

28 December: Message from Uber Business Pty Ltd <> timestamped 1:18 PM begins:
"Your service will automatically renew in 14 days."
As I've closed the account from which they've misappropriated funds in the past, I feel confident in ignoring them.


01 January: Message from timestamped 11:15 PM, with the subject line "Important billing notice: Automatic renewal of your subscription" begins:
"Our records indicate the following subscriptions will be automatically renewed ..."
It looks like both the old Uber billing system and the Netregistry one are active. The result is pretty much spamming.

11 January: Message from Netregistry Accounts <> timestamped 11:26 PM, with the subject line "Failed credit card transaction for Account Ref ..." begins:
"We have attempted to charge your credit card: [redacted] for payment of services on invoice number [redacted], but the transaction has been declined for the following reason: CALL AUTH CENTRE."
The message continues with a rather shouty:
"Pay this invoice now"
and further down:
"Update your credit card details"

12 January: Message from Netregistry Accounts <> timestamped 12:07 AM, with the subject line "Netregistry Invoice No: ########" begins:
"Please find attached the current unpaid invoice for your Netregistry services."
and again with:
"Pay this invoice now"
Two messages within an hour is little short of harassment.

11 February: Message from timestamped 8:47 AM, with the subject line "Overdue Invoice: Invoice No ######## #tid########" begins:
"Reminder: Account Due"
and continues with:
"Dear Netregistry Pty Ltd,
Please do not delay as your account is now overdue.
They're talking to themselves now.

25 February: Message from timestamped 8:47 AM, with the subject line "Overdue Invoice: 14 Days Overdue, Invoice No ######## #tid########" begins:
"Outstanding Invoice:
14 days since the initial account reminder
and continues:
"Netregistry would like to advise; your account is past our 30 day terms of payment. Please pay the full outstanding amount within 8 days to avoid your account being suspended. This suspension will unfortunately result in all services attached to your account being unavailable."
What services?

06 March: Message from timestamped 5:07 PM, with the subject line "Overdue Invoice: Invoice No ######## #tid########" begins:
and continues:
"Please note that it has been more than 30 days since an invoice was issued to you for services with Netregistry, which has been unpaid. Non-payment of this account will result in your account being suspended within 7 days. During this time, services will be disrupted until such time as your account has been settled."
This is getting a little stressful.

08 June: Message on my home answering machine to ring Netregistry about my domain. There was also a speech-to-text message a while back on my mobile, which I didn't document at the time.

15 June: Another message on my home answering machine. Looks like it's going to be a weekly thing.

20 June: Yet another message on my home answering machine. Getting more frequent.

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