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!
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Problems with migration from Uber to Netregistry? on Whirlpool
Much of what follows is based on posts to Choice Community
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
"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 current subscription runs to 11 January 2018. Are you dishonouring that contract?"
"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
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
NETREGISTRY CH *
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, email@example.com 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
"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.
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
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.
[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
"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
" 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:
"The payment is not for the re-registration of the domain boxall.id.au, 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 boxall.id.au 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
<firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 email@example.com
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 <email@example.com> 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
email@example.com timestamped 8:47 AM, with the subject line "Overdue Invoice: 14 Days Overdue, Invoice No
######## #tid########" begins:
14 days since the initial account reminder"
"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."
06 March: Message from
firstname.lastname@example.org timestamped 5:07 PM, with the subject line "Overdue Invoice: Invoice No ########
"REMINDER: ACCOUNT DUE"
"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.
29 June: Message from Netregistry
<email@example.com> timestamped 29/06/2018, 9:53 am:-
We’ve noticed that you have one or more domains set to expire during the planned registry maintenance between 8:00am AEST, Saturday 30 June 2018 and 8:00pm AEST, Sunday 1 July 2018.
During this maintenance period we will be unable to renew or modify any .au domain names. To avoid any downtime for your domain we strongly suggest that you renew your domain name before 8:00am AEST on Saturday 30 June.
You can renew your domain by logging in to your console account.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We're always happy to help.
The Netregistry team
06 September: Message from
Netregistry <firstname.lastname@example.org> timestamped 6/09/2018,
We recently reviewed our hosting services and have made some changes to our pricing. This email contains information on how these changes will affect you.
At your next renewal date there will be a price increase to your hosting plan on the accounts associated with this email address. These changes will enable us to continue delivering the most innovative solutions and keep pace with your evolving needs. Please log in to My Account for more details.
We stay committed to offering you the most value including:
Easy set up (one-click installations to launch your website)
World-class hosting, housed in Australia for maximum up-time and minimal latency
Email security to keep your inbox clean and secure
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We're always happy to help.
01 January: Message from
email@example.com timestamped 1/01/2019, 11:14 pm:-
Our records indicate the following subscriptions will be automatically renewed as follows:
Domain name: boxall.id.au has the following subscription services due for renewal; Subscription service: Basic cPanel Hosting Renewal date: 11 Jan 2019
In order to view up-to-date pricing for all of your services please log into The Console.
Where there is a nominated credit card on your account, you will be automatically charged for the above listed subscription(s) upon renewal and payment will be deducted automatically. Your services will continue uninterrupted and an invoice will be generated on the renewal date.
If you have recently added a credit card to your account, and would like to request that this card be set as the default payment method for this subscription service, please reply to this email. We will NOT automatically charge cards on your account unless explicitly specified by you.
Please note, this reminder is for the renewal of your services and not for the renewal of your domain name registration. Domain names are invoiced and paid separately.
If you have a subscription service and you pay manually on receipt of invoice, you can contact the Accounts Team via email enquiry or live chat to nominate either credit card or direct debit payments if you prefer this option.
If you do not wish to continue the subscription(s), you must submit a cancellation request prior to renewal — please note, cancellations are only accepted via this web form. Cancellations are subject to our Terms & Conditions.
We're here to help
If you require any assistance, please contact our customer support team — available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — by email enquiry or live chat. Please also see the Netregistry Terms and Conditions, to which you agreed upon purchase.
Note that I've never had any commercial relationship with Netregistry, purchased nothing from them and agreed to nothing.
11 January: Message from Netregistry Accounts <firstname.lastname@example.org> timestamped 11/01/2019, 11:26 pm, reporting failed credit card transaction (I cancelled that card, to stop them stealing any more).
12 January: Message from Netregistry Accounts <email@example.com> timestamped 12/01/2019, 12:06 am, demanding payment of attached account.
At some point, I took a call from someone at Netregistry. I told them in no uncertain terms that I've never been their customer and don't ever want to be. I neglected to document the exchange, probably because I'm distracted by health problems.
06 February: Message from firstname.lastname@example.org timestamped 6/02/2019, 1:20 pm:-
We have received your request to cancel the following service(s):
Service(s): - Basic cPanel Hosting
We will review and process your cancellation request within the next 72 hours. A confirmation email will be sent to you upon its successful completion.
Your receipt number is 13907304. Please quote this number during any correspondence relating to this cancellation request.
If you are cancelling this service due to an unsatisfactory experience and would like to provide further information, please email email@example.com and someone from our management team will review your case.
The Netregistry team
07 February: Message from
timestamped 7/02/2019, 9:35 am:-
Thank you for contacting Netregistry.
This email is confirmation that we have received your request and a consultant will be working to respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.
If you need to reference this request, your case number is #0268####.
Though we will do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible, sometimes the best way to get immediate answers is to search our knowledge base at the Support Centre.
07 February: Message from firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> timestamped 7/02/2019, 9:37 am, demanding payment of $155.25. They generously offered to settle for $77.62.
07 February: Message from firstname.lastname@example.org timestamped 7/02/2019, 9:38 am:-
We have completed your request to cancel the following service(s):
Service(s): - Basic cPanel Hosting
As your domain is no longer registered with us, we have removed it from your account.
This cancellation does not affect your domain registration. If you no longer want to use this domain name, please log into the Console and turn the domain auto-renew toggle off. The domain will then be deleted upon expiry.
Your receipt number is 13######. Please quote this number during any correspondence if you want to pursue any outstanding matters in relation to this cancellation.
If you are cancelling this service due to an unsatisfactory experience and would like to provide further information, please email email@example.com, and someone from our management team will review your case.
11 February: Message from firstname.lastname@example.org timestamped 11/02/2019, 8:35 am, demanding payment of "Overdue invoice" for $155.25.
11 February: I lodged a billing fraud report on the ACCC's Scamwatch site, then informed Netregistry by email.
14 February: Message from email@example.com timestamped 14/02/2019, 8:56 pm, seeking payment of "Settlement Amount" of $77.62
I lodged a complaint with Fair
Provider was taken over. New owner tried to charge for services already paid for. They then broke the contract inherited from previous proprietor. They're now harassing me to pay fraudulent charges and threatening me with debt collectors.
Attached to the complaint is a small text file:
I've done my best to document the sequence of events: http://david.boxall.id.au/201708/netregistry.html. All original emails and bills are available if required, but there should be enough on the web site.
My first priority is to stop the harassment and threats. How many people has Netregistry bullied into paying fraudulent bills?
Second, I feel that a refund is due from the moment Netregistry violated the contract that they inherited from Uber. By my reckoning, that's $19.73 for 147 days (17/8/2018 to 11/1/2019)*.
Third, compensation should be considered. Quite apart from the time wasted, I'm well into my seventh decade and the stress is not good for my health.
I replied to the 14 February email from accounts, informing them of the complaint.
* Make that 17/8/2017 to 11/1/2018. This has been going on for so long that I got the dates mixed up.
18 February: Message from firstname.lastname@example.org timestamped 18/02/2019, 11:41 am:
I have reviewed your case and have credited off the outstanding invoice on your account 12######. Please let me know if you have any other issues or concerns
The Netregistry Team
Is it really dead this time? I wait with bated breath!
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