Considering 123-Reg.co.uk ? Don’t. Avoid them.
Last December I moved domain registrars for this domain and D’s – also a .uk – to 123-reg. I can’t recall exactly why I moved them then, but I did. Just after moving, I tried to ‘Opt-out’ from the WHOIS database that Nominet keep so my privacy would be a little higher. Despite the system saying I was successful, it was not. I tried several times and each time it said all was good it was not. So I emailed their support – they said it was broken and to give it 24 hours. So I did. It was still broken.
I’m fairly good at writing down how things went wrong and how I can repeat it (must be all that hanging around in forums..) so I detailed precisely what I was doing and emailed again. Muppet#1 at 123-Reg sent me a reply which told me how to Opt-out – it was exactly what I had written. 123-Reg have a support line which costs 50pence a minute – I have a feeling I’d have got an answer if I’d rang. Anyway, I fume silently and forget about it. Few weeks later I try again – their system STILL says I have opted out when I again go through the process but I am not. So again I email. Muppet#2 tells me I’m doing it wrong and spells out just what I need to do in order to Opt-out. Spookily, it’s exactly the same steps I said were not working. Hmm. So I forgot again – until Tuesday. Trying again, failing again and seeing the typed-out-slowly email from Muppet#3 which AGAIN gets it totally wrong, I blogged for a recommendation. As a result of that, Simon emails me. Turns out that my domain registration had lapsed. I am really grateful to Simon for that email – I would very probably have missed it.
So in December I move a registration to 123-Reg and in February, without telling me anything at all, they let that registration lapse. Am I missing something before I say that 123-reg are obviously a bunch of complete incompetents ? Aren’t registrars meant to tell you ? I know when I was with easily.co.uk that their emails were incessant (if they weren’t so damn expensive I’d have stayed with them). So 123-Reg are allowing an element of my internet identity to disappear from my grasp without bothering to let me know. There is nothing anywhere on their site to indicate anything is wrong either. Because of the opt-out issue I’m certainly not happy for the 123-Idiots to look after things so I find another registrar. I get their TAG, go back to 123 and change the IPS tag. Shortly after that I go to the new registrar’s site to initiate the transfer from their end. It tells me the domain is expired – which I knew. I also see that domains which are expired cannot be moved. ? So back to Muppet Central and I email them – not their problem they say, it’s now with the new registrar. Eh ? But according to most places I look, domains must be valid and within a certain time limit before they can be transferred – so why did 123-Reg fail ? Why didn’t their system both stop me changing the IPS tag AND stop the new registrar’s request ? Why ? The answer is because they are complete incompetents. If they can’t deal with something as basic as this, then why trust them with anything else ?
Thankfully, the new registrar has a decent phone support line, staff who DO know what they are talking about and staff that are capable of rectifying the mess that 123-Reg made. New registrar: Freeola. Why ? Because years ago I used to buy lots of computer games from a company called Special Reserve. Same people. New name. They were great back then and I have no reason to believe otherwise now.