Why I Don’t Buy Domains For Other People
Years ago, back in the early days of Brightspark, I started asking clients to buy their own domain names. Why? Because I was working with a really pedantic legally minded client and he wanted to own it himself from the outset. I used to jump in and buy the domain for the client just to be helpful, and because, let’s face it – domain name sites can be as difficult to navigate to the checkout as Ryanair! But since about 2006, I have always asked clients to do it for themselves. (It can also be a good test – if they can’t do that for themselves, do you really want to work with them? Do they ‘get’ digital at all at all?)
I’ve recently started working with a new client who is an utterly nice gentleman. He has no clue about matters web, but that’s OK because he knows his own business inside out. In fact, he’s Ireland’s leading light at what he does, and is known in his industry and the media for that. He came to me having worked with a “Marketing & Design Agency” based in Dublin. They charged him what it would cost me to do half a website for him for one or two meetings. I saw the output of them and frankly – it’s like something you’d come up with over a cup of coffee. They also purchased his domain names for him - and put them all in their own name. My client’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on the contacts. Given that my client is about to build a global business, this is unethical and wrong. The legal ownership of the main contact point with the business will not be owned by himself.
Three weeks ago we began the process of getting the domains transferred out of the Marketing Agency’s name and into the client’s. As it’s .com, .net, .co.uk and .ie there are three different procedures to be followed. This pathetic agency has tried to stop this at every step of the way. They really have NO “Idea”!
Transferring .com and .net domain registration:
- They needed to request the transfer from their email address and to get the transfer code. This took them 48 hours.
- When I got the code, I input it on my host’s system, a confirmation email was issued for them to click, and guess what – they didn’t do it. We had to go back and write to request that they click the link. No, the link couldn’t be reissued. A couple of days later, they clicked the link and the change was effected.
- We then had to wait a week for the systems to update. You wouldn’t want to be doing this in a hurry.
- As the ‘owner’ of the site, these idiots had to send a letter on headed paper requesting the change. Three weeks later, they still haven’t done it. They issued one letter, but guess what – they had spelled the domain incorrectly. So we’re going back again today to ask they do it – it’s Friday so hey – we’ll probably be forced to wait until Monday for them to do this.
- Once we get the letter, we can complete the transfer. Probably have to wait another 4-5 days for the systems to update themselves.
- On this one, they put on a person’s name as the owner who isn’t even an owner of the business! It isn’t them, and it’s not my client either. This action which was done before they caused all these difficulties proves to me that they really are just thick – make mistakes, and / or do not understand the logistics around creating websites. A quick look at their services and website design is the second one on offer… a scan through their recent work and it’s ‘stock shot city’, with very poor online copy… WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL EVERYONE THAT YOU WRITE ABOUT BUSINESSES IN THE SINGULAR TENSE IN ALL BUSINESS WRITING? (Sorry, that’s a sin almost as bad as click here in my book!)
- So now we have to wait for this other player in our little tragi-comedy to come in and begin to effect the change.
The moral of the story is: if you are engaging someone to design a website for you, do NOT let them purchase the domain on your behalf.