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Beware the auto-renewal beast!

Call me a procrastinator. I plead guilty. (I have also been very busy with a move and a job search).

For a while I have been meaning to transfer my domain hosting from greengeeks to a slightly more powerful hosting service to accommodate future  web projects. I kept delaying the decision for 2 years (costing me an extra $50 a year), and then I just decided, no, I will just stick with greengeeks for a year (I have had no real complaints about them).

A few months ago I decided that there was no special reason to stick with godaddy for 5 or 6 personal domains. The cost adds up, and godaddy has no real reason to stay competitive. Then, astonishingly they auto-renewed one of my domains for 3 years in advance! I understand that it’s easy to forget about auto-renewals, but no sane human would have authorized a 3 year renewal.

I complained and then technical support said, “Sorry, there’s no backsies.” Well, maybe that’s true, but godaddy’s renewal reminder emails only mentioned a one year renewal price. There was absolutely no mention that renewals would be in 3 year increments.  I would have expected at least some kind of courtesy credit for future domain renewals.

After doing a little bit of research and checking domcomp.com , I finally decided to go with namesilo. They didn’t appear to be that much better than godaddy, but there’s no reason to reward godaddy’s awful customer service.

On another note, I have noted at how easily companies are adding auto-renewals to the terms of service. Microsoft helpfully auto-renewed my Office account at full price without reminding me it was about to expire. (To their credit, they reversed the charge immediately  after I complained). Since then, I have purchased an MS Office license at a reduced rate.

It can be hard to keep track of renewals and expiration dates, and forgetting can have serious financial consequences. What if your 12 month no interest purchase is about to come due?

Luckily, it is not hard to set up reminders. Google Calendar has some way to set up events and then set up reminders. Unfortunately to do so, you first have to go through the rigmarole of  setting up a full-fledged event and change the default notification to email. But it works….

Update: One hour later, the domain transfer completed. Horray!


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