We generally do not reserve Internet domain names for our clients, but instead encourage them to do that themselves for various reasons – cost, direct control, efficiency, etc. However, in a few cases our clients have asked us to reserve domain names for them, and we have accommodated those requests. As some of these were coming up for renewal this year, we began looking into doing that and found that without our authorization or knowledge the registrar had implemented an “auto-renew” feature that resulted in a charge to our account to renew a number of expiring domain names for three years. When we called them on this, they had no satisfactory explanation, but at least reversed the charge and said they would remove the “auto-renew” instructions they had imposed on our account.
So, a word to the wise: As your domain names come up for renewal, make sure your registrar does not engage in these types of shenanigans; and pay attention to this several months before the scheduled expiration date of your domain name registrations, because they will try to implement automatic renewals and charge you for them well in advance of the expiration dates. Needless to say, we will be shopping for a different registrar for any domain names we reserve in the future. —Robert E. Smartschan