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DomainsAtCost.ca Eliminates Auto-Renew

Posted on July 28, 2014

Canadian Registration DomainsAtCost.ca has recently decided that customers do not need to have a say in auto-renewing their domains and instead have made all domains automatically auto-renew. Now this move may be ok for those who have one or two domains and plan to keep renewing them, but for small businesses like us with hundreds of domains it has made domain management extremely difficult. Typically when I have a client cancel their domain, sometimes months or years ahead of when the domain renews I go in and set auto-renew to off so I don’t get billed for it. With this new system it will automatically bill me and renew the domain. I have already had 4 domains that should have cancelled be renewed and charged to me. I am still waiting a refund.

domainI can cancel the domain but by the sounds of it they will put up their parked page ad garbage and take advantage of the remaining active period of the domain.

Update: This is true, on a recently cancelled domain after 30 days, the domain contact information is still mine but it no longer appears in my account. The DNS is changed to dns.yourdomainhasexpired.com and it forwards to some other site. Basically DAC is using your cancelled domain to make money off the remaining registration period.

You have 30 days from when you cancel a domain to recover it but you are billed 45 days from when it renews. Doesn’t add up – I now have to cancel the domain now over 45 days out and constantly remind myself to check. Last year I spent hours ensuring specific domains will renew and others won’t – all for nothing. It would have been a much easier change if they turned auto-renew on by default. Also a good idea to remove your credit card information from their system.

All of our domains will be finding a new registrar. This unfortunate decision puts profits before customers and judging by the negative comments on social media they will probably have to reverse their decision or loose out. I have already started the process of moving my domains out of there, if you keep more than a few domains with them I would recommend the same. There are many other good inexpensive registrars for .ca domains that will allow you to use the auto-renew feature.

DomainsAtCost.ca post about the changes: Important Changes to Domain Renewal

On top of this they are also charging for privacy now, a feature they previously offered for free that keeps your personal information out of the WHOIS database. If you had privacy on your domains you will be charged an additional fee to keep it private.


12 comments on "DomainsAtCost.ca Eliminates Auto-Renew"

Kevin says:

Can you tell me which registrar you have moved to now? I have about 200 domains and am having the same issue with Domains At Cost. I am therefore also needing to find a new registrar.

Mark says:

GoDaddy.com or NameCheap.com are my next options. WebNames.ca is decent if you want to support a Canadian company.

Jim Haze says:

We have almost 200 domains. We moved all them all to 10dollar.ca – took along time and not happy with domainsatcost sucks! We were also having issues with the dot ca authorization as some how some of the domains would get locked for 60, although we did not change anything. Then we would need to buy again at domainsatcost and wait the 60days and pay again to transfer out.

Claudine says:

I take care of over 700 domains names for my clients and Domainsatcost went from being my favorite Registrar to the one I hate the most; after the auto-renew crap they pulled on us, now they removed the lock on the domains without even telling us… just started getting emails from cira telling us something had been changed with the domain… wasn’t clear what until I went in one of my accounts and notice they now charge 23.99$ /year… funny, after I ask for the auth code, the same feature showed 0$ for the lock feature! All this to say I did make an official complaint with thet CIRA, unfortunately, even thou they don’t agree with what they are doing, it is not against their rules 🙁
For people looking to change Registrar, last year I transfert over 500 domain names from MyDomain to Name.com (Really worth it, great service and very descent interface) and for my .ca I decided to go with Canspace.ca. The price are good and so far so good even thou the interface is not as good as Domainsatcost.

Good luck to all who have to deal with this compagny, it is very sad since they used to be so great! now, they are the worst!

This organization is a bunch of criminals. The steal the money off your credit card. Hundreds of dollars and give you an enormous run a round. They are arrogant assholes when you try to phone them and talk patiently. They hold your domains at ransome.

Our people from our company have always been polite but hese people are arrogant, mealy mouthed slime buckets.

I am going to call the police. They have stolen my property.

Nate Pranz says:

Completely outrageous – I also complained to CIRA but apparently it is not against any policies. I recently moved all my domains to canspace.ca – the prices are far better ($9.75 per year for .ca) and most importantly full control over auto-renew. If more people speak with their wallets perhaps they will have a change of heart.

KKMan says:

I am thinking of contacting the RCMP/credit card company to investigate this as possible credit card fraud as they have not informed me about my options to charge renewal fees on the card… also, they are renewing and charging much further in advance than is necessary.

KKMan says:

How do you transfer all of your DAC domains to another provider? Cost?

Linda Mork says:

I too am slowly moving all my client domains out of Domains At Cost to Webnames. Webnames might not be the cheapest option around but I’m trying to ‘shop local’ and stay in Canada. DOC used to be awesome to deal with, support was great! I’m assuming they must have been bought out because things changed so quickly. Auto-renew and crappy support – what a way to run a business and I can’t run my business relying on that so I’m gone! It’s just too bad it’ll take several more months to transfer everyone over – I can’t wait to be rid of them!

Mark says:

I’ve been transferring them out quarterly before they expire next. If you remove your credit card details you can prevent future charges but make sure you transfer them out in time (you will also have to request the auth codes as they lock that if there is no active credit card). For the life of me, I cannot understand why they would force this policy.

Mork from Ork says:

DomainsatCost.ca is now Rebel.ca and seems to be even worse. Shortly after domainsatcost.ca make it a lot more work and expense for me to renew and cancel domains I moved all my domains to namespro.ca except a few I wasn’t going to renew but I needed to remain active until those sites were officially closed. I’ve been going in on my calendar to be sure I cancelled expiring domains once the sites were closed as if you cancel your domain they shut it down immediately and point it to their site with ad revenue. Today I cancelled my last domain with them and discovered they are now called Rebel.ca. They seem to have gotten even worse as they now have an option to enable on a domain a fee for $24.95/year to have insurance in case their autorenew fails due to an issue on clients end (like credit card info not working)…my guess is they’ll stop giving out notices for failed payments now too so people are pressured into buying that insurance.

I started with Domainsatcost.ca (now rebel.ca) when they were new and they were by far my favourite until 2014 when they just turned nasty and they quickly became my most hated. I learned about Namespro.ca a few years ago when a client gave me their login to manage their domains. I liked it more and they didn’t nickle and dime me. I got my own namespro.ca account, moved everything to them and have been very pleased so far.

Tom says:

I was pretty shocked at how domainsatcost.ca/rebel.ca suddently turned on their customers.

It’s as is they decided they wanted to get out of the business and tried to figure out how to quickly extract as much money as possible from their customers, while driving them away.

Thanks for making this post – people need to get the word out about these slimy people.

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