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.
I 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.