Ostrich, Eagle or Spineless? A Loss of Trust and Confidence

Evening Folks!


There are a few hundred of us that will be making a living with domain names until the day we die. There are thousands just passing thru trying to make a quick buck at any expense. OUR expense! Most have no values, no morals and would not know right from wrong if it slapped them upside the head.


I have done as much bell ringing as I care to do at the moment. I think it is on domainers to DEMAND the information. I have taken arrows for even this. Time to step up if you want to know, DEMAND answers. Many I am sure already know. But I can testify as I write this that I have never told anyone more information than I have revealed here.


Can you cover your ass and protect your customer at the same time if those things are at odds?


If not, who is the default winner and the default loser????


SICKENING THOUGHT!


It’s a crime to watch a company that Monte built with GREAT and LOYAL folks be held prisoner to some corporate nonsense. I have read it was a bad call, a mistake, bad judgement by this employee. Fine, I never asked the employee to be fired. I did ask him to come forward. His employer hides behind some mumbo jumbo and he just hides.


So each event by itself may not be huge. But when you add them all up, there is a pattern and the picture it paints offends me. It sickens me. It is a visceral affect. I can’t control an emotion that foundational.


Sorry. When I see something bad going on, I can’t just walk away and believe it did not happen. I am happy so many can. I just am not wired that way.


So those that choose can lower their standards as much as they want but don’t count me in. I won’t sellout to what clearly are the boundaries one does not cross. So if folks do it wrong when all eyes are on them, what do they do in the dark of night? When nobody is watching? When they think they can get away with it? Under the cover of THEIR privacy??


This is NOT the way to be doing business. It stinks more than I can really stomach. Silence is a vote for continuing business as usual and the only losers are domainers. (What else is new?)


I never thought I would move my domains from Moniker. During the Halvarez scandal I moved 250 as a protest. But now, now I have to seriously consider going thru the ordeal of moving nearly 5000 others. This time not in protest. This time because I don’t trust the mother ship to make the right decision when faced with hard choices because they can’t even make the easy calls.


So decide. Are you an Ostrich or an Eagle? Sorry, that’s how I see it when wrong doing is going on and you close your eyes because it is not you or it is a friend involved. Just don't expect much when it is you. I ask you as fellow domainers that will be doing this for the rest of their lives to stand up. Stand up because it is now my time to sit down.


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz




52 thoughts on “Ostrich, Eagle or Spineless? A Loss of Trust and Confidence

  1. howard

    It is business as usual at Oversee. It seems that it is more important to protect the employee that screwed up than to protect the customer who trusted them to maintain privacy.
    I just received a 14 page document from American Express on how their new privacy rules are going in to effect. I guess the same would apply to Oversee, but it would take only 14 WORDS to reveal their Privacy rules. They’re non-existent.

    Reply
  2. Gnanes

    The employee will return and do the same thing over again. They’ll bring back halvarez back as well to make up for the losses in auctions.

    Reply
  3. Adam

    So who is it man ? You said close of business monday and now instead we get an announcement about your latest TRAFFIC conference plans ?
    btw couldn’t the Oversee employee just as easily have gotten the ownership info from the parking account ? Or do we know for a fact that it came from the Moniker account

    Reply
  4. Anon

    Moving my names out of Moniker. Anyone have any recommendations for a registrar with good support and security? We really should group together and form a not-for-profit registrar, for domainers by domainers.

    Reply
  5. nancy

    I wish i could afford to move my domains out of moniker – i’d do it in a heartbeat. The only reason most of them are there to begin with was the blackmail tactics they used in their live auction listings.
    When you trust a company to handle your private information, including maybe even where you live (which can now be accessed down to your door knob on google earth), you really expect it to BE private, even to their employees.
    I wonder to what level the privacy was protected? How hard was it for this employee to obtain?

    Reply
  6. Leonard Britt

    I don’t pursue Snapnames drops like I used to but I recall once transferring a domain from Moniker to Godaddy and it went through without an auth code… So how secure are your domains at Moniker?

    Reply
  7. Keldon

    I know most pro domain investors hate GoDaddy, but as an old-school domainer myself, they are the only ones I trust to any extent. I don’t trust anyone 100% in the biz, but at least GoDaddy is still an arms-length away from the domain industry for starters, which is arms-length away from much of the corrupt players in the domain feild.
    Secondly, they have a lot more to lose by dickering around with a breach like this. They have a solid business model and rectifying any problems like this would be a priority with them.
    GD still has some problems but they have come a long way in the last couple of years IMO.
    It’s sad Moniker is letting an unblemished image get smudged so badly with a mistake like this.

    Reply
  8. Elliot

    “We really should group together and form a not-for-profit registrar, for domainers by domainers.”
    @ Anon
    Are you going to foot the bill to pay for the customer service reps and tech support staff? Registrars barely make any money on domain registrations, so your non-profit registrar would go belly up very fast unless they charge exorbitant registration fees, which nobody would pay.

    Reply
  9. Tia Wood

    All I see is this situation grossly mishandled from the get go and customer frustration escalating. It would be nice to hear something from Moniker. I have received nothing in my inbox.

    Reply
  10. Jonathan

    I have never registered a domain at Moniker. I have considered it before, but I never will register one following this.
    This is so blatantly wrong. But the response by the company is sadly even worse.

    Reply
  11. Kevin M

    Seems to be an awful lot of pre-judgments made by so many, none of whom has the ‘actual facts’ of who, what, when, where, why etc. Nice to see good ole mob mentality vigilante-ism is still alive and ‘thriving’.

    Reply
  12. Anon

    Moniker must be profitable or they wouldn’t continue running as a business. I’m proposing a registrar that is break even, so yes, it would pay it’s costs (service and tech staff) and be cheaper or at least equal to any other registrar.

    Reply
  13. Elliot

    “Moniker must be profitable or they wouldn’t continue running as a business. I”
    @ Anon
    Yes… auctions, brokering, and escrow services are profitable I would imagine. When you start doing that, it then becomes what you don’t want it to be.

    Reply
  14. Brad Mugford

    Another”Let’s just sweep it under the rug” reaction it seems like.
    After the whole”Halvarez” fiasco I think Oversee.net should realize that they need to be straightforward in addressing these type issues.
    It is not like Oversee.net can just rest on it’s credibility at this point.
    Are people immune from accountability @ Oversee companies?
    Brad

    Reply
  15. Brad Mugford

    Just a heads up for any large domain holders worried about security.
    GoDaddy.com offers a service called DTVS to executive account holders, which is as good as any other top tier security system out there.
    Brad

    Reply
  16. Anon

    Seems like we have most of the facts about what happened; none of it has been disputed and Moniker actually issued an announcement acknowledging it. The only”mystery” is who it is.

    Reply
  17. Landon White

    F**K you Moniker / Oversee / Snapnames
    Move your Domains out!
    If you cant now. TRANSFER LATER …
    TEACH THE OTHER REGISTRARS ….
    WITHOUT US YOU ARE OUT OF BUSINESS!
    Kiss my domains GOODBYE!

    Reply
  18. Frank Michlick

    Not many registrars can survive on Domains alone – just check out the margins that are far lower than most other retail operations.

    Reply
  19. Lucas

    I agree with Anon, registrars must be making money just from domain registrations+renewals, otherwise they wouldn’t do it…(although the real money maker in the domain world is verisign which sets an offset price to domains of $7 while maintaining a single domain costs them about $0.30)
    But I also agree with Elliot: that idea of a non-profit registrar by and for domainers doesn’t seem a solution, partly because the domain community will always be very fragmented as there are so many”reces” of domainers.
    I guess the solution here is simply to make domainers aware of the alternatives to Moniker.
    http://www.webhosting.info/registrars/top-registrars/global/
    I will kick off this”quest” with a personal recommendation: I like SCHLUND+PARTNER (they are 1and1, a German company which is the largest European registrar)
    to be honest their control panel is not very advanced, but domains are cheap and safe (cheap+safe, anything more important??).
    So unless you are changing the dns of your domains very often, you will do very well there.

    Reply
  20. Lucas

    “I ask you as fellow domainers that will be doing this for the rest of their lives to stand up. Stand up because it is now my time to sit down.”
    I agree with this, Rick is always carrying much of the whole weight of the industry on his shoulders.
    Personally, I am not a domainer, I am just a guy with a long bill :-S
    So I have no money to donate to ICA and very limited time and power.
    BUT for those who might be in the same situation as me, that doesn’t mean we can’t do something. I will write here what I will do. Hopefully this will inspire others, and hopefully”many drops will make a river”.
    1) Recommend everyone other big registrars as alternatives to Moniker (above I recommended this site http://www.webhosting.info/registrars/top-registrars/global/ and a specific registrar), the more domainers talk about their experiences with registrars the quicker good registrars will grow and bad registrars will perish.
    2) not register any more domains with Moniker. While transferring away isn’t a viable short-term option for a non-full-time domainer, there is something I can do very easily: the next months/years the next domains I register will always go to another account in another registrar.
    3) send an email to moniker telling them about my decision of not registering more domains with them. If they know that I do this because I am unhappy it’s more likely that they will start taking more care with domain registrants.
    4) send a complain email to ICANN about their expansion plans for new TLDs… (5gtld-guide@icann.org, their comment period is reopened until 15 January). What has this got to do? Well, ICANN is investing MASSIVE resources into this TREMENDOUSLY polemical project, and yet we find FUNDAMENTAL flaws in the current functioning of the Internet.
    this is all stuff I will be doing in the following weeks,
    hopefully this inspires and together we can all make some change!

    Reply
  21. Chadi

    I would like to invite a similar stance against the Tower of Babylon or the Bastille that PayPal has become…
    I have my reasons to believe that its about time PayPal receive PayFoes like me…
    When it comes to limiting accounts, they treat people like suspects until proven innocent, demanding from them to do what they don’t do in real life to reactivate their accounts (which defeats the purpose and the logic of online business); not to mention that they even treat whole countries like suspects, by blacklisting them altogether.
    I can proudly say that I cannot benefit from the PayPal empire simply because I am Lebanese, and PayPal refuses to state exactly WHY?
    I’ve been raised to believe that saying”no” for no reason = Rudeness and Prejudice; and until there is a convincing reason behind PayPal’s behavior, they’d have to excuse me for believing they are rude and prejudice.
    Lebanon, The Phoenicians of the Ancient World, who transported the Alphabet and Europa to the World, Lebanon (The Only Country in the MiddleEast besides Israel, that has a democratic system, a Parlimentary Election, a Christian President – Lebanon the timeless Bridge between the East and the West with more than 18 religions coexisting on its land, Lebanon Elie Saab, Carlos Sleem, Jubran Khalil Jubran – Lebanon whose liberal banking system was awarded by Wall Street for being the most immune against global economic crisis.
    No to Lebanon – yet on the other hand, yes to Angola, Sudan and SriLanka (with all do respect to those countries)!!!!
    I don’t get the Logic…

    Reply
  22. Robery P

    The worst type of employee is the one that destroys your business from within just like termites destroy wood. The ‘sucks’-domain registrant deserves to be fired and yet Rick and friends are shifting the blame from this dishonest employee to a company that his exposed him as a termite of the worst kind.

    Reply
  23. George

    Why that so call”employee” can’t be fired?
    He must know something real big that is protecting him from being fired. Otherwise, God knows what the real truth could be…

    Reply
  24. eric

    i hated the fact that scum oversee took over moniker
    now monte is gone, is final straw
    i dont have cash to transfer domains away, otherwise i would
    think gd is only one thats ok
    i have thousands at moniker also

    Reply
  25. eric

    btw Rick, and please answer this…
    what is this bird fetish you have lol? it’s always pigeons, or ostriches or eagles lol

    Reply
  26. Paul Kapschock

    “GoDaddy.com offers a service called DTVS to executive account holders, which is as good as any other top tier security system out there…”
    I sleep well at night with this”free” GoDaddy service.
    Paul

    Reply
  27. Sideliner

    OK, time to switch to fish….guppies, grunts, barracuda, sharks and whales. lol

    Reply
  28. Dasvid Horn

    Rick’s sarcastic tone in his posts makes me believe he has got a personal issue with the guy in question. I mean who would write a story long post on his blog?? I believe a lot of the responses to his posts are more of hired guns as they all sound the same way he talks. Just driving attention to himself – with a hidden agenda.

    Reply
  29. Elliot

    @ Anon
    Most don’t cater primarily to domain investors, so they have a ton of add-ons (like hosting) or they charge a lot more than companies like Moniker for domain names.

    Reply
  30. rob sequin

    Rick,
    The vast majority of people and companies in this industry are EXTREMELY trustworthy, honorable, reliable etc. but at Oversee I’m afraid that the fish rots from the head down.
    Oversee hired Craig Snyder from iReit. Not sure who made that decision but to me, that was the first sign of BIG trouble to the credibility of Oversee.
    Craig Snyder was CEO of iReit when iReit was buying domains from Halvarez. I have plenty of examples of domains with whois changes from Halvarez to iReit while Craig Snyder was CEO so I can prove this. This is not speculation. This is fact.
    Monte left. Victor Pitts left. Steve Hisey left. One has to wonder why these people left.
    Now this breach of security.
    What’s next?
    So, is Oversee an eagle you want to look up to?
    Not for me.

    Reply
  31. JP

    personal? Funny you should use that word. I would imagine if your personal information that you PAID to be kept private all of a sudden fell into the wrong hands you would be singing a different song instead of wearing blinders as to what this is all about.
    Why is Moniker trying so hard to cover this up? IMO the more this drags on and the longer Moniker tries to cover this up it seems that it may not be an employee after all but someone higher up in the ranks that could potentially bring their entire business crumbling down. Either that or this employee has some real dirt on them that could make this little fiasco look rather small in comparison.(the lesser of two evils)
    In business it’s all about TRUST! You either trust who you are doing business with or you find another company that you can trust. From now on Godaddy will get all my business because I TRUST THEM!

    Reply
  32. Rick Schwartz

    What’s next?
    Rob, I had an incident happen to me in 2009 that I never disclosed as I accepted their explanation. I always had a seed of doubt and I have a blog post that memorializes it but never published. I set it to 2029 in case I ever needed it. Let’s compare notes.

    Reply
  33. No Spam Please

    perhaps the moniker employee hasn’t been fired or outed by moniker because the employee simply knows too much about the inner workings of the Company. it is very Hard to gEt Fired when you know more dirt than you’re supposed to know. maybe i’m wrong, but it makes me wonder why moniker would rather Crumble tHan let this employee pay For thEir mistake. and yes, i believe the employee’s name should be revealed and they should be Fired for their actions. i have many names at moniker and i am showing my anger by moving my entire portfolio elsewhere, not soon, not tomorrow, starting yesterday. i simply Called up anotHer registrar, explained thE situation, wanted assurances, was given Free whois privacy plus an amazing transfer rate and goodbye moniker. in my eyes, moniker is their own worst enemy. if they don’t reveal & fire the employee, I will always suspect the employee is still working there and allowed access to the same sensitive information.
    and rick, not trying to push you, but are you still planning on revealing more details now that moniker has chosen to sweep this under the rug?

    Reply
  34. steve@softwaretofit.com

    Who cares. Moniker will deal with the employee.
    But they will surely realize they need to separate the privacy info from the rest. And make sure all employees are vetted before letting them access this information.
    They will head the way of giving a few employees secret clearance to access this part of the system. The days of employees just sitting at a computer and bringing up any information they want are over. Oversee and Moniker don’t want bad reps from this.
    I expect they will respond as Rick is making sure of it.
    I can bet the managers have already called everyone into a meeting to let them know any violation of privacy will result in their termination.

    Reply
  35. Landon White

    UPPER MANAGEMENT GUILTY?
    I Say the Employee story is a ruse …
    AND …
    the GUILTY someone cant just be fired …
    IT’S A HIGHER UP!

    Reply
  36. Yaron

    I have a very small account with moniker (around 5 names) just for names pushed from moniker sellers until I move them away.
    I don’t submit names to their auctions, and I don’t use their drop services.
    I have many domains with fabulous.com. since I transferred my portfolio from GD to Fabulous I never looked back. In my opinion this is by far the best company in the industry.
    if one out of ten domainers will take action instead of blogging and writing comments moniker would reconsider their actions.
    How many of you guys quit using moniker after the halvarez story?
    Trust me, if all of you would do that instead of blogging about it that would be defective.
    The same goes for now. if instead of blogging you would transfer out, that would be effective.
    blog on guys, write comments, and shake your head again and again and again.

    Reply
  37. Gazzip

    “So decide. Are you an Ostrich or an Eagle?”
    Geez, I’m was getting used to being a friggin pigeon ;) Is an Ostrich the next step up the ladder from a pigeon?
    “Another”Let’s just sweep it under the rug” reaction it seems like.
    Are people immune from accountability @ Oversee companies?
    Brad

    It sure does look that way Brad, how that little prick halvarez got off is nothing short of shocking, sweep everything under the rug and cover your ass from all future fallout. If anyone finds out just ignore it long enough and it’ll probably go away.
    …. next ;)

    Reply
  38. todaro

    hey… you’ve done well… you don’t have to bother to stand up to the shitheads but you did anyway. kudos to you.

    Reply
  39. RJ

    Every time I have called Moniker their sevice has been RUDE / UNFRIENDLY. I always found that unsettling. I will move my small (600) domains out this year.

    Reply
  40. new domainer

    I am getting back into domain name investment this year after selling off a tiny portfolio. I have budgeted to get around 200 names as I can think of quality names that can be registered or buy names aftermarket. I will stick with godaddy (I was considering moniker but not any more).
    So a few big players move thousands, lots of mid size people move hundreds, and even more small time nobody’s like me move or don’t register handfuls with moniker, next thing you know their breech costs them tens of thousands of registrations as it sounds like it should.

    Reply
  41. Geoff

    So after beating your chest about releasing the name on Monday, you post on Tuesday that you’re not going to. I suppose”keeping your word” isn’t on that list of good ethical practices you want the rest of the domain business to adhere to right? I know you’re not that hypocritical.

    Reply
  42. Landon White

    @ Jerkoff
    er i mean Geoff …
    Roses are red, violets are blue…
    whats your reason for this BS SPIN …
    besides HAND squeezing little peters goo!

    Reply
  43. CA

    Oversee.net is simply a disreputable company. I went through a support nightmare where their management told me outright lies that clearly contradicted the facts. The apathetic culture that allowed the Halvarez scandal to persist for years is unchanged. Oversee.net is not interested in good business practices nor investigating wrongdoing. If you highlight any problem or wrongdoing they will do their best to cover it up.

    Reply
  44. ScottM

    Off to CES in a couple hours but I can recommend 2 excellent off-shore registrars I use, both in India, Netlynx.com (Netlynx.in) and Answerable.com (Answerable owned by Directi). Very good prices, customer service, and easy to navigate website and quick registrations. I like Go Daddy too but it takes longer to get through their site and you have to wait sometimes 10 or 15 minutes everytime you want to change the contact or DNS.
    The Indian registrars, like Fabulous and other foreign registrars will freeze nor hand over a domain right away to a plaintiff in a U.S. Federal trademark lawsuit (unlike Tucows, Bulk Register, Enom, 1&1 and others, except Go Daddy) most lawsuits are dubiously filed just to steal a related domain they failed to get and now want it for free and its too easy for trademark lawfirms to roll a U.S. judge and get an immediate TRO, injunction or domain transfer order. The offshore registrars will usually force a plaintiff to go and get a UDRP order which takes longer, and is a much harder burden of proof before they hand over a domain as offshore registrars are not really bound by a U.S. Federal Court order to hand over a domain.

    Reply
  45. Ross Hosman

    Rick,
    I pulled out of Moniker on 12/28/2008 (see my post on dnforum) as I saw trouble ahead. They had moved their site out of Rackspace to their own hosting and everything went to crap. It loaded like crap for months on end. They moved all their namservers to one location so DNS hosting went a little down hill, etc.
    I moved to Dynadot and couldn’t be happier. Good bulk pricing, fast/friendly support, a site that works, two-factor security, an owner who cares and has always gotten back to me.
    If you do chose to move I hope you consider them as they are very domainer friendly and just an overall good group of people.

    Reply

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