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The title is self-explanatory. This article is intended for those looking to purchase web hosting services, a domain name, or both.


There are good companies. There are bad companies. And then thereís Namesecure.

Namesecure is a company which offers web hosting and domain name registration. I signed up for the latter back in 2002, when I launched this site. Iíd created the pages with a cheap online Site Builder facility offered by CNET, which was excellent for beginners like me. The only drawback was that I had no choice over the name of the site, and was allocated something long, unwieldy and unmemorable. Even I couldnít ever remember it quite right! This often happens with cheap or free web hosting companies. So I purchased the domain name freecrosswords.net from Namesecure.

Basically, people who visited freecrosswords.net were redirected to my web site. It worked in the same way as the mail forwarding service people use when they move house. It was an ideal domain name for a site like this, as not only was it easy to remember, but it was a perfect description of what these pages have to offer.

When I moved to another web host I was able to get the perfectly decent domain name alberichcrosswords.com, and thatís the one youíll find on search engines and links from other sites. Even so, I kept the freecrosswords.net domain name as a way to get to this site. It's memorable, itís unlikely people will get it wrong, and I regularly used it when referring people to these pages. So what's my beef with Namesecure?

For ten years I was reasonably happy with them. Their technical support was pretty ropey but the redirect was reliable, so I had no cause to complain. Then, in November 2012, it all went pear-shaped. My domain name came up for renewal, and as they were offering a good deal on a 5-year subscription, I went for that rather than the usual automatic annual renewal. Unfortunately, their web site wasn't working properly when I tried to purchase the package.

Four times I submitted my details and got an error page. Iím used to having problems entering a Czech postal address into forms designed for America, but annoyingly the error page didnít state what the error was. On the fifth attempt I was notified that my payment had been successful, so I assumed all was well.

Alas, no. When I next looked at my credit card statement I saw that five payments had been made to Namesecure. I emailed them and was told that these were only authorisations, not payments, and that they would only charge me once, rather than five times. That was rubbish, of course. When a payment appears on your credit card statement it means that your card has been charged. I confirmed with Barclaycard that five payments had been made and wrote to Namesecure again. I received no reply to my email.

So I took the matter up with Barclaycard, and they were marvellous. Barclaycard get a bad press sometimes but they were really helpful. Iím not a fan of foreign call centres (for linguistic reasons) but if all foreign call centres were like Barclaycardís nobody would have any reason to complain about them. They refunded the four erroneous payments pretty quickly, so the matter was apparently resolved.

ďApparentlyĒ is the operative word. In May 2013 I noticed that the freecrosswords.net redirect wasnít working. I realised after a while that this was more than a short-term server problem and confirmed this when I logged into my Namesecure account and found that my domain name had been deleted. Thatís when the real fun started.

I contacted them and asked what was going on. They told me that I had cancelled my payment to them, so they had deleted the domain name from my account. I wrote back to explain that I had only cancelled the four erroneous payments, and they still had the correct amount. I pointed out that my credit card statement clearly shows five payments out, four back. I also pointed out that the Order Status page in my Namesecure account shows that they had indeed received their payment in November and there was no evidence of this being cancelled.

Their response was this (I have left the grammatical errors in):

Thank you for contacting NameSecure Support. We are focused on delivering quality Customer service and addressing the issues you are having.

I am sorry, however the charge back was placed on the successful charge for the domain name. The amount of 68.35 was charged back and returned to your card. This was a request made from your bank to reverse the payment, and that has been done. The domain name at this time has been deleted from your account and has gone though an auction phase, and has also been purchased by a 3rd party.
I have looked into this for you to see if we can get the name back for you, and we can. The new owner is looking to get $299.00 For the name.
Please let me know if you would like to move forward with getting the name back at that price.

We hope this information has been helpful and thank you for choosing NameSecure for your online needs.

Iíll admit that I saw red at this, and basically told them where to shove it. I said that

        Their mathematical skills leave a lot to be desired if they have so much difficulty with 5 Ė 4 = 1

        To suggest charging me $299 for their mistake is disgusting

        The first and last paragraphs of their response are at least good for a laugh

Is this whole business an example of dishonesty or incompetence? I think itís somewhere in between; they made a mistake and rather than admit it, they saw a good chance to make money out of it. Life is too short, though, to let things like this become a major issue so and Iíve simply decided to wash my hands of Namesecure. Barclaycard got my final payment back for me (again, good on them!) and although Iím not pleased to lose my freecrosswords.net domain name, this siteís better known these days as alberichcrosswords.com so itís hardly the end of the world. At least Namesecure werenít hosting my site's pages! Still, it is only right to warn people about this appalling company and to advise that if you want a company to host your site or provide a domain name:

AVOID NAMESECURE!













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