After my article on Bargain Blog about the cheapest .au registrar, I decided to transfer my yang.id.au domain from NameScout, whom I registered with since July 2002, to IntaServe, because it is (a) $2/year cheaper (b) having an Australian contact number.
However, the transfer didn't proceed that smoothly.
2 Feb: Order went in after I fill out their on-line renewal form, and straight away I received a confirmation email. So far so good.
3 Feb: IntaServe's support emailed me to ask me to forward them my domain password, as it should have been sent to the email address that I have registered with NameScout. Except -- doing a WHOIS reveals that domain owner email is the obfuscated/randomly generated NameScout email address that is not even reachable! Thanks to the super secure "privacy-protection" feature. IntaServe's support did made a remark saying "NameScout" and "Enom" are known to be difficult to transfer. Oh well.
Alright. I've unlocked the domain, and unchecked the privacy "feature". Doing a WHOIS still reveals old email, and IntaServe still cannot get the domain password over to me. So being lazy, I think I'll just wait and see whether WHOIS gets updated.
A few days passed -- and I almost forgot about it...
14 Feb: IntaServe sent me another email reminding me about the domain password. I then checked WHOIS, and its information has finally successfully updated to my real email address. Replied IntaServe about the update, and pretty much straight away the domain password landed in my inbox, which I need to forward to them to initialise the transfer. All good from now.
16 Feb: WHOIS now showing transfer pending. It's not as fast and as easy as .com/.net/.org transfers, but at least it is moving.
18 Feb: All done now. Registrar for my domain now shows "IntaServe" under WHOIS. They sent me an email telling me that all domain related information will be retained untouched, i.e. my contact information, DNS, etc. That's good. Basically I don't have to do anything and the service continues as usual.
Well, it is quite a bit of drama to try to save $2 a year, but at the same time I prefer to pay to someone whose office is in Sydney than in Barbados.
Would I recommend IntaServe? Hmm, maybe not. You pay peanuts, and you get monkeys.
I am not saying that their service is not good -- in fact thanks to TT from IntaServe handling my case to have my domain transferred. And once domain is registered, there is hopefully nothing much you need to have service for.
Until I try to manage my domain.
IntaServe Domain Management
Basically, I was presented with the raw WHOIS management page when I need to change details about my domain. I need to login with my domain name and the domain password (instead of an IntaServe account ID), and then there is the control panel -- a single page where you need to manually type in space deliminated NS, registrant handle, etc.
For example if I want to update my address, I will need to create a new contact handle with my new address, because my old handle, created by NameScout, never came with a password -- all hidden by NameScout's management interface. After my handle is created, I then need to paste that ID into domain's management page.
And I still haven't figure out how to change my renewal instruction. Support email sent -- still waiting for replies.
With a great price and Sydney-based contact, IntaServe can be a good registrar for bargain hunters -- only if they can have a good management software. Since they are new, I am hoping that they will eventually upgrade their software to be more user friendly.