48 Hours Equals Five Days

August 27, 2007

For the past eleven years (twelve in February) I have had my domain registered with Network Solutions. Back then they were the available option for registration. Their website has always been cumbersome, and the layers of controls, checks, balances, identity verifications, et cetera only add to the poor experience of using their site.

Back in the day there were multiple roles assigned to a registration: Technical, Administrative, and Billing. Having a site registered is only half of the equation, you must also have it hosted otherwise there isn't a resource for anyone to locate. At one time some of these roles were fulfilled by your hosting service, i.e., their names and email address appeared next to the roles in the account. It always made me nervous as it looked like my domain was partly mine and partly theirs.

As near as I can tell the roles are a Network Solutions feature, and one that really doesn't get used any more. Therefore I'd like to change all the roles to me. I will be the account holder, the primary contact, the billing contact, and the technical contact. Only I can't remember the primary contact password.

So I went through the "reset my password" hoops only to have the resulting email get deleted by my recent layered defense approach to spam. Oops.

Turning off the auto-responder and delete rules on that account and retrying the password reset process failed as Network Solutions will only send a reset link once every 48 hours. Since I was trying all of this on Thursday afternoon I figured sometime on Sunday would be a safe bet to reset the password. (They only send out the reset information once in a 48-hour period to prevent someone else from hacking my registration.)

Last evening I tried to access the account again only to get the same "A password reset link has been sent in the last 48 hours" message. Nuts. This morning I called Network Solutions and talked to a customer service representative. She was willing to verify my identify by calling the number on the account. I explained that this wouldn't work as the number was more than three years out of date. I asked her why if I was outside of the 48 hour window I couldn't get the password reset function to work. She did a little investigation and found out that there is a second policy that states the account will be locked if the wrong password is entered too many times. Locked for FIVE days.

On Thursday I tried all the likely passwords that I use for such accounts to no avail. In what I suppose is a reasonable anti-cracking measure, Network Solutions locks the account silently after some unknown failed sign on attempts. Locks if for FIVE days. So, now I need to wait until at least Wednesday before trying to access MY account again.

I'd transfer the whole stinking mess to another registrar today except that I did manage to access the technical role on the account last Thursday and updated my address. I was warned at the time that Network Solutions would not honor any transfer request for 60 days following an address change, again, as an anti-cracking measure.

I should wait until say, November, and transfer the whole mess to Go Daddy or Pair NIC and be done with it. However patience is not my strong suit in matters like this; I'll be on the phone to Network Solutions first thing Wednesday morning to reset the master account password, and I'll update all the addresses and emails and phone numbers then. I hope. That will start a new 60-day clock ending sometime in late October. Come November 15th, I'm going to move to a service that doesn't put so many flaming hoops in my way of my own account.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.