Netfirms Let Us Down, So We Left Them – Here’s Why

Jacob Stimpson

Netfirms logo

I just sent the following message to Netfirms support. I wanted to post it publicly, so as to help get the word out about their supposed “upgrades” which have completely ruined their advantage over other domain registrars that previously wrote about in an article on how to leave Godaddy.

I just learned that domain privacy is no longer free, as it was before the recent “upgrade.” While I appreciate the ability to select multiple domains to work with at one time, it doesn’t seem that automatic unlock and relock was included, so the feature is virtually worthless. Beyond that, you’ve managed to make domain transfers to nefirms even more complicated and difficult and taken away the edge that free privacy gave you over other registrars.

I switched to netfirms for only a few reasons:

  1. I hated Godaddy’s convoluted and nearly unintelligible interface and needed a new registrar.
  2. Domain registration at netfirms was cheaper.
  3. Privacy was included free at netfirms.
  4. The interface at netfirms was extremely simple and easy to use.

I even blogged about these features of netfirms and why people should choose it over Godaddy and other registrars here: How to Leave Godaddy (that was a while ago, and it still gets tons of traffic).

While you have no say in Godaddy’s performance, your recent “upgrade”, preceded by your price increase has destroyed all my reasons for switching to netfirms. To put it midly, I’m very displeased with the changes of the past year. When it was the price change alone, I was okay with it. But taking away the free privacy on top of the price hikes makes me want to shop for a new registrar.

So don’t be surprised if you start seeing all my domains get transfered somewhere else. Unless you’ll reconsider some of your “upgrades.” I’ve already stopped promoting you through my affiliate links on my various sites. I just can’t recommend you to my clients, readers, etc anymore.

UPDATE: Netfirm’s customer support got back to me saying that the domain privacy does not cost anything in spite of the new verbiage: “Buy Domain Privacy.” They mentioned some other issue that had been resolved, possibly related to my concerns, but the tech’s communication skills were not top-notch and I’m unsure what they were talking about. Either way, this drastically alters how I feel about them (which is why I do things like this).

This along with other “upgrades” that made their interface frustrating and confusing led me to switch wpXPRESS to Hover for domain registrations just as I threatened. Hope they weren’t surprised!

Make Your Business’ Messaging Clear

The lesson here is that businesses need to keep their messaging clear! I started considering leaving Netfirms, all because they made it look like something previously free, was now going to cost me. It wasn’t going to cost me at all, but because their messaging was unclear I started looking for better options. I found one, and still switched to them even though I found out it was all a mistake.

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  1. Candice

    Thanks for this post. I as well switched to Netfirms from GoDaddy years ago. I just recently transferred 2 more domains to Netfirms, first time I’ve logged into Netfirms in a long time and was surprised at the changes and outraged at having to “buy” domain privacy when it used to be free. Did a quick Google search, found your article and went ahead and added privacy to my domains.

  2. Andi

    Good article about Netfirms. Let me give you more details:
    1- First the privacy is not free anymore: they put a small price for Privacy: $2.99 I guess (it was still acceptable for me)
    2- Then they increased it to $5.99 (very close to domain price itself!! (it didn’t smell good anymore!)
    3- Then they increased the domain registration also from $7.95 to $9.95. (shall I move to another registrar?)

    4- But the most irritating thing is that on the Auto Renewal menu you can not unselet the EXPENSIVE privacy so that if you didn’t want privacy, it renews only the domain!! PLEASEEEEE!
    So you have the option to put it on manual renewal with the risk of losing your domain!

    I think a more honest and clear pricing strategy wouldn’t look so bad in the eyes of customers!
    may be they could increase the price from $7.99 to $12.99 with free privacy.
    People will still compare the price, but they can offer coupons to keep price sensitive customers!

    Netfirms was best without any doubt, and now …….. 🙁

  3. Tevya

    Great points Andi!

    I recently discovered Hover. Transfers are only $10, domains cost $15. Now that’s more than Netfirms, but they include domain privacy, which actually makes them cheaper than Netfirms, if you purchase the domain privacy. Plus (and this was the kicker for me) they don’t offer hosting or anything like that. The only other option they have is email, but they don’t try to upsell you or anything. It’s just very simple, easy to use, intuitive domain control. I absolutely love it so far! Their service has been great as well. So far I’m very pleased and am slowly migrating my domains to Hover from Netfirms, as they come up for renewal. I highly recommend Hover. In my mind, they’re the ultimate registrar, just because they’re so simple and easy to use, with no up-selling, etc.

  4. Hau Ngo

    Hi. Switching my domains from both GoDaddy and Netfirms have been in the back of my mind for a while. Thanks for the heads up with Hover. They seem like an honest company and their domain interface seems much simpler GoDaddy’s.


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