Interview of Larry Kutscher, CEO of Register.com on Front Running by Network Solutions

January 17, 2008 · Print This Article

I discussed in a recent post that Network Solutions had started front running domains. To gain more of a perspective on the issue, I spoke with Larry Kutscher, CEO of Register.com, a leading domain name registrar, about his views on the matter. Here is what he had to say:

1. Please provide a brief biography so that my readers know who you are.

Here is my brief biography for your to reference:

I joined Register.com as Chief Executive Officer on November 1, 2006 with a history of building and growing Internet-enabled businesses and supporting small businesses. Before joining Register.com as CEO, I served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Small Business Group at Dun & Bradstreet. During my tenure at Dun & Bradstreet, I was instrumental in helping the company expand its digital offerings, including the acquisition and development of Hoover’s. I was a member of Dun & Bradstreet’s Global Leadership Team since joining in 2001.

I also served as Managing Director of Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs & Co., and spent twelve years at American Express where my last position was as Senior Vice President of Interactive Enterprise Development.

2. Why do you recommend people use Register.com? What about Register.com makes you proudest?

Register.com helps small businesses succeed online by operating as their web department. We get feedback all the time that we have the best service in the industry. Whether we are solving complex technical problems or offering general ‘how-to’ advice, the exceptional service we provide is one of the things I am most proud of.

3. Recently, Network Solutions has started registering names that were searched on their website but not purchased. What is your opinion of their actions?

Register.com has serious concern over Network Solutions’ recent practice of registering searched but not purchased names via their website. As a registrar, Register.com takes very seriously the need to protect the ideas and domain searches of our customers. If it were to become standard practice that anytime you search for a domain name, the registrar purchases it, the customer loses.

You can be sure that if you search for a domain name on Register.com, we won’t use any information that you provide us to take it away from you. In addition, Register.com offers Domain Hold, a service customers can opt into to protect their idea by reserving a domain name for free for up to four days and then only they can come back to us to buy it.

It is a betrayal of the customers trust for Network Solutions to continue this practice. We hope we can put an end to this and focus as an industry on the ways we can help our customers.

4. What is your opinion about the explanation offered for this practice by Network Solutions?

The explanation Network Solutions has offered doesn’t ring true. They are not solving any customer problems with their new policy – in fact they are actually creating problems in the industry and ultimately for the customer.

5. In your opinion, does this action by Network Solutions violate any ICANN rules?

The bottom line is this is just not a good business practice and has the potential to hurt the industry and all of our customers. Due to this potential damage and the fact that this practice restricts competition among registrars, we believe that ICANN should immediately review this practice and Register.com has asked ICANN to do so in a formal letter.

6. Do you expect other registrars to do this as well?

I sincerely hope that other registrars will not adopt similar policies. As I commented previously, if it were to become standard practice that anytime you search for a domain name, the registrar purchases it, the customer loses.

7. What is your opinion of the 5 day grace period for domain registration allowed by ICANN? Should it be abolished or changed in any way?

The 5 day grace period is a positive thing for customers because it enables customers to carefully consider their domain purchase. At Register.com, we have leveraged this grace period in the best interests of the customers by offering a service called Domain Hold. Customers can opt into this service to protect their idea by reserving a domain name for free for up to four days and then, only they can come back to us to buy it.

8. What does Register.com do to ensure that when someone searches for a domain name on their website the information is secure?

When someone provides us their personal information we treat that information as highly confidential. We have a strict information security policy and privacy guidelines which ensure the customer’s personal information cannot be sold to a third party and is only transmitted to the registries through a secure connection.

9. Would you please let us know more about your Domain Hold service?

Register.com offers Domain Hold, a service customers can opt into to protect their idea by reserving a domain name for free for up to four days and then only they can come back to us to buy it.

10. One comment I often hear from domainers is that they don’t use Register.com because the prices are too high. Why has the registration fee been set so high?

Domainers are not our core target customers – our focus is on small business customers. So, while domainers may not need solutions to help them establish and build an online business, these types of tools are vital to the small business customer. Because of this customer need, many of our prices are bundled (not focused on just one product such as a domain) so our customers can purchase complete online business solutions.

That said, if a domainer wants the level of support and service we offer we will work with them on bulk domain pricing because we recognize these customers have different needs and pricing standards.

11. Are there any interesting developments for Register.com coming in the near future that you can reveal?

Over the past year we have launched several new and enhanced products (Build-My-Website custom design service, Do-It-Yourself website design tool, Professional Business Email, Domain Hold – just to name a few). In the near future,
you can expect to see even more innovative solutions to help the small business customer succeed online.

Thanks Larry for taking the time to discuss this with me!

Comments

9 Responses to “Interview of Larry Kutscher, CEO of Register.com on Front Running by Network Solutions”

  1. Steve Morales on January 17th, 2008 5:50 pm

    Great interview Larry and Jeff!

  2. Register.com comments on Network Solutions Front Running : Resources for Webmasters on January 17th, 2008 6:47 pm

    […] against it? Now, Larry Kutscher, CEO of Register.com has taken a strong stand against this in an interview on Domain Bits. What I found most interesting is the fact that Register.com actually manages to accomplish […]

  3. Tyler Dewitt on January 18th, 2008 1:44 pm

    Great Interview!

  4. Register.com comments on Network Solutions Front Running | DomainBusiness.cc on January 19th, 2008 3:14 am

    […] against it? Now, Larry Kutscher, CEO of Register.com has taken a strong stand against this in an interview on Domain Bits. What I found most interesting is the fact that Register.com actually manages to accomplish […]

  5. Boris on February 5th, 2009 9:13 am

    Quote:
    “Register.com helps small businesses succeed online by operating as their web department. We get feedback all the time that we have the best service in the industry. Whether we are solving complex technical problems or offering general ‘how-to’ advice, the exceptional service we provide is one of the things I am most proud of.”

    HA-HA
    They killed my business
    Here is my story:

    I do not know why Register.com was recognized
    for “An Outstanding Customer Service Experience”
    by J.D. Power and Associates, but my experience with their service and customer support is the worst I ever had.

    Here it is:
    1. Due to Register.com upgrade of email solutions,
    since Feb 2.2009 I can not access my email.
    2. I can not access my email contacts too, or notify my customers and suppliers regarding the problem or send them my alternative mail.
    3. Needless to say, that situation hurts my business badly.
    4. Register.com stated that upgrade will take place in the middle of the night to minimize disruption and will last for 7 hours, but after 5 DAYS, there still no progress in fixing the problem.
    5. Register.com representative do not have any idea when the problem will be fixed.
    6. Each and every time I call customer service, I need to explain the problem from the beginning.
    7. Each and every time, Register.com representative promise to accelerate the issue, but nothing really happens.
    8. Holding a line for the Register.com representative migth take 10 minutes or more.
    9. The only thing I get from Register.com representative, are empty words and promises that their best people are dealing with that issue AT THAT VERY MOMENT.
    10. and it seems that saga will continue…

  6. Manish on March 17th, 2009 7:11 am

    Great Job Jeff & Larry.. Good Interview!!!

  7. Kirby Sommers on April 10th, 2009 10:18 am

    OPEN LETTER TO LARRY KUTSCHER, CEO OF REGISTER.COM

    Larry,

    While waiting to hear from you, I have discovered the following:

    1. Register.com advertises on all of my parked domains, as well as everyone else’s domains. I was never told you would be doing this, I never consented to it, and to date I have not received ONE DIME from your use of MY REGISTERED DOMAINS.

    2. I have also just discovered that Register.com is advertising on my PRIVATE domains where I pay your company EXTRA!! Again you are doing this without ever disclosing this fact to me, and to other customers.

    In addition to accepting advertising revenue on my PRIVATE “Who is” information, Register.com has LINKS to your services!! This is one of them:

    http://www.register.com/titan/promo/interactive_guide.rcmx?trkID=EMA1qyRVwW

    While researching customer complaints, I came across issues regarding automatic billing problems with Register.com, which appear to fall under fraud and deceptive business practices.

    In fact, all of the above falls under fraudulent and deceptive business practices.

    I ask you to either: begin compensation at once for all monies generated from the use of my domains, or to cease and desist immediately from using my domains as free advertising for register.com and from selling advertising space on my domains!

    Furthermore, the loss of service that occurred last week has brought to light the painful reality that Register.com is not being truthful in your advertising campaigns. Your apparent lack of concern about the domino effect your Denial of Service (DOS) attack had on my business is an eye opener. I used to own two stores in NYC and if anything happened to anyone on my premises I was responsible.

    I believe Register.com should be responsible to its customers for anything that happens to our online storefronts when something happens to you.

    To see that you are doing nothing, saying nothing, and only attempting to save your own business by offering new customers financial incentives is insulting to the very people who have contributed to the success of Register.com.

    I anticipate all the issues I have brought to your attention be resolved immediately. Please note I am sending this email as an OPEN LETTER that I am making available to other Register.com customers.

    Yours truly,

    Kirby Sommers

  8. admin on April 10th, 2009 1:55 pm

    Hi Kirby. You should read the terms of service carefully. I think in registering a domain you are agreeing to permit all of this. I think most if not all registrars also have similar terms of service.

  9. Kirby Sommers on April 15th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Hi Register.com admin, I really wish you guys would stop reading posts and start running your business in a manner that would help me run mine. I have online businesses with your company that CONTINUE TO LOSE MONEY due to your inability to keep the mail service up, to your inability to deal with attacks that you ought to keep abreast of, and to your inability to own up to this and make it up to me and other small business owners.

    I offer products and services to people that help them save money. The economy is in bad shape. Your tag line stating you are the best “small business” choice is, at this point, laughable.

    And as to Register.com making a profit on my domains without giving me proper notice, not nice.

    Kirby Sommers
    http://kirbysommers.com

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