Dot-coop Domain Renewal Hell

Without emailing us in advance, UK.domains.coop just expired our software.coop domain on 29 October instead of 5 November. When I looked at the renewal option in the control panel, the fees have increased by about 30% since last year. I don’t remember being told that and it’s more than what was authorised at the last TTLLP members’ meeting. If I remember correctly, the old price for the dot-coop domain was already five times the price of our dot-UK – now it’s more like six or seven times.

I’m sick of the service from UK.domains.coop. The services are owned and run by cooperatives, but it’s not one we can join, as far as I know. Their control panel is rented uncooperative software which doesn’t meet current accessibility standards – I have to reconfigure my browser each time I use it. The support has been a little slow and it’s apparently easy to configure a domain into a non-working setup that one can’t recover without help from the support staff. When I complained, it was suggested that we should work with them, but when I asked how, I never saw a reply.

So, I’m transferring our cooperative domain to a completely non-cooperative registrar. The DotCooperation LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US coop federation and not a cooperative itself, while domains.coop is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a UK regional retail coop and not a cooperative itself either, so does it really matter?

After working through a long list of registrars that claim to offer dot-coop domains and eliminating all those which only offer paper registrations (because I don’t want to wait for air-mail) or don’t appear to accept domain transfers, I was left with two and neither were cooperatives. I’ve picked one and only after ordering, I’m told it will take a week to transfer. Grrr. At least the support staff response was pretty quick.

That means that these news pages are at a temporary URL for a while. Email to software.coop addresses and the main information pages are offline. If the registrar we’re using turns out to be any good and responsive to feedback, I’ll see if we can resell their services next year.

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