Don’t. This is my recommendation. They were a solid domain reseller years ago when they were connected with OpenSRS/Tucows. At some point, they hooked up with eNom instead, possibly for not responding to customer issues. Luckily for JumpDomain, eNom has a similar level of apathy towards customers. I learned of this as I tried to get the last of my domains transferred elsewhere over the last several months.
All was well until I tried to do a couple of “global edits” to my domains using the control panel on JumpDomain in 2006. It was a simple series of changes to enable Spam Catcher protection on all 12 domains. This hides my real email address so that bots can’t go through registration records, harvesting spam targets. The global edit sat for a few days, then weeks, and finally several months had gone by. My registrant address was still sitting out there. I couldn’t cancel the job or restart it. Worse yet, support tickets went completely unanswered. Uh oh. I had read about other domain registrars going under, and it wasn’t always a safe trip for the domains themselves. Time to leave.
When you transfer a domain to a new registrar, you pay the new guy for an extra year’s time, then you request a special security code from the old guy and make sure your domains are unlocked. Ideally, you get your codes, give them to the new guy, and the transfer takes place. Done deal. But JumpDomain doesn’t have an automated code delivery system. I opened a support ticket, requesting the codes and started unlocking the domains.
Of course, not all went well. Two of the domains generated an error, saying they were already unlocked. But the control panel and a ‘whois’ lookup said they were not. This is the joy that is the interface between JumpDomain and eNom, apparently. So I added this little detail to my auth code support ticket. And I waited. And waited.
Feeling cheeky, I opened another ticket regarding the first ticket. And waited.
No longer feeling cheeky, I started opening a new ticket every week. If they weren’t going to answer me, they were going to have a growing backlog to show for it. Finally, a response!
We can only send the EPP code to the registrant email contact. Please verify the registrant email contact is correct in the domain manager, and if not, please update it. Once it is correct, please let us know and we will send out the EPP code within 24 hours.
Boilerplate. Copy paste. I respond that I’ve done this before and everything is in order. Let’s do this. And wait. Nothing.
In the mean time, a couple of my domains are now about to expire. Dilemma. Do I give Jumpdomain more money for doing nothing, or see if I can get the transfer done which will add another year in the process? Not wanting to play chicken with my intellectual property, I sprung the ten bucks on each for another year. At least I won’t lose the time after the transfer, getting another year beyond the new expiration date.
And I waited. And opened more tickets. And now a few more domains were coming up on expiration. I renew anything that might expire in the next two months.
At this point, I decided to research JumpDomain. It seems to be operated by one guy in the midwest, and apparently he’s a lawyer. It was sounding like a little project on the side to cash in on Teh Interwebs in the 90’s had now turned into an uncontrollable giant squid. But who cares, as long as the squid continues to process credit card orders for new domains and renewals, right? I didn’t want any part of this mess. I got a handful of new email addresses and phone numbers. All dead ends.
End run time. I go directly to the mothership, eNom.com. They have a lot of front-end triage to get me to “go away” and contact my reseller, but I persist and finally find a way to open a support ticket without being a customer. I explain that I have tried to contact JumpDomain for months, and that I need some extraordinary action at this point. Two days pass and I get more copy-paste boilerplate from them:
Thank you for contacting us regarding your domain management. This domain is currently registered through one of our resellers, information below. You will want to contact the reseller for account information and domain assistance as you do not have a direct account with us.
I have copied the reseller on this ticket as well so they are aware you may need assistance with making DNS changes, unlocking a domain, or renewing the name.
You and your reseller will need to work together outside of this ticket as they do not have access to our ticketing system. This ticket will now have a closed status.
Isn’t that great? And of course, I didn’t get any response to the “copy” sent to JumpDomain.
Another month goes by, I contact them again. I get the exact same response. I respond immediately so the ticket won’t go into permanent closed status. The response is different, but essentially the same. eNom will not do anything.
Getting angry and thinking about lawyers, expenses, losing domains and the like, I decide to step it up.
First problem: The two locked domains. I went into my control panel and looked at how the UI controlled both locking and unlocking. They were simple commands dropping form variables into the URL (“GET” mode for those familiar). Since the UI thought that the domains were locked, it only gave me the option to unlock. Once I figured out the proper values, I manually entered the URL to lock the domains. Success. Every system agrees. Then unlock. Success. Ok ready to rock.
Second problem: My transfer authorization codes from JumpDomain. I started opening a new ticket every day using a rotating pool of my Gmail, Comcast and other email addresses just in case there was some problem getting back to me (there was no response history showing on the web site, but who knows?). I include in the tickets that the domains are all unlocked, and the registrar email address is a-ok. Two weeks later, a response!
The EPP code has been sent in a separate email to the registrant email contact for the domain.
No apology or explanation, but the rest of my tickets have been closed. No worries, my auth codes are finally coming in. I immediately take the codes and plug them in at the new registrar, which continues the process. I receive emails that two of my domains are about to expire at JumpDomain. Nice try, but I’m free! The rest of the process seems to go well, although JumpDomain takes about a day longer to respond than the proper deadline indicated. Ultimately, all of my domains are transferred. I could log in for many weeks and still see the domains listed at JumpDomain, but that’s their problem. They still seem to think one of my domains is registered there right now. A whois lookup says otherwise.
The punch line?
Today, months later, I received the following email from eNom regarding someone else I have never heard of:
From: “Support Center – Please do not email reply.” <email@example.com>
Reply-To: “Support Center – Please do not email reply.” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 12:56:46 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: _________.net CUSTOMER NEEDS ASSISTANCE [Incident:080617-000187]
CUSTOMER NEEDS ASSISTANCE
Response (Laurie R.) – 06/17/2008 12:56 PM
Attention eNom Reseller,
Please be advised your client contacted us directly requesting assistance. As they are your customer, we provided them with your contact information.
STEP ONE: Please contact your client promptly. Details below.
STEP TWO: It is important that you reply to this ticket within 24 hours to indicate you have contacted your client. Otherwise, it may be necessary for us to assist them directly.
Registrant Name: ______ _________
Brief Request: needs domain auth code
Per ICANN regulations, we are required to assist the registrant with their domain management needs. However, we know our resellers prefer to provide service to their clients and will continue to refer them to you for the next 24 hours.
Thank you for your assistance,
eNom Technical Support Team
Ticket Reference #080617-000187
Product Level 1: eNom/Bulk Domains
Date Created: 06/17/2008 12:56 PM
Last Updated: 06/17/2008 12:56 PM
Status: Waiting on Customer
It was sent to the email address I had used to open support tickets at eNom earlier, when I was trying to get help with JumpDomain. It was a special address I had set up with “jumpdomain” in it, so at least I’d know where spam came from if it was addressed there. Note that I blanked out the poor guy’s name, email address and phone number above, but they had left the domain field blank themselves. Genius. Luckily, the domain was in the subject of the email. I looked it up. Guess who it was registered with? JumpDomain.
I logged into their support ticket system and replied, furious:
“Who are you talking to? I have never been an eNom reseller. Now that I FINALLY have my domains transferred off of that s#!thole JumpDomain, no thanks to you, I don’t want anything to do with eNom. Now you’re sending sensitive customer email to the completely wrong person. What did you do, a quick search for “jumpdomain” and found my (former) customer anti-spam address? This is hilarious. You couldn’t get off your a@@es and do the same for me when I needed MY auth codes from JumpDomain in March. What changed? Class action?”
So that’s it. I’ll wait for their reply before killing that special email address. It could be entertaining.
The above is simply my story. I’m not implying that it might happen to you. But if you found this tale while considering JumpDomain, or even eNom, consider what you’ve just read. Then go back to the search engine of your choice and consider the other stories from the last few years.
Update, 18 June 2008: The reply from eNom. I give them kudos for professionalism in response to their own major screw up.
Response (Laurie) 06/18/2008 04:30 PM
Hello Mr. Gutierrez,
Our sincere apologies, this should not have been sent to you as you said. We have put a new program in place to help registrants that experience problems with non-responsive or out-of-business resellers. While we realize this is too late in your case, we hope to be able to help others avoid the frustrations you went through with JumpDomain. This particular situation will be reviewed by our Technical Support Manager, and additional training will be presented to the staff to make sure this does not happen again. Thank you for bringing it to our attention, we appreciate the time you took to let us know.
That’s the first time I’ve seen them come close to admitting that JumpDomain is a real problem. Maybe there’s someone listening in the mothership after all? Good riddance. My new registrar is one of the big boys, and will always be.