Don’t use Marcaria as a domain registrar

(I don't usually take to my blog when I feel wronged by a company, but after all it is the traditional recourse when appeals to customer service fail. Feel free to skip this post if you aren't domain shopping.)

I registered a domain with Marcaria last year because they were one of the few options for .ps domains. (Normally I would have gone with Gandi or NameCheap.) They were offering, and are still offering, $49 as an "annual price" for .ps domains. That's their wording. You can see it on their live site as of this moment, although of course they may change it after publication.

And then yesterday I went to renew.

I didn't notice the discrepancy until after I had renewed the domain, but it turns out they had charged me $62, which is 25% higher than their "annual price". (Yes, it showed up as $62 in the shopping cart; my bad for not noticing until too late.) I contacted them about the error, and they refused to acknowledge the problem:

Please consider that the price which you are referring to (USD 49), is the registration price for 1 year. It is promotional, and it doesn't coincide with the renewal price (USD 62) which was displayed in the shopping cart of your account.

Now, I think it's pretty clear cut: "Annual price" means "recurring annually". If they meant "one-time price", they'd say "price", or "promotional price". And just as a sanity check, let's compare how a reputable registrar handles pricing display:

Notice how they display both prices, and distinguish promotional price ("for one year") vs. renewal price ("Renewal"/"per year"). When there's no discrepancy, they (usually) collapse it to a single price. This is how pretty much any domain registrar handles it.

I probably should have known better than to use Marcaria, in retrospect. I generally don't care that a site looks like it was created in the 90s, makes heavy use of truly terrible clip-art, and has inconsistent menus from page to page. Charming. Quaint. But in this case, it was probably a sign of an unprofessional outfit.

Update 2018-08-10: Blogging about it and threatening to complain to the FTC seems to have worked; they have offered to refund the difference. I'll believe it when I see my bank statement. Their website, of course, remains deceptive.

Responses: One so far [feed]

  1. Sah Mohen says:

    I Googled, “marcaria bad registrar” because I’m looking for a registrar for extensions that aren’t available at the usual reputable registrars. Macaria’s wording is indeed shady, so I’ll look elsewhere because it’s not worth the hassle. Thanks for posting this.

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