True Grit. Few people we all knew for years in this industry who helped us through rough and ignorant times are left. With the loss of Mike Robertson at Fabulous.com months ago and Victor Pitts at Moniker.com, I think there’s no other rep working for a domain corporation who will bend over backwards to make sure you’re treated fairly, and maybe give you a chance to recover from a mistake before it becomes devastating to your portfolio. The chance that it will become very profitable for the registrar holding your domain is a nebulous cloud.
Most large domain companies (no names need to be mentioned) have “switched it up” for us domainers, because everyone knows how soul-less corporations work. It’s “let’s get rid of all those employees who treat our clients well, but bend rules just a bit to make them happy, and although forming great bonds with those customers, large and small, they may not be making our company the extra dollar we would like based on possible penalties, mistakes, miscues, fines, additional fees, etc. that we can legally extract from those customers, and that will add profits to our shareholders bottom line..”
Most corporate financial analysts of the heartless kind (oops, that was redundant) know one thing: EXCISE ANY EMPLOYEE THAT HAS CODDLING FRIENDSHIPS WITH CUSTOMERS WHO DON”T BRING IN REVENUE IN SIX FIGURES ANNUALLY. Warn them to keep kissing butt for those six-figure customers, but anyone less, they now have to toe the corporate line “because, that’s what the rules are, and the powers that be demand it.” Then the next sentences you start hearing regularly are “Sorry, I don’t have the power to change this because upper management is bearing down.” uh huh. (Translation: “I vaz only followink owrdaz”)
We all have our personal experiences in dealing with “new” employees who replaced those employees we became friends with and who bent over backwards to repair our stupidity and literally saved us tens of thousands of dollars or more in our relationships with the company even though yearly, we bring in thousands of dollars for them.
Things have changed across the board for most domain registrars and domain companies that provide multiple services, backed up with millions of dollars of venture capital and tens of thousands of expired domains they’ve captured from their customers who didn’t pull it together in time.
Ironically, we all make money from those domains that are put up for auction from this sad situation, but we still pay the companies who “nabbed” the deleted domains we buy from their own customers. The sad part is that the companies taking these domains from their customers is like telling your best friend that you are taking their $1500 stereo because that $100 they owe you hasn’t been paid, and you’ve given them enough warning. We’ll hear a “fake sorry”, but business is business.
Most Registrars and Multi-Purpose Domain companies have become:
1) Acquisition monsters
2) Removers of customer-favoring policy executives
3) Shifters or removers of “favorite customer service reps”
4) And with #1 above, very suspicious of any executive or customer representative who have built up a large list of customers who like working with the company thanks to that one representative working there.
(From what I’m told and what I have experienced, only Fabulous.com does NOT snatch up their customers’ domains when they expire).
But the new corporate dickwads running these domain companies don’t consider that, they only consider “bottom line” and the “stockholders” where each PENNY counts. Long gone are the friendly connections many of us domain pioneers built up over the years.
I can’t tell you how many times each major domain company I’ve worked with have eliminated the people I worked with who saved my ass when I needed it, who spent an inordinate amount of time on issues I needed fixed, who bent the rules that saved me big profits because I screwed up, or who were receptive of new suggestions and ideas to make their company’s business run better.
None of us can say that our business sense has been perfect, or that we’ve been on top of every detail of our game when it was imperative. That’s when our customer representative and upstairs executive came in and showed that real people still worked in this secretive, burgeoning industry.
For all that I know, and my experience in many businesses throughout my life, I would give the ultimate reward for best customer/client representation for their company to Mike Robertson, formerly of Fabulous.com, and now of DomainGuardians.com.
Mike Robertson has risen above any other customer service rep that I’ve worked with since 1999, and truthfully, 20 years before that. He has saved my portfolio many times, and from discussions with some of my high-powered domainer friends in this industry, there’s no denying this. They have had the same favorable experience with Mikey.
So, in my Viking Bonfire Awards, I give Mikey the “Giant Bollars” Award of the Century. (“Bollars” means “balls” in Swedish… yeah, I give it a Viking term because Vikings were MEN. and it’s the title of a MAN who is bigger than the company he works for.)