InterNIC responds to me

I just finished up a phone conversation (45 min or so) with Chuck Gomes
at InterNIC (NSI), regarding the recent set of problems that have
happened with various domains. While it appears that a number of
issues remain to be investegated, I think that Chuck addressed
most of the major concerns I had and said he's investegating the
other concerns. He said they are working on a FAQ / info release
on recent events and hope to send it out tomorrow, though he
couldn't guarantee it would be that soon.

The most important thing that came up in the conversation was that
the event that appears to have percipitated the rash of public complaints
is that they are in the process of catching up their billing status so
that domains that haven't paid are now in the 30-15-5-hold-deleted
track not sitting in limbo for months before being acted on.
This means that they are now seeing many many months worth of
minor accumulated errors hitting all at once, effectively.

Chuck said that they are implimenting a new problem handling procedure,
if your domain is about to go on hold email to billing@internic
with the keywords URGENT and DEACTIVATION in the subject will
get seen most promptly and he stated that their policy is that
they are supposed to always err on the side of leaving domains
turned on while issues are investegated. He did comment that they
have had problems with that not always being the case, but he's
working on making sure that policy is consistent in all cases.

We also talked about various specific problems they've been seeing
and he disclosed some failures they had recently in check and credit
card billing accounting and in domain status processing. He said that
they'd fixed most of them shortly after they occurred, but a few
were lingering on and are expected to be fixed this week.
The problem of having credit card payments not going to the
right domain (and he brought up a related problem, refunds
in multi-payment cases) he said was known and being looked at.
I don't think they know what they are going to do about it
yet but they are aware of it.

I did comment that they need more proactive communications about
things like this, and he said they have a fulltime communications
director who's been hired and is coming up to speed.

On the whole, I am a lot less unhappy about recent events than I
was yesterday, I think he addressed the concerns I had about
what's going on. There are problems, some of which they know
remain large and unresolved, but I don't think now that we saw
a sudden bitrot in their databases last week. I'm looking forwards
to the official announcement...

-george william herbert

Isn't it amazing how much extra work gets generated because of billing
for domain names? Call centers, directors of communications... are we
this desperate to create jobs? How many hours of productivity where wasted
world wide being on the hold with InterNIC? Looking up receipts?

This entire thing could and should be automated.