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DomainTools

domaintoolsFirst, I would like to clarify that this review is not of the content or service that DomainTools provides, but rather a review of their business practices.
I have enjoyed some of the limited free services that they provide.  They provide free Whois, DNS, and a few other lookup tools.  The types of lookups that use their database rather than just making an on-the-spot query cost money as expected.

A few days ago I did a Whois lookup and wanted to see what other domains were registered in that person’s name.  This is a paid report of an estimated $100.  I saw the link for a free trial of the paid account.  I signed up because they are a popular website and I expected I could delete my account when I was done.  As you may expect they require payment information so after the free trial they can bill me.  I entered a credit card expecting I could delete it later.

When it came time for me to close my account, I got a very bad opinion of them.  First thing I tried to do was delete my credit card information, but it said I couldn’t do that because I had an active subscription.  I was fine with that message so I canceled my subscription and tried again.  It would still not let me delete my credit card information even though it was now a free account.  If I had given them PayPal instead, then I would be able to remove the payment authorization easily.

The next thing I tried to do was just delete my account altogether.  I searched long and hard on every page of my account.  There was no option.  After a search on the Internet I found this Knowledgebase question of another user wanting to delete his account, but the official response is that they will not delete accounts to prevent people from signing up again with the same email address.  My Internet search also lead me to a webpage on AccountKiller.  This also supported my disappointing conclusion.

So why am I mad?  You can say that I should have been able to do the research and see that I was not able to delete my account before I even opened it.  Take a look at their Privacy Policy (if they have updated it look at the one I agreed to): “Deactivating or deleting your account can be completed in your Account page.”  That is not true, there is absolutely nowhere to delete or even deactivate the account.

I contacted their support requesting my credit card information and hopefully my complete account to be deleted.  In their reply was this: “We make no mention of deleting user accounts on our website.”  Did the nameless “Member Services” person even read the Privacy Policy that says “Deactivating or deleting your account can be completed in your Account page.”  Even though he did not delete my account he did “deactivate” my account and delete my credit card information.