Well, the .me registration was a complete and utter fiasco. Speaking from personal experience, and reporting from Mashable (soon to be joined by a lot of other reporting, I predict) – this was one of the worst examples of customer experience in my 15 years online.
It took one full hour to check out. After having to reload every step in their byzantine shopping cart at least 3 times, I finally was able to pay.
Then, 2 hours later (after already charging my credit card of course) I get an email saying that the domain they sold me was in fact not available. That’s like a guy from Safeway coming over to your house and taking back the sweet corn you bought in the morning because somebody else had apparently bought it too. I’ve received “out of stock” emails from e-commerce companies after checkout (which is also annoying – how about tying your online inventory to your offline inventory?), but to have that happen with a purely virtual item like a domain name is unfathomable.
Insert Conspiracy Theory
There were reports in recent months that GoDaddy was registering domains that people researched on their site (you see if a name is available, if it is and you don’t register it immediately, SURPRISE it’s taken the next day). Also, they were squatting on domains in the renewal grace period and dramatically increasing the renewal prices.
Based on that anti-customer behavior (if true), I wouldn’t be at all shocked if GoDaddy was selling .me domains, and then reviewing checkouts to find ones with aftermarket value, and keeping them for themselves.
GoDaddy needs to spend less money on TV commercials, and a lot more on servers and a Chief Customer Experience Officer. Seems to me like their long-term plan is to achieve true market dominance (they are pretty close already) and then really start turning the screws on customers. Nice.
Tomorrow – July 17 – marks the first open registration period for the new top level domain (TLD) .me
Intended for use in personal branding, no doubt many other creative ideas for .me addresses are being hatched, perhaps similar to del.icio.us
For PR firms and publicists, covering the .me base for clients that have existing or emerging personal brands (especially speakers and authors) is a must.
.me domains are $19.98/year on a two-year minimum and are available most readily from GoDaddy. Domains go on sale at 8am on July 17. Use code BTPS7 and you should receive 20% off your purchase.
More information is available from GoDaddy here.
We do not recommend moving your Web site content over to your .me address unless you have consulted a search marketing specialist, as doing so could severely curtail your inbound links and search rankings.