Net4India took my money, but did nothing

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <>

In February 2005, the "IN" TLD was opened to registrations. In the weeks preceding the opening, a number of registrars were accepting pre-orders for .IN domains, the idea being that they would submit the requests once the registry was opened. I wanted to register, and I chose to use Net4India as registrar.

I submitted the pre-order and tried to pay the required INR4500 (500 for processing fees and 4000 for two years' registration charges) by credit card, but the transaction failed; and instead, I paid in person at their office by cash. I got a receipt, and was told that my registration would be processed.

A few days after the opening, I noticed that the domain had not yet been registered. I received no response to my mail asking why not. I tried to register the domain using another registrar (Key Systems), and was able to do so, thus proving that my registration had not even been processed. I received no response to followup inquiries either. An ex-employee of Net4India gave me the email address of a director, to whom I addressed a complaint. He forwarded it to someone in the customer support department who asked me for the details of the case, but did not get in touch with me again, or respond to my mail over the next few months.

I sought legal advice, but lacked the time, money, and energy to follow the suggested course of serving notice and attending the consumer court. By early 2006, I had given up hope of ever recovering my money, and was reminded of the incident only by the occasional spam that was sent to the throwaway address that I'd used to communicate with the company.

In early 2009, by some monumental coincidence, someone from the company posted to a mailing list I'm on, asking for some help. I replied to the effect that I'd be happy to help if he could help me get a refund, and to my amazement, he did so within a week. (I got only INR4000, because the processing fee was non-refundable. Given that they hadn't actually done any processing… but after three years, I didn't want to quibble.) I am extremely grateful for the prompt and courteous assistance I received.

But I'm afraid I cannot recommend Net4India as a domain registrar.