A bit less than three and a half years ago, I registered a third-level
domain of the form first.last.name. With it came an email
forwarding account, firstname.lastname@example.org that was claimed to
personal, memorable, lifelong
For the first two adjectives I don't have anything to say. However I have a bit of a problem with the last one. Indeed, my main email address suddenly ceased to work, without warning. Before that I've never been asked to pay for anything else than the third-level domain renewals, for which I've never been late, and the email forwarding worked fine.
I've been using this email address as my main address for more than three years now! Since last week, people writing to me at this address would simply receive back an error from their Mailer Daemon saying: "550 5.1.2 <email@example.com>... Host unknown (Name server: last.name: no data known)".
At first I thought it was a temporary situation but it lasted several days so
I started to investigate the problem.
dig mx last.name did not return any record. Huho,
something's wrong here...
I contacted my registrar, who are good guys, and they told me that they couldn't do anything since they don't have any sort of control over last.name. So I contacted the registry, VeriSign, who owns last.name since it became a shared* domain when I registered a subdomain of it. The VeriSign guy I had a discussion with was totally incompetent, like almost not passing the Turing test, but at least I learned that the email forwarding and third-level domain name are actually different services. Strange choice. Stupid choice IMO.
For now the only solution I found to recover my email address is to pay almost $20/yr for a simple email forwarding. That's already outrageous, but the worst is that this redirection (which is made at the registry (VeriSign) level, not registrar) has some unacceptable restrictions. See for yourself:
- Maximum number of messages in the email forwarding queue from one user at a time will be limited to 500, after which the .name registry may bounce messages.
- The .name registry may bounce messages if the total email forwarding queue for one user reaches a size of 50 MB.
- The .name registry may stop forwarding of messages that are larger than 20 MB in size.
- The .name registry may block users that receive more than 3,000 emails in any 24-hour period.
- The .name registry may control the number of mails received and the quantity of email forwarded by the Email Forwarding service in order to maintain a stable, secure and reliable service.
Okay these restrictions are somewhat "reasonable", but not when you pay that much for a service that simple, which doesn't even use a noticeable amount of bandwidth or CPU!
I want to say this loudly to VeriSign: please go die suffocating in your own shit!
Seriously, this email address is my identity and as a friend of mine, pointed out, there should be laws protecting that kinds of things, or at least strong engagement in the ToS of their providers. Online identity is very important nowadays (in particular when you study or work in computer-related field, which is my case). You can't provide this kind of service and suddenly cut it out like that! People might depend on it. I'm currently applying for an internship and guess which email address is on my résumé? Mine. My email address. the one that just disappeared.
Now I don't want to change my email address but in the same time I really can't pay for a crappy service like this. So I'm stuck. I think I'll pay the service for a year to do the transition to another email fordwarding account (in order not to depend on a provider), but on a domain I truely own this time. I think my email address will be r@uzy (like my last name, "Rauzy") with the "me" TLD. It's short and funny but stays serious enough at the same time.
tl;dr: if you want a .name domain, don't buy the thrid-level one, I advise you to not care about other who might share your family name, just go and buy the second-level domain you want...
* a shared domain is a domain which is not anymore available for registration to be shared between third-level domain holders... even though I'm the only third-level holders. ↑