I have been parking domain names with SmartName.com for many years. It was never the best, but I did like several things they offered and that is why I used the service. What I liked the most was the way they displayed “for sale” messages ontop of the landing pages for domains you wished to offer for sale. It was custom and you really could put any text and link that text as you wished. I also liked the kickback you would get if you parked with SmartName and sold your domain via Afternic. Well…

Late last night, I got an email totally out of the blue that they were closing my account?

“Dear Jamie Zoch,

Due to continued low traffic quality and anomalous metrics your account has been disabled. Any earnings accrued have been suspended. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Regards,

The SmartName Team

support@smartname.com”

No warning, just BAM! Disabled? I say closed because I can’t even login to see how much of my money they are keeping! No time to change DNS ahead of this closure?

This is all ok with me, because SmartName.com is running a business and if they wish not to serve me, they do not have to. I’m ok with that!

Two things upset me about this.

A.) “Any earnings accrued have been suspended” What? I have NEVER played any of the BS “click on links game” so lets get that out in the open first! What was earned last month (around $70 I think), even if in the opinion of SmartName that the traffic was “low quality” is strongly, IMO my money! What isn’t paid, is stealing. Bad business! They offer a service, I used it, they report the daily earnings, they display the daily earnings, they total up the daily earnings etc. They have never displayed the earnings of “high quality traffic” and “low quality traffic”? They just display earnings!

The normal payout date came and went with nothing taking place (5/15/2013) would have been a normal payout date, so I thought something was a little odd that I didn’t get my money from last months earnings…. so they close my account on 5/21/2013 and just decide to keep my money from 4/15/2013 to 5/21/2013?

B.) Zero warning! I used the service for more than parking, so all my for sale messages on the top of the parking landing pages are gone. This hurts my business, as interested parties are no longer aware the domain may be for sale (until I have time to change services and the system in place to make them aware the domain may be for sale).

Again, SmartName has every right not to do business with me if they choose, even though I have been a customer for years, I’m 100% fine with that. Keeping my money, I’m not fine with that!

If you use SmartName or any NameMedia company, I wanted to make sure you were aware of my story with there service and what happened.

Update: After writing this article I was contacted via email by two SmartName reps and after talking on the phone with Bob Mountain, the issue has been resolved. I expressed my displeasure about the lack of personal contact, which I would expect after being a customer for so many years and instead of the company taking the easy route and simply closing my account, they should have contacted me personally. There was one domain that I have owned for many years (that gets typo traffic because it is a generic term and it is singular and a company uses the plural) that there system recently flag as getting “questionable” traffic that there feed provider wasn’t happy with.

Yesterday I reported that the domain name ComingTogether.com was reported sold by Mike Mann on his Facebook page for $60,000 and today The Coca Cola Company is listed as the new owners in whois records!

Coming Together Coke

This clearly shows that companies will spend big bucks to own the exact match domain name for advertising campaigns! Here is the Youtube.com ad, which basicly talks about obesity and calories. At the end of the ad, Coke displays the domain name Coke.com/ComingTogether to visit and learn more. That URL redirects to LivePositively.com/ComingTogether

ComingTogether.com currently does not resolve at the time of this article but is hosted on Cokes servers. It is hard to say if they will again use the domain as a redirect or build a stand alone site on it. With the price paid for the domain, one would think they would use it for a stand alone site!

Electronic Arts has acquired the domain name BF4.com for the upcoming launch of the 13th installment of the very popular game Battlefield. The new BF4 game is set to launch in the fall of 2013.

EA isn't shy in using great domain names, as they simply use Battlefield.com for the "main" domain name for the games site.

The domain BF4.com sold for $550 in 2008 on the NamePros.com forum and was held by that buyer until early this year (2013) until a whois records change on 2/26/2013 to a Gary Warne of Australia. That is my educated guess as to when "EA" purchased it. As of yesterday (4/29/2013) the whois records updated to Electronic Arts Inc. as the owners.

At this time I wasn't able to dig up the price paid by EA for BF4.com, but I would think it was more than the $550 paid in 2008.

Battlefield 4