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.

About Jamie Zoch

Jamie Zoch is a domain investor, dad and dedicated husband who founded DotWeekly.com in 2008 to bring unique and helpful views on domain names. Jamie is very passionate about domain names and helping others learn and prosper.

18 Responses to SmartName.com Closes My Account, Keeps My Money
  1. Thanks for sharing. After reading your story I would never try their service. Also won’t suggest them to any one. What they did is totally wrong. No warning and keeping the money is just bad way of doing business.

  2. The same thing happened to me with Smartname a few months ago and they kept the accrued earnings. Like you, I had never touched the links of course. Since then I’ve changed to redirecting my domains straight to sales/lease pages since, unless you have truly premium generic .com’s (usually one worders), I believe you’ll get a much better ROI long term going straight to pages where they can buy that domain rather than parking.

  3. Yea, they should at least give you your earnings and close out the relationship.I’m sure that can help for renewals! 🙂

  4. Hi Jamie,

    Please give SmartName customer service a call at 866-351-9586 / 781-839-7990. We can’t discuss the specifics of your account via this forum but would like to help you with your account. We apologize that you didn’t have a great customer experience.

    Sincerely,
    Karen Dixon
    VP, Marketing
    NameMedia/SmartName

    • @Karen,

      I will reply to your email, but I will warn you it won’t be fun to read.

    • Richard Coggins May 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm Reply

      SmartName pulled exactly the same trick with my account – they were happy to take my traffic for over 6 months and a week after I requested to withdraw funds my account was closed without notice and without final payment. I trust their shoddy business practices will catch up with them quickly.

  5. It sounds like SmartName.com are some real classy people.

    This is why I don’t use second-rate parking platforms : Errors, inconsistencies, lies, cheating, stealing, slow or poor platforms, etc…

    My advice would be to sign up for InternetTraffic and then use their redirect feature to redirect your domains to each domain’s selling page on InternetTraffic.com.

    Their standards for applications have dropped, so depending on your traffic levels you may get in (I have no idea what you control).

    Sorry to hear this. You have always come across to me a stand-up king of guy.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story, Jamie.

    We’ve decided to do something about this type of practice by affiliate programs and parking platforms.

    We call it Affiliate Abuse.

  7. You should not click on your own links, or register past spam domains, shame on you, as well your daily drop email alert spams daily with wrong pricing info, get your act together.

    • @Parking Police,
      Clearly you do not know me. I don’t play games! Saying I click on my own links is 100% false and I would gladly welcome you to prove it. If you have a problem with DropAlert.com emails that YOU signed up for, there is an unsubscribe link in the daily emails you get. As per the pricing issue in the emails, we are aware of it and are trying to address the issue.

  8. Same thing happened to me with the Google Adsense. I was about to get my check when they told they identified illegal clicks and I don’t even visit my sites. There is no customer service to say what happened, which IP address the clicks came from or other information. Google just sends a help page link where we can request to reinstate and each time I tried they respond with a link to the same help page without any other information. So I learnt to not believe google.

  9. Never trust anyone who has the name of “Smart”

  10. SmartName have always been crap.. poor CPC, poor performance.. can’t do anything with them and they fuss about everything!

    They have NEVER changed over the years.. I wouldn’t use them if they were the last parking outfit standing – waste of time, energy and space!

    They have the audacity to make OUTRAGEOUS amounts of money leaching from us every day.. and they ban and pick us off “one after the other” to streamline their bloated nest egg every day! Take, take, take..

    STAY AWAY OR BE OWNED!

  11. SmartNames.com is not domaining friendly, I have contacted them many times this past years to make it change without any success, visit:
    http://www.domaining.com/directory/domain-parking/

  12. Yes Francois.. 100% right!

    There are still too many idiotic parking companies who are out to NET as much as they can from domainers. If unreported, these people have no hesitation in bleeding you dry..!! And if you let them do this it effects the whole industry, a marker is set on the amount you are willing to accept (you are killing yourself financially including everyone else).

    Do the right thing and move your domains to better “more human” companies who are willing to share more of their profits.. If you feel you can do better.. Drop your account “TODAY” and move your domains to Bodis.com, InternetTraffic.com, Voodo.com and other GOOD PAYING companies you can trust..!

    Don’t let these 3rd rate, SmartName leeching companies shaft you any more.. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  13. I am fairly new at domaining and find these apparently pervasive issues with parking providers distressing. I would appreciate some opinions / recommendations from experienced domainers on which outfits are effective, honest and dependable.

    Thanks

  14. Sedo did this all the time. i did not do shit to my domains. but they state advertisers blabla do not like traffic, close parking account and you nver see the earnigns
    same stuff

  15. If you didn’t have this blog you likely would have heard nothing back and they would have kept the cash. I wonder how many people got shut down this way. If it was just one domain their system should have just warned you about that one domain.


[top]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.