Netfleet – You Have To Lift Your Game

Without doubt, Netfleet has been the most successful drop-catcher of expiring domains in the .au market.

However, they’ve always had lots of detractors along the way – mostly for events that were all self-inflicted. One example was the telemarketer scandal from a couple of years ago.

I’ve been using Netfleet since the beginning (that’s now a long time ago in internet terms), and I regularly talk to many domain investors on a daily and weekly basis. So I feel I’m qualified to make observations.

Background

Before I list some “moans and groans”, I make one emphatic statement. I like Netfleet’s Business Manager Nikki Scholes – she is ethical, and as honest as the day is long. She has always gone out of her way to help me – and I know she does the same for others. I acknowledge that there are some of my peers that don’t share my opinion of her helpfulness! But I believe that comes down to simple human nature.

However, Nikki is almost in an impossible situation. She’s trying to keep the show on the road, but quite simply does not appear to have been given the resources and back-up to make this happen. She’s not a technical person – and nor is she expected to be. She needs help. Given that Netfleet is effectively 50% owned by the Lye brothers interests; and the other 50% is owned by Melbourne IT, you’d think that there would be plenty of help available.

But I know from speaking to senior Melbourne IT people that Netfleet is not a priority for them. And therein lies the problem in my opinion.

Recent Discontent

The unhappiness from regular customers has been mounting in recent months. These are the main issues:

♦ Customer support continues to lag. Some people get service quickly; others don’t.

♦ Daily auction results are abysmal. In the “old days”, you could count on the fact that 15 minutes after the drops, you would have a complete list of wins, losses and prices. Now you get “waiting for results”.

♦ Sometimes domains that are won on Netfleet don’t even appear on their list! Believe you me, this is very stressful. See yesterday’s details below.

♦ Domains that bidders win on the expired auctions aren’t actually guaranteed of ending up in their Netfleet accounts. This has to be fixed manually.

♦ Registrant contact email addresses (for regular customers) sometimes show as “holding@netfleet.com.au”. This makes it difficult to transfer domains out; or do COR’s.

♦ Daily “results” emails may as well not even be sent – they are generally incomplete.

Last but not least is auction integrity itself. A number of people have once again reported that they have lost domains by a few bucks; or there has been an identical numerical bid (say two bidders both bidding $280, but they lose the domain because the other bidder supposedly got the same bid in some minutes earlier). I accept this could all be coincidental – but given past events, you can’t blame people for being suspicious! I know NF have telemarketers working again – so my question is, do they once again have access to the bids of other people? Who else apart from Nikki has access to the back-end?

Yesterday’s Results

What is alarming is that a number of domains were not shown on Netfleet’s list – even though they were won by Netfleet (or had bids)! I know this because I bid on some of them. Where is the transparency?

These were the names that didn’t appear (all won by Netfleet unless otherwise noted):

♦ budgethomeloans.com.au

♦ cheapcarinsurance.com.au (this was a big sale price apparently)

♦ cocklebay.com.au – DomainShield

♦ diva.com.au

♦ gigolo.com.au

♦ glam.com.au

♦ naturopathy.com.au

♦ noosabeach.com.au

♦ smartcarfinance.com.au – Drop

♦ smartinsurance.com.au

♦ sunshinebeach.com.au – DomainShield

These were Netfleet’s declared results:

brandreview.com.au $711 Caught
mug.com.au $326 Lost
bulkwine.com.au $210 Caught
ebank.com.au $207 Caught
virtualjobs.com.au $139 Caught
botanic.com.au $137 Caught
ikn.com.au $137 Lost
snakeranch.com.au $112 Caught
hostingservices.com.au $112 Lost
musicalinstruments.com.au $89 Caught
saris.com.au $78 Lost
buyadomain.com.au $76 Caught
mytaxreturn.com.au $65 Lost
femalefitness.com.au $59 Lost
kimberleycruising.com.au $59 Caught
domainpurchase.com.au $56 Caught
plasmacutting.com.au $29 Lost
highseas.com.au $26 Caught
lorneartsfestival.com.au $22 Caught
amaze-n-place.com.au $22 Caught
extrusion.com.au $22 Caught
webmastersite.com.au $19 Caught
wharfnelsonbay.com.au $12 Caught
outbackescapes.com.au $12 Caught
diskdrive.com.au $10 Caught
hoody.com.au $10 Caught
engineered.com.au $10 Caught

 

Conclusion

These technical issues must be fixed. Transparency must be returned to the platform.

What do you think?

Ned O’Meara – 23rd May 2017

5 thoughts on “Netfleet – You Have To Lift Your Game

  • Avatar
    May 23, 2017 at 5:20 pm
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    The most important thing you said in your article for me, Ned, is this:

    “I know NF have telemarketers working again – so my question is, do they once again have access to the bids of other people? Who else apart from Nikki has access to the back-end?”

    Who else, indeed?

    I’m glad to hear Nikki has a separate personal BatPhone that blinks and blares for when you call her up with a problem, Neddy, but I can vouch personally that she simply ignores my support emails and calls. I’m sure she does this for other customers too. I have my theories on this… but I’ll save that for another time… It’s only when I make the complaint to auDA that she bothers to sort out my Netfleet-won names that are in limbo.

    I can prove she doesn’t care about my business, personally, too. Because last time Netfleet took 17 days to give me my name, an auDA representative personally phoned me to ask if it had been sorted. I appreciated that. I told him, “Yes, thank you very much for following that up for me. Thanks to you, Nikki and Netfleet actually gave me my name.” and I didn’t press the issue any further . . . even though Netfleet are clearly breaking various auDA Policy rules in this regard. The auDA representative also told me he spoke exclusively with Nikki about the situation. So, this means, instead of hopping off the phone and emailing me back or phoning me, explaining what went wrong, she CHOSE to just raise the invoice, 17 days late, and block my account until it was paid, and continue to completely ignore my gripes with the Netfleet system.

    In the meantime, it is very clear she has read my gripes with Netfleet on various forums (she has posted on the same forums that I have written about my Netfleet drama’s, so it is as clear as mud that she CHOOSES to ignore me, like I’m just going to go away?! ha!) I’m not going to let them get away with this nonsense!  I can’t even begin to state how unprofessional this sort of behaviour is coming across.

    It makes you wonder if she is behaving in this way as her own person, or if she is being commanded by higher-ups not to bother helping certain people?

    Now, let’s bring my Netfleet drop-catching drama’s up to this very minute… It’s after 5pm on Tuesday afternoon…

    and…

    HERE WE GO AGAIN…

    On Saturday I won the absolutely amazing domain name Astronaut.com.au on Netfleet.

    Right at this moment – the WHOIS REGISTRANT is saying that I own the name.

    It is THREE DAYS LATER and Netfleet have not bothered to bill me or put the name into my account.

    I choose not to have “fancy credit accounts” with any drop-catcher. I never have. I pay my bills within 24 hours of receiving them. I’M UP TO DATE and always will be.

    Surely I’m one of their Top-5 customers (in terms of buying names and paying for them within 24 hours?!?!?!) over the past 3 years??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!

    I gave her Sunday off, as I knew she probably needed a day off before I started moaning about this… but I didn’t expect what is happening, to be happening now, all over again!!!

    On Monday, I figured I’d give her the day to deal with the backlog over the weekend… How nice of me, right?! But I sent her an email (support@netfleet.com.au) at the end of yesterday asking why my name was taking so long to transfer AGAIN, and I hoped it wasn’t going to take ANOTHER 17 DAYS like last time… I said to her… because it’s true…

    Today – all day – there’s nothing.

    It’s now been FIVE DAYS and Netfleet are HOLDING my name and you can’t reach anyone there to do anything about it…

    WAKE UP NETFLEET!!!!

    When they say, “Australia’s Number 1 Domain Name Trading Platform” I don’t believe this is the case at all. I believe we are stuck with a sub-par drop-catching company who don’t care about the domain name industry or any Australian business, for that matter.

    I wish (and hope) another drop-catching company comes along and squashes their drop-catching dominance. It’s ridiculous. I’m actively doing all I can to drum up interest in this regard. I’m sick of giving my hard-earned money to Netfleet when they don’t deserve it. I want to give it to a company (and private businessmen) who deserve it!!

    I am now officially sick of this.

    I’m going to make another auDA complaint.

    But this time, I’m going to push for the full extent of the rules to be dealt. They are BREAKING auDA POLICY by doing this, time and time again.

    Apart from that, I also have proof just how bad the support is, over at Netfleet, since Nikki was left to fend for herself, and this is going to be coming out in all it’s glory in a new article I am writing for this awesome Domainer website, as we speak.

    See you all soon!

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  • Avatar
    May 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm
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    Also, let us not forget about how much Netfleet love the whole Double Dipping concept that keeps working in their favour, yet they choose not to inform new customers about names that keep appearing on the drop list – http://www.domainer.com.au/trials-tribulations-with-auda/

    Nothing has changed with this company. They just keep bringing in new “heads” who seem to be nothing more than puppets for people higher up.

    Let’s not forget about Jonathan Gleeson being propped up as the new head of Netfleet in 2015, only to bail (or be given the boot?) as soon as some scandals came to light – http://www.domainer.com.au/netfleet-director-stoops-to-new-low/

    I for one, don’t want Netfleet’s contract renewed when auDA take over the wholesale control of the Registry.

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  • Avatar
    May 23, 2017 at 9:16 pm
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    auDA needs to now set up an official daily drop auction without further delay. They auctioned the generic .com.au names years ago so they could easily do it again for the daily drops.

    The revenue from the auDA daily drop auction profits could then be used to help fund auDA administration and the new auDA wholesale registry. This means they will be making some money which can also help to reduce the total .au registration wholesale fee which they will soon be in charge of also.

    The fairest thing for bidders is 1 official auDA daily drop platform. No telemarkers, no scams, no blind bidding but instead bid increments by $1 and auDA to keep track of all IP addresses so they can clearly see the bids are real etc..

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  • Avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm
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    I am happy to report that Nikki from Netfleet reached out to me today. I now have at least some of my names in my account.
    I’m hoping things can get better at this point, in terms of Netfleet being contactable and sorting out Netfleet problems in a timely fashion.
    She has noted some new “help”, by way of possibly a new developer, may be coming on board soon to fix some of the technical glitches… I hope and look forward to this happening sooner rather than later.

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