I use Dreamhost to register domain names for websites that I build and manage for myself and for clients. I hardly use Dreamhost’s website hosting services, but since I’ve registered a number of domains with them throughout the years, it was easier to continue to use Dreamhost as a registrar and keep all domain name registrations under one account. I can register a domain name, set the auto-renew option to yearly, and Dreamhost will automatically renew the domain for me without any action needed on my part. Or so I thought.
I have a number of .US domains registered with Dreamhost, and on three separate occasions in the last year, Dreamhost has failed to properly renew these domains for me, even though I always receive a bill for the renewal at the time Dreamhost “renews” the domain. The .US domains always expire and the nameservers are changed until I write Dreamhost, tell them about the issue, and wait for a response from their support team. Because the nameservers are changed without my consent, website and e-mail services stop working for the domain. It is beyond frustrating having to deal with this each time a .US domain is supposed to auto-renew.
The first time this happened (July), support told me “We are working with our registry to resolve this issue” and “I am confident this will be resolved within a year (before the domain renews).” The second time this happened (September), support told me “I sincerely apologize for the problems you’ve been experiencing with your account :/” and refunded my account the amount of the domain renewal.
This issue popped up again yesterday. I submitted a support ticket to Dreamhost about a .US domain that didn’t renew, and I’m still waiting for a response from support over 16 hours after the ticket was submitted.
I won’t be registering any additional .US domain names with Dreamhost, and will immediately transfer all .US domain names I have registered with them to another registrar once the pending issue I am having is resolved. If you need to register a .US domain with Dreamhost, here’s one word of advice. Don’t.
Update: After a second support ticket and a tweet to Dreamhost support, I finally received a response over 18 hours after my original support ticket was submitted. Dreamhost refunded my account the amount of the renewal and “manually submitted the domain’s renewal.” That means the domain in question hadn’t been submitted for renewal for almost two weeks, even though I had been charged for the renewal. Very disappointing.