A RespectMyPrivacy discount, a few UI upgrades, and Twitter?

We’ve released a minor update to our member UI with a few new features, one of which is of particular note: a 10% discount on RespectMyPrivacy service is now available in exchange for prepayment.

We decided to take that step, as we’ve talked about in the past, because RespectMyPrivacy is the only service where temporarily disabling it if you run out of money can have permanent consequences. Sites that scan the whois information can catch any change and toss it in a permanent database. So we let RespectMyPrivacy overdraw accounts for awhile rather than disabling it as soon as your balance hits zero.

Most people clear up overdrafts right away. But, sadly, there are exceptions. And, as a result, losses from unrecovered RespectMyPrivacy overdrafts surpass every type, even credit card fraud.

So if we let people prepay for RespectMyPrivacy, and give them a discount for doing it, everybody wins. If you’ve got a domain with privacy, you can prepay it at any time from the domain info panel in the member interface.

We’re NearlyFreeSpeech and we do things a certain way; RespectMyPrivacy is built to respect your privacy, not to lock you in. Prepaying preserves that promise. If you abandon the domain, transfer it elsewhere, or cancel privacy service, you’ll get a credit back based on how much prepaid time is left when RespectMyPrivacy comes off.

I think this is a pretty neat change, and I hope you will find it useful.

Next up, a welcome change to inbound domain transfers: if you’re transferring a domain into NearlyFreeSpeech, and you find out after placing the transfer order that you’ve got a bad admin contact address or an uncooperative privacy service on the domain, you’ll get stuck at the “waiting for admin contact approval” step. In the past, you had to buy support points and open an issue to get us to go through a tedious manual process (hence the support points) to cancel the transfer.

You can now request the transfer be canceled via the member interface, and it will happen within a few hours without any of the support cost or hassle. This is a really nice change for the people affected, and I’m glad the technology has finally become available to let us implement it.

Third, if you have unused support points and no open issues, you can now easily cash the points out to any of your accounts just by clicking the appropriate action on your account’s info panel. We’ve always done this on request at no charge, we just wanted to streamline the process.

Fourth, you can now customize the Apache ServerAdmin property (used to display a site administrator email address in response to certain types of site errors) from each site’s panel in the member interface.

Finally, a small tweak to how we do support issues. After we phased in the “support points” concept, we added an undocumented option for people to open support issues before buying support points in order to have us “triage” the requests and see if they were suitable for paid support. That was always intended to be a transitional feature while we felt out the new system, but it has certain use cases that cause problems.

It’s hard to explain the problems without giving examples that would compromise people’s privacy. But sometimes people phrase issues in such a way that telling them it’s out of scope looks and feels like cruelly refusing to help them, but telling them that they need to buy points to proceed creates a false expectation that doing so will get them something it won’t. Neither option really works for me.

So, since we’ve felt out the new system and we’re generally happy with it, and to avoid the problem cases, we’ve dropped the undocumented triage option. If you have any questions about whether or not an issue is appropriate for paid support, please ask in our forums. We’ll be happy to triage it there, where we’re not limited to yes or no answers. And, as is often the case, if the question can be answered for free in our forum we’ll have that option available as well. 🙂

That’s the end of the upgrades (for now), which brings us to Twitter. We’ve been talking about using Twitter as a venue for to announcement small things more frequently, like technology betas and some of these UI upgrades that don’t necessarily merit blog posts of their own. It won’t replace our offsite status page or anything, just minor stuff that people might want to know about.

But I was appalled when I went to sign up; Twitter cut me off at “NearlyFreeSpeec!” I tried “nfsn” but it seems one of our members set that up as a “Fan-made, unofficial account for one of the most intersting & forward thinking webhosts online.” If that (awesome) fan is out there and would be willing to let us take over that name, please let me know. 🙂

Thanks everyone!


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. There’s always the username “nfshost”.

    Comment by Jake Wartenberg — March 25, 2010 #

  2. You can also contact Twitter and have them hand the account over to you if the (awesome) fan is not found.


    Comment by Abraham Williams — March 25, 2010 #

  3. Is the UI tweak for prepayment of RMP already live? Would love to use that feature, but unable to locate it.

    Yes it is. It’s in the action box on the domain’s info panel. -jdw

    Comment by Matt — March 25, 2010 #

  4. Loving your every upgrade. 🙂 (okay, actually loving every announcement).

    Keep going!!!

    Comment by Pothi — March 25, 2010 #

  5. I can’t believe someone called me ‘awesome’ and it took me four days to notice!

    jdw: shoot me an email and we’ll sort out the Twitter account. I’m currently in a minor upheaval (moving from UK to US) so am not always connected – apologies if I can’t get back to you straight away. (Airport wifi is pretty flakey, despite what they say.)


    Yay! We are now @nfsn! Thanks Rob! -jdw

    Comment by Rob — March 27, 2010 #

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