I have worked with a number of registrars over the years and they’re all bad. Bad UI design, constant upsells and confusing policies. On top of that they make it so annoyingly hard to transfer from one bad option to another.
But when they start charging exorbitant rates that is going too far! Register.com seems to be one of the big providers out there (probably just because of their perfect domain name – a lesson in SEO for WordPress) and they always want to charge $35/year for a basic .com domain. My preferance is for godaddy.com – not because they have a good interface (and their hosting is problematic – especially for WordPress hosting) but because they don’t ever raise their prices (@$8/year) and I’m simply accustomed to their version of interface hell.
What Register.com does is force you to renew your domain for two years at $35 and if you unlock your domain and request an authorization to transfer it then they give you a coupon for @$20/year.
Then if you take the time to enter access codes back and forth they will send an even better coupon. Here’s one I got today for a client that i migrated to godaddy.com:
Register.com received notification on 10/29/2010 that you have requested a transfer of (domain) to another domain name registrar.
We are saddened to see you go and would like to offer you an exciting offer to remain a Register.com customer. Renew for only $15.95 when you use Invitation Code: RENEW77 today. Doing so will provide you with peace of mind that your domain name is safe with a company that offers free live phone support 24/7 and is here to help you build your business online.
If you still wish to proceed with this transfer, you do not need to respond to this message.
So try that coupon and let me know if it works.
Note that I have no affiliation with godaddy and I don’t like their branding anyway.