back to article Guess who's hiking their prices again? Come on, it's as easy as 123 Reg

Domain and hosting biz 123 Reg will hike its prices 20 per cent later this year. One customer got in touch to confirm he had received an advanced renewal notification from 123 Reg, which quoted the two-year renewal price of a domain as being £19.98 plus VAT. "I contacted 123 Reg support to query this as the ' …

  1. Hugh Barnard

    Truly dreadful company. Also, transferring domains out from 123 is an esoteric and time-consuming task. I've been there. Avoid, at all costs.

    1. HollyHopDrive

      I've got shit loads of domains with them and was pretty pissed off with the costs rising last time. That's it for me, transferring the lot as they expire to who I've used for years and I only used 123 reg for 1 feature that easily didn't used to offer but now do. This is the straw for me, voting with my wallet.

      1. 2460 Something

        Even when they were one of the cheapest I couldn't bring myself to use them due to the significant amount of horror stories from others that had....

      2. redwine

        Thanks for the tip - I'll take a look at easily too.

    2. Dabooka

      I have a couple with them

      Stupid I know but there you go. They're due in January, how do I go about transferring them? Never done it before and don;t want to slip up and lose them. In fact I'd rather pay more to move earlier if it means it's safer.

      And who do I go with? Also thinking about taking out email so I can have unique email addresses.


      1. Fonant

        Re: I have a couple with them

        I recommend Mythic-Beasts. They have Clue and support open source projects.

        UK domains are free to transfer: request transfer at your new registrar, then change the IPS tag to the new one at the old registrar.

        1. Chris King

          Re: I have a couple with them

          I'll second that recommendation - I've been with Mythic Beasts for nearly 10 years and they've been consistently good. They're not the cheapest, but support and customer service is excellent.

          Fonant's advice on transfer is spot-on - the only difficult bit will be getting 123-Reg to change the IPS Tag. I've seen people wait for over a week for this to happen - it should be an almost instant process, other than some sanity-checking to make sure that you're not someone else trying to snaffle the domain.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I have a couple with them

            IPS tag changes are instant through the 123 Reg Control Panel - there is no delay at all, no phone calls required, no fax needs to be sent - plain and simple.

            1. Dabooka

              Re: I have a couple with them

              Thanks for the replies guys, been over to Mythical Beasts and looks straight forward enough.

              Much appreciated

        2. M Mouse

          Re: I have a couple with them

          I've used plenty of other firms, including CrazyDomains (HQ is in Australia, but service is OK), and HostGator. If you look at you can find a number of other registrars but

          (a) watch out for "too good to be true" pricing (most of the firms mentioned are in USA and some do USA-only low prices, such as 1and1 - which launched its server farm business in N America with free hosting for 3 years but you had to have a US phone number to be eligible).... and

          (b) one or two US firms want to charge a transfer fee, or a transfer fee and then renewal (if the renewal date is say more than 3 months in the future). I have a half dozen .uk domains at 123-Reg which will be moved before renewal becomes due in 2018.

          I mention the comparison site as it may be of interest to those not wanting to be tied to .uk any more (!) The majority of the domains I manage are not .uk thank $deity.

  2. Robigus

    The Prophecy!

    I knew something was afoot; I had a phone call from them last week. Having never spoken to them before, despite being a customer for over 10 years, a "customer something-or-other representative" rang me.

    I prophesied to colleagues that "something's up".

    I asked why they were ringing and the poor lady on the other end seemed as clueless as I did (after the scripted waffle had been read and I placed some direct questions)

    Bad form.

    1. samzeman

      Re: The Prophecy!

      At least it's not as bad as when someone calls up from a call centre and then doesn't answer the phone, or you hear distant chatting. At least let me waste your time while you waste mine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Prophecy!

        If you get a silent or unanswered call and you get the number, report it.

        Even if you don't get the number, report it.

        No point moaning about it and then doing bugger all.

        They may not be able to stop many of them, but they also do get a few of the bastards. BTW if you can hear background noise, it's because the agent is set to auto answer, buggered off and forgot to sign themselves out.

    2. M Mouse

      Re: The Prophecy!

      I had a call, like you, out of the blue, and was asked something like whether I was happy. I said that the price increase was unwelcome and I'd be moving my domains away as a result. If I had seen this article beforehand, I'd have gone ballistic.

      Now I know about it, they can whistle for anything else financially from me!

  3. Alister

    For comparison, we pay £6.99 for an annual domain renewal with Fasthosts.

    However, for a .com, a single year's renewal is £11.99.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, Fasthosts isn't much better than 123-Reg, but we only use them for domain registration, and to initially sort out glue-records to our own DNS servers, so our exposure is low...

    At the end of the day, most domain registrars are a similar level of dross.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author


    I've been using Virtualnames AKA UKServers recently...

    No complaints from me. As usual YMMV. In the past I used Hostroute/Nameroute but they were taken over by Vidahost and they seem OK but more expensive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've been using Virtualnames AKA UKServers recently...

      Same here. Used them for some around 9 years, for some hosting as well as domains. Rarely an issue, fast response when they do occur and no silly marketing.

  5. J. R. Hartley


    Lol. I fucking love The Reg.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Comedy'

      is it more a tragicomedy or farce?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're paying £9.99 a year for I feel bad for you son

    I've got 99 domains and 123 Reg ain't hosting one

  8. Just Enough

    That picture

    I appreciate how difficult it is to illustrate a story about domain registration with an eye-catching image, but what on earth has a guy with his head resting on a laptop and his hair on fire got to do with it? Is this a previously unknown hazard when laptops and domain names collide?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That picture

      I think the comparison is to anti-dandruff shampoos and how some of them are flammable which is why you need to be careful with domain registration companies because they'll either leave you scratching your head or on fire. You can also clearly see the flakes of dandruff in the picture.

      Or maybe it could be to illustrate the anger of the customers at more price rises but what do I know? Who knows what goes through the minds of the people that pick the pictures?

      1. keithpeter Silver badge

        Re: That picture

        "Who knows what goes through the minds of the people that pick the pictures?"

        It is a bot. Has to be.

        Coat: I just use the registration service provided by my hosting company. No big investments.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That picture

          > Coat: I just use the registration service provided by my hosting company. No big investments.

          So a single-point of failure then... If you have domains and hosting separately, at least you can point your domain elsewhere easily if hosting provider goes down.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That picture

          " I just use the registration service provided by my hosting company."

          NOT a good idea.

          If you deal directly with a registrar you can simply point your domain(s) elsewhere or even drop it at a moment's notice.

    2. Chris King

      Re: That picture

      The poor guy's brain burned out trying to work out how to transfer his domains out of 123-Reg ?

  9. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    "According to its Companies House results, 123 Reg made £47m in sales for its full-year results ended 2015, with profits of £13.4m."

    Thats quite the profit margin , if indeed thats what those 2 figures represent. Why do they need to put tprices up?

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

      Because dem millions just 'aint enough...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      A stagnant company is underperforming. It's all about growth, of course!

    3. BlueAdmiral

      You know 123-reg do more than just domains, for most hosting companies domains are a loss leader, not just in the registrations costs but the support costs for them. 123-reg is not only a domain registrar, but a hosting company (well part of one) in it's own right so their profit is not just from domain sales.

      (my own views & comments, this does not reflect the views of my former, current or future employer)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "...for most hosting companies domains are a loss leader, not just in the registrations costs but the support costs for them"

        A cost £3.75. 123Reg charge £7.99 -> £9.99.

        The service is automated.

        That is at least a >100% profit per domain. Support costs per domain are low, most people register and manage them themselves.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Data centre costs, DNS server costs, control panel to manage the domain name, integration to Nominet API layer, associated free services given for domains (email forwarding, web forwarding), customer support. The cost of a domain name is far more than the price paid to Nominet.

  10. MrKrotos

    "We've been in touch with all affected customers to let them know of the change and we are confident that 123 Reg remains great value."

    Bull*^&*, I havent seen any emails from 123-VEG, thats it, I am moving the last of my domains to namecheap tonight :)

    1. Undergrid

      No email to me either, this is the first I've heard about it and I've got a domain due for renewal soon. Looking at namecheap as an alternative, and that would save me 50% of the 123-reg cost...

  11. tin 2

    You forgot to bring up when they very quietly scrapped their no charge to transfer out promise. - pertinent I think.

    I'll be testing getting them to comply with their original promise shortly!

    My only arse with this is I've been slowly transferring my domains out to TSOhost, who were brilliant, but got borged by 123-reg's parent company Host Europe early last year :(

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: TSOHost

      I did not know that TSOHost had been bought. That might explain the crappy support I received.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are no charges to transfer domains out from 123 Reg, there was a short period of time where this did happen, but they scrapped that. Their current promise stands to not do so.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So what's the "reason" for this price hike?


    Because y'know it's what everyone else is saying...

  13. andy 103

    Set your own price

    It's 123reg so you can just change the prices by manipulating the URL query string anyway... I joke, but there was a company (BT?) where that was actually possible a number of years ago. I'm sure 123reg did something equally stupid such as passing the logged in user ID in the URL a while back too. A shockingly bad company.

  14. MrMur

    How much inertia must there be in the industry if some people still haven't moved away from them? I moved ages ago.

  15. Derichleau

    I'm leaving them for good

    I only have one domain remaining with 123-Reg and they want £24 for a for two years. Notification just came through this morning.

    By the way, if anyone has been conned into paying for domain privacy for UK domains, you should claim your money back. Nominet's Legal Counsel has informed me that providing a free opt-out for individuals on the WHOIS database is a key requirement of their fair data processing. Twat's like 123-Reg have opted to bury the free opt-out in favour of their fee paying one - unfair in my opinion.

    If anyone wants to take action then I'm happy to give you a copy of Nominet's response:

  16. Deej

    They know their time is up

    Over the last year, I've been transferring my domains away as they come up for renewal (to Gandi, FYI)

    Recently, the option to generate an auth code for the transfer has been greyed out on their customer portal, meaning I have had to raise a support ticket for each domain.

    I'd venture that they're trying to stop people from moving away, but as far as I'm concerned it's not working very well!

  17. Susan Vash

    123 are indeed a bunch of cowboys. I've been billed for domains that I've let expire - sometimes two or three years after their expiry, I've been billed for whois protection for domains not owned by me, and their control panel ... just don't get me started.

    For an IT company in this day and age, they are fucking useless at pretty much everything they do and their prices are frankly laughable.

  18. SaleNowOn

    A question for you all

    Been thinking about changing for a while as their C panel is a pain to use but I have question, does anyone know if there is a hosting company out there that offers:

    A) Two factor Authentication


    B) Source control?

    I don't see why I can't source control changes to DNS, 2 of our Domains are always getting tweaked and I would really like to track the changes better.

    1. PerspexAvenger

      Re: A question for you all

      If you just want to keep track of your DNS, Dyn do a) and sort of b).

      It's not git-like, but you do have a zone file change history in there.

  19. leaway2

    Why must prices always hike now and not Rise?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Because hiking is more stressful for the customer victim

    2. Glenturret Single Malt

      Prices don't hike. Company owners hike prices. As a result, prices are hiked by them.

  20. WibbleMe

    Google Domains

    Amazon Rout 52

  21. Number6

    Even GoDaddy hit a piece of moral high ground the other day when they finally dumped that Alt-Right outfit.

  22. Paul Stimpson

    I used to keep some of my domains with Supanames. The price was right and the service decent. They were bought by 123-Reg and it was downhill from there. The reliability was awful with more outages every month that I previously had in a year and terrible customer support who didn't even do me the courtesy of reading the tickets before sending me non-applicable canned responses.

    I moved my 123 domain hosting to and the services I host myself to All is well with the world again. I whole-heartedly recommend them to you. I have no connection with Gandi or Bitfolk other than being a satisfied customer.

  23. Richard Cranium

    I regret to say...

    I've had the misfortune to work with several alternatives to 123reg and so far not found better - which isn't to praise them, numerous cockups and I've got a long list of gripes. There are usable (and certainly cheaper) alternatives for simple registration but most of the time I can rely on their CP for most of the things I need to do, usually fast and effective.

    I'll take a look at any alternatives that crop up here but tried some of those in the past and, sadly, reverted to 123.

    I suppose one could pay for some future renewals in advance before the price increase comes into effect.

    As for bare UK names as I guess all anyone will do is redirect to the corresponding, might as well use a cheap minimalist registrar. Business opportunity there...

  24. Tony Mudd

    Hosting elsewhere ?

    Thanks for the recommendations of where to move our domains to, but does anyone know of a registrar who can host .name domains and offer a catch-all email ( ?

    I had a look last time when 123 put their prices up, but couldn't find one....

  25. sandbrain

    Purely Domains anyone?

    I've had various hosting packages with PipeTen over the years and always been happy with their service, so I have taken the plunge and begun transfer of one of my domains to their Purely Domains outfit to see how it goes. £5 / year plus VAT with them.

    I also note that 7.99 to 9.99 is a 25 percent increase - not a 20 per cent hike!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No other security software?

    Is this just another moneymaking scheme from 123reg?

    After performing a comprehensive analysis of XXXXXX, we can confirm that your website is at high risk of vulnerabilities or compromise. When a website indicates a high risk score, vulnerabilities are 12 times more likely to be exploited than the average website, according to SiteLock data.

    It is important that you act. For £0.99 per month, SiteLock ‘Find’ carries out a daily scan of your website.

  27. andyt8

    Time to move away for me as well.

    Yes I got caught unawares when the invoice for my domain renewal came in the email this morning. Searched and not found any warning email from 123 about the 20% price hike.

    Moving mine over to Pixelinternet who I have been happy with for the last 5yrs and they host my website so they may as well have my few domains as well. Plus Pixelinternet give limited free email boxes with each domain so you can use your domain for email easily without buying web hosting. I used to get this with godaddy years ago but not any more.

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