I have enjoyed some of the limited free services that they provide. They provide free Whois, DNS, and a few other lookup tools. The types of lookups that use their database rather than just making an on-the-spot query cost money as expected.
A few days ago I did a Whois lookup and wanted to see what other domains were registered in that person’s name. This is a paid report of an estimated $100. I saw the link for a free trial of the paid account. I signed up because they are a popular website and I expected I could delete my account when I was done. As you may expect they require payment information so after the free trial they can bill me. I entered a credit card expecting I could delete it later.
When it came time for me to close my account, I got a very bad opinion of them. First thing I tried to do was delete my credit card information, but it said I couldn’t do that because I had an active subscription. I was fine with that message so I canceled my subscription and tried again. It would still not let me delete my credit card information even though it was now a free account. If I had given them PayPal instead, then I would be able to remove the payment authorization easily.
The next thing I tried to do was just delete my account altogether. I searched long and hard on every page of my account. There was no option. After a search on the Internet I found this Knowledgebase question (notice of the 0/5 star rating from all the down votes) of another user wanting to delete his account, but the official response is that they will not delete accounts to prevent people from signing up again with the same email address. My Internet search also lead me to a webpage on AccountKiller. This also supported my disappointing conclusion.
SummaryOnce you give any information to DomainTools they will keep it indefinitely except payment information that they will remove if you contact them. I will never sign up for another DomainTools account with valid information again. If you know of a service that works as an alternative to DomainTools please share in the comments section.
I was happy that I used my anti-stupid-people methods when I signed up for this account. I used a prepaid gift card (MasterCard that acts like a credit card) with a balance of $0 on it that I had laying around instead of my real credit card. The email address I used was [me]+domaintools@[domain].com. That is an alias email address which will forward everything to [me]@[domain].com. Both Outlook.com and Gmail have that feature. The only valid information they have on me is my name and my address (billing address for credit card).