Majority of Domains Fail to Transfer - Is This Yet Another Limit?

No, he said he submitted one, that doesn’t make it any less irrelevant to the type of problem their system is having. Their eventual deduction was that the system has difficulty transferring domains that have certain extra services tacked on, that has zero to do with what was happening in his browser, it is an entirely different category of problem. EDIT: Okay, Sam says below that they want the HAR files, fair enough.

Yup. This is more than “rough edges” however. I am saying that some of the basic presumptions they made are wrong, but that is something they are highly unlikely to backtrack on unless enough users express the problems that those poor design choices are causing them.

Just to be clear, I am not saying that that API-driven design is not technologically admirable, or that it does not align with the long-term vision of Cloudflare, or that it won’t make a terrific article for the Cloudflare blog, explaining how they used Workers etc. It may be all those things.

Unfortunately, it also utterly fails to perform the job of transferring in domains, or even making it easy for users to indicate which domains they want to transfer. Iterative design is all very well, but determined users are now wasting ridiculous amounts of time working around basic UI problems that really should have been obvious before the first line of code was written.

I never said anyone was stupid, although I am wondering about the brainpower behind your apparent belief that forum posts are somehow not customer feedback.

What my approach recognizes is that everyone is naturally protective of their creative output and, as such, it takes a certain weight of accumulated user experiences, expressed publicly - not tentative support tickets each disappearing into their own silo - to gather momentum and make it obvious to the designers that there are significant problems.

Individual support tickets are going to do nothing to address the root problem that they have come up with a horrifically over-engineered solution to set of problems that have already been comprehensively solved using simple forms, as evidenced by the entire domain registration industry for over a quarter of a century.

I really want Cloudflare to be a credible alternative to my existing registrar, that is why I am bothering to engage with this process, but I am exasperated by the lack of long-established domain registration mainstays such as sorting by expiry date, or not having to manually de-select 249 domains every time I want to transfer one, and I hate that I have had to spend this evening removing hundreds of sites from Cloudflare so that I can even see my close-to-expiry domains on the list.

Hi everyone,

This is Sam from the Registrar team. Thanks for posting your feedback and questions. We do read it, both here and in the support tickets, and are working to improve the system.

1) HAR Files
HAR files, submitted through the support queue, do provide a wealth of data that allows us to track down individual problems. Submitting those does allow us to do deeper investigations and gives our team the details they need to identify what went wrong. Without those, we only have half the picture, so we do appreciate and need those as inputs.

2) Retry failures
In addition to the issue with dedicated certificates, we’re finding that one source of these retry failures traces back to payment card provider rate limits. Each domain is billed as a unique item right now. It appears that some card providers limit the amount of unique transactions in such a short timeframe (both in general and from a specific provider). We’re working to address that now. In the meantime, if you have already completed a number of transfers, and can hold a few hours or a day and retry a single transfer, that would help us gather more signal about the issue.

Thanks again for being part of registrar early access.

Sam

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I am finding that the problem seems to apply to certain domains, regardless of whether I try to transfer them as a group or individually. I now have a stubborn collection of around 20 domains that won’t transfer even when certain more recently-added domains sail through.

Also, my card provider - German online bank N26 - give me an immediate notification for every payment and every failed payment. These stubborn domains are not getting that far, while others in the same batches are successfully paid.

I have a hunch that the stubborn domains may somehow have been blacklisted within the system. Just to be clear, all these domains have the same registrar status and contact details, there is no reason why some should be okay while others are not.

Why not just display the error message, however raw, relating to the failure?

I mean, the system must be generating some sort of message or error, you could output that the page, along with the platitudinous text you are already displaying. Seeing a specific error, even if they don’t understand it, would make users feel at least a bit less bewildered.

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I think you made sense. I also think that the error that the domain name cannot be transferred has nothing to do with the browser. But the system’s prompts are too simple, so we can’t judge the source of the problem.

Since Cloudflare’s work order submission process has become cumbersome, there are many problems that we have to post here, expecting them to see the problem quickly.

I am as confused as you, why some domain names can be successfully transferred, and some have failed to transfer?

I agree, although I can think of one instance when this system gave me a very helpful error message: a transfer failed because I had given the wrong expiry date for my payment card. Seeing that error message allowed me to fix the problem and try again within minutes, this time successfully.

@SamRhea Just a quick follow-up on the theory about it being a payments problem, here is the result of an attempt to transfer 22 domains: one new addition and 21 “stubborn” domains. Only the new addition went through. This suggests to me that, in my case anyway, the problem is not too many transactions in quick succession.

I will give it a rest now and try again tomorrow.

I use PapPal to pay, but I also face this wrong question.

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Have you solved this problem? Please respond to me

Hi @brooklyn,

Unfortunately not, all my many attempts over the past five days have failed.

A user in one of my other threads, Have You Managed to Transfer Any Domains Today?, yesterday reported that the problem had been solved for him, so, I am hopeful that Cloudflare support are now fixing this on an account-by-account basis.

I recommend that you submit a support ticket and you will probably get a response in 4 days. Include as much relevant info as you can in your ticket, including whether or not any of your domains have a subscription to a Cloudflare dedicated SSL certificate (the ones that cost $5 per month, most people do not have them).

After the technician asked me to request the HAR files, the problem still remained unresolved. I think the transfer failure has nothing to do with the browser.

I previously thought that too, but now I understand that Cloudflare’s approach is significantly more complicated than other websites.

If you use other registrars, you are probably familiar with the more straightforward model in which the website simply accepts the domain name + valid AUTH code, takes the payment and initiates a transfer. Cloudflare inserts the additional requirement, before proceeding to payment, of needing their API to confirm that it can go ahead.

Their API is choking on random factors that they don’t yet understand, that is why they keep asking if you are using their dedicated SSL service even though, as the sellers of that service, they already have that information.

So, they do need the HAR files because that shows them what happened when your session made calls to their API.

When I received this error transferring my first domain I got a fraud alert from my credit card company with a few minutes. Responded to the fraud alert, retried the transfer and it worked.

@SamRhea A feature request here would be a “retry now” option. I had to reenter all my details again, when all I needed was for the payment to be attempted again.

Hi everyone!

On the “Please retry” error, that typically indicates a billing problem. We’re working to make that more verbose to track down what actually failed. Some common examples include:

  • Your payment provider rejected the charge (Like Michael’s example)
  • Something is amiss with setting the subscription for the zone; gathering a HAR file at this step is really valuable for us to diagnose

Thanks for the recommendation on a faster retry. We’re working on making that easier as well - just rolled out an improvement to retries for cancelled domains that are one-click, we’ll be bringing that here as well soon.

Sam

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I specifically called my credit card service provider for this purpose. They clearly told me that my card was not restricted, so let me contact you.

Even if you change your browser and try again, the result will be the same. Obviously this is a unilateral problem with Cloudflare.

Something I’ve noticed that may be causing billing issues that are not the fault of Cloudflare or the end-user.

Each domain transfer is charged in a separate invoice which results in a separate charge on the CC. Cloudflare does these in extremely fast succession. Most of the CC companies will notice a large number of transactions with the same amount and will begin to reject them as it appears to them to be either fraud or an error on the merchants part. As an example: I’ve gone to multiple retailers or websites and purchased the same item in two different transactions - sometimes if i do it fast enough, the second one will be rejected as it is the same dollar amount as the first. If Cloudflare was to aggregate the transfers into a single invoice - it would probably reduce the billing errors significantly.

I believe @SamRhea has stated, in another thread, that they are working on aggregate billing. The current per-domain billing must be costing them a lot in fees. Cloudflare no doubt have a sweet deal from their payment processor, but one big transaction always works out cheaper than, say, ten transactions that add up to the same amount.

The one good thing about card failures is that your bank can tell you exactly what the problem was. Indeed, most good banks will send you an immediate alert via their app to let you know they have denied a charge.

If billing issues are your problem, you are lucky because it is simple to call your bank and permanently whitelist Cloudflare. You only have a real problem if Cloudflare is tripping up over its own API and not even initiating the transfer because it sees issues that would not actually prevent a domain from transferring successfully.