Gandi is in the business of registering domain names for our customers. We have been doing it for a long time, and we can now register a lot of different extensions for you. While we still can't register every single one possible, we are getting close!
There are some extensions that, while we can register them, are unbelievably difficult. Others are really easy, and the price we charge reflects this (along with whatever the registry involved charges us).
Some extensions are just... weird. Take .ET (not that I have anything against Ethiopia, but the registry rules are arcane in the extreme). While it would be great to be able to automate .ET registrations and offer them to everyone, it remains impractical, especially for a organization as lean and efficient as Gandi is. We need time to work with the registry, help them refine the process, and adjust our systems to deal with their requirements. The best way to do that is to have some managed registrations go through the system. That's why we decided to put all these types of extensions under Corporate Services, where we have staff that can work on this for us, and for our larger clients. It's a compromise between not offering the extension at all, and offering it publicly at a huge price, neither of which we feel right about.
As we work out the automation for these extensions, we will roll them out to everyone without the need for a subscription to cover the overhead. Think of it as an intermediate stage in the life cycle of a TLD, like the chrysalis of a butterfly.
Some of you really want these extensions as vanity domains, or for specialized business purposes. The corporate subscription we offer is an extra step and an extra fee, yes, and so it seems odd to you that we ask for it. Actually, if you take full advantage of it it's a much better deal than paying the fees we would have to charge for individual registrations! Given that its really just a few arcane extensions that are affected, and that the subscription lets you register any of them, and also gets you access to some very useful services, we think that this is the best way to offer these extensions.
So why all the other service offerings?
First of all, if you don't have about 50 or so domains to manage, it's probably not in your interest to order the extra services. The people who need these services are the really busy professionals who know the value of their time, and would rather let trusted experts deal with transferring, renewing, and maintaining the ownership of their domains. If you run an IT shop for a big company, or if you work for a legal entity charged with brand management on the Internet, these services are for you!
The services we offer are intended to offload your critical IT and brand management staff from the specialized, bureaucratic, and risky tasks of managing, reporting and monitoring your brand, as represented by your domains. That's why we offer them. That's what Gandi does: gives the customer the services they ask for. We want to offer our customers all the choices we possibly can, and this is just another example.
For more information, ask us here!