Otis: Fix Your Forwards!
According to its Wikipedia page, “Otis Elevator Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of vertical transportation systems today, principally focusing on elevators and escalators.” The next time you’re on an elevator, have a look on the metal frame on the ground as you walk in or on the keypad, and chances are good it will read “Otis.”
At some point in time, Otis Elevator made some very good domain acquisitions. Some quick DomainTools research shows me that the company owns three exceptional descriptive domain names for their product lines: Elevator.com, Lift.com, and Escalator.com. Historical Whois records show that these domain names have been owned for quite some time, and Otis is possibly the original registrant for all of them.
Not surprisingly, Otis appears to have opted to forward these domain names to its website rather than have different websites for each domain name. Perhaps they bought them to keep them out of competitors’ hands, are trying to capitalize on type in traffic, or they are using them as a way to make it easy for customers to remember how to get back to their website.
Whatever reason for owning these domain names, there appears to be a problem with how Otis is using them. Depending on how they are entered into a browser, they might not work as the company intends. Visit Elevator.com, Escalator.com, and Lift.com, and you’ll notice that none of them appear to resolve. When you visit www.escalator.com and www.lift.com, you are forwarded to the company’s main website. No matter how you enter elevator.com (with or without the www), it doesn’t appear to resolve at all.
In my opinion, many people who type in a domain name do not use the www, especially if they aren’t prompted. I assume there is some traffic leakage for all three of these domain names that don’t appear to be forwarding correctly. Hopefully, this is a temporary issue that will be fixed ASAP.
If this was a smaller company, I would have reached out to someone at the company to let them know privately, but I have no idea who I’d need to email (nor do I have the appropriate email address).
Thanks to Bill Sweetman for sharing this with me.
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