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Invalid Whois - Domain Registrar holds hostage



9:48 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Whew. I gotta tell ya. I have something like 160 domain names at a certain registrar... thats about $1600 worth of business I do with them every year.

This is the second time they have found a small typo in one of my domains whois - so they hold the domain hostage and charge me to get the domain name back.

What if I had been on vacation? The registrar probably would have stolen...er, I mean, legitamately acquired the domains for itself.

Guess business is business, right? I bet business is good using this method, what with all the whois typos that must be out there.


10:09 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Sounds like it is time to look for a new registrar.


10:36 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Horrible,would be interesting to hear the name of your registrar?
Time to move to moniker )


4:31 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Could you expand on what a whois typo is?I am a newby.


4:55 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It is the most popular registrar.

What is also interesting is the registrar has put a parked page in place of my website.

This parked page has clickable ads, that of course are enriching them from the thousands of visits this page is getting every day.

Think about this...say you own drugs.com or some other very popular domain. The registrar can find some excuse to hold your domain hostage and even acquire it for themselves.

Now THAT is a great new revenue stream!


2:37 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I can't believe they just take the domain without even asking you to make the correction yourself.


3:35 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The potential to make alot of money on poplular domains is enormous. This is what happens:

1) you have an incorrect phone number in your domain whois. Perhaps you typed in 555-555-555 instead of 555-555-5555. An honest mistake. Perhaps you moved and forgot to change the phone number part.

All the other info is correct including mailing and email address

2) Someone contacts the registrar and says "Hey, the phone number is wrong on this guys whois.

3) The registrar emails you. They do not attempt to contact you in any other way.

Everyone here knows how iffy email is - emails do not always get through. Also, because your email address is listed in the whois, this email address is bombarded with thousands of spam emails every day, many of which get through your filters. This makes it easy to miss the registrars email

4) After 5-days without your having responded (perhaps you were on vacation) the registrar pulls your domain and the site goes down.

5) Now you are at the mercy of the registrar, who holds your domain hostage for a fee or, worse, sells it to the highest bidder.

I bet the registrar can obtain some valuable domains using this trick.


7:39 am on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So they received a complaint from somebody and sent you an email to your contact address on record. Seems fair to me. I thought you were implying that they had employees pouring over domain whois records, phoning every contact to ensure it was a valid phone number, then swiping your domain without any notification. You should also read their ToS because in there you are obligated to maintain correct and current whois info on your domains.


4:49 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

They do not attempt to contact you in any other way.

So you wanted them to call you, fax you, and/or send you a postal mail as well in case something like this happens?

Sending an email doesn't cost a thing. Performing numerous invalid WHOIS checks on a daily basis or so isn't cheap for a registrar to do, especially for those who charge roughly $6-$10 per year on average for .com.

They do have to make money somehow if not through domain names, right?


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