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When Your Registrar Drops the Ball

Recourse for Domain Name Owner

   
2:59 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Okay, nearly in panic mode...

My veryimportantdomain.dom expires in two weeks. It has good positions in Google and is the site that the majority of my online income comes from.

I renewed it three weeks ago.

But, the registrar still shows it as pending. Additionally, its WHOIS status is clientDeleteProhibited, clientTransferProhibited, and clientUpdateProhiibited.

I can access it from my domain management control panel, but I cannot update it or change it.

Additionally, the registrar changed the admin eMail address on the domain.

I have sent them a support request, and am hoping that they will fix it. On the other hand, the last support request I sent (about two weeks ago) was deleted from their system and never answered.

I figure that I should give them 24 hours to respond. After that, my next step will be to try to get the admin eMail changed and (hopefully!) transfer it to a different registrar.

Is there anything else I should be doing?

If the domain expires, I will get dropped out of Google, won't I? And lose all my rankings? And, would it be like starting all over from scratch? I am just wondering what I evidence should be collecting regarding that end of things, in case things get ugly...

8:10 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I always pick up the phone, get a live person (multiple calls if necessary) and get something updated whilst I'm on the phone (vast majority of the time).

If it's an international call then it's time to get an international calling card if you must.

"Use the phone Luke! Use the phone!"

Sometimes I've used the phone number from the WhoIs for the registrar when I can't get a response from a website #.

Sometimes I've reached out to people, through contacts, who live somewhere near the supposed business address - to get whatever additional info I can.

Sometimes I've faxed a lawyer letter. Once I FedEx'ed a lawyer letter.

Whatever it takes. For the right domain I'd check with the local authorities, confirm there is an actual business where people show up, and either hop on an airplane myself or hire a local gun legal professional to pay a visit.

Whatever it takes. Sometimes people can tell that's the case once you contact them. Never threatening, just determined.

[edited by: Webwork at 10:27 pm (utc) on Sep. 21, 2006]

8:53 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I always pick up the phone, get a live person (multiple calls if necessary) and get something updated whilst I'm on the phone (vast majority of the time).

If it's an international call then it's time to get an international calling card if you must.

"Use the phone Luke! Use the phone!"

They don't list a phone number on their site.

Sometimes I've used the phone number from the WhoIs for the registrar when I can't get a response from a website #.

I'll give that a try. I have read of others who have dealt with this registrar in the past, and who say that no one will ever actually answer the phone or return messages.

Sometimes I've reached out to people, through contacts, who live somewhere near the supposed business address - to get whatever additional info I can.

Apparently, their "address" is a MailBoxes, Etc. box.

Whatever it takes. For the right domain I'd check with the local authorities, confirm there is an actual business where people show up, and either hop on an airplane myself or hire a local gun legal professional to pay a visit.

The BBB has apparently been unable to get a response or find them either.

Right now, I am trying the end-run around them. They are actually just a reseller and not an actual registrar. The domain in question is actually registered through a registrar for whom they are no longer a reseller. I am hoping that I can get them to step in and help me out.

Apparently, both registrars are cognizant of this reseller's problems, but the former is reportedly more helpful than the current registrar for which they are a reseller.

3:52 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Update... Some WHOIS servers are now showing the expiration date as 2007 instead of 2006. I checked with Verisign's WHOIS, since they are the registry for .COM, and it is showing an expiration date of 2007. So, it probably just needs to propagate to the other WHOIS servers.

The domain also no longer shows clientDeleteProhibited, clientTransferProhibited, and clientUpdateProhiibited.

I am still unable to make any changes to the domain, including the admin eMail. Yesterday, I submitted a change request directly to the registrar (not the reseller), but they say to allow 24-48 hours for the change to be made.

So, I am hoping this is good news, but I'm keeping an eye on things.

7:14 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Update... Now the admin address has been changed back to my eMail address.

Whew!

8:05 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



congrats! ;)
8:25 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)



Whew!

Big pile of manure? :-)

4:04 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's good news that it worked out in the end. What I'm walking away from this tread with is this: Right now, I'm going to make sure that if I ever have a problem like this, I'll be able to implement some of the strategies that Webwork suggested.
4:14 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think another thing to do (for those that don't renew for more than one year at a time for tax or other purposes) is to initially register the domain for two years.

Then, begin renewing it annually the following year.

That way, if you encounter any problems when you renew your name (or at any other time), you'll still have at least a year to go before it expires, giving you time to phone, write, contact a lawyer or whatever it is you need to do to regain control of your domain from a negligent registrar or reseller.

4:20 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I bet a lawyer could throw down some form of a lock down on a domain pretty quickly with some legal talk and some big sue talk if things go wrong.
2:00 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I would suggest transfering it someplace else, if you're having trouble contacting them. I had a similar problem with my old site, which is now a generic gateway, and I lost it. The registrar was somewhere in Germany, and I'm in the U.S., and it nearly impossible for me to get anywhere. Never again. I eventually settled with Yahoo! for my hosting AND domain services and ahven't had one problem yet.

If you're having that much of a hard time contacting your domain registrar, I'd say you might have other related problems later on down the line, and it's not worth it. Just my two cents though. :)

6:31 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If you're able to log inside your account, it should also confirm if your domain name's renewed or not. From your subsequent posts, it suggests it is.

Didn't you post earlier the domain name's with a reseller? Why not transfer it to an actual registrar?

If you're going to transfer it to a registrar soon, do it 45 days after its last renewal. There's an (censored) rule wherein domain names transferred within 45 days from their last renewal won't be given an extra year by the gaining registrar.

Dave Zan

5:59 pm on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The domain is now back under my full control. After getting the admin eMail address changed back to my address, I was able to successfully transfer the domain to another registrar.

I actually paid for two years at the old registrar/reseller, but was only ever credited for one. But, compared to the costs of losing the domain or getting a lawyer involved, etc., it's not that big of a deal. And, I can probably call my credit card company and maybe get that charge reversed.

Now, to get all my other domains moved from the negligent reseller...

3:13 pm on Sep 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



And, I can probably call my credit card company and maybe get that charge reversed.

You might want to do that after: a) the domain provider refuses to refund no matter what, and b) transferring any remaining domain names away from them.

6:25 am on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You might want to do that after: a) the domain provider refuses to refund no matter what, and b) transferring any remaining domain names away from them.

That was my plan exactly. ;)

I just received a renewal notice from them on another domain--one which I moved to a different registrar at the same time I moved the other domain.

The domain is at the new registrar, it was confirmed through the old registrar that I did want the transfer to go through (which I approved manually to speed up the process), and still they send a renewal notice.

I don't think they're trying to trick me; I just think that their system is so outdated that things don't work properly anymore. I had it happen once before that I transferred a domain name, and it was still under my control panel at this old registrar weeks after the transfer had been completed.

 

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