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"Your domain does not expire in 2009, and has expired now, the reason you may have seen 2009 on a whois search is that the registries sometimes mask the true expiration date of domains nearing expiry to try fend of domain supermarkets from harvesting the domain name."
is this true ? I've never heard of that before..
My domain is certainly down and they say ...
"we have not turned your website off, the reason you cannot see your site is due to the domain registry turning the domain off after the expiry date- unfortunately we have no control over this except for the domain being renewed."
I would be grateful if someone could let me know if this practice goes on ?
Many registrars "automatically" assign a +1-year expiration date to an expired domain name. This is done, IMNHO, to confuse the innocents.
Usually/many times, there are two expiration dates listed in a whois record -- the one nearest the top of the record shows the "plus 1-year" date, and the expiration date closest to the bottom of the record shows the "real" expiration date.
AFAIK, the spurious "plus 1-year" date is put in place by the REGISTRAR -- not the registry.
If you take the time to read the [cough] "information" that accompanies many whois results, you'll often find a long paragraph of absurd language that, in essence, says "the expiration date shown is the expiration date -- unless it's not."
This misinformation, in my view, is to allow REGI$TRAR$ to (more easily) move the expired domain to their own (partner) auction market.
The registrar has the option whether to deactivate nameservers attached to an expired domain name. If people question that "right" with the registrar, remember that their obligations to you expire the moment the domain name expires and its contract isn't renewed.
Long story short, check with the registrar if the name's indeed expired or not. If it's expired, renew it fast to restore its web site, email, etc.