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A word of caution - Domain Names

The original owner "Give it back!"

   
2:52 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Heh heh, the funniest thing happened to me this morning. I bought a domain the other week. Nothing special just a sort of generic "do anything with this site type of thing".

I got it from an expired domain co. for a couple of bucks. Its got pr3 and a handful of backlinks. Not really worth mentioning.

Anyhow the original owners mailed me this morning saying something along the lines of "It's mine, give it back" I mailed them back and told them I got it legitimately and it now belongs to me. "Go check the whois" I told them, "It's mine now". If they ignored messages from their registration company then more fool them.

On the story goes, They now want to take me to court to get their domain back, ROFLMAO

I replied telling them it would be a waste of time "cos it's mine, all mine".

So, a word of caution. If you don't want to lose your hard work to an underqualified, inexperienced, smart-ass affiliate (me)
Remember to pay your fees. he he he he he he he he

Ska

2:55 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Remember to pay your fees. he he he he he he he he.

It's only funny until it happens to you.

3:03 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Sure, I agree totally. It has happened to me and it caused me a bit of trouble. It's sort of nice (in a twisted way) to see the tables turned. It was their "heavy" approach that promted me to post. If they asked nicely I would have given it back.

Ska

3:06 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It was their "heavy" approach that promted me to post. If they asked nicely I would have given it back.

That's a good point and maybe I missed that in the original post. If you happen to be the victim of a lost domain due to expiration, then it may be in your best interest to exercise diplomacy in your communications with the new owner(s).

3:13 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Given how often this seems to happen, it surprises me that most hosts don't automatically renew domains unless told otherwise. Or they could give you some sort of option to set. It would save a lot of heartache, and probably make them more money.

All my domains are set for automatic renewal, it's just one less thing to think about.

3:14 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Why don't you try selling it back to them? They might accept your offer, eventually.
3:42 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



I have my domains set for automatic renewal, but even so I usually renew them "by hand" well in advance. I've heard of people losing domains because credit card glitches derailed the automatic renewal process.

Related note: make sure the executors of your will are aware which credit cards are pivotal to your online empire and should NOT be cancelled if you get hit by a truck.

4:57 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have a case in court right now. I'm going after lost revenue. he he he he he he he he
5:45 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If people don't pay their car payments the car gets repossessed. If people don't pay their rent or mortage the owner or bank will make them move out.

Also, I understand that their claim of any trademark claim is weakened because they let the domain expire.

6:15 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I lost a good domain recently through not paying teh renewal in error. Tough on me.

You may not like it but your going to have to live with it.

Mind you I worked for a large firm once who didnt renew a domain I did and set it up as a catch all - boy did i laugh at some of teh captured emails!

6:18 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The exact same thing happened to me just last week. I picked-up a domain on a whim and it wasn't five days before the "previous owner" was leaving phone messages for me.

I wonder if this is caused by people changing their email contact with no forwarding, and simply never receive the payment due notices?

Anyway, I'm giving it back to him, since he seemed to be a nice guy, and looking at the WayBack on his site I can see he's just another individual trying to create beauty in a world full of trash.

Plus, I KNOW he'd do the same for me....right?

7:47 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




it surprises me that most hosts don't automatically renew domains unless told otherwise

Many people don't even want their domains set to auto-renew. If they are, they usually
raise hell about it, especially if they decide to eventually let it go.

You have the money and time for that potential exercise, ska_demon? What's the profile
of the last registered owner?


Why don't you try selling it back to them?

They could use that against you...if they know how.

12:48 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



In my most recent experience with losing domains due to missed expiration dates, our domains were purchased "automatically" by a domain-reseller who wanted many thousands of dollars for the domains to be re-registered under our company name.

Any registrar that offers a "tell me when this domain expires" program is not likely to offer an auto-renew feature, as the two programs work at cross-purposes.

For some reason, this is how Network Solutions operates.

Frankly, although domain names could be considered property, and even intellectual property, this business of re-selling domains is pathetic. Yeah you'll make some dough, but it remains a type of "protection" racket with all of that crime's associated ethical questions.

1:29 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>They could use that against you...if they know how.

True. If you have this happen to you, believe me get a lawyer and you will get back your domain, if you act quickly.

2:38 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Jon_king wrote:
I have a case in court right now. I'm going after lost revenue. he he he he he he he he

If you don't have a tradmark how does that work?

8:58 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, turns out this is a mom n pop type site. A family run business that does 90% of its trade on the web. They apologised for being "heavy" and explained they thought they had to sound powerful to have any effect as they don't know how big my "corporation ;-p" is.

It really looks like they rely on this site for their livelihood. I have given it back in return for my initial reg costs.

Hopefully they will be more aware in the future.
The pr and links would have been nice but xmas is coming and if what they say is true I would hate to be the reason for a small business to fail....the domain was not my life...........

Ska

11:07 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi Ska: You did the right thing. Larry
4:36 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




It really looks like they rely on this site for their livelihood. I have given it back in return for my initial reg costs.

That breed of domain name owners should continue to grow. ;o)

6:25 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Right on, ska! You're an example of how not to become a Scrooge! :)
1:23 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



ska_demon said:

business that does 90% of its trade on the web

Something doesn't add up with that explanation. The prior owner's registrar would have changed the status of the domain to registrar-hold and redemption period for at least 2 months between the domain expiration and pending delete. Didn't they realize that there was no more traffic going to their site and that there were no corresponding sales?

3:20 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If I'm not mistaken, you get 60 days between having your domain deactivated, and having it deleted/released. If one cared about the domain, you'd think they would notice in that time frame. (Oops, I didn't see the post above this).

However, I would suggest keeping your domains under *your* control, not your ISP's. And mark the expirations on your calendar. I used to have an idiotic host, who wasn't properly renewing the registrations.

9:17 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't think I can put exact email extracts up here.
But it sort of went like this.

<In the run up to the xmas period we put our site on hold to upgrade and change some stuff. During this time we did not do business thru the website but rather thru a well known online auction house.>

That is how they do 90% web trade and didn't notice the drop in traffic.....they switched it off themselves.

Ska

1:56 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There's an old saying I read somewhere a long time ago, something like this, "the law seldom helps those who rest on their rights, and never those who sleep on them." Bottom line, it's a cold, hard world out there. And people with the hardball approach don't make things easier on themselves, do they?
9:32 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just have to share my story.

One of my clients is a city Chamber of Commerce. Their original Web site was done by a high school student. He also registered their domain.

Last month the site went down and I found out the domain had expired. I contacted the registrar and asked to have the domain transfered to me. They said sure, but it'll cost you $289 if you want it now, or you can wait until it gets released by us in 30 days. The Chamber decided that sounded a little like blackmail so they would wait the 30 days.

Unfortunately, someone jumped in ahead of me and bought it before I had a chance. To add insult to injury they posted a porn site using the chambers' old domain name. I figured this was an obvous ploy to extort money from the chamber to buy back the domain, so I emailed the new owner politely asking if he would sell it back to the chamber. I got an email the next day saying sure, but it'll cost you $100.

This time the Chamber decided to pay up.

So many lessons here. From don't let a high school student handle a domain name you place any kind of value on, to deciding who is the bigger extortionist - the registrar asking for $289 to release a name or a pornographer asking $100.

It's hard for me to understand how either of them can sleep at night, but it comes back to making sure your domain names are locked and automatically renewed and the email address for the domain owner is current.

12:57 am on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's hard for me to understand how either of them can sleep at night

If an individual or company does not care enough about their business to keep track of valuable names - especially when you get many notices during the 60 days leading up to the name dropping.... Why should anyone else care?

1:14 am on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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



Some registrars are not very good at sending out notices.

I have all my domains set to autorenew, but I don't trust that 100% either. I like to keep important domains renewed years in advance.

2:26 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



RTMac, your client was darn lucky to get the name back for only $100. That's a steal. ;)
4:29 am on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There's a fairly large business going on now, picking up lapsed "official" sites (like some State of UT sites, f'rinstance, when they changed from .com to .org or .gov and didn't maintain the .com registrations) and throwing up really repellent porn movies.

Getting out for $100 WAS a steal. A really cheap lesson....

4:54 am on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



picking up lapsed "official" sites

Good point. I just checked usps.com ... Record expires on 09-Jul-2005. There's no reason for that -- they really should plunk down for 10 years. It's not like they might go out of business and not need the domain. :)

5:04 am on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Could be ugly....

I have PostIts set with alarms (really nasty noises too!) for all my domains - at 90, 60, 30 days, then EVERY DAY.... yeah, my registrar is really good about things so far, but y'know what? It's NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, it's MINE....

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