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When I first started buying Domains, I didn't really know what I was doing and I bought some rubbish, I'm sure we have all been there.
Last november I spent a good few hours going through all of my Domain Names, picked the ones I wanted to keep and the ones I didn't. I used the control panel at my host and 'set to expire' the ones I didn't want. This entailed printing out the page and mailing it back to them with a signature which I did.
Six month pass, and the Domain Names on the list I sent began to delete. Then all of a sudden I receive a bill for over £400 for a number of Domains that were on the same list and seemingly did not delete.
So I contacted the billing department.
So I contacted them again with the details of my paper based cancellation, the email link version was not available in November.
Since then I have had no replies or correspondance whatsoever.
Last week I tried to transfer a domain out of another account I have with them and the transfer was rejected.
Now they have blocked all of my accounts, even accounts that are fully paid up. One the telephone they told me that until I pay, all of my sites will be offline and they now own all of my Domain Names. This is absurd.
What should be my next plan of action? Should I contact Trading Standards in the UK first or should I go all of the way and get my solicitor on the case?
[edited by: Webwork at 1:39 pm (utc) on May 29, 2006]
[edit reason] Per WebmasterWorld T.O.S. "no email quotes" please [/edit]
I didn't realise that I couldn't post email quotes.
The above edited section was an email I received from them saying that the Domains had not been cancelled (even though they cancelled the first couple of the list) and that I would still have to pay.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
and they now own all of my Domain Names
Have you checked the "whois"?
Have you "ever" actually owned the domain names?
Many of the cheap deals that one sees around has the host as the domain name holder to tie you to their services and you cannot transfer the names away and, I'm guessing here, maybe not even cancel names.
If, IF, you were the registered owner then you most probably have a very good case however you must first check out exactly who all the names were actually registered to since a solicitor will want to see factual information not presumption.
If you're not the actual registered owner then you have a lot of in-depth thinking to do apart from finding a reputable host and name registrar that do not mess about like this!
The market's very competitive and they definitely won't want to lose any potential business therefore they may be bluffing, sound them out.
I have been working with the web since it was a Bulletin Board. I started buying and selling domains when .co.uk was first released. I have had many positive dealings with Nominet, so I'm hoping they may be on my side with this one.
The Domain Whois' all show me as the rightful owner. But the conversation on the telephone kind of went in the direction of 'they would block my account until I paid, if I didn't pay, they would keep my domains until they expired, at which point they would be theirs.
They even suggested that they would change the whois. Can they do this? They say their Terms and Conditions allow this.
I personally think the person who picked up the phone didn't have a clue. He was just told to try and get the money any way possible.
But this has left me very worried.
I could lose a good few years work here.
I don't think anyone is allowed to hold .co.uk domain names for non payment of invoices.
I would try to get the .com ones sorted first they could potentially be more problematic.
They admitted receiving the online cancellation for domains in 3 different accounts, but said they only received the printed page to confirm the cancellation for one account, even though they were all in the same envelope.
This is very clever of them as I don't have any evidence to prove that all 3 were in the envelope.
If so, I wish I could give you more helpful advice. All I can tell you is that they're well-known for this. You might do a search on the Internet to find out how other people handled them.
<Mod Note: I understand and appreciate everyone's best intention is to aide another member, but attempts to skirt the TOS or Charter by transparent ruses - such as offering hints about the company'e identify - just isn't the way, even when one's actions are otherwise intentioned.>
[edited by: Webwork at 2:59 am (utc) on June 2, 2006]
[edit reason] See note above. [/edit]
They admitted receiving the online cancellation for domains in 3 different accounts, but said they only received the printed page to confirm the cancellation for one account
Try to avoid dealing with the UK firms, 3 of them in particular (who's names I am not sure can be stated here). File complaints with Nominet on the .uk's and Icann on the com's. In the future my advice is to only go with US or Canada firms.