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Transferring Domains from Uncooperative Registrar?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the time-for-a-good-lawyer dept.

90

An anonymous reader asks: "What do you do when your registrar hangs you out to dry? I have a domain that was registered with a registrar that no longer exists. The original registrar was bought out by another, who is a reseller for a third registrar. After the buyout they never got my domain to work properly with their billing system, with the result that I cannot transfer the domain (they say they cannot release registrar-lock) and cannot renew it via their online system, meaning that I have to call them on the phone. Several weeks ago, my registrar took my renewal payment for two years, and charged my credit card, but never renewed the domain. They expired it and redirected the web accesses to their parking page, which consists of spam links. I've emailed and called them several times since, with the result that they no longer answer my email or phone calls. I can't find any clear documentation at ICANN about this, as it all seems to be geared toward transfers from uncooperative web hosts or copyright holders. Do I have any recourse in this case, or am I simply screwed?"

cancel ×

90 comments

contact ICANN (4, Informative)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616780)

Give them documentation for the credit card charge and for your prior ownership; hopefully they'll restore your ownership and yank that registrar's license.

Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (5, Informative)

egarland (120202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617316)

Charging you for services and then not providing them is something credit card companies go after vigorously. Call your credit card company and complain. Most likely a significant percentage of their income comes in through credit cards and having Visa or MasterCard blacklist them would be something that would impact them deeply so when their investigator starts poking into things they'll pay attention.

At the very least you should be able to get your renewal fee back.

Moddy mod mod (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617592)

Please mod parent up, he's right on the ball with this. The only problem is that even if he can get the money back (highly likely), he still won't have the domain.

Re:Moddy mod mod (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618860)

Why do so many people think this so fucking nifty to reply going "ooh, mod parent up, look, I'm a pro Slashdotter, mod parent up", when they have no damn clue why that shit started so long ago? I see you're a newbie... I see this all the time, it's aggrevating... usually it's AC's replying to a +2 post. But since you're putting your karma on the line, let me explain this to you.

You'll notice from his +2 starting rank that he has excellent karma, like you.

The point of replying to another post (generally an AC or a newbie or a notorious troll or something) stating "mod parent up" is only valid if you have a higher starting post rank. Foolish mods who have their threshold set to 1 or 2 would miss the AC/troll/newbie post which was oh so insightful or whatever, but would see your "mod parent up" post and check it out.

At this point, all mods are well aware that they're supposed to browse posts on -1. I always view on -1 so I'm not certain, but it might actually force you to view on -1 all the time when you have mod points... still, no mod is going to go "!GASP! I've gotta mod this parent up right away, because this guy agrees with him!!".

You see, then, why it's incredibly stupid to reply to a post with an equal or higher rank than yours going "Mod parent up!". It leaves the distinct impression that you're only trying to be cute and fit in. I mean, "Moddy mod mod"?

If nothing else, it's just another goddam me-too post. When CmdrTaco talks about signal-to-noise ratio in the FAQ's, me-too posts are the 'noise': the static that fills in when the radio or TV cuts out, or the intermitance that makes cell phones so obnoxious, or that hum/fuzz that an amplifier makes when there's no music playing. It's garbage and it devalues Slashdot. In fact, it's one of the main purposes of moderation altogether.

Being that you seem to spend a lot of time here (so new with excellent karma and already 300 something posts), you'd think you'd have figured this out by now? Just remember - when I'm running out of time to use my mod points and I see "mod parent up" bullshit on posts with equal or higher rank, I mod them Off Topic! Unless of course they're posting anonymously, because that's just wasting a mod point.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16619070)

Excellent post! :)

tmegapscm

Posted like a true AC (-1, Troll)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16621022)

I'm sorry, was I supposed to be reading your anonymously and cowardly written novel on Slashdot posting etiquette? Because I didn't. I lost interest after the first chapter. How much staying power do you think people have when it comes to reading the musings of some whiny, fatuous little AC who doesn't like that the world isn't the way he wants it to be?

Get over yourself--you're not an authority on all that which is Slash and Dot. If you really need to get your fix, why don't you browse one of the many +4 or +5 posts that I've made in the past, rather than use my singular attempt at garnering more attention for a quality post (in which I nevertheless make a counterpoint and add to the conversation) as a springboard for your feeble little rant?

But don't answer that question with a sequel to your previous post, it was rhetorical only. No, feel free to disappear into the woodwork, your self-important trolling mission accomplished--the Cheetos dust glistening off of your fat, sausage like fingers--that false sense of self-satisfaction welling, welling up inside your heaving, distended belly. No, like most, I try not to bemoan the long-winded comments of those who lack even the courage to identify themselves and correlate their little rants with a name. See ya, coward.

Re:Posted like a true AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16623130)

I'm sorry, was I supposed to be reading your anonymously and cowardly written novel on Slashdot posting etiquette?

Yes.

How much staying power do you think people have when it comes to reading the musings of some whiny, fatuous little AC who doesn't like that the world isn't the way he wants it to be?

Apparently you wouldn't be surprised... but why are you asking me? I wasn't posting it for "people"; just you. And the world is the way I want it to be, even you - point being I don't want a clear defined set of everything. Just thought I'd inform you that you're "uncute" with your "me-too" noise.

Get over yourself--you're not an authority on all that which is Slash and Dot.

K, I'm over it. When I'm an authority on Slashdot, I mod bullshit like your post down - it was a warning.

(in which I nevertheless make a counterpoint and add to the conversation)

That's called karma whoring. Your counterpoint was of the most obvious. In this case, I don't think you were really going for karma, rather trying to prevent an Off-Topic mod... still karma whoring.

No, like most, I try not to bemoan the long-winded comments of those who lack even the courage to identify themselves and correlate their little rants with a name.

Great! I try to bemoan the worthless me-too comments of those who put forth the courage to identify themselves and put their karma on the line. Most post as AC; you chose not to. I've read some of your +4 and +5 posts; I know there's a reason you have excellent karma. I particularly liked your question for the MSIE exec on here the other day. I'll bet you wouldn't care to share any of your anonymous posts though.

I realize I ruffled your feathers; that was the point. I don't post anonymous rants every day; only once in a great while... your post was enough. I'm not going to follow you around and harass you forever, only in this one thread. It's very simple - knock-off the me-too shit, please. While I don't expect you to reply and post a "yes sir", I'm simply asking you to think about it next time.

And to the other guy... I disagree - I think Slashdot assholes are of the most entertaining and are one of the reasons I've read the site so long. They're dramatic, half-way intelligent, and occasionally obnoxious enough to change someone's mind. Besides; I don't think AC's devalue Slashdot no matter what they say. Look at my post - it was geared for one guy, not the community. As such, it's ranked at -1 so 99.8% of the people who don't want to read it won't. And if this story is still alive, this comment will soon follow it! And I don't care, it's not my karma nor my mod point, right?

Re:Posted like a true AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16623342)

Haha AC your such a fucking shithead, acting like your all big. You won cuz the guy lost the point on the comment. Go be happy with yourslef. And go die plz thx. -Mike

Re:Posted like a true AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16624740)

Haha AC your such a fucking douche, acting like your all important. You lost cuz you're a loser. Go be miserable with yourslef. I'd tell you to go die, but I find you humorous and entertaining. -Garfuncle

Re:Moddy mod mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16621322)

> It's garbage and it devalues Slashdot.

You know what else devalues Slashdot?

Assholes.

Re:Moddy mod mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16623886)

You know what else devalues Slashdot? Assholes.

Assholes devalue slashdot because they shit all over everything. But slashdot wouldn't be slashdot if there weren't Dicks here to fuck with everything and Pussies here to bitch about everything.

Re:Moddy mod mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16625006)

You know what else devalues Slashdot?

Assholes.
I know, it's terrible isn't it. Stupid people like me, all ruining it for people like you.

Obviously, you should leave immediately (because I'm not going anywhere).

Do it for you man, do it for you.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618004)

You might also want to look your states UDAP laws, which are the unfair and deceptive practices in regard to consumers. These usually have a provision for actual damages, statutory damages and reward of attorney's fees. A business can get tagged for $5-6K over a $50 dispute. Pretty brutal for them, nice for you.

You may also have a fraud count, but these are hard and have a pretty high threshold of proof.

You can sue the company in your state, you do not have to go to which ever state they are in.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

Alex Pennace (27488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618072)

You can sue the company in your state, you do not have to go to which ever state they are in.

If the customer agreed to a particular forum (court for X county, Y state) by agreeing to the terms of the deal, then that is that.

However, the potential litigant suing a fly-by-night registrar can probably get away with this. Settlement is cheaper than hiring a lawyer to file a motion to dismiss.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

Alex Pennace (27488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618100)

Most likely a significant percentage of their income comes in through credit cards and having Visa or MasterCard blacklist them would be something that would impact them deeply so when their investigator starts poking into things they'll pay attention.

I speculate that it is highly unlikely that MasterCard or Visa will blacklist the merchant. As long as they can grab the amount in dispute and their $20-$40 non-refundable "dispute fee," they are happy.

I'd like to not speculate and actually cite something. Unfortunately the exact rules that govern chargebacks in MasterCard and Visa are kept secret, even from merchants.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

gameforge (965493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618944)

Unfortunately the exact rules that govern chargebacks in MasterCard and Visa are kept secret, even from merchants.


What do you mean, exactly? How could you define one universal set of rules that would predict the chargeback decision in every case?

It seems to me that even Visa and MasterCard probably don't have an exact, defined set of rules anywhere, but rather have people that evaluate each case individually on the legal, customer, merchant, and internal axes, all seperate from each other, and render a decision based on their findings.

Of course, this would have to be almost a gut-feeling for them in a lot of cases.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16684445)

Mastercard takes a dim view of this sort of behavior. Once will not lose you a merchant account, but do you really think there's only one complainant?

It's not much money - be sure it'll help (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619352)

If all that the credit card does is chargeback what you paid for the name to the registrar, then you've gotten $10-20 back and lost your domain name to somebody that you might have mildly annoyed. If you can convince them to stop paying anything to the registrar, that's a different level of winningness, but it's typically hard to get there.

Small claims court is more likely to get your domain back, but that may also depend on the contract you've got with the registrar.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 7 years ago | (#16622860)

That's a horrible idea. I used to work at Go Daddy, their policy for chargebacks is to:
1. Mark the card as fraudulent.
2. Place a hold on the domain and/or cancel it.

I'd imagine many other registrars have the same policy.

Now, you probably don't know this but domains have about 90 days from the day they expire until someone can actually buy them again. So if this poor guy wants to lose the usefulness of his domain for 90 days (potentially more, up to 2 years) then he should indeed do a chargeback. Hell, if he's lucky some squatter will pick it up and charge him thousands for it.

If he really wants to resolve the problem, keep working with the registrar; Go to the CEO if you have to. If that fails, then contact ICANN.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16645275)

So your saying that it's Go Daddy's, and probably most registrars policy, to receive money and fail to provide the services agreed to, to lie to their credit card companies and probably commit credit defamation, then to steal the domain name in a cyber-salted earth reprisal because the victim had the audacity to retaliate?

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16652045)

Yes it is. I used to work in this industry. It is a horribly common situation because half of the registrars, due to reseller systems such as Tucows OpenSRS (which is a good system compared to many of the others like ENOM) allowing any company to resell the domain names.

On the other hand, the consumers don't do themselves any favours by not being able to read the terms and conditions, or even the 'what you get with your domain name' pages. Most of them forget who they registered the domain name with! Then they pay the renewal fee to a fraudulent company and then bitch to the original company when nothing happened.

In a few years there will be a handful of domain registrars that all have good systems and policies. It will be all good then, mostly.

Re:Screw ICANN, call your credit card company (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16639653)

If you want just the money speak to your bank about a chargeback although it won't get your domain back. The other choice is you can try to catch the domain if/when it drops. Did the registrar renew it or did it get picked up by a linking organisation?

ICANN FAQs. Also contact name server (3, Informative)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619458)

You might try contacing whoever's running the nameserver that's got your domain on it to point it at your own servers, if they're not the same as the miscreants.


ICANN FAQ on Domain Registrar Problems [icann.org] .


ICANN Transfer Policies [icann.org]


ICANN Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy. [icann.org]


You may end up having to pay the miscreants a transfer fee. They do have to release registrar locks in a reasonable time with some reasonable process, though they can also hold the domain for 60 days after registration.

Contact registrar and get auth code (1)

nullchar (446050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16623830)

You might try contacing whoever's running the nameserver that's got your domain on it to point it at your own servers, if they're not the same as the miscreants.

Good idea. Hopefully your domain is not on the registrar's nameservers.

You may end up having to pay the miscreants a transfer fee.

You will not pay the losing registrar anything. You only have to pay the new registrar who is gaining the domain.

They do have to release registrar locks in a reasonable time with some reasonable process.

Correct. Your best course of action is calling your current regisrar's phone support repeatedly until you can escalate your call to management or someone in the engineering or technical department. Even if the domain has been lost in their system, they can use the regisrar's web interface to manually unlock the domain.

What TLD (top level domain) does your domain belong to? If it is a .com or .net domain, you will need to retrieve an 'auth code' before you may transfer it. This change from RRP to EPP (the EPP standard requires auth codes) is happening now or has just happened for your registrar. Other TLDs that require auth codes that use EPP are .org and .info. Most likely, your domain does not have an auth code set, but needs one. Ensure your losing registrar sets an auth code for your domain.

Make sure you get an auth code from your 'miscreant' registrar when they unlock the domain. When you do a WHOIS and see that the status 'EPP clientTransferProhibited' has been removed, initiate the transfer request from another registrar.

Good Luck.

Re:ICANN FAQs. Also contact name server (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16638869)

ICANN is your very best resource in these instances. Not only will you get your domain back, but the misbehaving registrar stands a very good chance of getting their license revoked, especially if it's the likes of enom who is notorious for doing this to their affiliates when their affiliates decide to become accredited registrars themselves. I went through this myself with a number of domains and was getting fed up to the point where I was considering going to ICANN but knew that the "registrar" we registered through was not at fault but enom, so we just stuck with the former affiliate. Took almost two months, but they did manage to get everything resolved and got enom to release any holds on all of our domains.

Re:contact ICANN (1)

WebmasterChick (1013703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653239)

I would suggest sending an email or writing a letter and making sure that ICANN receives a copy. First and foremost, ICANN must be aware of the issue so that they can be pressured to act. Ultimately, they are the only ones who have authority over the registrars.

Easy answer... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616792)

Go here [blogspot.com] and fill out the complain form. This is a federal offense, you know.

nobody gets fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616844)

nope, not you! :D

Who (2)

TLouden (677335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616958)

I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering who the registrar is

Re:Who (2, Informative)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617420)

eNom, perchance? I've got a client who had the same thing happen to their domain, and every attempt to contact the registrar has just flat out failed, including calling the phone number attached to the bloody Whois record.

Hell, I just got the annual "Update your records!" email from a half-dozen registrars at ICANN, and I can't help but find the irony in a registrar having inaccurate Whois records.

Re:Who (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618458)

I would also agree on blaming eNom. I was frequenting an online forum. They took the domain down exactly one year before it actually expires. The owner took two weeks to get things back to normal with another registrar.

Re:Who (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618090)

After that other woman got sued [slashdot.org] for complaining on the internet and lost $11 million dollars, perhaps its best for the person asking that he/she didn't say.

Sucks for the rest of us who would be warned away from whatever scummy registrar this is, though.

Re:Who (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16620486)

That ruling really has nothing to do with the current situation. That case has to do with libel, and the fact that you can't just go around saying horrible stuff about people without being able to backup your claims.

In otherwords, I can't call you a thief, rapist, child molester unless you actually WERE all of those things. If you were, then I could freely go about telling everyone about it.

In this case, he's within his rights to say that the registrar of his domain is incompetent, and has taken his money without rendering services, because they HAVE done so. Or, haven't.

Re:Who (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16622524)

He can say they're incompetent anyway, that's an opinion and thus cannot be libel.

As for not rendering services paid for, if he paid by credit card he's got a pretty good record that he did pay, and thus I say go for it, name names.

Re:Who (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16624186)

Since this is a US forum and a US TLD I will make the assumption that the story poster is in the US. In the US truth is not a guarantee of immunity from slander suits. In most other nations the slander being truthful guantees you will win the case but not here. In the US you can still be nailed if the slander resulted in damages, even if what you said is provably true.

Re:Who (1)

grimarr (223895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16628576)

In the US truth is not a guarantee of immunity from slander


That's not the way I learned it, and Wikipedia agrees. In the US, a true statement is not defamatory.

Re:Who (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16629228)

IANAL nor do I claim any special knowledge on the topic. I do know the discussion has come up on Slashdot before and it appeared the general consensus among the IAAL's was that if you make a true statement and that statement causes $50,000 in damages to me then you are open to a lawsuit from me. The statement being true probably makes you safe but my understanding is that in the US a judge decides the point rather than a law that explicitly protects those making true statements.

Re:Who (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16631236)

In Britain, whose libel law I'm more familiar with, truth is not an absolute defense. I raised this on a previous occasion and pointed out, for example, that describing someone as "drunk" who has no (proven and fair) reputation for alcoholism has, in the past, caused massive wins at the libel courts for the "accused drunks", even when said state of being was proven with witnesses. (The satirical magazine Private Eye uses the phrase "Tired and emotional" instead as a result, although arguably that's no less libelous, it just requires more work by the plaintiff to prove that an average reader would interpret that phrase as meaning "drunk".)

What I was then told by US lawyers is that, actually, yes, that situation is true in the US too. Describing someone as "drunk" is a can of worms, no matter how true the allegation is.

The problem is there are many statements you can make that are "true" that, nonetheless, would damage someone's reputation disproportionally and unfairly. Saying someone "even lies to their wife" on the (unsaid) basis that they disguised their true reasons for bringing the wife to a surprise birthday party, for example, would be extremely damaging and unfair. Yes, it's technically true, but the phrasing puts an idea into people's minds that leaves them with an entirely wrong view of the victim.

I don't know how US libel law works in that regard. I find it hard to believe that any argument that starts with "Well, my allegation was technically true" is going to hold up in court.

Screwed, I should think (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616992)


Try to get the credit charge reversed. And go fight for it!

Best of luck.

Ratboy

Get a lawyer (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617026)

I don't think ICANN will offer you much recourse, and you may need to take legal action. Hence I say, hire a real lawyer to advise you properly.

In my estimation, you will probably be needing to contact them by sending a letter through certified mail, include a notice of their breach of the agreement, and demand they cooperate with your transfer of registration to alternative registrar, include the details.

Put them on official notice ASAP, spell out the details of how they are breaking your agreement to renew the domain, and what you demand of them immediately, and in the future, so they cannot claim ignorance, or that they "never received the message".

And be prepared to sue the registrar, if they won't make you whole. Bottom line: by expiring your domain, they fail to honor an agreement. By interfering with the proper transfer of your domain, they are injuring you.

Re:Get a lawyer (1)

brokenin2 (103006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617994)

Of course, in the time it takes for all this to happen, they'll probably expire you the rest of the way, and release the domain because of non-payment.

Then you can just pick it up via a decent registrar instead, and get your $$ back via your credit card company.

...and in response to someone else's message: You're correct. You are not the only one wondering which registrar we're talking about here.

Take them to small claims. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618358)

This is exactly the sort of thing that small claims court was setup to handle. For claims under 2,000 dollars ish (varies by state / conditions) and a 15 dollar filing fee, you can bring a case against someone without a lawyer. This will involve a letter sent by certified mail to the registrar. You then both bring your cases before a judge and argue them in plain english.

If you have a site with a higher value, you may exceed the maximum damages limit. At that point you'd need a real lawyer and a full legal case. But if this is just a piddly personal site, drag their asses to small claims. It's far more accessible, far more affordable, and is intended to deal with situations just like this. Anyone at your local courthouse should be able to help you find and fill out the requisite forms, and the process from there.

koaded message follows .. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16617028)

PU effin S
PU effin S
PU effin S
PU effin S

S in the B is C with your M and D

Your first step (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617054)

The first thing you do is dispute the charges with your credit card company. If they accepted the payment but didn't renew your domain, they took your money under false pretenses, and could be charged with fraud. (IANAL, so check with your friendly neighborhood landshark before trying to press charges.) Even if they can't be charged, you don't have to pay until the dispute is resolved. Then, if they want to keep your money (and they will) they either have to give you back your domain or make the credit card company agree that they had the right to take your money and not give you what you paid for. Somehow, I doubt they're going to manage that second option and will probably cave simply because it's cheaper than trying to screw somebody who's fighting back.


Hey, if the RIAA can do it, why can't you?

Re:Your first step (4, Informative)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617216)

I would be worried about this approach. If they just give back the money in responce to the request from the credit card company, he losses the domain.

The certified letter or lawyer are the best approach

Re:Your first step (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617292)

You may be right. Alas, I was composing the post at the same time as the one about the certified letter and the lawyer or I'd have thought twice before making my suggestion.

Snipe it (3, Interesting)

invisik (227250) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617134)

Reverse the charges on your credit card asap. Then, let your domain expire and snipe your own domain back with another registrar.

http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/sDefinitio n/0,,sid26_gci810538,00.html [techtarget.com]

There is a probability that it won't work, but there's not much else to do without a team of lawyers.

Good luck.

-m

Re:Snipe it (1)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617682)

Sadly, certain registrars [enom.com] have a nasty habit of throwing domains into an "Extended Grace Period" which allows them to retain control of the domain after your registration has lapsed, supposedly to put a hold on domain sniping. Well, it means that a less than scrupulous registrar can put language into their registration contract allowing them to purchase the domain once it expires, at which point they either put it up for auction or load it with link-farms.

Re:Snipe it (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617790)

Actually.. I think disputing the charges should be done as a last resort, if you decide it is futile, and you will just surrender the domain (allow them to expire it).

Once you succeed with a dispute, you will no longer have paid for the very domain you didn't want expired; you might have a heck of a time convincing a judge that you should get to keep both the domain and the money.

It may be more beneficial even to do research and prepare the paperwork + evidence gathering yourself, to petition for judgement, whether in real court, or small claims. Assuming they fail to provide a satisfactory response to letters you can prove they received.

I am assuming the nominal charge for the domain is not in fact the major issue, that you wouldn't be happy at all if you had to switch domains, or it would cost you significantly more than the registration fees, if you were to lose the domain to someone else.

Re:Snipe it (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618974)

Actually.. I think disputing the charges should be done as a last resort, if you decide it is futile, and you will just surrender the domain (allow them to expire it).

You only have 60 days from the transaction date to dispute the charge. If you must wait, wait till close to that date then file with the credit card company in writing. Yout have to get this started.

The credit card company traditionally asks the company if what you say is true and takes their word for it... and denies you in round one. But at this point you can appeal. But if you don't file within 60 days, you have nothing and no recourse via the credit card company.

Re:Snipe it (2, Informative)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16620116)

As someone who works in the credit card industry, I have some insight into the process. (I'm in IT, and as such, for whatever reason, I'm somehow expected to know everything. It's "information" after all.)

The cardholder first contacts his or her issuer (the cardholder's processor) to dispute the charge. Then, the issuer initiates a retrieval request on the transaction. The acquirer (the merchant's processor), receives the retrieval request and contacts the merchant for information on the transaction (There is a time limit of 21 days, IIRC, to submit the information to the requester). The information required is the transaction data and proof that the purchased "merchandise" was "delivered".

If the merchant fails to prove that the transaction was valid, the chargeback is issued, and the acquirer pays the issuer who pays the cardholder. After that, the acquirer does whatever is necessary to recover the funds from the merchant. In our case, we withhold funding until it is paid, and if that doesn't work, it is reported as income for the merchant to the IRS (via a Form 1099)

Re:Snipe it (1)

Profound (50789) | more than 7 years ago | (#16621000)

>>>> my registrar took my renewal payment for two years
>>let your domain expire and snipe your own domain back

So your solution is to let him wait TWO YEARS? That's an awfully long time for internet visitors to remember.

Unless you want to get a lawyer, you're screwed. (3, Informative)

Banner (17158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617158)

A friend of mine went through something like this. He registered his domains under his internet nickname, but paid under his real name. Now they won't allow him to do anything unless he comes up with a legal ID that has his nickname on it. They don't care that he was paying with his legal name for the last X years.

So he's waiting for the domain to expire so he can pick it up under his real name. The registar (godaddy) refuses to help at all and he feels a lawyer is a waste of money. So for now he's stuck waiting because godaddy puts all expired domains up for auction for a period of days (registars should NOT be allowed to auction expired domains, conflict of interest - especially when they're causing the expiration).

I suspect many of the people out there who are currently parking domains and putting them up for auction are probably the registars, because it doesn't appear that they have to pay to register open domains, so why not speculate if it's free?

I'm not so sure that the new system is cheaper or easier than the old one. Back in the old days at least a phone call always could clear up any problems.

Re:Unless you want to get a lawyer, you're screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618360)

A friend of mine went through something like this. He registered his domains under his internet nickname, but paid under his real name. Now they won't allow him to do anything unless he comes up with a legal ID that has his nickname on it. They don't care that he was paying with his legal name for the last X years.

So he's waiting for the domain to expire so he can pick it up under his real name. The registar (godaddy) refuses to help at all and he feels a lawyer is a waste of money.

I don't understand why they should care whose name is on the payment as long as they get paid. What if you pay with your spouse's credit card, or what if a friend got you the domain as a gift, registering it in your name but paying with his card?

Just goes to show how inconsistent they are about checking these things. I had a domain registered via GoDaddy for many years -- it was registered under a pseudonym I use for a website, but consistently paid with a debit card bearing my legal name -- no one ever told me I couldn't do that. Similarly, I have had a PayPal account for years, almost since their inception, and I am still "verified" with them even though (a)I haven't had a bank account for years, and (b)the credit card I originally used for verification expired long, long ago. All they know is that they are getting fees out my yinyang every time I receive a payment and every time I withdraw that money through an ATM.

Re:Unless you want to get a lawyer, you're screwed (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619206)

That one is kind of your friends fault for entering into a business transaction under a false name. That's just a stupid move.

Re:Unless you want to get a lawyer, you're screwed (1)

Banner (17158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619940)

No, it's a legal alias, but he has to get an actual -ID- showing it before he can get them to cooperate. Thing is, originally you were allowed to use Aliases, as long as you paid under a legal name. He did that. They're no longer accepting that however.

Re:Unless you want to get a lawyer, you're screwed (1)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16622108)

"...it's a legal alias, but he has to get an actual -ID- showing it before he can get them to cooperate."

I am sure the procedure varies from state to state, but in Texas, all you have to do is go to the county clerk's office and file an Assumed Name Certificate, which indicates that John Doe (that's you) is Doing Business As (DBA) Jane Smith. A certified copy of the filed certificate is official ID proving you are Jane Smith. It also helps to include a reference to this on business documents and financial transactions related to the business, e.g. "John Doe, DBA Jane Smith."

Re:Unless you want to get a lawyer, you're screwed (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16623180)

Now they won't allow him to do anything unless he comes up with a legal ID that has his nickname on it. They don't care that he was paying with his legal name for the last X years.

File a "doing business as" or incorporate. The first is pretty cheap in most places; the other may cost a few bucks depending on local law. That will make it legal to business in that name, and GoDaddy will hopefully respect that.

Similar situation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16617166)

I'm having a similar issue with IARegistry / SpiritDomains. Since they switched from iaregistry.com to spiritdomains.com they have also changed their registrar/billing software to a self written piece of junk. There are lots of new layers and many new services like chat and domain parking and stuff... but all I want is a registrar, and they seem to have forgotten that. Their new software simply is not user friendly.
  • I cannot log in and get a simple list of my domains. I have to search for all domains within a certain range of expiration. You cannot sort results.
  • I cannot log in and get a total of what I owe them.
  • They have removed the ability to pay for the services online. They keep sending emails asking me to send them a check.
  • I send emails and leave phone messages asking for the total, but they do not respond with the information.
  • They've added dozens of "features" that have nothing to do with registering a domain. These features croud out the UI of the new software and make it cumbersome to move about.
  • As a reseller, they make me also be my own customer. This is an added layer that I do not want and they never asked for my pemission to do. So I now have two profiles in the system, each with the same email address. One profile sends the other emails asking for payment. This means I have to charge myself for the domain names, then pay them. It gets confusing.
  • The error messages in the system are cryptic at best. The people who answer the phone (when they answer) do not know what error messages are for and can seldom work their way through their own software to help me out.
  • After repeated efforts to find a way to log on and get a total, I find out they do not even know how to do this. Their home-grown software simply isn't customer friendly.
  • Their software is buggy. When I renew three domains, sometimes only two actually renew. Weeks later after several emails the system still says the third domain hasn't been renewed, but support says it has. I check multiple whois and they say it's expiring and not active... Customer support is either lying, or doesn't know what's going on.

I only mention these things here to show that multiple people are in this guys shoes, and need help with a registrar. Also, hopefully if others are stuck with spiritdomains, they will see others are having trouble as well. So, any suggestions???

No Offense intended but.... (1)

scronline (829910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617476)

This is what happens when you use those cut rate registrars. I'm mean, c'mon. Is the headache really worth saving $2 per year? Domain Discover is your friend!

I lost mine this way. (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617558)

I lost my domain because the company I had my web page through stopped paying for the domain name, or did not renew for some other reason, in the end I found out my domain was expired when I went to my web page and found out it was owned by one of those spam search engine groups that has the the basic premise of your site as the way to feed advertising. The group I had bought the page through said it was my responsibility to re-purchase the domain, even though I had done all the business through them. When I bought the .NET version of the domain I was sure I had everything nailed down so it would not happen to me again. If such a thing were to happen to me today, I have legal documentation that would allow me to become whole again.

Post Registrar Recommendations Here (1)

ewhac (5844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618340)

I'm thinking of grabbing a domain for myself, but I've no idea which registrars are good and which are lousy. What's the market like out there?

Schwab

Re:Post Registrar Recommendations Here (1)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618482)

Personally I dig Dreamhost [dreamhost.com] for most of my domain stuff. They're a web hosting company and exceedingly nice people to work with, and they offer their own domain services as part of the web hosting package.

If you're not going for hosting alongside your domain, I'd suggest Yahoo [yahoo.com] oddly enough. They're basically just a reseller for Melbourne IT, but they're cheap, and I've had no troubles with them before. They can't handle full-out domain transfers as per my understanding, but have all the standard redirection services.

Re:Post Registrar Recommendations Here (1)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16621582)

Godaddy. I've been using their domain services for years with absolutely no issues. They will even snail mail me a Final Warning if my domain is expiring.

I can do one better with Godaddy (1)

kcbnac (854015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16622738)

They called me on Saturday to thank me for the recent auto-renewal for my domains; asked me if I had intentions of letting another one lapse that's coming due (I'd forgotten; it was my first one through them and I wasn't sure I liked Godaddy, so set it on manual); and asked me if I had any issues, questions or concerns.

First time I've ever gotten a call from a Registrar, other than that one that called me saying I urgently needed to renew. (Was some other one trying to snipe registrations, like the "Domain Registry of America" that I always get snail-mail from.)

I think I'll be staying with Godaddy - plus when I register one, there's an easy step: "hosting with us, or got your own nameservers?" I do my own hosting; so that's an awesome step. Don't have to go change it after the fact. I think I'm up to a half dozen domains of my own; plus another dozen that I host for others.

Recommendation: gandi.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16623898)

Stuff works and they aren't constantly trying to sell me extras like some others. They also contribute to FOSS projects like dotclear.


As for godaddy, IMO stay away from them. They're known for sidelining domains on obviously bogus complains and charging the owner $100 to $200 to get them back on line. Sorry, but godaddy sometimes makes even register.com look good. Google and talk to others before going anywhere.

Re:Post Registrar Recommendations Here (1)

don.g (6394) | more than 7 years ago | (#16623942)

I get my gTLD (i.e. com/net/org/etc) domains from GANDI [gandi.net] . They were recommended by some "domain name buyer's guide" site that now seems to have disappeared, mostly because the first section of their t&cs says "You own the domain name". Alas, many other registrars try to weasel out of saying anything like that.

Anyway, they've never given me any trouble :-)

MelbourneIT are good. (1)

Static (1229) | more than 7 years ago | (#16628802)

I use MelbourneIT myself. No, they're not the cheapest, but they are reliable and they do have people you can call if you have problems. Especially if you're in Australia, as that makes them timezone friendly.

Re:MelbourneIT are good. (1)

bonezed (187343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16629864)

MelbourneIT suck for hosting! When you're website goes down every few weeks you have to wonder what is going on. And their helpdesk is useless; staffed by clueless plebs.

These guys are very reputable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16633504)

Best advice I can give you is (4, Funny)

onehalf (948544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618548)

"If you ever accidentally drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone." --Jack Handy

Just replace keys with your domain name.

E-Mail Them (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618708)

And CC the ICANN Registrar accreditation board. I did that to a bothersome registrar a while back who couldn't get my domain working with their service (Their software couldn't understand me running my own DNS server.) Honestly I wasn't really expecting anything from them but they refunded my payment and released my domain so that I could re-register it with NSI. As much of a pain in the ass as NSI is, they still seem to be a lot better to deal with than most of their competition (And no I don't work for them or anything.)

Re:E-Mail Them (2, Interesting)

dizzy8578 (106660) | more than 7 years ago | (#16621210)

network solutions?

It took me 7 years to get my email address updated so I could move a domain of to another registrar. I filed changes starting with the text form we all used to use 3 times, used the web forms 4 times and called and faxed letterhead 3 times. I finally got it released by transfering it to a friend in the UK.

I have no domains on NSI now but I must admint the web interface now, finally works. I am pretty sure it would not be usable without the competition of the cut rate registrars.

Anyone who has used NSI since the early 90s probably has at least one similar horror story.

Re:E-Mail Them (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16621790)

Oh yeah, don't get me wrong. I lost an awesome domain to those assholes' shennanigans too. NSI isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but on the whole they seem to suck less than the other registrars do. I assume that's because of the extra years of experience they have doing DNS stuff.

Re:E-Mail Them (1)

kisa2000 (766934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16638595)

I would agree. A few years ago, like many people, I registered a domain with NSI. Whilst it was initially a pain to make changes (remember all those pre-formatted emails you used to have to authorise) eventually NSI got the picture and whilst they are probably more expensive than just about every other registrar, they provide service. I have read a few horror stories about some domain registrars, not unsimilar to your own, but whilst nobody comes out and says that they love NSI, I haven't come across any horror stories either.

NSI is expensive. NSI is not pretty. But NSI just works. When you income (as does mine) comes from your domain working, maybe cheapest isn't best.

Domain parking (2, Interesting)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618982)

Sounds like your registrar made a deal with vivendi(sp) or similar I worked at a hosting/domain shop and they were very aggressive in wanting to buy a lot of our expiring domains for parking page ads. Look at it this way about half of domains names registered are left to expire, now the ones that had content can make back there registration fee's and more in the next year with search engine spam parking pages and the like, not much more but some. I say this because an expired domain name should go nowhere at all until the mandatory hold by verisign has expired and it is deleted.

Now with that being said, as long as your contact info is still in whois for the domain you can work with the receiving registrar to get it transfered, I would suggest paying for Verisign or similar as a cut rate registrar isn't gong to spend the time to make 50 cents and you can transfer to a cut rate company after that. If your name isn't on the whois but the object creation date is still when your bought it then it has been stolen check the change logs to see when your name was removed.

My worst nightmare (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16619196)

As the owner of several short dictionary one-word domain names, this has always been one of my nightmares... which is why I was leary of moving away from overpriced NetSol. The $100k retainer registrars must give ICANN doesn't come close to the cost of taking care of their clientele if they go under. The root DNS hijack fiasco a few years ago finally gave me the moral push to begin moving my domains away from them as renuals came up.

A recent experience has made me rethink my move away from NetSol though... I had a _very_ important domain transferred away from me (they injected a request at the same time I was trying to move it.. I can only guess they saw the lock come off and knew it was going to be moved) and after working my way through tier one TS, NetSol really worked hard to research the problem and get my domain back for me. They could have just as easily washed their hands of it and waited for me to get a lawyer, but they didn't... meanwhile, I have lost much of my confidence in the TS of the more affordable registrar I do business with and doubt they would given half the effort.

Re:My worst nightmare (1)

punkrokk (644392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16622834)

I think Network Solutions has improved tremdously in the past few years, but what drives me nuts, is you have to query thier whois database.

Re:My worst nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16641719)

Regarding NetSol's customer service, apparently when they had the monopoly on domain registration, they couldn't give a **** about customers. When the monopoly ended, they still didn't, which obviously hurt the business a lot. Then a new CEO took over, took a look at things, and replaced the entire customer service department. That's why the service has improved so much.

Re:My worst nightmare (1)

georgejking (1013187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16646647)

I have two paid-up Domains paid 10 years in advance. This simply didn't stop Netwprk Solutions from high-jacking these domains and locking me out. When I complained, they offered to sell my own Domain back to me for $300! I feel ICAAN is remiss in allowing events like this to happen.

Sue for dirty profits (0, Flamebait)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619478)

If you do have to take them to court, sue them for every ill-gotten dollar that they made through advertising or other use of your domain-name.

here are my thoughts... (5, Interesting)

Dave Zan (919763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619948)

I'm honestly surprised at many of the answers here. While I understand their feelings about this topic, many of them can actually do more harm than good.

I'm going to add my answers in the hopes of providing an explanation. Some of you don't have to agree with what I'm about to say, but I assure you this is based on how it works having been on both sides of the fence.

First, this is a reality each and every one of us has to expect: your provider can be bought out by another. Any business is negotiable, especially if the price is right.

We've got a lot of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) going on for the past 2 years. Last I checked one registrar bought about 2-3.

One problem with these M&As is that things can go haywire when they finally start trying to make domain names with registrar (or reseller) A work with the systems of registrar (or reseller) B. No one knows if extensive testing was done, but this is definitely a requirement to ensure problems are kept to a minimum if not completely eliminated (the latter's better, of course).

As that reader complained (whoever s/he was), they never got the domain name to work with their systems (especially billing). So the reader couldn't unlock it nor renew or whatever.

I have an idea who this company is. And their circumstances is rather...unique.

The reader can complain to ICANN. Although ICANN doesn't get involved in individual customer complaints with registrars, similar to the FTC they monitor registrars' "trends" for any consistent patterns they detect and take it up with them.

To those who suggested disputing the credit card charges: I hate to say this but that should be a LAST resort. Domain registrars treat credit card disputes and chargebacks VERY seriously (especially fraud cases).

The moment they receive notice of such, they'll immediately lock up/suspend any domain name account/s whose first and last name matches that of the disputed credit card. I know it's unfair for many of you, but you have to realize that domain registrars, like any other business, have to protect themselves as much as possible.

Tell you what: if you've got the reader's contact details (or know the reader), ask him/her to contact me via email at DaveZan AT DaveZan DOT com (just change AT to @ and DOT to .). I can't promise miracles (no one can except God), but I can offer suggestions and alternatives based on whatever specific details I'm provided.

If the registrar's who I think it is, I might even know one of their people. But again, I need specifics.

Thanks.

Mod parent up (1)

megla (859600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16621848)

The OP needs to see this.

fraud? you bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16623782)

charging a credit card and not providing service? Sounds like fraud to me. The first thing you do is charge back on the card.

Re:fraud? you bet (1)

Dave Zan (919763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16628518)

charging a credit card and not providing service? Sounds like fraud to me. The first thing you do is charge back on the card.


In some cases that's reasonable. But not always for domain matters.

We're so far assuming fraud from what the OP has stated. But unless
more specifics from all parties concerned are provided, no one can
100% accurately say such indeed occurred in that "case".

Unfortunately that's not always easy if one party isn't cooperative.
But if they're willing to shed light, then maybe we can figure it out.

But again, disputing a credit card charge is the last thing you want
to do when it comes to domain name matters. The most important thing
for now is to get the name renewed somehow, the rest can be dealt with
later.

Why, just sue them! (1)

hatredman (740429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16625648)

Isn't it the way you do things in the US?

Been there, done that. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16630770)

I used have a domain with Joshua Internet - www.joshuainternet.com they were, although it looks like they've been taken over or gone out of business or something. Things were fine for the first year or two and then they turned to crap. They just ignored support emails, as well as requests to send a receipt for my proof of payment for the hosting and I generally couldn't contact them. Even their phones were turned off. Thing was, whereas my own domain, godhatesfrags.com is something I just muck about with, the domain I had with them was the website for a charity. Hence I could hardly just let it go.


In the end, I contacted the UK registrar, who charged me £15 to transfer the domain - which I was able to get back from the charity, who are fairly cool given I designed the site for free. Sods law, two days I actually heard from Joshua Internet saying they were going to transfer it but by then I'd already done it. The host I went to was one I found by browsing ISP Review [ispreview.co.uk] a site that reviews and contains user reviews and discussions of various hosting sites and ISPs. And I've been okay since then - the new company actually responds to support requests, and both my personal and the charity's domain are now with them. I guess I put off transferring earlier since I didn't want the hassle of setting up the site again but it was only about a couple of hours work to get it working okay and that was mainly transferring the bulletin board.

ICANN Power (1)

Oopala (1014089) | more than 7 years ago | (#16669179)

ICANN is directly responsible to the registrars and not to the third-party resellers of domain names. That being said there is definitely a need for ICANN to check up on the down-the-chain members of the domain name game to make sure the system is functional and honest. Somebody needs to get in gear and stop these many troubles, and ICANN is that organization!

ICANN should be the "rock" that anchors the whole kit and caboodle of Internet domain names firmly to reality. As the main source of authority concerning abuses and problems relating to disputes and bad/dishonest business practices, ICANN needs to be sensitive to the fact that businesses, especially small ones, rely heavily on their name to remain solvent and successful. Many larger businesses have multiple domain names and other presences that allow them to more easily weather stormy domain name seas that would sink or bankrupt a smaller operation.

ICANN needs to step up to the plate and be cognizant of the importance of its role, perceived and actual, in maintaining a level, orderly field of play for all the domain name customers, starting with registrars and resellers. By holding them to their contractual obligations and penalizing or revoking their privileged position, ICANN has the ability to help eliminate many of the rampant problems just by enforcing existing guidelines.

I would certainly make sure to report your abuse issues to ICANN and see if you can get a reasonable resolution to your problem. If they don't know, they can't help do anything to fix it. There may be a legal way to pursure this resolution, but cost and time appear to be of the essence in your case, so a lawsuit might not work for you. Good luck and let us know how it all turns out.

Network Solution is holding my domain hostage (1)

figa (25712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16771003)

It's not just disreputable registrars that play games with the transfer system. I've called Network Solutions three times already trying to get them to transfer my domain to Joker. The first time, they blamed it on Joker not submitting the authorization code. The second time, they blamed it on me not replying to the transfer request emails, which I replied to correctly the first time. They also promised that it would work if I had Joker try again. I contacted Joker, and they confirmed that it's all Network Solutions' doing. Now, I'm on the third try, and it's still failing. When I called Network Solutions, they claimed that they had somebody in the transfer department "researching" my problem.

Re:Network Solution is holding my domain hostage (1)

Dave Zan (919763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16781333)

I guess it's easier and more convenient to think Network Solutions is "holding your domain name hostage". But without further specifics, it's really hard to say what is really going on with your case.

I don't know why you're having that problem. But I'll suggest the following:

1. Make sure your domain name is eligible for transfer. (e.g. it's paid, email address on record is valid, unlocked, got correct auth code.)

2. Start and fully confirm the request with the gaining registrar (Joker). Depending on how they go about it, Joker might ask for the code when you start the online method or when they send you the auth email requesting approval.

3. Confirm request with the losing registrar. While this is optional, doing this will speed up the process a bit.

There's also a possibility they're not getting the emails. It's really hard to say at this point.

The important thing is to make sure you've completed and confirmed the transfer with Joker, and the domain name is unlocked the whole time .

Click my name to contact me if you need help. I can't promise miracles, but I can see what feedback I can possibly give.
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