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Transferring Domains from Uncooperative Registrar? 90

Posted by Cliff
from the time-for-a-good-lawyer dept.
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?"
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Transferring Domains from Uncooperative Registrar?

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  • Snipe it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by invisik (227250) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:16PM (#16617134) Homepage
    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
  • E-Mail Them (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Friday October 27, 2006 @10:11PM (#16618708) Homepage Journal
    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.)
  • Domain parking (Score:3, Interesting)

    by silas_moeckel (234313) <silas@[ ]inc-corp.com ['dsm' in gap]> on Friday October 27, 2006 @10:56PM (#16618982) Homepage
    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.
  • by Dave Zan (919763) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @01:59AM (#16619948) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:E-Mail Them (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dizzy8578 (106660) * on Saturday October 28, 2006 @07:47AM (#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.

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