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488 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 165962 26-Feb-2015 09:48
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Hi

I suppose this is a call for advice and a warning for a lot of us in the industry.

A few years ago a friend of mine acquired a domain name for her business through NameCheap. Because she was new to this and wanted to 'do everything herself', I gave her some guidance but allowed her to make the decisions and enjoy the thrill of building a online venture. I also asked her to make me the technical contact so that I could keep an eye on things for her. She found a domain name through NameCheap, one of the few registrars that provide AU domain names. Everything went well, I was getting notifications when she logged in to the DNS CP, changed her IP address etc. She was also getting those notifications, too. All looked settled.

Monday, the domain stops working and I log in to find it has expired and is no longer in NameCheap's system. When I follow this up, I am told that expiry notification were sent, but since there was no answer, they have suspended the domain and handed it over to their partner for an auction of expired domains as is automatic procedure. 

In both our email inboxes, we have notifications for everything else, but renewal warnings. The call center told us there was nothing we could do but wait for the domain to come out of the auction process, as long as nobody else bought it. I followed the auction process and it seems that they have a blind bidding only, starting at $200 and only email notifications if you've 'won' your domain back or wait for it to become available, again. Nobody can tell me how long this will take, there is no way of knowing if there is any auction competition, they have indicated verbally this process could take anywhere between 2 days or a month.

Better yet, she was talked into buying domain protection when she signed up and this is exactly the kind of thing that is supposed to protect her against this kind of piracy.

I was sure AU domains were so heavily regulated to prevent this kind of thing.


TL;DR - AU domain provider appears to be a professional squatter, is holding domain name to ransom. What now?


I know there are official paths to follow but I also know those lines of inquiry will take some time to get through...I have told her not to give them any money at all and not to concede as I am confident the blind bidding process will attract other mystery bidders....I have bought her a non-AU domain to get her going in the meantime. I guess she'll be in for a few hundred $$$s to change signs and business cards, luckily she is only a start up so it's not too much of a knock to change now and hopefully we can get the domain name back later if it ever expires.

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  Reply # 1246872 26-Feb-2015 10:02
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I have not read is 100% but this looks like the information you need which explains it all 

http://www.auda.org.au/pdf/auda-2010-01.pdf

You will have to know when the domain expired and then you can follow their information.

After reading this this if the domain hasn't been renewed (ie paided for etc) it goes Expired and you have 30 days from Expired to Renew it and if you don't then it gets purged and then anyone can have it.

I presume after it expired and Purged another company registered the domain.

but the people to talk to are: http://www.auda.org.au/










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  Reply # 1246877 26-Feb-2015 10:08
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LennonNZ: I have not read is 100% but this looks like the information you need which explains it all 

http://www.auda.org.au/pdf/auda-2010-01.pdf

You will have to know when the domain expired and then you can follow their information.

After reading this this if the domain hasn't been renewed (ie paided for etc) it goes Expired and you have 30 days from Expired to Renew it and if you don't then it gets purged and then anyone can have it.

I presume after it expired and Purged another company registered the domain.

but the people to talk to are: http://www.auda.org.au/



Thanks. That is exactly what I was looking for. It explains the process and very clearly explains that no amount of $200 notes will magically bring the domain back before the 30day period - something I was very suspicious of.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1246880 26-Feb-2015 10:11
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Wow that's nasty.

Two of our clients has asked about an Aussie domain name, but an ABN (Australian Business Number?) is required, so they didn't bother for now.

Of course their 'inability to help' is bollix, but it's not very PC these days to go over there and slap them around with one of their own kidneys.  And you are right of course that going through the proper channels will take weeks or months.

I can't remember which provider it was, but some time ago there was one that mysteriously registered a domain name in their own name after you did a domain name search and it came up as available.  You then had to buy it from them at an inflated price.




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488 posts

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  Reply # 1246891 26-Feb-2015 10:21
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Dynamic: Wow that's nasty.

Two of our clients has asked about an Aussie domain name, but an ABN (Australian Business Number?) is required, so they didn't bother for now.

Of course their 'inability to help' is bollix, but it's not very PC these days to go over there and slap them around with one of their own kidneys.  And you are right of course that going through the proper channels will take weeks or months.

I can't remember which provider it was, but some time ago there was one that mysteriously registered a domain name in their own name after you did a domain name search and it came up as available.  You then had to buy it from them at an inflated price.




Yes, you have to prove residence, citizenship or business eligibility AFAIK and certainly in my experience.

I've seen that searching/squatting/auction/reserved scam before too at one of the largest providers on the planet (but cannot prove anything, so beware, people) and I am constantly aware of it - I never repeatedly search domain ideas now and usually impulse buy domains for clients... 




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  Reply # 1247792 27-Feb-2015 13:14
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A follow up to anybody reading this and curious about the ending....

The NameCheap terms and conditions state they will pass the domain on to a third party at their discretion from 12 days prior to expiry.

The AU terms state that a domain must be available for renewal within 30days after expiry.

Namecheap are not preventing me from renewing, but are going to charge me $200 to renew.

The Au terms state no changes may be made in the 30days after expiry.

Namecheap say the same thing, but that the $200 means I get to keep the domain once the 'hold' period is over.


TL;DR Read the terms and conditions before clicking 'Yes'.


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  Reply # 1249678 2-Mar-2015 17:37
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Prior to expiry wow that's disgraceful.

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  Reply # 1249681 2-Mar-2015 17:41
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That is super dodgy.  Good luck getting it sorted (if you choose to pursue it)

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  Reply # 1261949 18-Mar-2015 20:45
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gundar: A follow up to anybody reading this and curious about the ending....

The NameCheap terms and conditions state they will pass the domain on to a third party at their discretion from 12 days prior to expiry.

The AU terms state that a domain must be available for renewal within 30days after expiry.

Namecheap are not preventing me from renewing, but are going to charge me $200 to renew.

The Au terms state no changes may be made in the 30days after expiry.

Namecheap say the same thing, but that the $200 means I get to keep the domain once the 'hold' period is over.


TL;DR Read the terms and conditions before clicking 'Yes'.



I replied in the comments with a link to this thread tonight
Ask Slashdot: Advice For Domain Name Registration?
The very first comment was someone recommending NameCheap.
Want to give them some back, nows your chance. ;)





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  Reply # 1262161 19-Mar-2015 10:07
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Thanks, but I'm over it.

I spent a lot of time and money hosting and managing websites for a lot of people and I have come to the conclusion that not doing (hosting/designing/uploading/managing/maintaining) anything yourself (or not being able to in this case) is considered extremely high risk; it is my opinion that the Internet industry has now reached cowboy saturation. I have amended my terms and conditions to include a lot of language such as 'maybe' 'external' 'third-party' and 'risk'.

/sigh

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