Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
GoDaddy’s Director of Domain Services explains its actions in the case of FamilyAlbum.com
Yesterday I reported about how GoDaddy deleted the domain registration for a domain due to invalid Whois information. This invalid information was limited to the e-mail address used; the phone number and mailing address was correct. Today, GoDaddy Director of Domain Services Camille Ede responded to a number of my questions concerning the actions it took.
1) What is your procedure for handling invalid whois complaints?
“Our standard procedure is to send an email message to the current Whois contacts as well as the customer email address.”
2) Why was this domain removed from the original owner?
“We cancelled the domain name registration on this domain name because the customer did not respond to our email request to update the information. In fact, we did not hear from the customer for more than eight weeks after our initial contact attempt. Per ICANN regulations, we are required to collect valid information. Per our Registration Agreement, we will cancel the name for invalid Whois if the information is not updated within the appropriate amount of time.”
3) Did Go Daddy earn income from this changing of hands?
“The person who registered the name after it was cancelled paid the standard costs associated with this type of transaction to register the domain name – if and when the name was canceled.”
I sent a follow up question to GoDaddy to clarify the last answer. I’m curious what “this type of transaction” refers to. Was it a backorder? Can someone order a backorder, challenge the Whois, and then get the domain if the e-mail address is indeed invalid?
I’ve talked to a number of other registrars over the past 24 hours to ask what they would do in a similar situation. I’m still compiling the responses, but all said they wouldn’t cancel the domain registration. In fact, one registrar even went to court to not have to cancel a registration with invalid Whois information.
It would seem to me that a registrar would at least extend the courtesy of a phone call or postcard. Or rather than deleting the domain at least put it in suspension status until the owner contacted the registrar. In this case the domain owner logged into his account. A warning or suspension message could have popped up.
Many of you have commented about this on the previous post. I invite you to comment here on GoDaddy’s response. I’ll post more information about other registrars’ responses in the next couple days.
UPDATE 2/28/07: Here’s an update from the (former) owner of FamilyAlbum.com. GoDaddy has offered to get the name back for him if he indemnifies GoDaddy from legal action by the new registrant.
UPDATE #2 2/28/07: I just heard from GoDaddy that the cost the new owner paid for the domain was $18.99. This is the price of a backorder, not a regular registration. Perhaps this is how it worked: Person tries e-mailing domain owner with Whois information and e-mail bounces. Person backorders domain and then sends complaint to GoDaddy. GoDaddy tries to contact only via e-mail, which bounces. Domain is cancelled and given to person with backorder.