Verisign whois falsely returning “no match” results

Have to submit query twice to get correct result on Verisign’s whois.

Verisign’s whois service for .com and .net is sometimes falsely returning a result of “no match” the initial time you search for a domain name.

For example, if you search for on Verisign’s site or via port 43 whois, you’ll get a “no match” result the first time. Click “search” a second time and the correct whois will be returned.

You can see example screenshots on the DomainPunch blog.

I’ve also noticed that the web based whois at does not recognize the top level domain you select from the drop down box. If you just type something like “ESPN” and select .com or .net from the drop down, it will not recognize the associated TLD. You must type the actual TLD after the second level domain.

This problem appears to have been happening since at least last night, although some of my searches are working in recent minutes.

[Update: NameCheap is also reporting the problem, and saying it may affect domain availability lookups.]


  1. Francois says

    Since yesterday in fact all WHOIS services are showing registered domains available by error. The problem looks to come to the fact GoDaddy temporarily (I hope) stopped to feed such services. Because +50% of the domains registered in the world are registered at GoDaddy it’s the panic!

    • says

      Francois, I don’t think it’s a GoDaddy thing. .com is a thin whois, and the data verisign’s whois is only pulling the thin information, not what the registrar has (e.g. owner name).

  2. Mike says

    I just wonder if this is something to do with the disruption ?;
    “..We are currently experiencing intermittent network issues with our DNS resolvers. We have contacted our up-stream provider about this, and we will keep further updates posted here…”

  3. Steve says

    This problem has been happening for several days… NOT just since yesterday, and it often takes checking 3, 4 and even 5 times to get a correct result!

  4. Luc says

    I spoke with Verisign on Friday night and they said they are working on fixing it, although before I called them they were not aware of any issues (even though the issue persisted all day on Friday). I called again last night, 24 hours later and their 24/7 registrar support line was not answering, and their voice mail was full. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

  5. Andrea Paladini says

    Same it’s been happening here since yesterday.
    Just guess my excitement when I saw a few ultra premium domains appearing “DELETED AND AVAILABLE AGAIN” … 😉 … and not being able to register them … lol
    I’ve already sent a complaint to DomainTools about that.

  6. Andrea Paladini says

    Thanks Abdul, but I still see some WHOIS where the domain (even some top names) looks deleted and available again, but I can’t register it … maybe this is a different issue … uhm …

  7. Francois says

    I confirm again, all day yesterday (and other WHOIS services I tried) had the problem on half of the names I was checking. Everytime I checked through the GoDaddy WHOIS it was working and let appear the domain was registered at GoDaddy. So I persist and sign. Today I did not made any WHOIS check so I do not know if this continues.

  8. Andrea Paladini says

    @ Andrew Alleman: I tried with several registrars (GoDaddy, Register, OVH, NS, Namecheap, ….) and it’s the same everywhere. The name looks deleted and available in DomainTools Whois, but when I try to register it, it says that it’s taken.
    At this point I’m really curious to see what happened … 😉

    • says

      @ Andrea Paladini – I must have misunderstood you. You’re saying a domain you find “available” on DomainTools is actually registered? Can you share an example?

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