The City Clerk’s office of Chicago forgot to pay its domain renewal bill, resulting in a site outage.
As is too often the case, a large bureaucracy forgot to pay its renewal fee. The Chicago City Clerk’s web site went down and was replaced with an expired domain parking page briefly before the tab was paid. The URL for the City Clerk is chicityclerk.com.
This is far from the most embarrassing domain lapse. Microsoft once forgot to pay its Hotmail.com domain renewal bill and had a site outtage as a result. What’s different now compared to a few years ago is that when domains used to expire the URL would no longer resolve. Now it resolves to an expired domain page (at most registrars) that explains the expiration. Under the old scenario companies would spend time trying to figure out what happened to their sites; now they know right away.
One of the creator’s of the expired domain market once forgot to pay a renewal fee for one of his sites. Talk about ironic.