It appears that GoDaddy no longer cancels domains for invalid whois.
Back in February, GoDaddy canceled the domain registration for FamilyAlbum.com because its customer had invalid whois information. The domain was given to another customer who had backordered the domain. This story caused a heated debate, as many people criticized GoDaddy and many others shared their frustrations with invalid whois data. If you missed the story, here’s some background:
GoDaddy Deletes Domain Name for Invalid Whois
GoDaddy Responds to Deletion Over Invalid Whois Address
GoDaddy Makes Reporting Invalid Whois Easy
An Update on GoDaddy Whois Issue and Other Registrars’ Responses
Now GoDaddy appears to have changed its policy about canceling registrations for invalid Whois.
About 5 months ago I submitted an invalid whois report for a domain registered at GoDaddy. The whois record for the domain now shows:
This domain name has been suspended due to invalid Whois information. If you are the registrant of this domain name please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve kept an eye on the domain and nothing has happened. Today I received an email from a reader who is trying to get his hands on a domain with obviously false whois information. For example, the phone number is 555-555-5555. The email address also bounces. The reader submitted an invalid whois report and hoped that GoDaddy might release the domain. When the reader submitted the whois report, he received an autoresponse:
The registrant of the domain will have a brief time period to update the information or the domain may be cancelled. We will notify you when the contact information is corrected, or when the domain is cancelled.
But apparently GoDaddy no longer deletes these registrations. After follow up with GoDaddy support, here’s the message the reader received:
“Thank you for contacting us about the domain DOMAIN.COM. The domain has been suspended due to invalid Whois. The domain will remain in suspension through expiration, including the registry’s redemption period, unless the owner updates the contact information before that time.”
So, it appears that GoDaddy no longer cancels registrations just weeks after receiving an invalid whois request. It seems that they’ve done a 180, and won’t cancel the registrations at all.
Is this the right thing to do? I know how frustrating it is to not be able to contact a domain owner because of invalid whois information. At the same time, that person did register the domain before you. And while it’s suspended at GoDaddy, they can’t use the domain at all — no connection to a web site, no parking page, etc. If the person is paying attention or they have a real web site for the domain, they will be sure to update their information.
Even if the whois information is accurate, the current owner has no obligation to respond to a purchase inquiry. But when I try to tell that to friends who want me to acquire domains for them, they certainly don’t understand.