VeriSign sends notice about changes to add grace period rules.
As required by a new ICANN policy, VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) has notified its registrars about changes to the Add Grace Period policy. These changes were made to limit the practice of “domain tasting”, which is registering a domain and returning it for a refund within the grace period if it doesn’t deliver enough traffic. The text of the notice is below:
Please be advised that ICANN formally announced the implementation plan for the new consensus policy relating to Add Grace Period Limits on 17 December 2008. The Add Grace Period (AGP) Limits Policy (the “Policy”) was adopted by the ICANN Board on 26 June 2008. This Policy may be viewed at www.icann.org/en/tlds/agp-policy-17dec08-en.htm
VeriSign is providing this notification in accordance with ICANN’s announcement requiring gTLD Operators to inform each of their accredited Registrars of the new Policy within 21 days.
VeriSign intends to implement this Policy on or around 31 March 2009. Any .com, .net and .name domain names that are registered by Registrars after implementation of the policy will be subject to the threshold limits established by the Policy.
Additional details relating to VeriSign’s implementation of this Policy will be announced as they become available. Please contact Customer Support at +1 703 925 6999 or email@example.com should you have any questions.
VeriSign has chosen to implement the new policy on the last day allowed by ICANN. VeriSign makes money from domain tasting, so it makes sense for it to hold off as long as possible on implementing the change.
Based on analysis from GNSO, ICANN’s first step to curtail domain tasting was to make its $.20 per domain fee non-refundable after a certain threshold was met. That didn’t kill tasting, but it made it less profitable and curtailed the practice.
The new policy means that registrars can’t get refunds of registration fees beyond returns of 10% of domains registered in a given month. This will curtail tasting even more, although it may not eliminate it.