My comments on expired domains.
As I wrote last week, ICANN is seeking feedback on the domain expiration process. Here’s the feedback I just submitted. The deadline for submitting feedback is September 10…
I believe most registrars do an effective job informing customers of upcoming expirations. For example, Go Daddy sends multiple expiration notices by email and even postal mail. Most registrars continue to send these expiration notices after a domain expires. GoDaddy also alerts people who call its support number if they have any expiring domains. Most major registrars follow similar procedures.
I have a few general concerns/observations that this Working Group should consider.
1. The number one reason people neglect to renew their domains is because they have incorrect contact information. When I view historical whois information for an expired domain, I typically find that it involves bogus or outdated contact information. I believe most registrars, and even ICANN, are doing enough to encourage people to use valid contact information. Those that use invalid information are likely doing so on purpose and don’t need to be protected for the purpose of expired domains.
2. The practice of changing DNS servers upon expiration is a Catch-22. On one hand, changing an expired domain’s DNS servers to a registrar landing page alerts a customer that their domain has expired. However, it also prevents them from receiving expiration notices via email if their whois contact address is email@example.com (because the mail servers have been changed).
3. Resellers may have an incentive to let domains expire since they can get a cut. It is normal practice for domain registrars to auction off expired domains and I have no problem with this. Most of these registrars still make best efforts to inform customers of renewal dates. I do have some concern with resellers, especially since some registrars compensate them with a portion of auction revenue.
4. Expiration dates are confusing. One complaint I receive from people who email me at Domain Name Wire claiming their registrar screwed them (and I get many such emails) is that it appeared the expiration date was a year away. They see the registry expiration date, which is usually automatically extended a year, and think this is their actual expiration date (as opposed to the registrar expiration date). Asking the typical domain registrant to understand the difference between registry and registrar expiration dates is asking too much. This working group should consider ways that registries can display this data without confusing customers.
This one is total fcuk up even for people who understand that…basically the only way how to find out the real date is one eyar less is either that registrar changed DNS or login into panel
Very well written post. #4 should be very high on the list.
Philip Corwin says
Good comments, Andrew.
I’m on the PEDNR Working group and will make sure they are taken into account.
Ed Muller says
Thanks for the head’s up the other day. I posted my comments as well and hope this time we can get a great deal of responses and perhaps some real action by ICANN on this matter.
M. Menius says
@Ed Muller – Just read your ICANN forum letter. Very good points. ICANN need to more clearly define what a registrar can and cannot do. In other words, what is the real intent of registrar accreditation? And what are the boundary lines in regard to domain warehousing?
Patrick McDermott says
I just read Ed muller’s comments and boy do I agree that Registrars should not be hoarding , warehousing and profiting from expired domains.
There was one comment he made which I have to question and that comment was:
“The vast portion of the fee in registration goes to the ICANN body.”
Unless my understanding is incorrect, I thought ICANN gets 20 cents per TLD
(.COM,.NET,.ORG,.INFO,.BIZ) and Verisign and the other Registries get the bulk of the Registration fee.
Andrew Allemann says
@ Patrick –
ICANN gets 18-20 cents off the top for .com. Verisign gets the rest, but then has to pay ICANN an annual fee. For .com, it has paid $12M a year and will start paying $18M a year. That’s much less than a dollar a domain. So you’re right, the registry is getting most of the money. But ICANN is getting getting more than 20 cents.
A. Kimbler says
Network Solutions sold my business domain name (PalmSpringsMassage.com) after 10 years !! I am in shock. I paid them all the time, every year, year after year, when I received the notice of it coming due. I went on line and paid ever single year by cc. I hadn’t received a notice this year and went to contact them, and instead just by that happenstance, went to “who is” only to find my business domain name sold to Shangi, China….Good grief!!
I live in Palm Springs, California. I own the name (legally thru this county but not copywrited) Palm Springs Massage. (It IS a very coveted name here)..I was with Network Solution over 10 years and had this name registered with them. They recently sold it to Shanhi, China. They said I didn’t pay since 2008 (not so) will have to do a big search but WILL find it. I am hurt, disheartend and this is my BUSINESS name. What a world we live in…I am sick and have lost faith in peope anymore. I don’t think there should be ANY ANY ANY waiting for domain name as….you guessed it….the incentive to do the WRONG this is EVER PRESENT AND PREVELENT in the wrong, and belive me…there is a LOT OF WRONG IN THIS WORLD. I was invited to this forum to tell my story, and I hope I CANN will and can NOW see that this “waiting” for a domain to expire, it pre-meditates<<<<me< (?) after it was sold….give me a break…I HOPE ICAN will see the error of this "waiting" for a domain name to expire. I know what was done to me was absolutely unequivically UNETHICAL. I had a computer crash, but I am such a person of principle that I am going to take that PC in and get that email thru AOL which I sent to Network Solutions (they said I never paid….right NW) I want my business name back!!!
MassagePS@aol.com only please