An example of why you shouldn’t register “pseudo” domain names.
Last year CentralNic announced it was closing down certain third level domain names that it allowed people to register. It sold these domains similar to how you can buy second level domains such as something.com.
This means that people who operate sites on these domains will be forced to change their web address and email. I recently heard from one such “victim”, who explained the burden this is putting on his company. He just found out about the cancellation of .gb.com domains.
Roger Carr of RadarGB had this to say earlier this month:
The main issue is that we are a small business and we don’t have a lot of time for administration, trying to keep that to the minimum!
I was quite surprised to hear from my service provider that the “Sunsetting” would be in less than three months time. I called up CentralNic to see what could be done, or to get the full story and whilst on their website I noticed the comments section stated that the deadline for the closure of .gb.com domains was ‘extended’ to April 2017 – and that the post dealing with the sunsetting of the domain names was dated to May of 2016. So as I’d paid for my yearly hosting in June 2016 and for the next year of my domain in August or September of last year, I was amazed that I had not been informed earlier. I got back to my provider, who say they only heard for definite this week!
This does not leave much time to contact all of our clients, potential clients and past contacts – most (around the world) who only know us through our email address!
We are a product design consultancy and we do the vast majority of our work ‘remotely’ nowadays, we have international clients that are very successful with several of our products that we designed for them and we have never visited their facilities and we’ve only met the people once a year at a trade show. So everything is done through email correspondence and data transfer.
We do not have a large marketing spend, or rely on our website for business, it is simply there to direct interested parties towards, however many of our contacts do not need us for years, but simply get back in touch through email, or send emails introducing us to new contacts and that is probably our major method of making contacts and getting to know people. Having to switch to a new email address in less than three months is a very large inconvenience.
We have had the .gb.com address since 2001 (at least) and it is the main contact for us to the outside world, our main source of identity. In the last few years we even stopped putting a physical postal address onto our business cards, as this was in the belief that we would not need to reconfigure these, as we did when we changed physical address a couple of years ago.
We do not use our website as a major tool for marketing, or business per se, it is there as a useful resource, but as our company name is Radar GB and as the radar.gb.com domain was available, this was always ideal for us and meant that any potential contacts could find us fairly easily.
So the major problem in having less than three months for the changeover is that we are going to have to waste an awful lot of time and effort making the physical changes (all those accounts, subscriptions, banking details, credit cards, insurance premiums, phone accounts, computer details, company log ins, iTunes, software subscriptions, web filing, tax, HMRC, (both business and personal) will all have to be dealt with – ) it is not simply a matter of changing a couple of emails and then printing a new business card – so much of the detail of everyday life has gotten irretrievably tied in with the email address that the time allowed for this change over – whilst still operating a business in the busiest part of our year, is a pure headache.
The annoying part is that we could have done with the ‘year’ that this has been under consideration as an ideal time for us to make the change – I’ve been handing out email cards non-stop since last June – July and October when we go to two large international trade shows and make a lot of our new contacts and catch up with old contacts, (many who move about within their market, but return to us for work) – one show which is biannual as well. So to manage all of this ‘goodwill’ and contact list, over such a short period with the usual day to day continuing is a big problem. Missing out on one potential job could be a huge issue for us, apart from the headache of making sure all of the day-to-day services are contacted……It’s like moving physical address, except that that is always planned – and you can return to pick up mail!
The annoying factor is that no one is accepting any responsibility and everyone assumes that the timescales given are ‘out of their control’ and there is no help available to compensate the time and effort needed to get up and running. Yes, CentalNic are offering an alternative domain, but I already have one of those (for how long that will last now is anyone’s guess?) What would have been better is compensation to allow two sites to be run together to give a seamless transition …But as the servers are rented out through the ‘provider’ that is not even possible.
The last question is what happens to the ‘sunsetted’ domains? Will they be available again any time? Can they be reregistered by another body? – And if so how can I be guaranteed that I could repurchase my original domain that quite frankly has sixteen plus years of our business reputation and goodwill instilled into it, for which we are getting no compensation – in the same way as in which we would if we were to sell the business, trading and goodwill.
So how can a business be treated so shoddily in this instance, when the real value of the domain is the years of work that have gone into and through it?
That is my final question – OK it’s registered, but how can it just be ‘shut down’ with no reference to the current users/owners, who have put a lot of themselves into it.
As a postscript, Roger decided to go with the domain Radar.design. He told me the new address has been a hit with clients so far, “however I have found some websites aren’t too well set up for it, so there already has been a bit of phoning up to clarify that it IS correct!”
I’m not sure switching to a new gTLD is a smart move, especially that they seem to be in a hurry now.
I mean, those TLDs can be ‘sunsetted’ too…
A new gTLD is never going to be ‘sunsetted’, if a registry fails then ICANN will transfer it to some other registry. Which is why they charge a security deposit from all registry operators. And this has been done in the past with registrars too, all the domains / clients are moved to another willing registrar.
Jane Doe says
In the event a new GTLD collapses, the extension is maintained on a backup registry while reallocation is sought to another registry.
Presumably existing domains registered under the extension can be renewed, though what the result of a new operator taking over as regards renewal costs is a concern, then again, such an issue exists for the original registry anyway as pricing is open to change
Jane Doe, From what I recall Centralnic used to swear their “subdomains” were safe as well.
.gb.com is a pseudo registry. They are not accredited by ICANN or anybody so ICANN doesn’t have a responsibility for the registrants. The users ought to have known better and registered a .co.uk, .com, .net, etc. CentralNIC just bought a two-letter second level domain name under .COM by Verisign and decided to be greedy. I think it is unethical to sell end users domain names under a second level domain and even criminal to lie to them that second level extension will be available indefinitely. I think the registrant ought to have taken CentralNIC to court.
If another registry has to take over an extension there is zero doubt they will charge EXTREMELY HIGH prices for the domains. That is the only way they can keep them running without losing money on them. So, why even act like a take over is a good thing when the domains owner may have to pay thousands every year to renew it. There are zero rules for pricing on the gtlds, they can raise it to whatever they want. This is why icann is never afraid of a gtld failure, they know the domain owners won’t want the domian anymore after a crazy renewal fee in installed.
In postings on another forum https://domainnamewire.com/2017/02/01/first-hand-account-forced-change-domain-name/ regarding the possibility of some new gTLDs failing:
“A new gTLD is never going to be ‘sunsetted’, if a registry fails then ICANN will transfer it to some other registry and “If the entrepreneurs fail, there is a procedure of ensuring continuity. In perpetuity.” That all sounds good, because in perpetuity means FOREVER, until we read that:
“In the unlikely case that there is no qualified bidder or no bidder at all, the TLD will be closed/sunsetted by ICANN.”
Now that the UNLIKELY word has been used, this is saying that there is the possibility that a new gtld can be sunsetted.
A while back Donald Trump was the UNLIKELY candidate to win the presidency, but it happened.
Sunsetting is such a nice snuggly phrase, but let’s not play with cosy words, sunsetting means closing down and that the domain names cease to function.
In postings on another forum should read
In postings on another forum https://www.thedomains.com/2017/01/26/coming-3-year-anniversary-thoughts-new-gtlds/
I feel for Roger. It does sound like he has now gone from one bad idea for a domain to another idea. By using a new tld (.design) he is already striking problems and it will only get worse. I wonder if he realises that the price could be changed at any moment, that consumers find these addresses totally confusing, that most new tld registries are losing money and that .design is also managed by centralnic? Did they try and sell him on this when he rung up to complain?
Roger get a .co.uk or a .com, anything else and you’ll just have problems. Don’t trust your business to a fly by night operator.
Pseudo typo 😉
Andrew Allemann says
wow. from .gb to .design. You would have thought one hard lesson was enough. There has to be a better name out there. I second the comments on this being a potential problem waiting to happen; yet again.
Yup, some people never learn.
I see that Roger has registered radargb.com. I strongly urge him to go with using this domain instead of radar.design.
Andrew Allemann says
I suggested that he register that domain. He had an interesting decision for not using it: it’s so close to the previous domain that he thinks his customers will be confused. He has a good point, since it’s just a matter of removing one of the dots.
If he uses a .com there won’t be email deliverability issues Andrew. I’d let him know that.
Because GTLs suck, that’ why. Only a matter of time they too will fold and he will need to start over, yet again. Maybe the third time around he will finally get a .com, if any are left by then.
Richard Funden says
A certain trademark owner offering cruises on Land will no doubt be pleased-ish…
Don’t poke the bear!
Andrew Allemann says
Comment coming in 3…2…1…
“Roger decided to go with the domain Radar.Design. He told me the new address has been a hit with clients.”
Excellent choice and reasoning on Rogers part. He will spend less long term
marketing his “Design” services. I won’t be surprised if he drops the .com eventually.
.Design is one of the winners IMHO. The backers are excellent business professionals, successful, actively engaging the Design community, and run their business with no debt. Very much like what .Club is doing and others.
How many naysayers can make the same claim?
How many know anything about the backers of .Design?
Competitive market pricing? The market decides ultimately.
radargb.com – is much harder to read and even look at than clean, sleek
Radar.Design. Succinctly, a much better “Design!” 🙂
“If another registry has to take over an extension there is zero doubt they will charge EXTREMELY HIGH prices for the domains”
“domain owners won’t want the domain anymore after a crazy renewal fee in installed.”
“I wonder if he realizes that the price could be changed at any moment, that consumers find these addresses totally confusing”
The market will keep reg fees in check. We have already seen many adjustments downward. The one good thing about lots of competition.
The minute Verisign is allowed to raise reg fees no doubt they will be very near double in short order. Most reg fees are settling into the 20-50 range
.Com was at 50 yr at one time too.
Congrats to Roger for many years to come.
“The market will keep reg fees in check. We have already seen many adjustments downward. The one good thing about lots of competition.”
Well, there isn’t a functioning market really and it works both ways. We have seen price hikes, clawbacks and there’s no one to protect you against predatory practices.
Fortunately, .com is regulated and cannot increase prices at whim. People need to understand that new extensions are not bound by the same rules, anything goes.
Use non-REGULATED extensions at your own risks !
What I find striking is that the guy is already running into problems, he sure could do with some advice:
“however I have found some websites aren’t too well set up for it, so there already has been a bit of phoning up to clarify that it IS correct!”
It reminds me of a thread on Namepros posted by a member who tried using a .tech and he gave up on it because even after spelling the name over the phone, customers still got it wrong. Even spelling a .com over the phone can be challenging…
Personally I think he could use radargb.com even though he finds it confusingly similar to radar.gb.com. It’s the old name that looked like a typo after all.
“predatory practices”. ?
“there isn’t a functioning market really”.
Wait. Stop everything.
This should be front page news!
Personally I think he could use radargb.com even though he finds it confusingly similar to radar.gb.com
he sure could do with some advice
Save him. Forget about what the customer wants.
“The backers are excellent business professionals, successful, actively engaging the Design community, and run their business with no debt.”
168, do you work for the registry?
“The market will keep reg fees in check” What market? It would have already failed at this point, that’s why the GTLD owner went out of business and someone else took over. Zero common sense in your thoughts.
CentralNic currently runs the .gb.com domain name, well at least until April when it will turn off the lights and has caused this man’s business so much upheaval.
Is this the same CentralNic that is running the .design registry and some other new domain names.
Will history repeat itself.
Complete the phrase once bitten ………
and. out of the frying pan……
Andrew Allemann says
To be clear, CentralNic operates the backend for .Design but is not the registry owner for it. The domain is owned by Top Level Design, a completely different company. So CentralNic doesn’t have control over the domain other than providing infrastructure.
I believe it is run on a revenue share agreement so not sure that they don’t have any control of it.
“CentralNic provides backend services through an exclusive distribution agreement and shares in the global revenues from .design domain names. Ben Crawford, CentralNic’s CEO, said of the top-level domain, “It has impressive commercial potential, and it will be adopted more quickly than many other TLDs as it caters, among many other groups, to one of the best-informed professions on new Internet developments – website designers”.”
Is this the same CentralNic as in
CentralNic swings to loss, billings soar on .XYZ deal
Just a few months away in June 2017 how many will choose not to renew their .XYZ domains registered in the June 2016 $0.01 promotion.
XYZ : June 2016 growth the result of “penny” promo, at a 7 figure loss
I don’t understand how his provider only got definite confirmation this/last month!! This was announced by CentralNic last year and I don’t really believe there was any actual wiggle room on if it was actually happening or not.
If anything, the provider should have at least provided a warning that there was potential that their domain could be gone.
Joseph Peterson says
I reached out to CentralNic last year, suggesting that we could coordinate to find evicted customers a new domain and streamline the process of relocating. Never heard back.
Without even reading the rest of the comments, I can confidently say Radar.Design is a major upgrade from .bg.com whatever it is. It’s clean and people will get used to it. It’s easy to remember. It’s a great domain name. Don’t listen to the dot com worshippers. Open your mind and be a forward thinker.
Phillipe A. says
It would be really interesting to know the ending to this story.
Maybe Roger Carr of RadarGB would be willing to post what he finally decided to do, because with the April date looming he is probably having to have his business cards reprinted like very soon.
Stuart Gibbs says
Our company owns a GB.COM domain and we were only informed on 18th April that the domain was going on 30th April!! Incredible. As you can imagine it has been a massive headache over the last two weeks as we have had to tell a lot of people as well as change all company information.
We have now changed to a .com domain.
I’m not sure if there’s some legal action we can take against Central Nic on this.
Out of interest, we are now into May and are still receiving emails from the old Domain.
Andrew Allemann says
Who is your domain name registrar — who do you pay for the annual renewal?