Data mining could identify problem registrars before it’s too late.
It’s always a headache when an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar loses its accreditation. But often times that’s just the beginning, as customers of Parava Networks learned last year.
Parava was allegedly bilking its customers by accepting payments for multi-year renewals, and then only renewing the domain names a year at a time.
This becomes fairly evident when you look at VeriSign’s monthly registrar reports. Without doing a statistical analysis, you’ll still see that Parava has an higher percentage of one year renewals vs. longer term renewals when compared to other registrars.
In order to prevent the next Parava, RegisterFly, etc., ICANN should mine these reports for anomalies. Of course, you need to take into consideration some registrars that are owned by domain investors. They’re likely to renew a year at a time.
But retail registrars should have a fairly consistent percentage across all type of registrations. If not, ICANN should flag the registrars and see if it can understand why. Is it because the registrar doesn’t promote multi-year renewals, or doesn’t offer a price break?
Either way, I’d love to see a statistician analyze this information for any red flags. It would save a lot of heartache in the future.