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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    16

    FREE Domain Ownership

    Hello Everyone,

    I have few questions regarding the FREE Domain Ownership offered by the Hosting Companies.

    Can anyone direct me properly if I'm wrong...

    I signup for an Hosting Account with which they offer a FREE .Com Domain. The Account was instantly setup after the payment the Domain got registered that was too on instant basis. Everything was fine ( just perfect / no issue / nothing )

    But when I checked the Domain Whois through various sites about the Registrar and Registrant Dettails... I came to know that the Registrant email ID is something different. Right that moment I opened a Support Ticket and informed to change the Registrant Email ID to mine.

    Now the Hosting Company says that the domain is registered on my name but the ownership is not mine... how come this be possible?

    If the Domain is offered for free with the hosting account I paid for and it is registered on my name how come the ownership belongs to someone else. That Domains ownership should be mine. Isn't it...?

    Please guys I need the suggestions or say need to know more ( although I'm from a Web Hosting Industry served 6+ years but it seems that my knowledge is less. Please guide me...

    If I'm wrong here... I will apologies to the company. If not then will just ask them to change the Registrant email ID to mine. That's all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    5
    Can I ask, what company is this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,448
    Move away, fast.

    First of all, how can the domain be registered on your name but the ownership be on someones else? The registrant is the legal owner, so what they told you is not true.

    If its not you in the registration Whois, then the domain legally per ICANN rules is not yours. They did not registered the domain on your name. If its yours, then you are entitled to do with it what you want.

    It would be a scam otherwise. If they offer you a free domain, the domain is yours. They have to give you full ownership to the domain, including transferring it away if you want without any extra or hidden fees, some providers ask a fee if you want to move it away (to give you the auth code) that is also illegal, if you paid before for the domain already or it was advertised as free.

    There have been several cases about this before and as far as I know the ICANN changed their rules to be more strict about this offers, because there where people offering "free domains" but then registered them on their own name to forced the customers to stick or charged them extra to release their domain name.

    Its called domain kidnapping and I would move from that company as fast as I can because first they don't know how domain registration works and second they are scamming their customers by offering them something for free but that clearly is not the case as you if the domain is free, its yours, not theirs. You are entitled to use it anywhere and transfer it anywhere.

    Be aware of this free domains offer exactly for this reason.

  4. #4
    Sigh, that's also called "marketing". Think of those other marketing offers with limitations, especially those in rather small print.

    In this case, some hosting companies offer a free domain name upon purchasing any of their offerings. Some of their offerings, however, contain limitations such as domain ownership "belonging" to the hosting company and fees for transferring ownership to you.

    Ideally, the domain name belongs to the customer who pays for it. In reality, some hosting providers use the arrangement you described as "leverage" in case you cancel.

    That's why signing up for a free (.com) domain name with a hosting package is often not a good idea. At least, not when you're not completely sure what you're getting into.

    If you want to be listed as the registrant, then first check your provider's terms or FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Those should indicate what you and they can and can't do with that domain name.

    Personally, I recommend trying to work things out with the reseller before contacting their registrar partner or ICANN. Whatever you decide, good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    5,054
    That is pretty darn messed up it's like they stole your Idea Che a companies name. For shre sounds like domain kidnapping and dies sound very very messed up. I would be a very mad customer and if I were you I would pack my backs rapidly and move from that host . May I know the name? Also I don't know what to suggest to you to do I really never got in a situation like this and if I did I would of gone mad. Try talking to manager from the company and explain that it said free domain so you should have full ownership of the domain no matter what if you were staying with them or not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Z View Post
    Sigh, that's also called "marketing". Think of those other marketing offers with limitations, especially those in rather small print.

    In this case, some hosting companies offer a free domain name upon purchasing any of their offerings. Some of their offerings, however, contain limitations such as domain ownership "belonging" to the hosting company and fees for transferring ownership to you.

    Ideally, the domain name belongs to the customer who pays for it. In reality, some hosting providers use the arrangement you described as "leverage" in case you cancel.

    That's why signing up for a free (.com) domain name with a hosting package is often not a good idea. At least, not when you're not completely sure what you're getting into.

    If you want to be listed as the registrant, then first check your provider's terms or FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Those should indicate what you and they can and can't do with that domain name.

    Personally, I recommend trying to work things out with the reseller before contacting their registrar partner or ICANN. Whatever you decide, good luck.
    Its not called marketing if you are deceiving a user.

    Do you mention in the "purchase" process the domain will not belong to the customer? If no, you are cheating the customer.

    The customer registers the domain thinking it will belong to him, then he finds out that is not the case. Do you think he would had registered the domain if he knew that? Of course not.

    Wikipedia has pretty good article about what a deception, fraud and scam is. It all involves marketing, but in this case marketing that is supposed to trick the customer or cheat him.

    So, not, its not marketing. Its plain fraud.

    Also, it canīt be marketing if the ICANN is pretty clear about domain ownerships, the hosting company would be violating the ICANN agreements that allows him to offer domain registration and if he is a reseller he is actually violating his resellers agreement.

    Its only legal if you are clearly informing on written visible text when he is going to purchase the domain, that the domain is going to be registered on the hosting company name. In that case you should call it lease, or what ever.

    If you are picturing in the checkout process that the customer is going to register his new domain for him and then this is not the case, even if its free, its not allowed. Because then you are not supposed to use the word "free" since its a lie.

    Its very simple actually. I buy a car, and I want the papers of that car that says Iīm the owner. With domain registrations its exactly the same. The owner is the one that is showed in the Whois database as the registrant. That is the legal owner of the domain. If its the hosting company name, then they registered the domain for them, not for the customer.

    Also, can you even find out how the customer is going to feel once he finds out that amazing domain he wanted was stolen by the company? Because he is not going to be able to register it anymore somewhere else. That in case the company does not want to give him the domain anymore.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nibb View Post
    Its not called marketing if you are deceiving a user.

    Do you mention in the "purchase" process the domain will not belong to the customer? If no, you are cheating the customer.

    The customer registers the domain thinking it will belong to him, then he finds out that is not the case. Do you think he would had registered the domain if he knew that? Of course not.

    Wikipedia has pretty good article about what a deception, fraud and scam is. It all involves marketing, but in this case marketing that is supposed to trick the customer or cheat him.

    So, not, its not marketing. Its plain fraud.

    Also, it canīt be marketing if the ICANN is pretty clear about domain ownerships, the hosting company would be violating the ICANN agreements that allows him to offer domain registration and if he is a reseller he is actually violating his resellers agreement.

    Its only legal if you are clearly informing on written visible text when he is going to purchase the domain, that the domain is going to be registered on the hosting company name. In that case you should call it lease, or what ever.

    If you are picturing in the checkout process that the customer is going to register his new domain for him and then this is not the case, even if its free, its not allowed. Because then you are not supposed to use the word "free" since its a lie.

    Its very simple actually. I buy a car, and I want the papers of that car that says Iīm the owner. With domain registrations its exactly the same. The owner is the one that is showed in the Whois database as the registrant. That is the legal owner of the domain. If its the hosting company name, then they registered the domain for them, not for the customer.

    Also, can you even find out how the customer is going to feel once he finds out that amazing domain he wanted was stolen by the company? Because he is not going to be able to register it anymore somewhere else. That in case the company does not want to give him the domain anymore.
    Unfortunately, nibb, not everyone sees marketing the way you described it. That's why I said "also" (with a sigh) and put "marketing" in quotation marks.

    Before I posted here, I searched ICANN's site in case they (finally?) said that the domain name should be registered in the customer's name. Unless I missed it, alas, their site still doesn't specify that even in the OP's situation.

    Personally, I prefer that the domain name be registered with the intended customer as the registrant. In my ex-registrar experience, though, I've encountered people (i.e. webmasters) who handle the details for their customers who (hopefully) trust the former. (and of course that all-too-familiar scenario where domain name is registered to the webmaster who left or was fired...)
    Last edited by Dave_Z; 01-27-2014 at 01:38 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    3,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Z View Post
    Unfortunately, nibb, not everyone sees marketing the way you described it. That's why I said "also" (with a sigh) and put "marketing" in quotation marks.

    Before I posted here, I searched ICANN's site in case they (finally?) said that the domain name should be registered in the customer's name. Unless I missed it, alas, their site still doesn't specify that even in the OP's situation.

    Personally, I prefer that the domain name be registered with the intended customer as the registrant. In my ex-registrar experience, though, I've encountered people (i.e. webmasters) who handle the details for their customers who (hopefully) trust the former. (and of course that all-too-familiar scenario where domain name is registered to the webmaster who left or was fired...)
    Because the Internet is full of shady services and scams. Most companies that are real and pay taxes, usually donīt try to push too hard into tricks because they have to comply with regulations and laws as opposed to someone that puts a website online and you donīt even know who you are purchasing a service. No wonder there are shady offers everywhere, since they try not to be accountable for their mistakes either.

    Its not what I think or say, but what the law says. It would be very easy to prove in a legal court who has bad faith and intentions, and then the judge ruling is going to be against the "marketing" if you can easily prove it was done on bad faith (grab money). Marketing that tries to sell by deceiving people is false marketing and you can be accountable for scam if someone really wants to prove it he can.

    Lets not forget that frauds and scam invest heavily in marketing as well, but instead of benefiting the users, it steals them money in exchange of nothing.

    If you google around the word scam it will describe in Wikipedia more or the same exactly the tactics some providers use online. They hide information, they say one thing but deliver another one, hide clauses under a TOS which is of course not found int he offers or marketing ads at all, change rules on the fly, etc.

    So its not what I say but what the law says about doing business, in this case the ICANN also has rules about domain registrations.

    The simple reason why someone doing this is amazingly stupid is because the owner of the domain name is the responsible for the domain usage as well. What happens if they register the domain under the company name and then you put child porn on it or a malware website? The hosting company will be accountable for it because its their name and their property on the domain name, not the customer.

    And if they register the domain on their customers name, then the customer is entitled to it as he is the owner.

    Most companies I know that give a free domain, give the customer the full domain, including access to manage it, auth code, etc. That is what a free domain really is.

    Its like giving someone your car and he goes out and hits people on the street, do you really think a judge is going to believe you when you said "It was my customers car, I just decide not put the car under his name". In this case everyone would just go with that approach but the truth is that if the company decides to have the domain registration on their name, then they are taking ownership and responsibility for the use of that domain.

    In the case of the marketing, they deceived someone into believing the name they picked up, would be theirs. Lets not forget what some registrars did some years back, people searched domains, and since the registrars could register domain names for a few days without paying them, get a refund, they basically registered domains that people searched a couple of times trying to sell them higher to them. So if you searched a good name in a registrar, a few minutes later it was registered. The ICANN busted this as well, because of course its bad faith on part of this companies stealing potential names of customers.
    Last edited by nibb; 01-27-2014 at 02:10 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    16
    Hello,

    Thanks to everyone... yes I was very well aware that the domain ownership should belong to the customer who placed the order to register it. Ownership means... the full domain control or say the Registrant details of the domain should belong to Client / Customer / Registrant / The one who placed the Registration order.

    The company refuses this above terms and now threatening for the Hosting Account Termination or Else I should pay for the Domain and then I will be provided Full Control of the Domain I Registered.

    My main concern is that... if the Domain is offered FREE with the Hosting Plan then the Domain should belong to the Customer who placed the order. The whole rights of that Domain should go to Customer. Isn't it ? Or am I making any mistake here... please correct my doubts.

    Second thing what about the Domain after One Year ( the time of Renewal ). Who should be the owner and who should decide about the Domain whether to keep whether to renew or Sale ? What about the market captured by the Domain in this one year ? The efforts taken by the the Customer for the Domain to Build it / to Publish it / to get the Customers / etc...

    I started thinking that I have wasted 6+ years in Web Hosting Industry on providing the Customer Support. I have assisted thousands of Customers and have worked with lots of Hosting Providers but never slept my tongue. I'm not sure what to say to the Company Employee, such a harsh language they are using. Still my intention is clear and I'm trying to keep my cool. Just asking for the Service I paid for.

    I'm very much aware that what will happen if I publish the name of the company over here and on other forums. I did said this to the Company to mind the language and asked whether is this the way they talk with Clients then the reply was ( if the Customer threatens for bad reviews they have full right of Account Termination ). This means first you do the mistake later on if I oppose or ask for my rights you will say keep quite or else you will be....

    Anyway... I'm here to know the terms ( rules / regulations ) of FREE Domains offered by the Hosting Companies. Still I hope the co-operation from the Company and its my humble request to provide me the service I signup and paid for the plan package.

    I know the Company Representative or the Owner may be going through this thread and may Terminate my Account. But keep in mind that there are Rules and Regulations for everything... nevertheless I have full proof / logs of each conversation... If my request isn't taken seriously I will have to rush Legally.

    Thanks to everyone here

  10. #10
    I think you already got your questions answered in above posts, but will try to comment briefly on your last thoughts:

    1. As said, when a domain is registered, regardless Free or Paid (the process is the same anyways), it is registered under the Clients names and details and the Client is entitled as Owner, regardless if they keep the hosting service with any company. You are also entitled to any information, concerning a domain transfer (EPP Code, Unlocking the domain etc).

    2. When renewal comes, nothing changes. You have two possibilities here - to continue with the Hosting Service or move away. Most companies renew a Free domain along with the hosting service as long as you keep the hosting service. Even if you decide to discontinue it, the domain simply becomes Paid and you are responsible for its timely renewals and further management. Regardless of your choice you are STILL the domain owner in both cases, your details should be under the Registrant Details and you can deal with it as you wish.

    3. When a company threatens you to terminate your service if you place a bad review for them, I consider this as harassment and denying your right for free speech. I mean, come on, we are not in the Dark Ages and your company is not the King to cut your tongue for badmouthing. This is actually one of the most common weapons of the Client in the Internet world. I highly doubt any reputable company would dare to put such threat in writing in their TOS, so if you do have proof of this blackmail (because that's what it is), you better defend your rights instead of fearing the consequences.

    With that being said, of course there might be loopholes, written with a fine print in the Company TOS, which lets them operate with the domain, outside the mentioned standards, but such details (especially if not being mentioned at the point of Order) are just plain unprofessional and misleading. I think that's the reason that users here often ask about company names - to protect other users from going into the same conundrums and help them when deciding upon choosing a good web host.
    www.WebHostFace.com where Service always comes with a smiling face!
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    1

    * How to change whois record ?

    Dear Vinu ,

    You can change your administrative , technical information right from our domain name control panel .

    Please go to Client are >> Domain name >> click on your domain name and simply manage your domain name contact information.

    I hope it will work ! God bless You

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by vinu009 View Post
    or Else I should pay for the Domain and then I will be provided Full Control of the Domain I Registered.
    I thought so. Check your provider's terms, FAQs, any online document of theirs if it indicates such.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinu009 View Post
    My main concern is that... if the Domain is offered FREE with the Hosting Plan then the Domain should belong to the Customer who placed the order. The whole rights of that Domain should go to Customer. Isn't it ? Or am I making any mistake here... please correct my doubts.
    That's why I said "ideally" in my first post. In reality, that depends on the terms of the agreement or contract of whoever you signed up.

    (And don't worry, nibb, I got what you said from the start. I just explained "a" reality, after all, albeit it's one nobody has to like.)

    A problem is that ICANN still hasn't addressed this specific issue as far as I know. Although I can somewhat...somewhat...understand why, it's not helping those who find themselves in this situation.

    Unless what techi said here works, OP, check next with the actual registrar. See what they have to say about it, although I have a feeling they'll refer you back to that provider/reseller of theirs.

    Worse case scenario, you pay that fee as you indicated. As long as that domain name is indeed registered to you.

  13. #13
    Just a follow-up to what I said above.

    Lest some folks feel I'm maybe "condoning" the act of paying the host for the domain name, I'm personally not keen on that idea either. OTOH, I respect the OP's choice to do what he believes is needed to (hopefully) achieve whatever he seeks to achieve.

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