I was a reseller for AIT (Advanced Internet Technologies.) AIT is notorious for their billing errors and claimed that I owed them money that I did not owe. Last January, After trying in vain to work out THEIR accounting errors, I finally wised up and moved my business to another host company.
It is now eight months later. Without so much as an e-mail, phone call, fax, or telegram, my
domain name has been hijacked by AIT! I guess I made the error of registering my domain
name through AITDOMAINS.COM.
My question to you is this: Although there is a statement in their TOS that they will hijack a
domain for nonpayment, is this legal? What laws (if any) have been broken? How do I get my domain name back from these predators?
How can this be? Even if this stipulation is in their TOS? Can they write in their TOS that they can have my first-born son if their is a payment dispute and actually take him? Something just doesn't seem legal about AIT taking someone elses property without a court ordered judgement.
You should contact ICANN regarding this question/issue - they also have an FAQ at their site that you might first read through. Unfortunately, I've not found ICANN to take much action on these things, but they are supposed to be a governing body of sorts over the activities of domain registrars.
A domain is NOT your property! If you don't pay for your domain you don't have any rights to it anyway. So, if they contacted you to renew your domain and pay it and you didn't, they can decide to release the domain or take it into their assets.
This is not a dispute over payment for a domain. The domain does not come up for renewal for another 10 months. AIT claims that I owed money for HOSTING sites on their servers so they took control of my domain name.
The only way I believe they were able to do this is because I purchased the domain through their domain registration company, http://www.aitdomains.com. They were able to get into the record for the domain and change ownership/administrative contact to themselves for "non-payment" of the hosting of the sites. Had I registered my domain through another registrar, they would not have been able to do this (live and learn!)
BTW: I do NOT owe AIT any money. They just have a horrendous billing department that couldn't calculate their way out of a paper bag!
(Sorry for the cross-posting. I wasn't sure when I first wrote this which section it belonged in.)
Okay - your original post was pretty unclear and this one clarifies things.
I agree with you - it is doubtful that a hosting company can decide to take possession of your domain name due to owed funds on your hosting account.
Contact ICANN with this and file a complaint. Also find out which registrar your hosting company is a reseller of, and complain to the registrar as well.
Basically, a registrar or reseller is not permitted to simply go into a customer's account and make changes to their domain record, just because they technically can do it. I am a domain reseller, and this simply is not something which is permissible.
Complain to both ICANN, the registrar, and see where that takes you. I'd also personally file a BBB complaint to help warn others against such unethical practices.
Of course you should also pursue this with the company itself, and ask to speak with a manager or owner (I don't know how big or small they are.)