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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    35

    I Lost My Domain!

    Recently, I found out that I lost my domain name when I could no longer access my e-mail accounts. As it turns out, the registration had expired a few days prior, and someone else had quickly registered the domain.

    This domain represented a small business that is entirely Internet based. There are magazine ads that point to this domain, and we have worked hard to build a web presence and a standing in search engines. As the result of losing this site, customers cannot place orders and cannot contact us for service and support. We take great care to treat our customers well, and this is an extremely disturbing development. At this point, our business is in serious jeopardy.

    At first, I thought I had not received any renewal notices from my registration company. However, looking through my deleted mail, I did find a couple of renewal notices. Both of the renewal notices were from a company with a different name than the company through which I registered the domain (which is also my hosting provider). I get a lot of spam (including mail from domain registration companies), and often if I don't recognize the name of the sender, it's get deleted unread. This is obviously what happened with these e-mails. In addition, other companies have a grace period, or take other measures to protect their customers from losing their domain names, but this company obviously doesn't care enough about it's customers to have these measures in place.

    (Curiously, last week I received notification that another domain I own was coming up for registration. This one had the name of my hosting provider in both the "from" address and the subject, and I was able to give it the proper attention.)

    My question is, what recourse do I have in recovering my domain name? I have tried to contact the new owner (in Taiwan) via fax and email, but they have not responded.

    Thanks...

    Bruce

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    7,147
    tough ****s is all I have to say.....

    seems to me the only way to get your domain back is to contact the new owner and ask him nicely to sell it to you.

  3. #3
    bvanderwerf : I sure understand the intensity of the problem and i hate to see myself in such a situation.

    First thing is, you should have taken enough care not to let it expire, moreover, you are accepting orders online.
    Good thing you have done is , you have already contacted the new owner of your lost domain, try to explain the new owner you situation...legally, he cannot surrender your domain, I suppose ( but i am not sure, if you have inc ur company or have any trademark's on that domain ) !

    May be you could offer him some extra dollars to him and buy it back...This is suggest b'cos, you have already spent some cash in getting exposure for some time now, as you mentioned.

    Generally, it would take 45 days to release the domain after the expiry date...did your domain get that 45 days period before releasing the domain again for re-registering...??

    Also which registrar, did you go with ??

    I sincerely wish, you get the domain back to ur fold..

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    35
    Yea, I accept responsibility for letting it expire. But I also think that my web provider and domain registrar should have taken more care in protecting my domain.

    Evidently, my hosting provider was using another domain registrar as an affiliate. It looked like the domain registration was being handled by my hosting provider, but in actuality it was being handled by the third-party registrar. The renewal reminder for this domain came from the registrar, not my hosting provider, so I didn't recognize it and dismissed it as spam.

    A couple of weeks later I got a renewal reminder for another domain that was registered through my web provider and the same third-party registrar. This one had the name of my web provider in both the From and the Subject, and got the proper attention from me.

    The domain registrar did not provide any grace period. The domain expired on July 28, and was registered by the other party on August 1.

    Since you asked, the domain registrar is ItsMyDomain.com.

    Thanks for your reply and good wishes.

    --Bruce
    Bruce Vander Werf
    ChurchAssist Technologies
    http://www.churchassist.com
    Web Hosting & Software for Churches

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,056
    Wow... that's really sad. As akashd wrote before, probably the only way of getting back the domain is to ask the new owner to sell it to you. However, considering the fact that he / she haven't even responded to your mail / fax, it seems you won't get it back easily, probably he / she will ask a big price...
    Founder of TradeHolding.com B2B Network and OneLoveNet.com Singles & Dating
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    366
    I don't really know how they could have done more to protect your domains. It appears they sent you renewal notices that you disregarded for whatever reason.

    If I had a domain that is that important to my business then I would spend the extra money and register for 5 to 10 years so that I wouldn't have to worry about the expiration for a long time. I am sorry to say this but it looks like you are out of luck. Hopefully the new owner will work with you but I don't see that happening.

    Andrew

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    35
    Andyc et al -

    Yes, this is ultimately my fault. But how could they have helped with this?

    1) My hosting provider should have made it clear that they were dealing with a third-party when registering domains, and that communication regarding the domain would come from them. A later renewal notice for another domain *did* come from the hosting provider. I recognized the sender and it got the appropriate attention.

    2) There should have been a 30 or 45 day grace period, instead of immediately throwing it back in for anyone to grab up.

    Thanks for the replies. It doesn't look the like the new owner wants to do business with me at all, so it looks like I will need to start all over.

    --Bruce
    Bruce Vander Werf
    ChurchAssist Technologies
    http://www.churchassist.com
    Web Hosting & Software for Churches

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    366
    Originally posted by bvanderwerf
    Andyc et al -

    Yes, this is ultimately my fault. But how could they have helped with this?

    1) My hosting provider should have made it clear that they were dealing with a third-party when registering domains, and that communication regarding the domain would come from them. A later renewal notice for another domain *did* come from the hosting provider. I recognized the sender and it got the appropriate attention.

    2) There should have been a 30 or 45 day grace period, instead of immediately throwing it back in for anyone to grab up.

    Thanks for the replies. It doesn't look the like the new owner wants to do business with me at all, so it looks like I will need to start all over.

    --Bruce
    Bruce,

    Your situation really stinks and I am sorry it happened to you. This just shows that you have to take full responsibility and watch out for your domains because nobody else will, unless they want to register it themselves.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12,200
    Originally posted by bvanderwerf
    Andyc et al -

    Yes, this is ultimately my fault. But how could they have helped with this?

    1) My hosting provider should have made it clear that they were dealing with a third-party when registering domains, and that communication regarding the domain would come from them. A later renewal notice for another domain *did* come from the hosting provider. I recognized the sender and it got the appropriate attention.

    2) There should have been a 30 or 45 day grace period, instead of immediately throwing it back in for anyone to grab up.

    Thanks for the replies. It doesn't look the like the new owner wants to do business with me at all, so it looks like I will need to start all over.

    --Bruce
    Sorry you lost your domain.
    To answer your questions:

    1. Domain Registrars send the renewal notices to the email address listed under the Administrative Contact of the domain record.

    2. Each Registrar has a different policy. Star*gate.com for example has no grace period: you don't pay for it, it's released back to the available pool of domains the same day.

    3. Ok if that makes you feel any better, in April I registered a domain that dropped. A couple of days ago someone from China emailed me saying the domain was his and he forgot to renew it. I confirmed that indeed he was using the domain. He will now have to pay a nice triple-digit amount to get it back

    Domain brokering is dirty at times; it's up to you to keep track of your domains and renew before they expire.

  10. #10
    Why does there NEED to be any grace period? I don't let my insurance lapse. I don't let my mortgage get behind. And I don't forget to register my domain names every year (or every 10 years now that I register for a decade).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    375
    Originally posted by timechange

    3. Ok if that makes you feel any better, in April I registered a domain that dropped. A couple of days ago someone from China emailed me saying the domain was his and he forgot to renew it. I confirmed that indeed he was using the domain. He will now have to pay a nice triple-digit amount to get it back
    Timechange you are inspirational (no sarcasm intended or implied)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    441
    Originally posted by timechange


    3. Ok if that makes you feel any better, in April I registered a domain that dropped. A couple of days ago someone from China emailed me saying the domain was his and he forgot to renew it. I confirmed that indeed he was using the domain. He will now have to pay a nice triple-digit amount to get it back

    thats a pretty ******* thing of u to do.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    35
    Originally posted by RandyL712
    Why does there NEED to be any grace period? I don't let my insurance lapse. I don't let my mortgage get behind. And I don't forget to register my domain names every year (or every 10 years now that I register for a decade).
    Fair enough. Like I said, ultimately this is my mistake.

    --Bruce

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    35
    Well, after almost a week of e-mails and faxes, I finally heard from the new owner:

    "Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear that but that domain is our company property now so we cannt let it go this way. However, I have discussed this matter with our partners in the past few days and were told that we would be willing to transfer it to you for US$1500 to compensate our time and trouble. This price is based on the world average domain name sale price in 2001. Let me know if this is acceptable and feel free to contact me should you wish to further discuss this matter with me. Thank you."

    I think I am going to give a counter-offer for a lot less, but how do I do this without getting burned?

    --Bruce
    Bruce Vander Werf
    ChurchAssist Technologies
    http://www.churchassist.com
    Web Hosting & Software for Churches

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    7,147
    well they've given you an offer that is as high as they could possibly go without losing you as a "customer". when you counter, counter with something thats not so low as to make them say "hell no, we'll just keep the domain"



    don't think that'll help you but thats my 2 cents

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12,200
    Originally posted by rlynch


    thats a pretty ******* thing of u to do.
    Get lost, stupid troll.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    12,200
    Originally posted by VoxKeysGtr


    Timechange you are inspirational (no sarcasm intended or implied)
    Except rlynch thinks I am an *******.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12,200
    Originally posted by bvanderwerf
    Well, after almost a week of e-mails and faxes, I finally heard from the new owner:

    "Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear that but that domain is our company property now so we cannt let it go this way. However, I have discussed this matter with our partners in the past few days and were told that we would be willing to transfer it to you for US$1500 to compensate our time and trouble. This price is based on the world average domain name sale price in 2001. Let me know if this is acceptable and feel free to contact me should you wish to further discuss this matter with me. Thank you."

    I think I am going to give a counter-offer for a lot less, but how do I do this without getting burned?

    --Bruce
    I would counter-offer $800, as long as the domain is of that importance to you. Explain that although you were using the name, you have alternatives - register the .Net or .US or .biz variants to stress that; trust me, he will check these - and see how he reacts. If you need further advice, email me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    375
    Originally posted by timechange


    Except rlynch thinks I am an *******.
    Ahh, what does he/she know. It is a business after all, is it not? Sometimes them's the breaks.

  20. #20
    Bruce,

    I do feel sympathy for you, although... legally there is nothing you can do about it. I'm glad to see that you excepted that it was your laspe that caused this problem.

    If you don't feel like paying the 1500 to buy it back, maybe you should purchase a domain name that is almost like the first. For insance, if your domain was Mycompany.com, you might go with mycompany.org or even Mycompany1.com

    Well, I hope that helps.
    The giant hamster of doom rains coconuts upon your tiny city.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    270
    Originally posted by rlynch


    thats a pretty ******* thing of u to do.
    i would charge even more

    <------ LOOK MY 100th POST

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Arabia
    Posts
    678
    This makes a good case for Auto-Renew, but registrars get blasted for it here.

    Sorry bvanderwerf, just mark it as a learning experiance.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Posts
    75
    Hi Bruce,

    I have a friend with same problem and I would like to find a way to recall the domain.

    I base on what I have learnet in www.domainnewsreport.com

    As you will see, among other things it states... "Unless your domain is a registered trademark and/or the other party registered it in bad faith with the intent of selling it back to you at a profit, you stand little chance of regaining your domain. The new owners might sell it back to you, but then again, they might not..."

    I would like to address to ICANN and ask whether there is a way to get the domain back.

    Good luck,
    Pere

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    35
    Just a followup....

    I was able to negotiate a selling price of $500 with the new owner, and the domain is now mine again.

    --Bruce

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12,200
    Not bad, I hope the hole in your pocket is not too large

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Coventry, England
    Posts
    130
    Chalk it up as a lesson learnt - had this not happened, next time you might have found yourself without an even more important domain with an even higher price tag

  27. #27
    Originally posted by DotComster
    This makes a good case for Auto-Renew, but registrars get blasted for it here.
    Auto-renew is a great service. It simply needs to be added by the user as an option, and not assumed as a default. There are registrars who offer auto-renew features as options that you can sign up for...

    -t
    myOstrich Internet - OpenSRS Domain Names & Digital Certificates
    http://www.myostrich.net

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12,200
    Auto renew and transfer block are on by default with Enom.

  29. #29
    Originally posted by timechange
    Auto renew and transfer block are on by default with Enom.
    Auto-renew by default is what people complain about.

    There are a number of registrars who do this - billing the domain owner without notification when the domain is ready for renewal.

    My philosophy is to allow this, but only when the customer exclicitly asks to have it enabled, and not by default - which results in surprise bills when someone wants their domain to actually expire rather than renew.

    -t
    myOstrich Internet - OpenSRS Domain Names & Digital Certificates
    http://www.myostrich.net

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    I think it's better to explicitly refuse a renewal (value: ~ $8) than to lose a domain (above example: $500)

  31. #31
    I'm just relating the complaints against registrars who auto-renew without warning. We've had a large number of domains transferred to us because of this practice at other registrars.

    -t
    myOstrich Internet - OpenSRS Domain Names & Digital Certificates
    http://www.myostrich.net

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
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    Yes, but seriously, people forget to either renew or to stop a renewal. I think the only one that auto-renews is GoDaddy. But I'd rather know that I am risking to autorenew than to risk losing a domain I forgot all about it.

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