Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Registrars & Re-Sellers Out of Control

Complaints continue to flow into the Transfer Comments Forum. The following is from Gary Boyd, Group Operations Officer, Group NBT:

Transfers are being denied for reasons other than the 9 listed under article C. In particular, at least one registrar is denying transfers where the domain name status has been updated in the last 60 days, including when it has been changed from registrar-lock to 'active'. This is clearly a bizarre practice as one of the main reasons for unlocking a domain name is to transfer it.

We have also experienced numerous incidents where resellers of registrars, who are listed as the admin email address, are automatically rejecting transfers. This is often after the registrant has informed the reseller of their intent to transfer the domain. Whilst the policy enables the registrant to overrule the admin contact, in practice this is not possible as many registrars do not disclose the registrant email address in their whois output.

Another complaint states:

"It's been found that a couple of registrars are following their own process rather than what is prescribed by ICANN.

Moniker is denying transfer if an advance mail is not sent to their support.

From their website :

As of Friday November 19, 2004, we made sure that all domain names not called for transfer, were locked in each of your accounts. The new policy states that unless a domain name is locked, that the registrar of record must allow a domain to transfer to another registrar without any prior notice from the registrant. We have heard loud and clear that the majority of our customers would like for us to keep our current security policy in place which provides us the ability to deny any transfer requests that we consider to be fraudulent or if we have not heard from you in advance by an authorized email from the registrant and/or admin contact of record prior to allowing names to be released from Moniker.com. Although it is not required, we request that you notify support@xxxxxxxxxxx in advance of issuing a transfer request to another registrar and that this request comes from the admin email contact of record. You must also unlock your domain prior to issuing a transfer request to another registrar. Once the domain has been unlocked and we receive your notice of intent to transfer to another registrar, we will then perform an executive and staff review of your request and approve your name for transfer away from Moniker. You will then receive a verification email from our system to approve as a final security procedure before your domain leaves our system.

Is this valid and legal?

Similarly, GoDaddy has been treating a Registrant change as something major and is denying transfers for 60 days based on this.i.e. If a registrant is changed for an existing domain, they won't transfer it out for 60 days, quoting an agreement at https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/agreements.asp

I wish ICANN puts a stop to all this ASAP."

...and for those interested in a registrars perspective, consider reading this complaint from MarkMonitor.

Unfortunately, trade associations such as ICANN rarely police themselves. One supposes that if ICANN was serious about the situation it would at least have a contract compliance officer on its payroll, but it doesn't, and it has no immediate plans to hire one.


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