Is your domain safe? Warning...

by sylviad 19 replies
Hi Warriors,

I just had a horrific experience with one of my domains. Apparently, the auto-renew was somehow turned off and it didn't get renewed. The next day after expiry, it was put up for sale. I just added a comment to the thread I started to get feedback from Warriors and thought it would be more beneficial if I started a new thread so it will stand out.

You can follow the rest of the thread here:
http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...my-domain.html


Here's the important addition:

Hi,

I have just received notification from Midphase that it is NOT their policy to sell any of the domains being hosted on their server. However, mine WAS put up for sale and could very easily have been purchased, right out from under me. They thought I was making it up.

If you want to see the listing that went up the day after my domain expired, it's here (unless they take it down):

http://www.sedo.com/search/details.php4?language=us&domain=ebook-haven.com&partnerid=17505

Midphase has issued an apology:
"I do apologize, as I was unaware that any of our domain names are put up for sale after expiration."

but it doesn't instill much confidence in the process. They have no idea how the auto-renew got turned off for this domain, and have given me no indication that they will ensure this doesn't happen in the future, or if they will be looking into whether they do or do not put domains up for sale.

I strongly advise you to keep tabs on your domains to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

Sylvia
#main internet marketing discussion forum #domain #safe #warning
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  • Profile picture of the author Alton Hargrave
    Hello Sylvia,
    On occasion, I have forgotten to renew domains too. It is hard to keep up with everything at once. Especially when most of us have so many domains and not all of them are on the same account.

    There are so many pitfalls when dealing with multiple companies, a few of which may go under with little or no notice. One of my toughest times was when I tried to renew a couple of domains that were linked to an email I no longer owned. I had been changing ISPs and using their own email addresses instead of my own domain based emails. I did finally get things resolved, but it took some work and plenty of emails.

    Fortunately, there is software now that can help keep some organization to managing all the domains such as where they are registered, login information, dates to renew, etc. This is increasingly important as each domain becomes more valuable to us. We certainly don't want to lose them just because we forgot to renew them.

    Good luck,
    Alton
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    • Profile picture of the author eljay003
      Hi! I have a similar experience of having my domain name expired. But I always received lots of notices, days before the expiry and after it expired. Those kinds of reminders though annoying are very helpful especially if you are a busy person. I sometimes forget to renew my domain on time, luckily, they still have this "grace period". I hope I won't experience what you had because it is scary
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      • Profile picture of the author sylviad
        Thanks Anton.

        Fortunately, I don't have a lot of domains... yet. They are on 2 different host accounts. This troublesome one is an account I began 1 year ago, so this is the first update for 1 of 2 domains I have listed there. The one in question is extremely important because I split the site I've had for 8 years into 2 - this one carries the majority of offers now. It was extremely upsetting to see it up for sale the day after it expired.

        I've sent another query about their intentions - how they plan to prevent this from happening in the future - and to get some sort of indication as to how this could happen if it's not their policy to sell domains. They have indicated that my 'case' has been sent to the manager who will look into it.

        I'll keep everyone informed as it progresses. At this point, however, it does sound like they are serious about finding out what happened, so we'll see.

        Interesting, though, that they never sent a renewal notification. My other host provider always sends them, even though it's on auto renew. It's actually a reminder that it is coming due and for me to notify them if I do not want it renewed. This is a good policy for a host provider to have, especially for Warriors who don't plan to renew all their domains. At least you get the option and a warning.

        It's just a responsible way of doing business. That's not to say we shouldn't keep tabs on our own renewals, but as Anton says, if you have a large number of sites on different hosts, it's not so easy to keep track.

        Well, maybe there's a WSO idea for our creative programmers... a small program where we enter our domain names and it automatically reminds us when they are up for renewal.

        Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author MommyEnterprises
          I lost a domain I had for years too! I was very upset.
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          • Profile picture of the author wellymulia
            Sylviad,

            Sorry to hear that your domain was put up for sale.

            I usually only buy domains from 2 domain companies, so keeping up with my domains is not that hard since they are not scattered everywhere on different domain companies.

            On top of that, I usually receive email notifications that my domain is expiring weeks before the expiration date.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    I have had them taken out from under me before by the so-called hosting company, since they registered the name it was theirs to do with as they wish. I was young and new then and learned real quick free domain names with cheap hosting dont work.

    I have been with namecheap.com for many years now and all my names are registered there. Never fails, I get notified on a 30 day mark, 15 day mark, 7 day mark to renew. They have like $5.99 transfers going on now .. maybe you should check them out.

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author mario_a
      I have had this happen to me in the past. Fortunately, I was able to renew the domain without too many problems.

      A while back someone on this forum recommended the Domain Acquisition Manager software by BIG Mike, and that's what I've been using to manage all my domains for the past few months. This software allows you to keep track of all your domains from a single application that runs on your desktop. You don't need to login individually into each account to check domain details. A big timesaver !

      Regards,
      Mario
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    I don't even think it is LEGAL to sell your domain right after expiration! You generally have a period AFTER expiration where you can simply RENEW! OpenSRS, and I believe Godaddy, have that. And the fact that they will sell it AT A PROFIT is downright criminal! They are saying that YOU added value and since you lost it THEY should use the value YOU were giving it to get a profit for THEM!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author davezan
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      I don't even think it is LEGAL to sell your domain right after expiration!
      While some people may think or even feel that way, why do they think or feel
      an expired domain name is still theirs if they don't renew their agreement in a
      timely manner? Do you still own "your" apartment unit if you don't renew your
      rental agreement on time, much more its unit owner lease it to someone else?

      Folks, your provider's contract, registrar or reseller, defines your relationships
      and responsibilities. Many if not all state you don't own it, and it also states
      what you practically can and can do with it subject to the contract's terms.

      FYI, at least one U.S. court decision (Umbro) defined domain names as being
      "creatures of contract". The domain name won't be registered and won't exist
      if you don't agree to your provider's contract.

      (And forget the sex.com decision. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals indeed said
      they're "property" in terms of tort of conversion, but they didn't say they are
      such for any and all other circumstance.)

      Sylvia, one reason what happened in your case is probably because Midphase
      doesn't necessarily have full control over those domain names, depending on
      their registrar partner. That's something they can try to work it out with their
      registrar partner, but the registrar can practically do anything to the domain if
      it's expired and not done something about on time.

      But this thread does ask a potentially relevant question: what can one do to
      make sure this doesn't happen to them?

      A few members gave one answer by keeping tabs on their renewals. One thing
      I'll also add is to ask if you will be the listed "owner" or registrant if you decide
      to register the domain name with them, unless you're doing it directly with the
      registrar which hardly is a problem.

      (Incidentally I wrote a report on this. Maybe I'm being a fool, but I'm rather a
      bit hesitant to offer it because I can't guarantee it'll work for you, though I do
      give a few things to try out that could work...)
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      David

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      • Profile picture of the author sylviad
        Thanks everyone for your excellent feedback. Very helpful.

        Midphase just responded to my query. Here's part of their reply:
        "All domains that are not renewed or come up with default nameserver settings are automatically transferred over to our SEDO parking nameservers. We pay for each domain registration that our customers need through our own account. If the customer cancels the account and no longer needs the domain, we offer the domain up for public sale. This is to try and reclaim some of our overhead costs involved in this process."
        Can someone explain why they'd pay out of their own pocket before taking it out of mine? I've had 3 other hosts and they have all charged my credit card immediately when I've ordered domains. They DO charge me for my domains - they are not free or leased (they said they don't rent their domains).

        The only reasons I can see them doing this is:
        1) to service my request ASAP, and
        2) to have control in the event of cases like this, so they can make money.

        At this point, I'd like to move my payment for the domain elsewhere, but I don't know how to do that now that it's already been done on this host for the next year. I have 2 other domains on this host too. After this experience, I'd rather move payment elsewhere. Anyone know how to do that? Can I do it mid-stream? ie: part-way through the year?

        This process has me confused. Can I move my domain, then? I'm waiting for another reply from Midphase on this one.

        Sylvia





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      • Profile picture of the author sylviad
        Originally Posted by davezan View Post

        Folks, your provider's contract, registrar or reseller, defines your relationships
        and responsibilities. Many if not all state you don't own it, and it also states
        what you practically can and can do with it subject to the contract's terms.

        Sylvia, one reason what happened in your case is probably because Midphase
        doesn't necessarily have full control over those domain names, depending on
        their registrar partner. That's something they can try to work it out with their
        registrar partner, but the registrar can practically do anything to the domain if
        it's expired and not done something about on time.

        But this thread does ask a potentially relevant question: what can one do to
        make sure this doesn't happen to them?

        A few members gave one answer by keeping tabs on their renewals. One thing
        I'll also add is to ask if you will be the listed "owner" or registrant if you decide
        to register the domain name with them, unless you're doing it directly with the
        registrar which hardly is a problem.
        ...)
        You make some excellent points. My understanding is that you own the domain as long as you pay for it. Thereafter, however, it's open game for anyone who wants to jump on it. I suppose the only way you can take ownership of a domain is if you copyright it, like Yahoo.com or Google.com.

        Interesting fact I hadn't even considered: who is the registered "owner" of the site?

        They say, never ASSUME anything and unfortunately, that's what lots of us do. I assumed that when I (myself) or ask someone else to register a domain for me that it goes under my name as "owner", but perhaps not. Where my other hosts registered my domains, their name comes up as registrar, but my name as owner. Haven't checked the ones done through this host yet, but I will now.

        After this experience, I've decided I'm not very happy with Midphase. They have made no reference to any 'grace period' as other posters here have suggested exists. Their apologies for the 'inconvenience' did not appear to come freely but were more an afterthought. But that's beside the point.

        It just doesn't seem like a good way of doing business.

        Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          How can you find out where your domain is registered?

          In Canada, there is one place... Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) to register .ca domains. I understood the US had their own similar organization, but now I'm not sure.

          I've checked all my domains (in Canada and the US) through WhoIs and they all show the host companies as the registrars.

          For those of you who are unfamiliar with this site, I'm going to be spending the next little while reading through all their info. on domain registrations, transfers, whois info, disputes, etc. etc. InterNIC | The Internet's Network Information Center

          Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author davezan
          Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

          Can someone explain why they'd pay out of their own pocket before taking it out of mine?
          Every domain registrar (Melbourne IT in this case) pays the VeriSign .com and
          .net Registry their fee for every registration, renewal or transfer they accept
          into their systems. In turn, the registrar charges the reseller (Midphase) for it,
          then Midphase bills you accordingly.

          Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

          After this experience, I'd rather move payment elsewhere. Anyone know how to do that? Can I do it mid-stream? ie: part-way through the year?

          This process has me confused. Can I move my domain, then?
          I've looked at your domain name's WHOIS and it lists (I think) Midphase as the
          so-called "owner" for now, so you won't necessarily be able to transfer it out.
          Check with them to look into changing that to you, though they might charge
          a fee to cover their initial registration costs or so.

          Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

          I suppose the only way you can take ownership of a domain is if you copyright it, like Yahoo.com or Google.com.
          It's actually trademark, not copyright. Then again, having a trademark doesn't
          grant one ownership rights to the domain name either, as one mark holder had
          learned the hard way in a recent dispute.

          When you do a WHOIS, note the line registrar. That's where the domain name
          is registered with, though some will indicate if it's with a reseller.
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          David

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          • Profile picture of the author Akogo
            I feel your pain... I've lost at least two domains I wanted to keep. I don't know if there are anymore...
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            • Profile picture of the author Matt Fulger
              Hey Silvia,

              I've lost several domains over the years so I feel your pain.
              Although, I'll admit that in most cases it was my own fault
              for not renewing them when they were due. However, I have
              had a couple which were literally sold out from under me even
              before they were due for renewal. One of which was doing
              really well selling physical products, with increasing sales daily.
              I was VERY upset when I lost this one.

              The other was providing a free subdomain redirection service.
              At the time, it was gaining new members daily and providing
              a useful, needed service. I tried in vain to get these domains
              back. The registrar wasn't very helpful at all. But then looking
              back, they really couldn't do anything cuz they were simply
              resellers through Network Solutions.

              So I contacted the new owner who tried to resell me my domain
              for over $1000. I moved on and registered something else.

              As for owning a domain. No one technically ever OWNS a domain.
              Despite what your registrar/domain reseller says, they are in fact
              renting...i.e. leasing you your domains. Check the fine print and
              it is probably spelled out for you.

              As for your specific situation, I would continue communications
              with your current registrar/domain reseller and see if they will
              help you get your domain back. Sounds as if they have it and
              "could" sell it back to you (based on another post with the whois
              info). But then again, they may have already sold/leased it to
              someone else.

              As far as a grace period goes, there usually isn't one unless you
              specifically LOCK your domain. Then you may have an extra week
              or two to get your domain back. At least, I did for one of mine on
              godaddy.com.

              Now a quick question of my own:

              Any of you use Name.com to register domains? I saw one post
              mentioning Namecheap.com, which I think is a sister company.
              But I was looking at Name.com and their prices are a bit cheaper
              at the moment and includes free, private registration.

              Anyone had any experience with them yet?

              Thanks in Advance!

              Peace & Prosperity,
              Matt Fulger
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              • Profile picture of the author davezan
                Originally Posted by Matt Fulger View Post

                Any of you use Name.com to register domains? I saw one post
                mentioning Namecheap.com, which I think is a sister company.
                Name.com and NameCheap are 2 different companies, though the former is a
                sister company of DomainSite. I've used all 3 and have practically no problems
                so far, though I can't comment on Name.com and/or DomainSite's support yet
                since I haven't had any occasion to use such for any reason.

                Of course, all 3 have their fair share of good and bad feedback. But overall, I
                would subjectively say they're all good in their own rights.
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                David

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                • Profile picture of the author Matt Fulger
                  HI Dave,

                  Thanks for the clarification. I have done a bit of research and
                  they seem pretty decent. As you said, there's some good and
                  bad. But I did see that their support is pretty responsive, even
                  answering questions through outside forums and not just their
                  own internal support system.

                  I think I'll try them for a couple of domains and see how it goes.
                  I currently use godaddy.com and spry.com to register domains.
                  Although, I personally have never had any real problems with
                  godaddy.com, I have read some horror stories. So I'm looking
                  for alternatives.

                  Again, thanks for the clarification.

                  Peace & Prosperity,
                  Matt Fulger
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  • Profile picture of the author timer
    It's your business so it's your problem! Never rely totally on computers and software for anything. Use the old fashioned pen and paper and write a list of domains and expiry dates. It's very simple and quick.

    It may not have been brilliant customer service but it's your oversight that caused the attempted selling of your domain name.
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Thanks Davezan and Matt...

      You are right in all that you say.

      Fortunately, my domain was saved, but the story behind it is rather interesting (for me anyway) as I've never heard of this before.

      Apparently, when I ordered the hosting service through an affiliate of Midphase, that affiliate had his account set as one-time domain registrations. Midphase put my account under that same type of "special account". When I took the hosting offer from the affiliate, it really had nothing much to do with whatever he was selling along with it, which makes this even more odd.

      However, all is resolved.

      Here is the final response from Midphase that explains it better than I can:
      I do understand that you paid for a renewal and this WAS a glitch, both in our system, as well as a human error as {name deleted by me} should have checked this when he reactivated the account and took payment. Again, my apologies for your trouble there. We do not send renewal notices on the domains as for 99.9% of our accounts we renew them automatically.

      You were in an a special account type for an affiliate that had requested that we not auto-renew the accounts, that's why you received the click to renew notice.

      Your account has been moved to our standard brand, and your domain is on auto-renew. This *should* never be an issue for you in the future.

      The domains do not automatically get sold, the link you saw gives a place where you can CONTACT the registrar to see if they're willing to sell the domain. In this case had we gotten an inquiry, the first thing we would have checked is to see if you had A. an active account with us, an B. if you had paid for a renewal.

      As you did have an account and had paid for the renewal, we would have declined any bids and corrected your registration issues at that point.
      I hope this information helps other Warriors who buy hosting through affiliates. And for affiliate promoting hosting programs where this might become an issue.

      At this point, everything is fine. My domain has been rescued. I've regained my composure. All is well.

      Thanks everyone who helped me through this situation and for all your excellent & wise guidance and support.

      Sylvia





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