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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ashland, Oregon
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    Angry 'Reverse' Domain Tasting in .uk

    What I can only describe as 'reverse' Domain Tasting has recently started with parties in the UK - Fasthosts/UKReg and DomCollect (Sedo) to be specific.
    .uk domains have a grace period of up to 99 days after their expiration (Renewal) date to be renewed. During that time, the name is still in the name of the registrant, and may even be transferred to other registrars etc. For a period of 30 days or so, the domains still resolve.
    What is happening at Fasthosts - once the renewal date has passed, they change the nameservers to Domcollect - in effect reverse domain tasting. They have no legal right to do this. Domcollect has recently been hoovering up many .uk domains.
    This 'agreement' clearly is unfair and is adversely effecting regular consumers imho.
    Few people know that this is going on, but if it is allowed to continue, I feel that we can only see more unfairness in the .uk space.

    I am furious about this, and I personally am about to consult with my solicitors (lawyers) about a 'class action' (or equivalent in the UK) against Nominet and those involved, as this is the latest 'scandal' to happen in the .uk domain namespace. (I currently have a lawsuit in progress against a big domain registrar). Again, the 'big boys' are abusing and screwing over the regular customers & domainers. Nominet refuse to act against registrars even when they are operating illegally (hence my current lawsuit).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Behind your curtains
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    4,790
    The .uk namespace is far from fair. They changed the drop system from one which allowed all tagholders a chance to one that favours a handful of people with inside knowledge whilst all the time ignoring multiple tagholders breaking nominet terms of service. The DRS system is heavily biassed towards the complainant. Nominet repeatedly ignore complaints about abusive registrars (provided you happen to be in the list of the select few chosen ones). Domains do not always go through the deletion process. The list of flaws and abuse at nominet is endless. This is another example of a tagholder abusing his tag and nominet refusing to act. No matter how much proof you give them they always claim it's not enough to act on.
    Last edited by Rob; 06-20-2009 at 05:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,750
    Thanks devolution - I hadn't realized that was going on!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wales (UK)
    Posts
    24,745
    What is happening at Fasthosts - once the renewal date has passed, they change the nameservers to Domcollect - in effect reverse domain tasting. They have no legal right to do this.
    what makes you so sure they have no legal right to do it? it sounds like something a few lines in a registration agreement would permit.

    in terms of "tasting" - are you saying that they are then transferring ownership of the profitable names to domcollect rather than allowing to expire?
    When using google for counts - use double quotes for usage counts for multiword terms and set "match type" to "exact" for all search volume lookups. Click here for more info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    The Island of Mustique, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
    Posts
    71
    Originally posted by safesys
    what makes you so sure they have no legal right to do it? it sounds like something a few lines in a registration agreement would permit.

    in terms of "tasting" - are you saying that they are then transferring ownership of the profitable names to domcollect rather than allowing to expire?
    If what devolution is saying is occurring (I've not personally verified it), the companies involved are probably tasting for traffic in order to determine whether to attempt to register the name should it drop. Obviously they will only have the time between the Renewal date and the date when the domain name is suspended by Nominet to do this.

    They wouldn't be able to enact a Registrant transfer unless they changed the Registrant email address of the domain name and reset the password of the account the domain name was on, or moved it into another account with a password they controlled and THEN paid £10 + VAT to Nominet to do the transfer; all highly unlikely.

    I wonder if the companies involved are doing it for all domain names on the related tags or if they are just doing it for domain names where they provided DNS in addition to the registration.

    Is anyone able to point me to a copy of the Fasthosts registration agreement for .uk domain names? I'll look for one later at some point if not.
    David Thornton
    Domain Name Aficionado

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Santa Barbara CA
    Posts
    763
    sounds like what every registrar on the planet is doing for the other gTLDs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Behind your curtains
    Posts
    4,790
    'They wouldn't be able to enact a Registrant transfer unless they changed the Registrant email address of the domain name and reset the password of the account the domain name was on, or moved it into another account with a password they controlled and THEN paid £10 + VAT to Nominet to do the transfer; all highly unlikely.'

    A lot more likely than trying to catch the name (assuming they're not one of the couple of people 'in the know').

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ashland, Oregon
    Posts
    2,843
    Originally posted by safesys
    what makes you so sure they have no legal right to do it? it sounds like something a few lines in a registration agreement would permit.

    in terms of "tasting" - are you saying that they are then transferring ownership of the profitable names to domcollect rather than allowing to expire?
    They are profiting from other people's domain names, when they change the nameservers over. They don't transfer the domains over to DomCollect, which I think would be quickly provable illegal and unfair, but it is only one step away, imho. They find which domains are getting traffic before they expire, then they register them on the drop.

    Regarding the registration agreement, I'm going to pore over it, but there is also 3-way Nominet-Registrant-Registrar contract which should technically make things like this unfair, plus Nominet's 'good practice' contracts - but as other people have mentioned, it seems like drawing a blood out of a stone to get Nominet to act on registrars or unfair activity, hence the need for legal action to get people's attention.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wales (UK)
    Posts
    24,745
    They are profiting from other people's domain names
    *after* the person has failed to renew.

    but there is also 3-way Nominet-Registrant-Registrar contract which should technically make things like this unfair,
    "unfair" and "illegal" are 2 very different things.
    When using google for counts - use double quotes for usage counts for multiword terms and set "match type" to "exact" for all search volume lookups. Click here for more info

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Down Under AU
    Posts
    1,007
    I find that Fasthosts/UKReg are very difficult to manage domains with i have 3 domains with them now ... you need to have pre-paid credits in your account to have a domain name auto renewed ... if not then the name expires if you are not on the ball as they dont appear to send out renewal notices for co uk names (not as far as i know) Nominet will notify you/me if renewal is past due ... On the good/flip side Fasthosts/UKReg will renew an expired name well beyond 30 Days (you have to contact support for that) but they do it at no extra cost ...

    As for Devolutions gripe about PPC and/or DNS changes i dont see a problem with them doing that ... Enom, GoDaddy, every one does it almost the very minute the name expires ...

    If they get to keep a revenue name who knows I dunno but the name will remain yours as far as Nominet whois is concerned until it is renewed or deleted ... in a worst case of not being able to renew a name Nominet will do it for you for £80 quid ...

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