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  1. #1

    HELP!!!! Yahoo Small Business has locked me out of my Domain!

    I am at the end of my string with Yahoo Small Business and really need some help here... a quick summary:

    I have a domain registered through Yahoo (my personal information appears in whois) and my website and email is hosted through Yahoo Small Business

    My website went offline last Thursday for some unknown reason and a call to customer service resulted in a DNS refresh and my site coming back up.

    My site went offline on Friday morning again and my entire account has been suspended from Yahoo, apparently by the abuse department - there is no report on what the account was closed for and there is no way to directly contact the abuse department.

    Friday morning I was told that my only option was to contact the abuse department via a webform, which I did, but have yet to receive anything but an automated response that "We have received your inquiry"

    It has been 4 plus days with no update or resolution in site with just a stonewall from customer support that there is nothing they can do and no escalation path.

    The problem here is that I own the domain and I do not have access to it. All of my business email goes through that email and, of course, my website is offline. As I worked very hard on SEO and have a site with significant traffic and very high search engine results, this is effecting me severely. I do not know what legal recourse I have, but I find it hard to believe they can just hold me in this state indefinitely. Today, I was able to get authorization codes to transfer the domain, but I really can not see how sitting around for days waiting for a transfer can be in the best interest of my company or my domain name. Is it legal for them to hold it this way and not open up my account to forward the domain somewhere else? Is there any path at Yahoo that I can take to get a quicker response? Is my only recourse to hire a lawyer in California to seek an injunction to get this thing taken care of?

    I have never been through something like this before, but I find it very hard to believe that Yahoo can hold my company hostage like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,876
    So long as the domain is not near expiration, ICANN contract rules *REQUIRE* them to allow you to transfer the domain to another registrar and they *CAN'T* get in the way of your doing that.

    Review to them again that you've done nothing wrong, they have provided no details of the problem, and so you now *DEMAND* the domain be unlocked and that you are provided the transfer Auth Code within 24 hours. If they do not comply, send a copy/complaint here:

    http://reports.internic.net/cgi/regi...lem-report.cgi

    Also, are they the registrar or do they just resell under someone else's acredidation?

    If the domain is near expiration, you're f'd. You'll need to contact a domain lawyer such as Stevan Lieberman or John Berryhill, there just are no other reasonable option in that case.

    Originally posted by rentnewtampa
    I have never been through something like this before, but I find it very hard to believe that Yahoo can hold my company hostage like this.
    It's called "Terms Of Service" that you entered into when you registered the domain. The short description of these TOS' is "You're scum and we're GOD".
    Last edited by ILikeInfo; 2008-09-08 at 08:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Originally posted by ILikeInfo
    So long as the domain is not near expiration, ICANN contract rules *REQUIRE* them to allow you to transfer the domain to another registrar and they *CAN'T* get in the way of your doing that.

    Thanks... I have the authorization codes... got them today at least, about 30 minutes ago... how long will a transfer take... Small Business told me 6-9 business days... that means I could be down until September 22! Please tell me there is someone that can get this transferred faster then that!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,876
    Originally posted by rentnewtampa
    Thanks... I have the authorization codes... got them today at least, about 30 minutes ago... how long will a transfer take... Small Business told me 6-9 business days... that means I could be down until September 22! Please tell me there is someone that can get this transferred faster then that!
    Submit the transfer to a registrar you trust. Go to a *PUBLIC* whois service *NOT* related to that registrar and try to confirm it's pending transfer.

    Often times the "losing registrar" will finalize the transfer on their end if you ask them to do so, and assuming they don't provide you with a confirmation email to do so.

    So the time from submission to completion is from seconds to 5 days max.

    If the losing registrar doe not cooperate, then you have to wait it out, period.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,800
    Consider yourself lucky to have gotten the auth codes. And legal recourse won't make it happen any faster. However you might want to explore legal action after you get your domain.

    Originally posted by ILikeInfo
    If the losing registrar doe not cooperate, then you have to wait it out, period.
    Expect to be down for a little while. I doubt they'll be eager to complete your transfer. You should make sure also that there isn't a legal reason your domain was pulled. Was there anything illegal or did you infringe on any TM's on your website?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,800
    I checked rentnewtampa.com for which I assume to be the domain in question. The cache doesn't show much, but I don't know how real estate sites conflict and what's allowed.
    twitter.com/ben218

  7. #7
    Was there anything illegal or did you infringe on any TM's on your website?
    Not to my knowledge... I run a property management website... I believe I could have been hacked or something along those lines... I had a problem like that a few months ago...

    As it turns out, I am about 80% complete on a new site, which I built partly to improve security and performance and I already have it hosted elsewhere... was going to forward domain starting next week...

    Is there any way to force a domain forward while a transfer is taking place?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,876
    Originally posted by rentnewtampa
    Is there any way to force a domain forward while a transfer is taking place?
    All you can do is ask them to "Acknowledge the transfer" if they don't have a system to do so.

    That's it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,800
    Unfortunately not unless you have access to the domain. If you were hacked before, I would think that could be the reason they locked the account. They'll answer you eventually but not in the time frame you'd prefer.
    twitter.com/ben218

  10. #10
    Originally posted by 218
    Unfortunately not unless you have access to the domain. If you were hacked before, I would think that could be the reason they locked the account. They'll answer you eventually but not in the time frame you'd prefer.
    I just realized I may have a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM! WHOIS has an outdated phone number and the email address is associated with the Yahoo account that is currently locked. If I attempt to transfer, I will not be able to verify the email, since the email address and phone numbers can not be accessed.

    Outside of realized that I am pretty screwed, is there anything else I can do?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,800
    I don't use yahoo, but they locked your email account as well? You can't just go and login to your email?
    twitter.com/ben218

  12. #12
    Originally posted by 218
    I don't use yahoo, but they locked your email account as well? You can't just go and login to your email?
    Locked it all... I have a Yahoo account, with a Yahoo name, that I can not login to at all... so I can't even login to request the domain information be changed, etc. Obviously, I do not have access to that email, or the associated business email account (Yahoo allows you to link one business email address to one Yahoo account).

    Needless to say, tech support has been unable to provide anything but - "It is in the abuse department and that takes 24 hours" even though this all started last Thursday...

    Even they can not access my account to change anything... yet, for some reason, they can not, or will not escalate... so now I am wondering if I need to somehow create a public spectacle hoping someone at Yahoo will notice.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,800
    Oh man you're really at their mercy. In the future and for your current project you should use an email at a trusted registrar that's unique to you and not a free email. I would never expect yahoo to lock an email account but I guess if it's associated with the domain and it's all in one account. You might want to try a phone call tomorrow.
    twitter.com/ben218

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,750
    Is there any way you can get them to change your nameservers? Ultimately that's what you really want first of all - that would enable you to get your site up again. Even if you're locked out, they should be able to do that for you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,032
    I'm sure Yahoo has procedures in place, in order to ensure that someone doesn't pretend to be the owner. You can understand the risks. Someone might see a dormant domain on Yahoo, and try to use social engineering to steal a valuable domain name. Assuming you're the true owner, you can certainly demonstrate it to Yahoo, who would have information about you that was not available just from WHOIS (e.g. credit card details, dates of most recent transactions and amounts, etc. that would be on your paper receipts).

    If you had bad WHOIS, the onus is on you to demonstrate you are the rightful owner, and it looks like Yahoo is being diligent.
    George Kirikos - (416) 588-0269
    Follow me on Twitter.

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