Deadbeat registrar: Do I have any recourse?

Hi there guys,

I have recently begun moving domains from one registrar to another in an effort to consolidate. The losing registrar(I believe they are a reseller for Cheapies) has taken the loss of my business quite poorly. They’ve increased my rates and have refused to respond to my requests for EPP codes, effectively forcing me to renew through them at the increased rate to keep the domains from expiring. I’ve tried for over a week to get the required information from them, but they are not sending it.

Do I have any recourse? I tried the 866 number on the Cheapies site, but it forwards to a cell phone with the message “This is an automated voice message (Deep voice here)“nobody” is unable to answer the phone right now, please leave a message.” which leads me to believe that I’m dealing with a less-than-professional entity.

Is there any way to handle this higher up the ladder, per se? I would hope that I would be able to deal with some governing entity that keeps these registrars from completely tanking someone’s business, which these guys are in effect doing to me.


I’m sorry Siber, but I’m not sure what you mean.

I’m very thankful that they honored the renewal I purchased at the new inflated rate that they imposed on my account when told that I’d be consolidating domains and moving them to another registrar otherwise, the domain would have expired by now.

But so fer it is not opened for the registration yet (just in case you may want to return it)

Which is exactly why I feel so comfortable placing some blame upon them. If anyone has the ability to place some hurdles in the way of becoming a registrar, it would be them.

Three weeks in, over 50 emails, 20 phone calls sent and I still have no control over the domain I own. I would feel completely different about this situation if the case were that I no longer owned the email address that was listed and just couldn’t get a new email listed. That isn’t what happened though. The registrar changed the email address on record to theirs and is now ignoring any requests to change the record back(the proper data is even still listed in my domain control panel). The fact that there is absolutely no regulating agency with tooth enough to keep them from doing something so clearly illegal baffles my mind.

I’m very thankful that they honored the renewal I purchased at the new inflated rate that they imposed on my account when told that I’d be consolidating domains and moving them to another registrar otherwise, the domain would have expired by now.

Yeah, nothing wrong with this system. :wink:

To be fair, I can’t blame ICANN. It could well be the case that you purchased the domains through a reseller rather than an ICANN approved supplier and thus it could be the issue of the people providing such a service. To regulate the amount of TLD’s in operation would require much more manpower than can be expected by a group like ICANN, and even if they were more strict against businesses who were engaged in fowl play, trying to prove they were in the wrong and deal with them (without them simply closing shop and reopening under a new name) would be next to impossible, especially as selling domains is so easy to undertake. :slight_smile:

I’ve been using the form, and on one of the domains I’m having a problem with, I’ve received a form response from ICANN. On the other domains, I didn’t even receive that from them.

I definitely can’t disagree with the opinion of steering clear from cheap registrars, but more than the registrar(and my decision making), I blame the regulation entity that refuses to regulate. The registrar fears the repercussions so little that they’ve jacked up my rates upon notice of transfer out, sent inflammatory email responses to me and have refused to provide EPP codes and correct domain contact information. To combat this, ICANN has provided me a form, and they’ve made it clear that they won’t actually resolve the situation, but forward it to the people that have raised my prices, held the domains hostage and have refused to respond to my requests for assistance.

That’s some fine regulating there, Lou.

Hi there Alex, and thanks very much for taking the time to reply.

First, it’s a .org domain.

Secondly, I’ve already visited icann and it seems they want you to user their complaint form to report any problems with your domain. The form does nothing more than forward the complaint to the registrar in question. From the page:

ICANN itself does not resolve individual customer complaints. Instead, we refer your complaints to your registrar or other appropriate party, and follow up with them to make sure they are working with you to resolve your issues.

Which, to me, seems redundant to the support form at the losing registrar.

If I’m understanding the content at, they take no part in resolving any issue you have with your domain.

Regarding the .org registry, from their domain dispute section on their site:

The UDRP is an arbitration/mediation procedure that is used to resolve issues related to alleged trademark infringement and bad-faith registration of domain names.

Which seems both very narrow in scope and completely unrelated to my issue.

Maybe I’m simply not finding the sections of the sites that apply to me, but so far, I’ve not found anything offering more than a contact form to the registrar in question.


Depending on the domain extension… yes, you need to contact ICANN (who deals with top level domains like COM / NET / ORG) or the registry in charge of the specific extension (click on the extension for the domain in the below link and there should be a link to the registry who maintain them) and explain the situation to them stating that your domain is effectively being held hostage by the registrar in question. If your name is listed as the registrant in the WHOIS records for the domain, you have full legal rights to the domain and should be able to move to a different registrar. Using ICANN’s domain resolution policy you should be able to enforce it’s release. :slight_smile:

I would still send the complaint (and get ICANN to follow up the problem), knowing that you went to ICANN over it might help pressure them into responding (though perhaps it won’t). Unfortunately if you can’t unlock your domain for transfer in the control panel they give you, you may well be out of luck as the registrars go directly through the likes of ICANN (or a reseller) to do the registration, and if ICANN won’t resolve it, there’s no-one left in the middle. The only other thing I can think of would be to report them to the better business bureau or whomever represents consumer rights in your region. Unfortunately in these kind of cases, getting the issue resolved can be pretty painful, which is why I tend to recommend people only go with a registrar that has a solid reputation (downside of cheap places are that they often skimp on customer service to reduce expenditure). Just keep sending them phone calls, mail or even visit their offices (if you can) to keep the pressure up.