Domain issue

Back in 2002 I signed up for a hosting account with a very small host that also registered my domain for me. I started issues with the host and wasn’t able to get in contact with support (I believe it was going down off and on or something like that - can’t remember for sure now). It turned out that one guy was running it and he had broken is leg, or something along those lines. I ended up moving hosts because of it but couldn’t get him to give up the domain. His hosting business closed down and then a few years later he started another one that still exists. He’s updated nameservers over the years, when I’ve needed them changed, but I’ve never been able to get him to transfer ownership of the domain name. I tried at least a few times.

Out of the blue today he sends an email telling me I can pay for all of the domain expenses over the years and he’ll transfer the ownership. Now I’m totally like WTF and not sure what to do :shifty: This actually comes at a very strange time because I’ve been preparing for a domain change and a full site re-brand but I still need the old domain to do the proper 301 redirect. The old name is a .ORG and is really quite worthless without the site - it means nothing and it’s quite irrelevant, which is why we decided to go for the change. I have the business registered in my state (LLC) and the business name contains a portion of the domain name, but I don’t have a trademark registered (I’m in the US btw).

What would you do? Pay for the expenses over the past 8 years or try to force him to hand it over based on an unregistered trademark? I’m worried that if I ask to buy it he’ll come up with some ridiculous price.

If you can access the domain, I would copy/paste everything and forget about the 301. I’m not sure what else you can do, but I think I would let the major search enignes know about the problem and maybe get some advice (if possible) from support there. You might also look into ICANN. They have some policies for domain disputes.

I am no expert in this, so others may have some better ideas. Just my two cents.

You left out how much he is asking for. 8 years of domain costs could be as little as $100.

Tell him you are considering paying the costs but need to see the receipts for what it cost him to register the domains.

Once you know how much he is talking about you can make a decision about whether the cost is worth it.