Getting an expired domain back

I have a client with a .com domain which has expired.
She uses it to redirect to her domain - mainly to protect her brand but also for the email address.

The company the domain was registered with went out of business moved all their domains to Extendnet. When the domain was due for renewal, the emails reminders from Extendnet went into her spam folder and were deleted before she saw them. The domain expired and when she noticed two weeks later she logged into her control panel only to find the domain renewal button was disabled. She has tried contacting Extendnet 5 times with no success and the worry is that they will sell the domain on. Is there anything else she can do?
Would it help for her to pre-order the domain from another company or is there a governing body that could sort this out?

First off check to make sure someone else didn’t buy it. If they didn’t, buy using a different registrar. I believe there is typically a “grace” period for expired domains to be kept with the original owner, but don’t quote me on that.

If you are able to register it from a different registrar, then at least you can setup the name servers accordingly and get it working for you again.

So far, the whois shows it still belongs to my client and I can’t buy it at present. The problem is that Extendnet won’t talk to my client.
I know that you can pre registrar a domain that is due to expire but wondered in Extendnet would know if I did that and would sell it on.

The problem is that Extendnet won’t talk to my client.

That is not very professional of them.

I missed renewing a domain a few years ago and the first I knew about it I stopped receiving emails. I contacted the company that look after my domains and they renewed it; from memory as cpradio says there is a grace period. Keep copies of your emails as partial proof in case you need to contact the company that looks after .com names.

A quick Google search returned this from the Tucows website:

Partial list of Grace Periods:
.COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ, .US, .NAME, .TV and .CC – 40 days
.CA – 30 days
.UK domains resolve for 30 days past their expiration date after which they no longer reside with Tucows. Your Domain Provider can recover the domain for an additional 60 days by placing a transfer request for the domain.
.CN and .DE – have no Grace Period; they are deleted the day after their expiration date

During the Grace Period, all services (such as the website and email) cease working until the name is renewed (if and when this happens). As well, name server/DNS changes are not possible. When the domain expires the DNS is temporarily changed, and a web page explaining the need for renewal may be shown. When the domain is renewed, the DNS will be changed back to the previous DNS entries.

At the end of the Grace Period one of three things may happen:
The domain is marked for deletion, and with most types of domain names this will place the domain name enters a “Redemption Period” (also called “Pending Delete Restorable”), which is an additional period of time provided to recover the domain name. The cost to recover the domain will be more than the cost of a renewal, and recovery is only available to the former domain owner. The precise time when the domain is finally deleted depends on the Registry, but many domains are deleted 30-35 days after entering the Redemption Period.
A third party expresses interest in the expired domain name via an online auctioning system, and when the Grace Period ends, the domain is sold to the highest bidder. Domains that are auctioned off cannot be renewed or “redeemed”.
Tucows acquires the domain name for its private domain portfolio, and upon the Grace Period ending, the domain is not deleted. Should the former domain name owner inquire about obtaining the domain name via their Domain Provider, the domain can be returned to them in a process similar to “redeeming” a domain. Additional recovery and administrative fees may apply.

For information on renewing or redeeming your domain name please contact your Domain Provider directly.

I know Nominet look after domains but I do not know who looks after .com ones. It would be worth finding out and contacting them.

Does your client have an account with Extendnet or was she looking at her old control panel?

Thanks for the info. Yes, I actually phoned Nominet and they were able to give me a phone number for the company who really hold the domain but who trade as Extendnet. When you phone the number there is an answering machine that tells you that they don’t answer phonecalls LOL
When I emailed them, they sent me back to Extendnet.

My client still has a control panel and can view the emails sent to her and the renewal button. But they have disabled the renewal button. She has sent support tickets using the control panel but so far no response.

I would not continue to try to pursue it with the holder. Get to a different register and place it on per-register as soon as possible. It is an extremely frustrating situation but you should take per-emptive measures to ensure you can acquire it again as soon as possible.

Thanks everyone for your replies. I emailed the ‘mother company’ of the provider and got a reply from them. They wanted £108 for the domain renewal for 1 year. However, my client didn’t want to risk losing the domain again and we were worried they had someone in the wings waiting to pay a premium for it. So she decided to pay up. Will move the domain asap so that we can put it on auto renew with one of our usual providers.

Well that blows that your client is getting price gouged, and I completely agree you should move that domain as soon as you can. No sense in allowing this to potentially happen again! Thanks for the update, I’m glad you were able to get it back.