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I seem to have lost control of my domain

trfh

Casual Member
Folks,

in 2010 I registered a domain (e-r-t.org.uk) via a hosting company (Super Green Hosting) which is based in the US. They were recently taken over by Just Hosts, though whether that's relevant I'm not sure.

My account came up for renewal just recently, and somehow Super Green failed to renew my domain in time. They say they have now renewed it, but I cancelled my account with them and am moving everything to Xilo in the UK.

The problem is that I have now checked my domain with Whois, and I see the registrant is not me at all - someone called "Upkar Rai" and the registrar is listed as "ENOM" - a company I have never heard of, but I see is associated with Just Hosts.

I can log into Nominet's on-line service OK, but of course this domain isn't listed under my name.

What do I have to do to get this domain back under my control? Does Nominet have any process for dealing with this kind of problem?

Richard
 

uno

ISP Rep
I recall this email (from this morning) :)

Did you speak with Nominet as per the suggestion in the ticket?

Matt
 

trfh

Casual Member
I recall this email (from this morning) :)

Did you speak with Nominet as per the suggestion in the ticket?

Matt
Matt,

yes, I spoke to Nominet. And they were helpful in checking things out. But in the end they confirmed what I feared, namely that their contract for this domain is with "Upkar Rai" (the current registrant) - and they can only take instructions from him (or maybe Just Hosts if they are his employer). And that despite me having written proof that the domain was registered "for me" in 2010.

I will have to wait and see I suppose. But it looks like the system has a bit of a loophole here in that a.n.other bod can take control of someone's domain when they ask for one to be registered.


Richard
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Sadly this is a tactic that some dubious hosts use, especially when they know that somebody places value on a particular domain. Instead of letting the domain lapse they nab it themselves and effectively try to sell it back to you, which adds extra hassle and contract terms into the mix. That's the reason why you should always try to resolve these things before cancelling anything and make sure they work as intended first.

Still, if push comes to shuv then you'll just have to buy the domain back from them and then take control of it directly through Nominet.
 

uno

ISP Rep
Not sure that's the case here, additionally, with a .uk domain, only the registrant can change the legal owner. The registrar cannot do this.

It simply appears that they registered it with their name instead of the "owner" and now is proving a pain, or near impossible to fix due to them being non-responsive.

Matt
 

trfh

Casual Member
Stealing domains

Sadly this is a tactic that some dubious hosts use, especially when they know that somebody places value on a particular domain. Instead of letting the domain lapse they nab it themselves and effectively try to sell it back to you, which adds extra hassle and contract terms into the mix. That's the reason why you should always try to resolve these things before cancelling anything and make sure they work as intended first.

Still, if push comes to shuv then you'll just have to buy the domain back from them and then take control of it directly through Nominet.
What you are saying - in effect - is that I have had my domain stolen from me. In that case, the system is not fit for purpose is it? I registered a domain in good faith in 2010, not knowing about "registrars", "registrants" etc.

The fact that I have proof on paper of requesting and supposedly acquiring the domain counts for nothing. Enom - whom I have now contacted as per the suggestions from other people on this thread, just say they can only deal with the registrant, which is not me. So my only recourse is to deal with Just Hosts, who are the moment are not responding to my latest ticket that I raised.

Richard
 

trfh

Casual Member
Complaining about a registrar

Have you taken a look at the Nominet complaints procedure against Registrars?

If you take a look here http://www.nominet.org.uk/registrants/maintain/complaints/ you will see information on how you can make a complaint against a registrar.

It could be a long shot, but I guess it's worth a try...
Yes, that's very interesting. Looking at the list of possible complaints, I appear to have a case for at least two, possibly three of them.

Right, now I think I have to give people time to react and put through changes I have requested. A lot of complaints on the net are just people letting off steam and acting "over the top" to what may be every day mistakes. I want to be quite clear what is just people being incompetent, and what is abuse. I am already clear there has been abuse of power by some parties, here, but I need to pin it down - so when I make my complaints, I am quite clear who has offended, what they have done, and that I have the proof to back it up.

What I can say right now - being in the middle of changing ISP and my hosting services - that both companies concerned are behaving pretty badly - and Ofcom are kidding themselves if they think they have the situation under control.



Richard
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
"I cancelled my account with them and am moving everything to Xilo in the UK."
Richard, the TAG on the domain currently seems set to XILO. This means that XILO should have control over the domain to add to your account, unless they have attributed it to the account of another of their customers?

Which XILO customer do XILO think "has" the domain attributed to them?
Even if the registrant details are wrong, XILO currently control the domain and could make the required changes (possibly chargeable if you need to change the registrant name though).

If you want some help / to talk "instant message" style, find me (drsox) on http://irc.bethere.co.uk

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

trfh

Casual Member
"I cancelled my account with them and am moving everything to Xilo in the UK."
Richard, the TAG on the domain currently seems set to XILO. This means that XILO should have control over the domain to add to your account, unless they have attributed it to the account of another of their customers?

Which XILO customer do XILO think "has" the domain attributed to them?
Even if the registrant details are wrong, XILO currently control the domain and could make the required changes (possibly chargeable if you need to change the registrant name though).

If you want some help / to talk "instant message" style, find me (drsox) on http://irc.bethere.co.uk

Tom - www.mouselike.org
Tom - you are very quick! I have only just caught up with this change myself. I am delighted to say that Just Hosts have finally responded to my requests to get the tag moved to Xilo. They claim in their mail that they did it before, but manage to mis-spell "XILO" - seems a bit unlikely to me, but that's what they said.

I haven't yet had a chance to ask Xilo whether they can change the registrant name - but if you say they can, then its clearly worth asking, which I will do.

Richard
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
It is a step in a very good direction having the domain tagged to the registrar of which you are a new customer of.
It should be a case of XILO simply attributing the domain to your XILO account. You will then regain control of things like the nameserver settings, email owner account (which will / should then make it appear in your Nominet Registrants Online system) and address information.

The registrant name change can then either be done by XILO (possibly chargeable?) or via Nominet Registrants Online (chargeable) http://www.nominet.org.uk/registrants/maintain/transfer/.

Sadly the excuse of "the original registrar incorrectly used their name, not mine" to attempt to do a free transfer doesn't work ;( I've tried it in the past.

Good luck, keep us updated here :)

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

uno

ISP Rep
As mentioned earlier, registrars (i.e us) cannot change the registrant. This can only be done via Nominet directly for the £10 + VAT fee they charge.

However, as the current "owner" of the domain is not the listed legal registrant, the problem still exists. Although the "owner" has control, they still are not deemed the legal owner by Nominet :(

Matt
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
If the email address is changed (if that is possible?) and matches his normal email address causing the domain to show on his Registrants Online section then I think it is just a simple online form with no identity verification of the previous name.

Might be wrong, but I don't remember having to supply anything when applying to change the registrant for the domain I changed.

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

trfh

Casual Member
Domain regained - more or less

Folks,

the email address on the domain in question has been changed, which means I now have control of the domain. As has been said, the payment of £10+VAT will allow the domain to be "transferred" to me.

I did try just editing the name (which is perfectly possible on the Nominet site), but Nominet rejected the change. When I queried this they did say that if I can get some evidence from the original registrar that "Upkar Rai" (the current registrant) is fictitious and that they should have registered the domain in my name - then they will change it free of charge. Despite my mailing the registrar (Just Hosts through eNom) repeatedly, they are pointedly not answering my questions about mis-registering this domain. Presumably they think that if they admit anything, then that will just provide evidence of their dodgy practices.

What happens if I just leave it be? In other words just leave the name "Upkar Rai" on the domain? Do I leave myself open to someone claiming to be this character trying to get this domain back again?


Richard
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
It is very unlikely but possible that they go to Nominet with their proof of identity and steal the domain back. Depends how important the domain is, I would pay up and change the registrant and then have no more worries in the future.

As I noted, I tried the free name change and nominet rejected that too - in this case it was even more clear that the domain I was wanting to change was, very obviously, a schools domain, yet the registrant was their old web hosts name :\ Nominet are cruel people :D

Tom - www.mouselike.org
 

trfh

Casual Member
It is very unlikely but possible that they go to Nominet with their proof of identity and steal the domain back. Depends how important the domain is, I would pay up and change the registrant and then have no more worries in the future.

As I noted, I tried the free name change and nominet rejected that too - in this case it was even more clear that the domain I was wanting to change was, very obviously, a schools domain, yet the registrant was their old web hosts name :\ Nominet are cruel people :D

Tom - www.mouselike.org
That sort of makes sense, but there is a sting in the tail in the note from Nominet. They said:

"If you are unable to obtain this [an admission that the domain was misregistered by the original registrar], unfortunately, to change the registrant to yourself, this would have to be done as a ‘Registrant Transfer’. If at any point in the future Upkar Rai complained to us that it should not have been transferred to you, we would look to revert the registrant back.


So, what they are saying in effect is, that you can pay your £10, transfer the domain into your name - and then if this Upkar Rai ever shows up and asks for "his" domain back, then we (Nominet) will simply give it back to him.

So, my conclusion is that paying £10 for a transfer is a waste of time. It will give me no more claim to the domain than I already have, by dint of having control of it. If "Upkar Rai" is fictitious (as I suspect) then he isn't going to show up any time, so I don't need to spend my £10. If he exists, and turns up demanding the domain back, then I will lose it whether I pay the £10 or not. Tails I win, heads you lose.......

As I said before, I think there is a systemic problem here with domain registrations, highlighted by the situation I am now in. Needless to say I find this all quite absurd, and I am querying it with Nominet. I'm only at their lowest level so far, but I will certainly escalate it if they can't provide a sensible answer.


Richard
 

uno

ISP Rep
If you get stuck with Nominet, let us know and we'll get involved again for you.

Might be worth pointing out to them the registrant and registrar agreements, which means a registrar is responsible for ensuring the registrations are valid in the customers details - which they failed to do and Nominet failed to enforce.

Matt
 
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