Be Care When Changing Contact Email on a Domain at

by damonp on January 15, 2007

in Uncategorized

I recently tried to transfer a block of domains out of for a client. We had to update the email as the domain was registered, forgotten and the original email contact was given over to spammers. ICANN regulations say:

Upon denying a transfer request for any of the following reasons, the Registrar of Record must provide the Registered Name Holder and the potential Gaining Registrar with the reason for denial. The Registrar of Record may deny a transfer request only in the following specific instances:

1. Evidence of fraud
2. UDRP action
3. Court order by a court of competent jurisdiction
4. Reasonable dispute over the identity of the Registered Name Holder or Administrative Contact
5. No payment for previous registration period (including credit card charge-backs) if the domain name is past its expiration date or for previous or current registration periods if the domain name has not yet expired. In all such cases, however, the domain name must be put into “Registrar Hold” status by the Registrar of Record prior to the denial of transfer.
6. Express written objection to the transfer from the Transfer Contact. (e.g. – email, fax, paper document or other processes by which the Transfer Contact has expressly and voluntarily objected through opt-in means)
7. A domain name was already in “lock status” provided that the Registrar provides a readily accessible and reasonable means for the Registered Name Holder to remove the lock status.
8. A domain name is in the first 60 days of an initial registration period.
9. A domain name is within 60 days (or a lesser period to be determined) after being transferred (apart from being transferred back to the original Registrar in cases where both Registrars so agree and/or where a decision in the dispute resolution process so directs). goes this a few steps further and decides to put a 60 day hold for any change in registrant information (like the contact email). Its an obvious retention ploy, but they lean on security, saying someone may be trying to hijack the domain.

OK… it’s my domain, I’m on the phone with you, what information do you need me to verify to prove this isn’t a hijack attempt? Credit card I registered it with, the original purchase confirmation email (I save everything digital), what do you need?

Sorry, sir but that isn’t going to be possible. You agreed to our terms when you purchased the domain and they explicitly state that any changes to the registrant information will lock the domain for 60 days.

You got me there, the fine print I agreed to three years ago when I purchased. If this was really for my protection, important things like this would be reminded when making a change.

I browsed the site looking for this fine print and was not able to find it. Called back to ask for a link and the next rep gave me the same spiel until I read him the ICANN document. Wait… are you saying you only changed the email address? Usually we let that go as an ‘exception’.

Let me check some things. On hold for over thirty minutes because the ‘transfer concierge’ was really busy. The rep did pop back in a few times to apologize and be sure I was still holding. Thanks for speakerphone.

Finally, the hold has supposedly been lifted. I re-initiated the transfer and crossed my fingers.

Damon Parker is a freelance sysadmin and web developer in Texas. He specializes in server setup, server security and high performance server configurations. Need help setting up a web server or getting a server back online after a crash or hack? Email Damon

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