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Punished by eNom for a Registration Placeholder - Comments

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I've got to admit that this story made me squirm...I run about 20 or so web sites, 90% through Enom's domain services and DNS servers. Were the same thing to happen to me, I'd be just as pissed...as you've said this sort of thing could put you (or me!) out of business and certainly would lead to a large loss of revenue.

But then what should be done about the other part of the problem? Let's say that someone hijacked your domain name or you just decided one day that being a con-artist was more profitable than TRUE. (It IS...until you get caught!)

With the speed of the internet, spam and phishing messages could be out there and stealing thousands of dollars or more in seconds! Using your domain! And I'm sure enom is interested in protecting their legal interests, should someone who was scammed want to sue them claiming they should have acted faster.

It's also suspicious that they pull your site for false information while offering a PAID service to protect your information.

Bottom line...I think the speed at which they acted in pulling your sites was appropriate. However you're right that at the same time they were taking down your sites, they should have been using all means possible to try to contact you and resolve the situation.

A Google search for many registrars will bring up horror stories even worse than this. For example: pulling sites (claiming that they were used for spam or other reasons) and charging $199 to put them back online. Sites have been pulled and replaced with a standard placeholder advertising page displaying automatically generated ads for competitors!

I won't debate the merits of these particular cases (how can I decide who was right without hearing both sides?), but I will say that there needs to be clear guidelines for ALL REGISTRARS on how and why they can pull the plug on people's websites, what to display if the site is taken down, and there needs to be a publicized procedure for complaints and review.

These procedures would be followed regardless if the site is DrudgeReport or Ebay, or a scammer’s phishing pond.

In the real world, if I want to change the locks on my tenant’s door, there are legal procedures to follow. Even if I don’t know their phone number. For that matter, even if I think they are criminals.

Just wondering if this could have been part of the DNS root server hack - it apparently manifested as a denial of service for those affected. The PC Magazine/eWeek article is here.

It didn't get a lot of publicity (I didn't find out about it until some of my computer science friends mentioned it), but it was apparently enough for a few networks and systems to get really screwed up.

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I'm aware of that attack, but can't believe this situation had anything to do with it, other than perhaps making enom overreactive. -rc

As a newbie to websites and someone who designed the website for my not for profit, I am grateful for this post. I had no idea how this stuff worked (I am a shrink, not a true webmaster). Thanks for the information. While I am not sure how to combat this issue, at least now I know it exists...

Step back a bit, rather than lash at your registrar (although most are lame in other ways) read what ICANN, the body that governs what they do, states in the rules:

"Applicable Provisions of the ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement"

3.7.7.2 A Registered Name Holder's willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information, its willful failure promptly to update information provided to Registrar, or its failure to respond for over fifteen calendar days to inquiries by Registrar concerning the accuracy of contact details associated with the Registered Name Holder's registration shall constitute a material breach of the Registered Name Holder-registrar contract and be a basis for cancellation of the Registered Name registration.

You admit you willfully put in fake info. So, what should eNom do, protect your domain after you "broke the rules" or lose their multi-million dollar business? Any answer other than "yes, do what they did" would show quite a bit of selfishness wouldn't it?

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Not at all, and how silly to suggest any such thing. The answer is: they should have tried to contact me. As you point out, they have a 15-day contact policy to follow. They didn't try at all. As I've said again, and again, and again, and again -- but you refuse to read -- that's all I asked for. Contact me with a warning. If that fails; terminate and contact me with notice. They did neither. That is, yet again, unreasonable. How many more times am I going to have to say it before people get that through their heads, which are apparently as thick as enom's? -rc

What I find interesting, if not ironic, is that you are the producer of This Is True. If this had happened to another individual with a comparable business, and not to the home of the trivial lawsuits, would it be worse for eNom, the individual, and the average Joe? Would it be splashed over the news and perhaps be a This Is True brief itself?

And while I realize that this is not of the same caliber as being attacked by a mall-squirrel (ignorant people!), as your livelihood could have been in jeopardy, the short of is that someone just made a mistake.

Was it the unknowledgeable temp monitoring the database? Or the shift leader on a cigarette break? Or a managerial decision to handle this type of issue in this type of manner? Or was someone just too lazy to pick up a phone or shoot an email, and decided to let their automation run without any research or proactivity? Or was it just a judgmental error on your part for using zeros and expecting a creature of society and the internet to be intelligent and to not be trivial?

The larger mistake, that they still have the opportunity to make, is to continue on in the same reactive manner.

I don't know the answers, and I'm not bashing you, I believe you offer valuable insights, but I just wanted to offer a different perspective.

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I didn't feel bashed at all. Thought-provoking ponderings is what I'm about! -rc

As both a Domainer and Domain Registration Site I am actually shocked this occurred. I understand the ICANN rules about having correct/valid registration info, but I personally look at about 100 domains a day for possible purchase - and quite a few of those have invalid contact info.

An incorrect email address I can see, but a phone number?

Switch registrars!

Denis R. Westphal
President
Convergence Companies

I can't add more to the specific case, but can note that it's part of a larger issue.

Generally speaking, automation + gaming the system + knee-jerk reaction = bad news.

We've seen all the pieces before, but rarely all together. However, the Internet brings them all into one place.

Sites need to understand that as the time to make changes goes down (Internet time), the thought put into making those changes needs to go up. Sadly, you and I both know of many sites where that does not happen.

I've had online orders canceled without notice because my credit card expired. No call, no email, nothing. They assumed I was a thief, so they dropped the order.

In the end, I become less of a customer and more of a probation case, assumed guilty until proven innocent.

What nobody comments on, is how long it took enom to respond to the problem. I don't mind too much if somebody makes stuff up, but I get really irritated if they cannot fix their errors promptly.

And in the Internet Age, 24 hours is just short of an eternity.

On the subject of not having a phone, I suspect that many deaf people will have ditched their phone and TTY in favor of a computer. I suspect that being required to provide a phone number could be accepted as discrimination by a court; perhaps not now, but almost certainly within 5 years.

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(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)