kafkaesque

kafkaesque

From: Chris Berkeley <magic2147§optushome.com.au>
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 17:36:00 +1000
We are currently tidying up a web site for a client in WA.

The site is down because the domain is suspended as it has not been renewed.

Now ordinarily this would not be a major problem since the domain probably can be 
renewed tomorrow (Monday) and will become visible again over the next few hours 
BUT the poor old client has actually paid for an advertising campaign to start on 
Monday in which the domain plays a part. At the very least some potential customers 
will visit the site in response to the advertising and get an error message in their 
browser. Not a good look.

Who is responsible for this debacle?

1) The domain registrant? Well they are confused. They have received lots of letters in 
the recent past from all sorts of people soliciting their business and they've read the 
newspaper articles which have suggested that at least some of the offers have been 
fraudulent.

They were never told by the original people they asked to arrange the domain that they 
might have to renew it one day as it was "free" being part of a "all in one hosting" deal.

When they went elsewhere for the hosting the first hosting company did not warn them 
at that point either. And neither did the second.

2) Us? Well maybe I should have thought to ask but we were only contracted to do 
small changes to the website. In any event when we checked the whois to find out the 
delegation when we got the business we could not see any hint of the fact that the 
renewal was close because the "powers that be" are incapable of exercising any control 
of the abuse of the whois data except by removing almost anything useful from public 
view.

 For mine the culprits are:

a) Connect West: 
The .com.au  whois shows that Connect West is the registrar even though they were 
never "appointed" as such. The domain was originally purchased two years ago through 
one of their resellers but the registrar at that time was MIT and so far as I can see 
should still be as the client has not set in train any transfer process. Can anyone explain 
how it is then that Connect West show up now as registrar? In any event Connect West 
should have made a proper attempt to contact the registrant but they have not done so. 
To compound the felony Connect West are not contactable by phone and don't seem to 
work weekends anyhow.

b) Ausregistry
It is not good enough for Ausregistry to take sites down in such a high handed manner 
especially when the domain is properly delegated and clearly in use. At the very least 
they should try to make contact with the registrant by phone or fax where they are 
clearly shown on the web site before taking any action which can cause very real harm 
to a business. They are not Network Solutions and they should not act like them either. 
They should do something tangible for the rivers of gold that are coming their way or 
are they too busy counting the money.

As I have pointed out previously they and their parent appear to be a totally under 
resourced  and do not have much in the way of tangible assets - certainly not equity 
capital. This sort of action being perpetrated on wholly Australian owned businesses by 
partially foreign owned entities is symptomatic of what is to come.

c) auDA
auDA are culpable because they have not set up arrangements to ensure that the 
Registry and/or Registrars make an attempt to contact registrants about their renewals 
before taking action that will result in the site not being visible for a period and/or the 
domain being lost by the registrant. IMNSHO they should ensure that proper efforts are 
made to contact registrants of expiring domains particularly as they have presided over 
a series of events whereby the average small business owner is totally confused about 
the status of their domain and their rights and obligations pertaining to it.


Whilst we are on the topic of auDA I have applied on three occassions in the last two 
years to become a member. I have never received even an acknowledgement of my 
application although one application (the second) was accompaied by a cheque which 
was not banked. Can anyone explain why this club is so exclusive? Or does one have 
to have Keys?


cb
Received on Fri Oct 03 2003 - 00:00:00 UTC

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