Don’t be a domain fat cow!

While working on completing my 2nd mid-$x,xxx sale of last week, I encountered a problem that I hadn’t experienced before.

In the past, I’ve used many 2nd tier domain registrars and some might be quirky; others outright useless, particularly if they’re based in countries where English is a secondary language.

The transfer of the sold domain away from Fabulous.commy favorite domain registrar – was to a Tucows reseller, FatCow, which is based in Canada.

When the new owner of the domain initiated a domain transfer to FatCow, Fabulous never received a transfer request and neither did I.

Two days later, with the agreement still pending, I contacted FatCow and I was told that there was no Technical Contact for the domain.

Of course, that was not the case; all of my domains have all contacts (Registrant, Administrative, Technical and Billing) and since they all match, Fabulous groups them together at the WHOIS.

Apparently, the API of FatCow parsing the WHOIS information failed to see that and recorded the Technical Contact as “blank”.

I had to get on the phone for 30 minutes with the FatCow tech support and explain that they should be using DomainTools to verify that the WHOIS data is as expected.

Instead, I had to inform the buyer that they had to open a ticket and provide my domain’s Technical Contact email and FatCow would escalate it to their domain department in order to send out a manual request.

Finally, when that happened we had wasted three days; while payment was safely at my bank account, the new owner was definitely anxious to get hold of their domain as soon as possible.

These programming glitches can cost dearly; the best way to resolve any such anomalies is to get on the phone and insist that the matter is examined while you wait.



  1. Fat Cow is primarily a web hosting company. With Fat Cow hosting, we also had an unsatisfactory experience with their support. Sites down a while because of a server crash on their end. Other hosting services we use have jumped on issues like that and resolved quickly. Finally over a day or two later they fixed it and did not provide an explanation that we viewed to be candid. Because of that reliability uncertainty with Fat Cow, we moved our sites away from the account with them. What a hassle. Also found their page rendering time slow, but that’s hard to measure. Love their spotted cow logo though. Prices good, but search engines can whack SERPS and maybe even PR of unreliable sites. Too risky to stay with them IMHO if you want to make money. Your buyer may want to take his bad experience to heart.

  2. That is nonsense Theo, you don’t need the buyer having an anxiety attack, especially since you did everything right.

  3. Jakes – I can’t help it that the buyer wanted to use that particular Tucows reseller but it was strange to see how a transfer request can fail due to the registrar’s fault.

    RH – My points exactly 🙂 I had to quadruple my amount of buyer “babysitting” due to that glitch.

  4. shame buyer didnt want a push. i always offer that as first option as I’m sure you did Theo. but sometimes buyers, especially endusers get attached to their registrar, usually some crumby practice
    Tucows is a nightmare registrar as any domainer knows. in fact even Tucows know this, when i bought a couple of domains from Yummy Names they unlocked and gave me authcodes without asking. like they know they’re a nightmare registrar lol
    congrats on sales. hopefully got a good one brewing myself, waiting from the okay from the ‘board’!

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