My BBB complaint against

I have filed the following complaint with the Canadian chapter of the Better Business Bureau, regarding Since is not BBB accredited, I won’t hold my breath getting this resolved, but it will be on record.

I recommend that anyone else affected by this move by to file a complaint as well. Here’s the link. provides services related to the acquisition for a fee, of domain names that are about to be deleted from the Registry. A customer “backorders” these domains with operates Registrars that connect to the Registry in an attempt to register the backordered domains at the time of the domain’s deletion. To increase its chances of registering those domains against competing services, operates several such Registrars. According to the web site, there are 85 such “proxy” Registrars based in Canada, where is located, under the direct control of

Once acquired, a domain name remains with the Registrar that succeeded in acquiring those domains. The fee paid to includes one year registration for those domains. The acquisition fee cannot be separated from the registration fee as controls the domain’s Registrar. announced that they are closing down an unspecified number of Registrars under their control; in doing so, they are urging anyone with domain names at those Registrars to move them out, using a domain transfer process, to other, third party Registrars. will be closing down these Registrars on January 10, 2013.

ICANN regulations allow for a domain to be transferred between Registrars only once every 60 days. Because of this rule, any domain that was first registered using the Registrars that controls, is untransferrable until 60 days have passed since its registration date.

I have two such domains that were acquired in early December 2012 and are thus ineligible for transfer at this time. stated that my only remedy is to wait past the January 10th deadline whereupon any domains that were not transferred out from the Registrars is closing, will be allocated to a new Registrar by the ruling authority,

There is no foretelling which Registrar will take control of these domains, or when. Such processes are lengthy and due to the sheer size of the ICANN organization, it can take months. During that period, these domains will be “orphaned” and unmanageable. customer service has refused to provide any other solution to this situation, that potentially affects hundreds if not thousands of other domain names.

I asked for the postponement of the closing down of the Registrars until the 60 day window expires; with 7 additional days granted to move my domains to another Registrar at that time. responded that “The process of shutting down the registrar threads is already underway and unfortunately cannot be delayed.”

Such an approach violates my rights as a consumer; the product that I paid for will be unusable and outside of my control for an unspecified period of time.


  1. I agree, the right thing to do would have been to pull the plug on the drop catching service at least 75 or more days ahead of shutting down the registrars, allowing everyone at least a 2-week window (or longer) to arrange transfers to their registrar of choice. I’ve got a couple domains in this situation as well. Didn’t realize how long they might be affected, you say months? That’s complete bullocks.

  2. Mike – Thank you for summarizing so nicely what the support and CEO could not include in that shitty email that was sent out!

  3. Don’t ask why/how, but I have transferred names out of registrars before the 60 days, even with new reg dates. Sometimes I think it depends on what the receiving registrar feels like doing. Really, I have done it. Try or

  4. Bob – I am not saying this is impossible, although I’ve only seen it happen with domains that were old registrations: someone with connections to the gaining registrar managed to override the 60-day non transfer rule between registrars. But ask yourself, is this “legal” in the first place? On top of that, the situation regarding how managed this, is highly unethical.

  5. Pool has screwed its customers.
    Nice work Theo.

  6. I just picked one up the other week and it was transferred into my account at my registrar. It appears they are pushing them into buyers existing registers if they know the info.
    Cheers, keep up the good work. All the best in 2013!!

  7. Hi Acro,

    I have poszted a comment in the other section of your blog as well but now that I see your specific concerns in your BBB complaint, there are a couple of misconceptions in your statement. First, the selection of the registrar that will be given the inventory will be completed in time (although the timing is not really an issue). Contact one of your “other” registrars and ask if they received an email from ICANN today which asks if any registrars may be interested in obtaining the inventory and requests that responses be submitted no later than 17:00 UTC on Monday, 7 January 2013. ICANN is moving quickly, and I suspect they will have a decision made prior to the actual closing date.

    Up to the actual transfer of names to the new registrar(s), Namescout will continue to provide management services. Your names will never be “orphaned” or unmanageable. Our experience being on the receiving end of inventory is that it happens very quickly.

    So, your claim that “the product that I paid for will be unusable and outside of my control for an unspecified period of time” is totally incorrect. I remain at your service to address any potential issues.

  8. Richard – I am not looking forward to testing the validity of your statement regarding how fast ICANN will resolve this.

    If that is such a smooth transition as you state, why did I face a brick wall of refusal by support?

    Also, if ICANN is so eager to comply, how is it possible that they flat out refused to let the domains of the registrars that will be shut down be moved to Namescout, per your request?

    Something isn’t kosher here but I’m not going to be digging for it. The purpose of my report to BBB was to make understand that my consumer rights were abused and disregarded.

    Regarding the statement that you’re quoting, when you shut down functionality that a registrar should provide – such as: the ability to transfer, sell, update or even delete a domain at will – then this is exactly what I stated.

    I still don’t understand why such a rushed decision was made by Pool.

  9. Hi Acro,

    You have misquoted my posting. Registrar functionality that would not be supported would be a new registration or a transfer in. I said nothing about transfer away, updtae or delete. All of those functions will continue to be supported.

    As for ICANNs refusal, they have a well defined policy and process as to how names get allocated in the event a registrar shuts down.

    I dont believe the decision was rushed by any means particularly with the knowledge that no domain registration is at risk nor is ongoing management prevented. You keep inferring issues that you “think” will happen which I can assure you will not and have never suggested would happen.

  10. Richard – I understand that you’ve undertaken the not so pleasant task of defining those things that clearly missed from that pre-Christmas email.

    Had all those things been explained, perhaps we’d be discussing other options now. My complaint was a paradigm about how the approach by Pool was wrong. Clearly, the move to end the life of your registrars should have been made after a safe and unforced transition of ‘young’ domains out.

    Your email clearly quoted two options: renewing domains at Namescout and, transferring domains out. Those were options one had to choose from – or risk facing the third one: leave them as they were and face ICANN’s bureaucracy and choice of registrar.

    Either way, this wasn’t a very smart decision of treating existing customers.

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