Many domain investors are reporting a surge in the number of complaints they are receiving via their Registrar/s – or directly from auDA.
An auDA complaint generally stems from someone who wants your domain but does not wish to pay a market value for it. Making a complaint is currently very easy – online process; costs nothing; and can be done anonymously.
As the subject headline suggests, prevention is definitely better than cure! As domain investors, we must try and follow the rules – even if we sometimes disagree.
Some handy tips
The following are based on my experience over many years.
- If you purchase a domain on the expired auctions or privately, don’t delay in making sure you comply with “auDA eligibility”. Generally this is either domain monetisation or a Business Name (or both).
- If you’re doing domain monetisation, check your landing page on multiple browsers to make sure links comply. And make a habit of checking back occasionally – unfortunately parking companies can (and do) change their modus operandi.
- If you’re registering a Business Name, make sure you let your Registrar know – and ask them to update WhoIs. (Though it’s not the end of the world if you don’t).
- This tip is a biggie – if you are relying on domain monetisation, check your parking stats daily if you can. If you see a “click” or quite a few “unique lookups” on a domain or domains, double check those particular landing pages! This has “saved my bacon” many times.
- Another real biggie – make sure you use a good Registrar who understands domain investment; and who will go in and bat for you with auDA if necessary. Currently, there is no question in my mind that the best domain investor friendly registrar is Drop.com.au. Synergy Wholesale / VentraIP are also good.
If you do get a complaint
- Don’t panic or fire off an instant response. I have heard of many instant responses that, whilst genuine and well intentioned, don’t “cut the mustard” and can backfire.
- Talk to your Registrar and/or fellow domain investors first – and quickly try and get your domain compliant before responding to auDA.
- In my experience, the auDA Compliance Team is generally fair – and they do mostly allow you the opportunity to rectify.
- If all else fails, understand your appeal rights – an Internal Review is the first cab off the rank (and is free). Next is the Registrant Review Panel (still current) which currently costs $250 + GST. Under the new rules being introduced in April, this will change to External Review. Not sure if price will remain the same?
Do you have any additional tips or comments?