For those involved on a daily basis in the domain industry, it is common knowledge that NetAlliance t/a Netfleet (an auDA accredited registrar) is not currently in a healthy state. David Goldstein exposed their trials and tribulations in the Goldstein Report two weeks ago. He also detailed the ownership changes – those that have already taken place; and those that are potentially going to happen.

Sources have told me that the breach notice they were issued with by auDA (domain name regulator) has not as yet been complied with, and that they have given several extensions to achieve compliance. This is particularly in relation to their required ISS (Information Security Standard) obligations.

By way of background, Netfleet (NF) used to be the predominant drop catcher of expired domains – this was until Trellian purchased Drop.com.au and DomainShield.com.au (and the services of Anthony Peake). Drop gradually became the superior service as they improved their skills and resources – and conversely, NF declined because money and resources were not invested. This was very disappointing for the well respected and liked Nikki Scholes who (with the help of one very able consultant) kept NF going for so long against the odds. Sadly, they have both now departed.

But as a domain investor, you were mad if you didn’t bid on both platforms – just in case! Earlier this year, NF briefly became more competitive again (which was great), then it just “died in the arse”. We now know why.

If you are still bidding on NF’s auction platform, don’t bother. My understanding is that the majority of the “connections” they had to the Registry have long gone, and they will now only pick up an “uncontested” domain. All you are doing by bidding on NF is showing others what the top bid for a domain was! This screenshot taken two days ago is a common scenario these days.


Questions for auDA

Given that you state the following online:

“The .au Domain Administration (auDA) is the government-endorsed not for profit organisation which sets the rules for .au domains and accredits the registrars who license them. We help ensure the .au domain is a safe, accessible and trusted asset for all Australian internet users.”

  • Who is actually running Netfleet?
  • If Netfleet is still in breach of their Registrar Agreement, why has there been no official action or announcement by you as the regulator?
  • Have individual registrants that still use Netfleet or associated companies been notified that there is a current issue that may affect them?
  • What caretaker arrangements have been put in place to look after registrants – and to assist them with migration to other registrars?

Let’s hope we get some answers soon.

6 thoughts on “auDA – What’s Happening With Netfleet?

  • Avatar
    November 4, 2020 at 8:16 am
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    Something is certainly broken at Netfleet.

    Recently, on two separate occasions, I’ve made a bid for a domain name where neither was captured by Netfleet (not unusual). I then received the follow-up email confirming I was the highest bidder on both occasions but they’d failed to catch each. However, I then checked whois that same afternoon for each domain my bid was made only to see that neither was registered by drop or other and was now available for open registration. I then preceded to register both and now have each within my account. Perhaps this has happened more times than I’m aware of and other domains have been lost?

    Best Wishes.

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  • Avatar
    November 4, 2020 at 8:16 am
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    I sent support questions in late September. I have sent follow up emails, but my support questions go unanswered. Now that I read this, it makes sense why I was getting no answers.

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    • Neddy
      November 4, 2020 at 9:11 am
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      I would go to auda.org.au and make a registrar complaint. You can’t miss the “complaints” tab. 😉 auDA even accept anonymous complaints.

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  • Avatar
    November 4, 2020 at 6:46 pm
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    Netfleet is OVER. I moved heaps of my domains away from them earlier this year. Now it’s time to get the rest out of there!

    Drop.com.au is now the ONLY Australian domain name drop-catching platform.

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  • Avatar
    November 5, 2020 at 2:31 am
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    Three things bug me.

    Not everyone who has domains at Netfleet is a domain investor with the knowledge to shift their domains. There are those that bought their domain on the aftermarket from a domain investor. They need protection and help from auDA.

    As piss poor as Netfleet’s aftermarket was, now we have nothing local. Try getting paid out for a sale on Netfleet. Your tickets will go unanswered.

    As much as many of us like Drop, it is now a monopoly with absolutely no transparency.

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    • Avatar
      November 5, 2020 at 5:40 am
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      Good point, Alex.

      I’d recommend using UniRegistry to transfer your domains to.. or reach out to support@drop.com.au and I’m sure they’d love to help you move your names over. I currently store my domains at both of these Registrars.

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