Since 2004, auDA have had a policy in place called the 2004 Complaints (Registrant Eligibility) Policy.
14 years later, NetRegistry still doesn’t seem to understand this policy.
A few weeks ago, on behalf of a client, I contacted auDA to make a complaint on a domain name. We had tried numerous times to contact the domain name owner, even though they were in breach of owning the domain name due to their ABN being cancelled 18 months ago.
Although auDA have directly taken complaints in the past, on this particular occasion they replied the following:
Please note that complaints that refer to the registrant’s status to licence a .au domain name in falls under the Complaints (Registrant Eligibility) Policy (2004-01) at http://www.auda.org.au/policies/auda-2004-01/.
Such complaints must be lodged with the registrar of record for this domain name.
And of course, they’re correct.
Policy goes on to state:
3.3 If the registrant’s eligibility details are not current, or if the registrant no longer exists, the registrar is required to follow the process outlined in sections 4 and 5 below.
Policy goes on to state the Registrant has 14 days to fix their cancelled ABN, or else the domain name will be placed into Policy Delete and drop.
On emailing NetRegistry about this domain name being registered to a cancelled ABN holder, their Customer Service Representative responded the following:
I’m sorry to hear that. Let me assist you.
The complain (sic) about the domain names should be submitted first to AuDA and that will be forwarded to us. However, when i checked here, the registrant of the domain name is still active as per whois.
I couldn’t have been clearer, that the Registrant could not be contacted, and was breaching policy due to an expired ABN.
Cancelled from September 2016!
I no longer trust ABN Lookup anymore, due to a previous article I wrote a few weeks ago (particularly when Peter pointed this out in the comments), only to find ABN Lookup was returning a wrong result. Still, that article remained factual. Anyway, in this case I’ve also performed this check at two other trusted locations and I can confirm the ABN for this particular domain name has indeed been cancelled since September 2016.
The NetRegistry Support Rep. clearly states:
complain (sic) about the domain names should be submitted first to AuDA
But, what they have written is wrong, as auDA clearly stated above. It has always been written there, plain as day, in policy, that; “Such complaints must be lodged with the registrar of record.”
Let’s go deeper here, so we can start to see a recurring pattern here.
NetRegistry is owned by Melbourne IT.
Most of you also know by now, that TPP Wholesale is also owned by Melbourne IT.
Last week in this article, I pointed out that the Support Rep. over at TPP Wholesale had no clue that one-year registrations had come into existence. They had come into existence NINE DAYS before I asked their support how to conduct a one-year renewal.
I was wrongfully told that registering a domain name for one-year was against auDA policy!
To this day, now 17 days after the migration has completed. You STILL can’t renew an Australian domain name over at TPP Wholesale for a one-year or five-year period.
And guess what…
You can’t register a domain name for one-year or five-years at NetRegistry either…
This is bigger than just TPP. This seems to go all the way to the top… well.. maybe not the tippy-top!!! but none-the-less to near the top of the Melbourne IT umbrella!
In summary, we can clearly see the following about companies who fall under the Melbourne IT banner:
- Their support staff have no idea the biggest migration of domain names in history just occurred in the Australian domain name space.
- Their support staff don’t know that policy has changed and that you can now register Australian domain names for one-year or five-years, as well as the existing two-years.
- They own Registrars, who, 17 days after one-year and five-year renewals came into existence, still haven’t implemented these options.
- Their support staff don’t understand auDA’s 14-year-old Registrants Complaint Policy.
- Their support staff don’t understand a Registrant can’t own a domain name if their ABN is expired.
- Their Chief Technology Officer (who you would think would be in charge of keeping support staff up to date?) currently serves on the PRP (Policy Review Panel) and is loudly trying to create and voice future Direct .AU rules, whilst at the same time trying to retroactively change existing .com.au rules (domain monetisation), whilst at the same time wrongfully calling anyone who owns more than a couple of domain names a cybersquatter and/or extortionist.
In my last article that I aptly entitled, It’s Official, TPP Have Given Up, perhaps I should have called it It’s Official, Melbourne IT Have Given Up instead?
Lucky I didn’t.
That title perfectly fits this new article.