Recently a member of our audience called Phil reached out to share a story of how he lost his domain because it wasn’t correctly “parked” according to auDA Policy.
In early 2020, Phil reached out to their domain registrar, TPP Wholesale, to verify their registration of dungog.com.au in late 2019. The domain had expired and at that time our reader snapped it up on the drop auctions. With a best friend who lived in the rural NSW town, he was interested in owning the geo-generic domain.
Phil has registered hundreds of generic .com.au domains in the past with his ABN with his web development business.
He parked the domain and didn’t think much else about it.
The domain wasn’t advertised or offered for sale.
Yet in February his rights to own the name were challenged by auDA via an “anonymous complaint”.
“In 20 years of owning domains, this was my first investigation from auDA. I was concerned”.
His arguments for ownership were rejected by auDA.
Phil went so far as to register a business name that would allow ownership of the domain but according to the reader, auDA claimed: “this was after the event and thus inadmissible”.
At this point, Phil panicked when he was given only 7 days to respond by TPP Wholesale. He had a whole portfolio of domains he wanted to protect, especially because his investment in the new domain was minimal. Like many domain owners, he didn’t want to draw attention to the rest of his parked domain holdings and “have them seized without compensation”.
Phil wasn’t informed when the domain was put into Policy Delete, so he didn’t have an opportunity to re-secure the domain with the new business name, which would have made his ownership totally legitimate.
So the site dropped in March and was legitimately grabbed by someone else on the public drop platforms.
After all of this, through reading Domainer, Phil realized:
“I have a geographic town name and this is open to any eligible Australian on a first-come-first-served basis. So the auDA policy officer was totally wrong to question me. But I have now lost the domain.”
He reached out to ask if there was any way to recover the domain.
The unfortunate truth is that there’s nothing he can do. Because he didn’t jump through auDA’s perfect “hoops”, they deleted the name from him, instead of offering advice on how to keep his domain name. And, as Phil mentioned, TPP was absolutely no help and also offered no advice before “dropping the guillotine”.
His only option is to offer to buy the domain back from the new registrant and hope for some understanding.
Domainer thanks Phil for sharing his recent experience. Here’s hoping Phil’s drama with these types of domains can remind us all to ensure our domains are properly parked for “domain monetisation” purposes or turned into a blog or developed into a fully working business.