Fair Means Or Foul?

Let me pose a question to you.

What do you think of the practise of purposely look for “defaults” in WhoIs registration details; then making a complaint to auDA; and contemporaneously making a backorder with Netfleet?

(By the way, I’m not making a criticism of Netfleet here – I only mention them because they have the most effective backorder system in the .au space).

I’ve seen this happen quite a few times in recent history – you can basically tell because on the “drops” they appear as a Policy Delete (P.D).

Under the current system, anyone can make a complaint online. You don’t even need to use your real name; there’s no fee to pay – and a disposable email address will suffice. ūüôĀ

What Types Of WhoIs Defaults Are There?

These are the main ones I can think of:

  • Cancelled ABN’s
  • Deregistered companies (so ACN is no longer valid)
  • Expired State Registered Business Names (RBN)
  • An RBN as the registrant (the registrant name must be the legal entity (individual or company) holding that Registered Business Name)

Other Complaints

I’ve also seen instances where domains have gone into Policy Delete because the domain doesn’t resolve to a website or parking page. For this to happen, someone has to make a complaint though.

If a registrant gets a complaint based on eligibility, auDA allows some time for them to respond and where possible, rectify. And most of the above can be rectified if people know what you’re doing. A good registrar can be of immense help in this regard.

My Opinion

There is nothing wrong with legitimate backorders where you may know that a domain is going to expire because of other circumstances. I’ve seen some excellent acquisitions made by people who have good intel!

However, I think people who try and score good domains by filing complaints (like the above) and doing backorders deserve criticism. Particularly those who boast about it.

What do you think?


13 thoughts on “Fair Means Or Foul?

    • October 10, 2015 at 1:33 am

      I think it’s foul too.

      Also, I don’t really like the policy. ¬† An ABN can be cancelled and the owner not notified. ¬†The first you hear about it is from an auDA complaint and then it’s often too late to do much about it.

      I think the auDA policy should be changed regarding cancelled ABN’s to give you more avenues to retain your assets.

      • October 10, 2015 at 8:28 am

        Totally agree Cam re the “more avenues” approach.

        Having said that, I know auDA has recently gone “beyond and above” in assisting a registrant save a domain name (which was PD’d because of a complaint). The registrant should be sending cases of champagne to the registrar who made this happen. Unsung hero imho.

  • October 9, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Hope those dogs waste lots of $199 app fees.

  • October 9, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Personally, I’ve had occasion to resort to such a tactic on one occasion on which a¬†registrant had personally and professionally denigrated me and my business in correspondence, defamed me to my employer and threatened to discontinue doing business with his, unrelated, company, impersonated a journalist to ‘fish’ for information, and used other, arguably fraudulent, tactics to allegedly transfer a .com.au domain to an overseas buyer. It was my enquiry to the auDA regarding the authenticity of this ‘buyer’ that elicited the response that the domain was registered to an unentitled entity and it was at the instruction of a representative of that organisation that I should make a complaint¬†and have the domain cancelled. Paying Crazy Domains $10.00 and picking up the domain, which the previous registrant had listed for sale at $75,000.00, on the drop was very satisfying¬†and I’m happy to tell anyone about the bargain.

    However, Ned’s¬†point of view is understandable from the perspective of a domain investor who, while having tacit approval to operate under the Australian system of registration, appears open to criticism and attack under the current policy regime. This¬†raises the question of whether Australia should operate under a free-market for domains (which I personally favour) or if the current protectionist system of regulation should be maintained for the benefit of existing businesses.

    While the current system allows domain-name investors to do business regardless of the policies it leaves the door open to raiders well versed in the policies. This is a well established model in the legal community and, at the end of the day, its just business. We must adjust to and learn to use,the environment as it is. Complaining that the system is not as we wish it to be will cost us money and achieve nothing.

    • October 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks for the post Wayne. Some good points that you make.

      By the way, aren’t you a freshly minted “ambulance chaser”? ūüėČ LOL!

  • October 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I think the system should be changed so that the person or business who initiated the complaint should be named.

    • October 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      I am a great believer in this Robert. In fact I raised this issue at the auIGF in Melbourne this week.

      If parties have a genuine complaint then they should be prepared to put their name to it.

      And to stamp out pseudonym complaints, I believe there should be a nominal fee applied. That would sort out the real complainants from the chancers imho.

  • October 11, 2015 at 7:23 am

    This practice is¬†in my view is unethical. I recently told Netfleet via DnTrade to cancel backorders on PD or CD domains, and prohibit back orders on PD and CD domains –¬†https://www.dntrade.com.au/threads/seeking-client-input.10236/#post-76379

    If Netfleet do this the problem will largely go away. It will also put the domain name to the ‘market’ for the previous owner or anyone else to bid on it.

    • October 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Why is it unethical to question the eligibility of a registrant? Surely if they are ineligible then they are the unethical ones.


      • October 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm

        @david questioning eligibility is not the problem, the problem is questioning it by lodging a complaint, and then backordering the domain knowing that it is likely to be deleted.

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