Who makes the rules? auDA does. And whilst we may think some of their policy provisions are either totally unnecessary; too stringent or unfair, the fact is, if you don’t observe them, then you stand a very good chance of being penalised. If you do get “pinged”, you can’t then blame auDA for being unreasonable – they are simply following policy.
I remember as a kid playing lots of backyard cricket. When you went to play at someone else’s place, they invariably had their own “house rules”. (I always hated “six and out”!). If you wanted to compete, then you had to observe their rules. Same goes with auDA.
Article image courtesy of Nicholson Cartoons.
A Wake Up Call
Last week, friends of mine got a complaint from auDA (via Netfleet).
The important thing to remember is that auDA is “complaints driven”. You will generally never hear from them unless somebody makes a complaint (and they feel that the complaint is worth investigating). Bear in mind also that the staff at auDA are on the ball when it comes to recognising vexatious complaints. They refuse a lot of complaints because they are simply without merit.
So my friends have a nice portfolio of domains, and these are mostly parked with Fabulous. They had very recently purchased a domain on the expired auctions, but due to a simple oversight, had overlooked getting this particular domain properly monetized. Instead, it was just left at Netfleet with their generic page (which does not comply with auDA policy when it comes to “domain monetization”).
The complaint only arose because the previous registrant was peed off that he let the domain expire. He didn’t bother contacting the new registrant who had purchased it fairly and squarely. Instead, he went straight to auDA. As the domain was simply parked at Netfleet, auDA quite rightly decided to investigate.
What Happened Next
Contrary to popular myth, the complaints department at auDA are fair and reasonable. They’ll let you know if there is a particular problem; and give you a chance to explain and/or rectify within a short space of time. If you can do so to their satisfaction i.e. comply with policy, then you won’t have any issues.
The initial complaint that my friends received was a “Warranty Check”. auDA could not determine their eligibility simply by looking at the “WhoIs” or the parking page.
Cutting a long story short, they immediately responded to auDA and apologised for their oversight. They also confirmed that they had rectified the parking page; and explained that their eligibility was based on “Domain Monetisation”.
auDA was satisfied, and advised accordingly.
Big hat tip to Nikki from Netfleet who assisted my friends with their response to auDA. It’s great to see a registrar being proactive and looking after their clients.
If you’re going to be a serious domain investor or domainer, then make sure you play by the rules. If you don’t, then there is no excuse. auDA has the power to audit your whole portfolio – and also to “policy delete” if they feel you haven’t complied with policy**.
** There are appeal provisions.
Ned O’Meara – 30th September 2016