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I have a handful of com, net and uk domains, all registered with the correct postal, email and telephone contacts. I'm not using any whois-privacy services, except with some of my UK domains where the whois database offers a simple opt-out. So apart from these, the contact information is correct and personal.

I wonder, what are my responsibilities regarding these contact points?

Am I expected to read all the emails sent to my email contact? (Or just some?)
Am I expected to answer the phone and engage callers in conversation?
Am I expected to answer the door should someone turn up at my postal address?

Many thanks.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You aren't expected to do anything, and should someone tell you otherwise I suggest you scream and shout expletives at them until they go away.

Compare it to your name in the phone book - you're not obliged to speak to anybody that phones you up or calls at your house, and neither would I recommend you do so.

That is of course my personal opinion, but in any case I would say usual rules apply with being cautious of strangers trying to engage in conversation with you and potentially trying to phish you.

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Well it's a little more complicated than just a phone book listing, but not much. +1 on the screaming and shouting expletives until they go away though: It's a great solution to any unsolicited contacts from sleazy sales critters :-) – voretaq7 Mar 5 '10 at 19:35
(Thanks.) Wow, so I could have my WHOIS as an email address on a server that just auto deletes everything, a phone number that rings but never answers and a postal adress that redirects everything to the local paper recycling center. (I'm not going to, just so we're clear.) Kinda makes me wonder why I see people get so worked up about domains with fake or anonymous contact details. – billpg Mar 5 '10 at 19:36
vorataq7 makes a valid point about keeping the info up to date (for what it's worth, since you're ignoring 99% of it anyway), but that really is pretty much it. – Ben Pilbrow Mar 5 '10 at 19:41
+1, for shouting expletives – ITGuy24 Mar 5 '10 at 20:24

You are responsible for keeping the contact information up to date (which you also have to do if you're using a privacy service). Beyond that there's really nothing you have to do.
For your specific questions:

Am I expected to read all the emails sent to my email contact? (Or just some?)
We would really appreciate it if you did. Especially if you're the tech contact and someone emails you to tell you that something is horribly grossly misconfigured about your domain. Also if someone wants to sue you for having a name they think they're entitled to I believe those emails/postal mailings go to the admin contact.
(In practice it's just going to increase your SPAM volume. You can ignore it the same way you ignore your regular email.)

Am I expected to answer the phone and engage callers in conversation?
I've had domains listed with actual contact info in Whois for longer than I can remember and I've NEVER gotten an actual honest-to-god telephone call from anyone related to them. If someone calls you and they're not offering you an extortionate amount of money to give them the domain I suggest Ben's solution of screaming and shouting expletives until they go away. :-)

Am I expected to answer the door should someone turn up at my postal address?
With two shotguns in your hand, while screaming and shouting expletives, because they'd be some pretty creepy people. Again I've NEVER had someone actually show up at my door, but if you're worried about that I believe a PO Box is acceptable for a mailing address.
You may get some postal spam though -- Read and ignore as you would with any other postal spam :-)

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I wish I culd accept both yours and Ben's answers. Thank you. – billpg Mar 5 '10 at 19:41
I've used domain contact numbers as "abuse" contacts before. The administrator I spoke to was shocked and confused at first. – Warner Mar 5 '10 at 20:25
I've never had an abuse contact where the guy on the receiving end wasn't shocked and confused :) (well that's not strictly true - I've also had ones where the number was disconnected...) – voretaq7 Mar 5 '10 at 23:07
I've had someone call around at the address on my whois in the past. – billpg Mar 6 '10 at 12:49

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