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Context:

I purchased the "release" of a domain from a domain provider who was also hosting the corresponding website.

I was given an account to log-in to at opensrs.net.

I pointed the domain to different nameservers to allow me to host it myself.

The problem:

Now, several months later, the client received a renewal domain notice from the original domain provider. They advised the client to ignore the notice because payment was good until 2014. Days later, the domain is suspended, the nameservers were changed to RENEWYOURNAME.NET and has now gone into redemption meaning it's unavailable for 40 days.

The original domain provider insists that they are no longer responsible for the domain.

My question:

Who is managing my domain? Who is payment due to? Who cancelled the account and changed the nameservers?

WHOIS data suggest that it's http://www.tucowsdomains.com/ who is a reseller of http://www.opensrs.com/.

Tuscow Domains clearly identify the original domain provider as the current provider. Open SRS, through their control panel identify the same. The original domain provider denies responsibility.

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Who is managing my domain?

From the sounds of it, nobody. According to whois, Tucows Domains is the registrar? Then Tucows Domains is the only company with permission to change the nameservers to "renewyourname.net".

Tucows isn't a reseller of OpenSRS, they own it - OpenSRS is the domain wholesale reselling branch of Tucows. Other companies then deal with registering domains and selling them to people and businesses.

So, are you a reseller with OpenSRS? What kind of username and password do you have there? It sounds like the original company gave you an end user login to their reseller account to manage your domain. I.e. the domain is still belonging to their account.

I don't think OpenSRS sell to end users directly. So if you have a reseller account where you pay OpenSRS for some domains and the domain is not in it, they haven't transferred it to you properly. If you don't have a reseller account, you aren't in a position to take ownership of the domain anyway and they can't have transferred it to you.

I guess the original registrant was an OpenSRS reseller, and they haven't handed the domain over to you at all, and are still responsible for it even though they think they aren't, and that OpenSRS is waiting on payment from them to make the domain live again.

Your argument is either to convince them that they haven't transferred it to you. Or to get them to confirm with OpenSRS that they have and it hasn't worked.

http://www.tucowsdomains.com/management-and-passwords/findprovider/

The original domain provider denies responsibility.

There is a complaints and disputes procedure, but it doesn't look simple.

http://www.tucowsdomains.com/topic/disputes-and-complaints/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System#Domain_name_registration

The organisation ICANN has the primary oversight of domain ownership on the internet, Tucows adhere to their lengthy dispute resolution protocols. But you aren't really disputing ownership - you and the original company agree who ought to own it, they are just being incompetent.

  • Thanks for a phenomenal answer. I can't log-in to Open SRS as a reseller. Instead, I have an account @ manage.opensrs.net that allows me to change basic information and settings, nameservers and provides me an authorization code to transfer to another registrar. This account has a tab that lists my reseller as the original domain provider which may further infer that I am not the reseller. When the domain was released, I did not transfer it to a new registrar because it was not clear that this is a mandatory process. Should I still not have been warned/billed by Tucows? – Dominor Novus Apr 27 '13 at 0:07
  • Payment requests were issued just prior to the expiration from the original domain provider. When I contacted the original domain provider regarding the payment request, they advised to ignore the payments requests on the basis that 1) payment was good until 2014 and 2) the domain was not their responsibility. I was looking for a means to PM you a link to the WHOIS data but it doesn't seem possible. Simply put, a WHOIS lookup reveals two conflicting expiration dates. One for April 22, 2014 and the other for April 22, 2013. The domain is now in redemption. – Dominor Novus Apr 27 '13 at 0:14
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    > Should I still not have been warned/billed by Tucows? I don't know how their system works enough to say, but I would expect they should bill the reseller and the reseller bill you. But maybe there's a direct billing feature. – TessellatingHeckler Apr 27 '13 at 0:49
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    Simply put, a WHOIS lookup reveals two conflicting expiration dates. One for April 22, 2014 and the other for April 22, 2013 That is pushing my understanding; I believe Verisign holds the definitive WHOIS data for .com domains ( verisigninc.com/en_US/products-and-services/… ) but I don't know how there can be multiple ones. OpenSRS support might not talk to you without a reseller account, but maybe ask them if you use the transfer code and go to another company (e.g. namecheap), will it work? (Or of course, ask them who needs to pay) – TessellatingHeckler Apr 27 '13 at 0:53
  • The problem is resolved. A few months ago, when I asked the original domain provider to change the nameservers (to allow me to assume hosting of the website) they basically dropped the domain altogether. It's the same as saying "if you're not paying for file hosting we're not interested in your custom for your domain". I've resolved the matter by transferring the domain to a new domain provider. Fortunately, the domain was in grace period and not redemption. What a bizarre policy to have on domains. Tucows Domains were very helpful in ascertaining the nature of my problem with the reseller. – Dominor Novus Apr 30 '13 at 18:00

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