20i Domains

123REG Taking Liberties with your .uk domain registration rights

Discussion in 'General Board' started by DaveBeasley, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Question (assuming you represent 123reg), are both the .uk domain and the privacy service 'auto-renew'? There is no justification for exercising ROR status at this time and if your answer to my question is "yes", I seriously question the morality of 123reg's tactics!
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. Whois-Search

    Whois-Search Retired Member

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    In which case if Nominet are going to validate Identity Protect Ltd against companies house as the registrant it should be showing the address on companies house:

    Registered office address
    5th Floor, The Shipping Building Old Vinyl Factory, 252 - 254 Blyth Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 1HA

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07407280

    And any mail (DRS etc) should come to that address.

    Yes and that is the bit that concerns me...

    It seems the original registrant data was used to create the .uk as it’s the only way to do it.

    The names were then transferred (as an ACP) to Identity Protect Ltd.

    Nominet hasn’t been given the underlying registrant data because 123-reg is not using the new Whois privacy framework:

    http://registrars.nominet.uk/sites/default/files/privacy_service_framework.pdf

    A name with Whois privacy framework has this in the Whois like Godaddy has:

    Registrant:
    Name withheld. This Registrant is using a privacy service.

    Registrant's address:
    Address withheld. This Registrant is using a privacy service.

    Privacy service:
    Domains By Proxy, LLC

    Privacy service's address:
    14747 N Northsight Blvd Suite 111, PMB 309, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA

    https://www.nominet.uk/whois/?query=cardiagnostictool.co.uk
     
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  4. RobM

    RobM Retired Member

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    Also it makes nominet figures look good for uptake of .uk even if it is without permission. Hmmm who benefits here? Clue: once again it's NOT the general public/clients.
     
  5. invincible

    invincible Well-Known Member

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    Although I can understand your thinking, as far as I am aware (and have tested), registrars only appear able to exercise a RoR using a matching registrant name, street1 address, postcode, country code and administrative email address (see Q&A number 9 on this page) thus any registrar would initially have to populate the public WHOIS with these details, even for a nano-second, before effecting a registrant change to the full privacy service (i.e. one not using the optional Nominet privacy framework). Nominet no doubt keep copies of everything in their internal databases so they'll know who the registrant was at the name of the RoR being effected, despite any subsequent registrant transfer having taken place. On that basis wouldn't using the Nominet privacy framework have made more sense given it facilities the obfuscation of both the registrant name and registrant address from the public WHOIS; data Nominet would have initially obtained from you anyway when the RoR was exercised?
     
  6. invincible

    invincible Well-Known Member

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    They must have been initially or the RoR couldn't have been exercised.
     
  7. JMI

    JMI Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    Does anyone roughly know what % of the "11 million" .co.uk market share 123 have.
     
  8. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Richard is the 123-reg Brand Director
     
  9. invincible

    invincible Well-Known Member

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    It’s free to the rights holder and so encourages them to consider using the domain name over the upcoming 24 months prior to deciding whether to order a renewal. The registrar will be throwing in management and name server services at no charge no doubt. None of this would be available if the domain name merely remained a RoR. What’s not to like (from a rights holder registrant perspective rather than a drop catcher in waiting)?
     
  10. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    Someone was questioning Richard's right to comment in relation to 123-Reg. I confirmed his role at the firm - don't see much to complain about. He joined in with conversation of his own accord.
     
  11. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    It all depends whether the name is set to autorenew at the registrant's expense or not. And what happens to the name if the registrant chooses not to renew.
     
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  12. Nigel United Kingdom

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    agreed - it's about following proper business procedures - not the registrar deciding what they feel is in the customer's best interests. I noticed that the man from 123 didn't answer the question about the nameservers and what their plans are in this respect.
     
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  13. RobM

    RobM Retired Member

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    They don't feel it's in the customers best interests at all. Their brand director and the nominet brown noser think we're all stupid. They have implemented this because they KNOW that not everyone will be in a position to prevent renewal charges which is guaranteed money for them when the period is up. Some (maybe most) will but they will still make a fortune. Also the more they break the rules and get away with it the more they will do - it's very possible they won't let domains drop from this and keep them for themselves. Another revenue stream. Hey nominet won't do anything right? However if nominet are not bothering to enforce their own rules, and I've had two completely conflicting answers from them today, it will become a free for all to do anything they want. If this is a breach of nominet T&C they should also be punished, legally if possible, along with the spam 123.
     
  14. invincible

    invincible Well-Known Member

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    That’s two years away. Everyone I’ve spoken to hopes rights holders to activate these .uk domain names during the free period, that they’ll make use of them and then feel they’re able to make an informed choice near the expiration of the free two year period about whether to renew or not (obviously registrar and registry would prefer a renew).
     
  15. Whois-Search

    Whois-Search Retired Member

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    Everyone you’ve spoken? What that works for Nominet or $large registrar?

    Let’s just be honest here while Nominet is putting out blogs like this:

    http://www.nominet.blog/top-tips-growing-registry/

    Not even mentioning the .uk freebie....

    There is clearly only one thing on the executives mind and that’s increasing the size of the registry

    Next thing you know they will be coming out saying they are bigger than .de

    https://www.denic.de/en/know-how/statistics/

    And in two years time those large registrars are in for a massive pay day = millions of pounds
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  16. invincible

    invincible Well-Known Member

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    It’s not really arguable that offering two years of a domain name registration for free isn’t in registrants interests. I expect to be exercising a great number of RoR’s this month for a registrant who is delighted about it (nothing to do without 123-reg but same offer).

    In your opinion, @RobM.

    If a very high number of rights holders do login and activate their free .uk domain names at registrars, would that be a bad thing? If most do opt to renew them after two years would that also be a bad thing?

    I have no reason to believe that any registrar will charge their customers for services they haven’t asked for because it would seem very unwise. If you do then you’re merely speculating.

    I currently have no reason to believe that any registrar will take over .uk’s that haven’t been claimed after the expiration period given the specific wording within the .uk RRA, without explicit permission. If you do then you’re merely speculating again. I asked earlier within this thread whether anyone had any evidence to suggest any registrar was currently doing this and I don’t recall reading a reply.

    On a side note, I’m personally not against expired names going to auction. If it becomes acceptable for a registrar, for whatever reason, to take over expired .uk domain names in the future under a wider set of circumstances, what do you think they would do with the domain name inventory? The likelihood is it would go to auction and many of the members of this forum would participate in those auctions. Ultimately people reading this want access to the inventory.
     
  17. invincible

    invincible Well-Known Member

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    Not “only one thing” but increasing DUM is obviously an ambition of any TLD. Isn’t it the ambition of your registrar too? :)

    If their DUM size increases beyond that of .de, would they be telling an untruth? DUM is a widely used statistic but we all know it’s flakey.

    If they deliver a service in return they’ll be compensated for it. Quite usual.
     
  18. atlas Canada

    atlas Well-Known Member

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    In your opinion. From what I've seen, people are willing to pay slightly more for a .co.uk domain with an ROR, than for the .co.uk & .uk pair. So, it's at least arguable that it is not in the registrant's interest. You'll notice many people on the forum have the opportunity to exercise the ROR for free, and yet do not do so, presumably because it is in their commercial interests not to do so.
     
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  19. Whois-Search

    Whois-Search Retired Member

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    I had setup Register.uk to try and take advantage of the level playing field in .uk rights registration. Up until fairly recently it was possible for .uk to be registered cheaper with us.

    However then this offer came about from Nominet and for the next two years at least the main bulk of ROR names have now been registered. Today it doesn’t even matter that 123-reg has increased their .uk price to £9.99 because the registrant doesn’t even have to look at the prices for two years?

    All smaller registrars have been totally cut out of the potential .uk market by these tactics and I’m absolutely fed up with it.

    I shall be making a complaint to the CMA about this in due course:
     
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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  20. DaveBeasley United Kingdom

    DaveBeasley Nominet Member

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    Forgot to add, here's the reply I got from Nominet regarding my complaint

    Hi Dave,


    Thank you for your email and I appreciate your comments.


    As you rightly say, anyone with a right of registration for the shorter .uk domain name has until 2019 to exercise that right. That will have been 5 years since the shorter domain names were introduced. Although we have seen a steady take-up of these rights, there are still a large number of registrants that have yet to take any action. Once 10 June 2019 has passed, these rights will be lost and the shorter domain names will become available on a first-come, first-served basis.


    While we continue to encourage registrants to take advantage of their rights during this claim period, it's understandable (with so many unique registrants) that the message isn't going to get to everyone, nor will some people understand the possible implications of not exercising their rights. It's my understanding that 123-REG have conducted their own research, and following customer feedback, contacted all the rights holders for qualifying domain names under their management. They were offering a two-year free registration of any domain names that currently had rights. In their communications, there was an option for customers to opt out of taking advantage of this offer. I appreciate that you might not have been involved in their market research.


    Balancing the needs of a expectations of a huge and diverse customer-base is never an easy task. We have reviewed the agreement that 123-REG, and all our registrars, have entered into to become a member of Nominet (the RA - Registrar Agreement). There is nothing in that RA which prohibits this activity. It could be argued that by pro-actively protecting their existing customers by exercising these rights on behalf of the customer, they are actually adhering to the fundamental tenet of the RA which is to act in the best interest of .uk domain name registrants. The RA also says that registrars can act on behalf of their customers, which is in essence what this promotion involves.


    I appreciate that you, and others, may not feel this way. If you want me to cancel the domain names already registered in this way, please do let me know. It's important that I tell you that if these domain names are cancelled, the rights will be lost and the 2019 date will not apply.


    It's my understanding that Identity Protect Limited are actually an arm of 123-REG so I don't feel there's anything untoward happening with these registrations. If you have given clear instruction that you don't want other domain names registered, they should take notice of that. It may be worth checking your 123-REG account to make sure that a) the shorter domain names have not been registered and b) you have opted out of taking advantage of the promotion and c) you won't have any unsuspected auto-renewals moving forward.


    Don't forget that if you have any domain names with 123-REG that you want to keep, there is always the option of moving to another provider.


    As always, your feedback is appreciated and I will pass it on.


    Regards

    James Middleditch
    Customer Resolution Team
    Customer Services
     
  21. RobM

    RobM Retired Member

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    I love the way they keep referring to 'your rights' but then take them away from you. Will they let you transfer 'your' domains to another tag? If so tell them you'd like them to register all your uk for you before you transfer them away :)
     
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