20i Domains

Caught domain, charity wants it back

Discussion in 'Domain Name Disputes' started by webber, Aug 10, 2021.

  1. webber

    webber Active Member

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    Would appreciate your thoughts on this particular case.

    I caught the domain AvonGardensTrust.org.uk and listed it at auction:
    https://www.flip.uk/listing/avongardenstrustorguk/33824

    While the auction was live I was contacted by someone supposedly from the charity that used to own the domain. They explained that someone has passed away and that they were not able to renew the domain.
    Since they are a charity I offered I will give them the domain back, but asked to bid on it to win the auction.
    I specifically made clear that I will wish to verify their claims somehow later on.

    The auction closed at a good price and they have won it, but since then I've been trying to verify the charity by calling the phone number listed on the Charity Commission website, but the number is always unavailable.

    I'm starting to think there might be something dodgy here.
    What would you do?
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. RB5 United Kingdom

    RB5 Member Full Member

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  4. Pedigree United Kingdom

    Pedigree Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    Could you ask them to pay for the domain but give them an undertaking that you will make a donation for the same amount back to the charity's bank account?
     
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  5. webber

    webber Active Member

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    I thought the same, this way I would also get a tax reduction for making a formal donation
     
  6. Pedigree United Kingdom

    Pedigree Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    and they would also get gift aid?
     
  7. webber

    webber Active Member

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    It's either they get Gift Aid OR I get a tax reduction. Can't have both AFAIK
    Gift Aid is essentially the donor giving up their tax deduction to the benefit of the charity
     
  8. Pedigree United Kingdom

    Pedigree Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    Can be split:

    Higher rate taxpayers
    If you pay tax above the basic rate, you can claim the difference between the rate you pay and basic rate on your donation. It’s the same if you live in Scotland. Do this either:

    ExampleYou donate £100 to charity - they claim Gift Aid to make your donation £125. You pay 40% tax so you can personally claim back £25.00 (£125 x 20%).
     
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  9. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Seems like he isn't "from the charity", but was responsible for the web design (and maybe let the domain expire). I'd be careful just handing back in case there is something untoward between them you have not been party to. I'd be trying to get hold of the charity. Chairman, Ros Delany https://uk.linkedin.com/in/ros-delany-65456019
     
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  10. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Simple really isn't it, ask for some proof of identification. If they are from the charity, charge them the registration fee and give it back, the karma is worthwhile. I would imagine it wouldn't be hard to proof they are who they say they are.
     
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  11. LCHappy United Kingdom

    LCHappy Active Member

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    This exact same scenario happened to us on another name recently, although not the same person. Now I'm wondering if the person asking was actually linked to the original charity or just trying it on.

    2 of these stories in 2 weeks, bit of a coincidence.
     
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  12. redbird United Kingdom

    redbird Well-Known Member

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    It seems that they are using the co.uk now since june which would be around the time it was suspended, which adds some validity to claim couldn't renew, but could equally be a decision to move to the co.uk and let org.uk expire.

    If you look at the top of each page on the co.uk, it does say....
    "....Due to a technical issue, the site and emails are currently using a .co.uk domain. We hope the main .org.uk one will be working again soon!....."

    I have seen exactly the same happen with a local photography club I was a member of a few years ago, the registered owner had died and the club moved domains as they also could not renew the one they had owned for many years, fortunately I was able to assist them in contacting Nominet prior to expiry and explain the situation and they did manage to keep the original domain, but they were expecting to lose it.

    As others have said, contact the charity direct rather than web designer.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  13. DesD

    DesD Active Member

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    Just gift them the domain imo. Nobody in their right mind would want that url unless they were involved…and yes, I get that fraudsters might, but I’m left thinking this particular transaction isn’t worth the time and energy that you’re currently spending on it. IMO of course.
     
  14. LCHappy United Kingdom

    LCHappy Active Member

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    That's not correct. People can quite legitimately use the old link profile.
     
  15. redbird United Kingdom

    redbird Well-Known Member

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    And presumably that was what the second highest bidder planned to do at £360 and why the OP should spend some time in establishing the identity as he is giving up £360
     
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  16. gimpydog United Kingdom

    gimpydog Active Member

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    Renew it for another year & give them the domain back, gratis. Worrying about gift aid & tax deductions just makes you look mean spirited.

    AvonGardensTrust.org.uk isn't worth £380 for SEO. If it were AvonMortgageTrust.org.uk maybe, but not AvonGardensTrust.org.uk. It probably only got that high because they bid it up.

    Or you could sell the problem to somebody else & let them lose it for a £250 DRS. Either way, it's not a good look - screwing a charity or shafting a customer. IMHO.
     
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  17. Pedigree United Kingdom

    Pedigree Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    To be fair I don't see how @webber has done anything wrong here.

    He caught a name and listed it for auction, without any knowledge of what was going on behind the closed doors of the charity. He was only contacted while the auction was running, so advised them to bid on it to stop it falling into anyone else's hands.

    He has said he will give it back to them, but is just carrying out due diligence first to make sure he isn't being scammed.
     
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  18. gimpydog United Kingdom

    gimpydog Active Member

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    He said he would *give* them the domain, but asked them to bid on the auction. Why not ask the auctioneer to withdraw the lot pending due diligence?

    Why didn't he tell the other bidders & the auctioneer that the domain was the subject of a dispute?

    If Iyou had just won that auction & bought a hot potato, would you still think he did nothing wrong?
     
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  19. webber

    webber Active Member

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    Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear enough. I did offer I will give it back to them for free, but because an auction cannot be deleted once it has began and with less than two days left, I said they should bid on it to secure it so I don't have to deal with explaining to whoever was going to win it that I can't in fact sell it. Definitely no ill intent, was only trying to make sure the situation doesn't get any more complicated than it needs to.

    Today the web developer paid the auction price to me and I am in the process of transferring the domain to him, then I will be making an equal donation directly to the charity's account*
    This felt like the most reasonable solution and they agreed to it straight away.

    * Their bank account is with CAF Bank (only charities can open an account with them) so it's quite safe, but initially I was hoping the payment will be verified via Confirmation of Payee; unfortunately CAF doesn't support it

    Thanks for all your suggestions
     
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  20. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    But of course, this means that the web designer could have just decided the auction price was a worthwhile amount of money to lose, in order to withhold a domain name against a former customer or hold it for ransom for more. And of course, your donation would just appear to be a random donation from anybody.

    I still would have asked for proof of something, anything.
     
  21. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Well-Known Member

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    Personally, as a wider principle, I think that if a registered charity loses the means to renew their domain, then in the 90 days after expiry, if they contact Nominet, then that name should be suspended (which Nominet quite often does) beyond the drop date, until such time as Nominet and the charity have been able to establish the bona fides of the claim.

    Frankly, if a domain / website / email address is so moribund that they haven't even noticed until after it drops, then I don't think they deserve that domain. At that point, I think a domain speculator is absolutely entitled to register that domain, and then retrieval by the charity will be down to the benevolence of the new registrant (as in this case).
     
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