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How can I track down lost access to a .com?

Discussion in 'Domain Research' started by alex, Dec 6, 2023.

  1. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Going round in circles a bit so any advice welcome.

    I am helping a client that believes they own a .com registered 10+ years ago. The WHOIS states their business name, but all other info private. The people who would have registered left the company years ago and not contactable.

    The registrar has said the domain was registered through a reseller, who in turn have passed us to another company, who has a history of M&A and suggested we speak to GTT.net, who don't believe they can help us. So in short, no one is taking responisibility.

    We have no legacy invoices, references etc.

    Going back to basics, should the registrar stated on WHOIS be able to help, or do we need to keep probing? Like Nominet, is there a central registry process to regain access? I've not done much in the .com space aside from registering.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2023
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    IWA Meetup
     
  3. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member

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    Id imagine if the mentioned regististrar isnt helping, of which they have access, but probably can't due to reseller contractual obligations. Then maybe ICANN dispute resolution would be your best bet, providing the WHOis mentions the clients company details and the company is able to proove beyond reasonable doubt that they are the entitled party ( Wouldnt be too hard with proof of incorperation and other ID's if they match the WHOis. )

    Failing that, might be worth speaking with Adam at Adlex Solicitors as they deal with dispute resolutions

    I recently had similar tracking down a domain that had somehow ended up at Squarespace but no one had any Squarespace accounts, and the client couldnt remember where it was originally registered. Luckily in the back of my mind i remembered reading something that Square space had bought out Google domains, we then had to go through about 30 gmail accounts the client had before finally finding it.
     
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  4. alex

    alex Active Member

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    I've gone back to the registrar outlining that we've not been able to progress with the reseller they referred us to. I've asked what their dispute resolution process is in light of the steps. Let's see if they can confirm a process or refer us to ICANN.
     
  5. baldidiot United Kingdom

    baldidiot Active Member

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    I'm assuming the domain is being renewed, or does it just have a really long expiry? If it is being renewed, who's paying for that?

    Would the person who registered it have used a company email to do so? Have you tried using a catch all mailbox on the domain to see if you get any notices about it.
     
  6. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Last renewed 10 years ago. Coming up for expiry this month, though that is coincidence. Director knew they owned it, agreed to start using it, then realised no one had access. Will suggest catchall email to their IT team, thanks.
     
  7. Helmuts

    Helmuts AcornDomains.co.uk ★★★★★

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    And what does the other company say (who got the business from the reseller)? .. all the success!!

    p.s. reseller companies usually have a single owner who is in control of most operations > have you tried reaching him/her?
     
  8. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Thanks. Not a lot. I think they were acquired by GTT because that's where the trail ends, but GTT claim they have no record.
     
  9. philiporchard United Kingdom

    philiporchard Well-Known Member

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    I've used Adam at Adlex – a couple of years ago now. Not the same situation but he was very helpful.
     
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  10. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Gone full circle again via standard support routes. Does anyone know anyone at joker.com for a more personal conversation?
     
  11. Helmuts

    Helmuts AcornDomains.co.uk ★★★★★

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  12. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Thanks @Helmuts

    Also want to shout out @NetFocus who has provided proof that we are the registrant (albeit an old office address) and helped us pick up the trail that the original company we transacted with had been acquired, then that company acquired again, with Joker.com being the registrar and GTT the end of the M&A chain, so at least more evidence to go back to them with. Interestingly the domain has just been renewed, but no invoices sent our way.
     
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  13. freddy

    freddy Active Member

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    hi, ping me with a PM. I can try. Will try to reach a C-Level person to find out what is their requirement to show proof.
    I will need the domain name. And the proof what you already have.
     
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  14. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Thanks for the offer. We managed to regain access today. Your offer was very much appreciated and would have been the fallback, but we managed to make some headway just before Christmas and finally got through today. It included digging out old property leases and accounts from 1992 as registrant details went back that far.
     
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  15. BG United Kingdom

    BG Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff! Glad it's now back in the hands of its rightful owner.. What domain was it in the end?

    Best,
    Barry
     
  16. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member

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    The million dollar question.
     
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  17. BG United Kingdom

    BG Well-Known Member

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    Come on, our little @alex walex.. Don't be shy, pray tell :)
     
  18. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Ha the power I feel from leaving you in suspense :p

    I have DM'd the curious!
     
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  19. Rolandas Japertas

    Rolandas Japertas Member it.com
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    Great news! Congratulations!