I have a very good domain name that I have had since December 2006. It was registered under Register.com. Whois shows that it is registered with Register.com. (I know this). We all know that usually a domain registrar will contact you via email several times as a courtesy if your domain name is coming up fro renewal.
I noticed that my domain did not show up in a web browser. So after some investigation, I learned that my domain had expired. I went to Register.com and could not login to manage my account. Thinking I was entering in the wrong login credentials, I used their online password recovery system and it did not work.
I called Register.com at 1.888.734.4783 and the representative could not pull me up in THEIR system. I explained that that could not be as I registered my domain with them. He put me on hold for about three minutes and came back stating that I was registered with another company. I asked who and he would not tell me.
I explained him that I know that my domain was registered with Register.com because I still have my login credentials (which no longer work). I also asked him why Whois shows Register.com as being the Registrar and why my hosting company confirms this as well? He was evasive and said he would have the company call me because it was to early in their time zone to call me.
This told me that Register.com did know who was holding my domain name hostage. About an hour later I received a phone call from New Zealand. I was not near my phone to answer. I was not going to call New Zealand long distance as the number was not toll free.
I did receive an email from a company called http://poweryourname.com and I was provided with login credentials. I logged in and saw my domain had indeed expired. But they wanted me to pay a $160 "Redemption" fee on top of the renewal fee. No way was I going to do this.
I emailed http://poweryourname.com back and asked them:
1. Who are you?
2. How are you now my domain registrar?
3. Why did I not receive any emails from them or Register.com that my domain had expired.
http://poweryourname.com responded saying that I should have received emails from either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. FROM EITHER, I thought. Who are you people? I thought.
I let them know that I had not received emails from either of these email addresses. Then they responded and said they can knock $40 off the "Redemption" fee making it $120, but that was the best they could do.
I responded with a "No way!" I am not paying one red cent for their screw up. It appears that http://poweryourname.com is a Register.com reseller. Apparently, the Register.com representative knew this and was protecting them but was not willing to admit to their major communication (email) screw up. It is called passing the buck.
So http://poweryourname.com wants me to pay $120 plus the renewal fee to have my domain restored. I will pay the normal renewal fee as I have always done but it is wrong that they expect me to pay a $120 Redemption fee. Register.com is unethical and cowardly in that they hide behind their resellers.
I am certain that Register.com knows that no emails were sent to me. This is a clever mechanism to steal "good" domain names that they can place on bid. I am initiating a lawsuit against Register.com