S*** My Domain Name Has Expired

I had the bad surprise last week to notice that my domain name had expired. Like many other before me, I realized then that the domain name business is aggressively money-driven and that many companies try to make profit out of domain name registration.

In my case, the domain name had first expired, but because I was in vacation and couldn’t do much from there, it had then moved after 30 days into the status “redemption period”. I knew about a few status but not about the complete list of status. You still have a chance to renew the domain name while in status “redemption period”, but it costs you more! Normally, the domain name should go back to public after the redemption period is over. Unfortunately, there are many companies watching the soon-to-be-expired domain names, and they systematically buy them. There are also some affiliation between registrar and such companies, which means there is apparently little chances that you can buy it again after it has expired completely. You can place a “back-order” on these companies website, but again, it will cost you more.

I was a bit disgusted by the whole process, and had no other way than to renew it at a much higher price than normal. Lesson learned: make sure you enable “automatic renewal” on your registrar website.

Here is a portion of the chat I had with the guy at register.com:

Chat log
me: Hi, I have a question about DNS renewal.
support: Ok I can help you with that, what is the domain name please ?
me: My DNS recently expired while I was on vacation. When I came back, I tried to renew it, but unfortunately my credit card had expired as well (bad luck). Now that I have updated the information for my credit card, the DNS move into “redemption-period” and I can’t renew it. The DNS was “XXXXXXX”
support: Ok thank you. Just a heads up.. DNS is Domain Name Server. What you have is a Domain Name. Thanks. I will just be a second to bring up that account.
me: Yes, sorry, I mean DN.
support: Not a problem.
support: Your domain name’s status is currently: Redemption Period
me: Yes. That’s what I obtained with WhoIs. Is there a way to renew it?
support: This means that the domain name has gone back to the registry. I can still however purchase the name back for you, however the rates are registry rates and higher then the normal renewal cost and the rates are non negotiable due to the domain not being with our company.

1 Year is $120.00
2 Years is $145.00
3 Years is $170.00
5 Years is $179.00
6 Years is $205.00
7 Years is $240.00
10 Years is $250.00
me: Will the domain goes back to “public” if I wait longer. I could then register it again with normal price?
support: Eventually, but it may go to an auction or someone may have back-ordered the domain name. This is a very risky and touchy time with a domain name. Redeeming the domain at the registry price is your last and only real chance of getting this domain name.
support: There are hundreds of “just dropped” sites that email all there clients all the domains that expired and was released that day, so your domain name will be view by hundreds of people as soon as it drops publicly.
me: What you mean is that there are some companies that systematically buy expired domain in the hope to sell it back for a higher price?
support: Correct.
support: This is a very common practice.
me: What I don’t get is who own the “registry” and the domain name right now.
support: That would be ICANN
support: They are the owner of all domain names.
me: But they are not doing any business on their own…
support: I’m not sure what you mean.. they hold the accreditation for all registrar’s. Without an ICANN accreditation you cannot legally sell domains as a company.
me: I mean, who fixed the prices you sent me? ICANN?
support: The expiration date for the domain name “XXXXXX” has past, as well as our 30 day administrative grace period during which a renewal of a domain name may be permitted. Accordingly, we have submitted the domain name to the Registry for deletion. The Registry has placed this domain name in a ‘Redemption Grace Period’, which provides the Registrant one last opportunity to ‘redeem’ or reclaim the domain name before it is made available for public registration on a first come, first served basis.

Once the domain name is placed on redemption status by the Registry we incur additional expenses in reinstating the domain name, which are in reflected in the redemption fee.

me: Ok, so the “recovery” price is registrar-specific but higher than normal renewal because of the “extra work”. And yours starts at 120 USD.
support: We charge more because we have to pay more to the registry. We do not own domain names but purchase from the registry when you purchase from us. This is not $120.00 profitable dollars for our company.
me: If I reinstall the DN for $ 120, am I able to renew it then on a yearly-based at the regular price of $ 35?
support: Correct.
support: Did you want to reinstate the domain ?
me: Yes, I will reinstall the domain. Just leave one minute to decide whether I take 1 year or more. I don’t want to be in the same situation next year. And it will cost me more money to renew it on a yearly basis.
support: You are far better off going longer then sooner, the farther out you go the less of a chance it will happen and the better savings you will get.
me: Ok, so I would like reinstall the domain for a period of 5 years at the price of $ 179.
support: Sounds great, that’s the best choice.
support: Perfect.
support: This is going to take up to 72 hours to redeem the domain back into your account. This requires a special department to redeem. You will get an email notification once the domain has been redeemed.
support: Was there anything else I can help you with today ?
me: No that was all. Thanks a lot.
support: Did you want me to put the privacy protection back on the domain once in the account ?
me: Is it still $ 11 per year?
support: It would be $45.00 for a 5 year term.
me: In this case, please include “privacy protection” as well.
support: Ok I can do that for you. Did you want me to re-create the email account as well ?
me: No. Not for the time being. So far I remember it was relatively expensive and and I can’t afford a 5 year period for the mail.
support: Ok I will get this redeemed for you as soon as possible. Was there anything else I can do for you today ?
me: I see no other points.
support: Have a great day.

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