Posts Tagged ‘internet’
Following on from last week’s post about the Domain Registry of America, this post will explain how to go about getting your domain back if you have mistakenly transferred it to them.
Firstly, you’re not alone. There are countless stories throughout the internet of people who have unintentionally given the DRoA authorization to take their domain.
The transfer letters sent out to these people are styled by DRoA, quite deliberately, to look like renewal forms. Terms are used throughout the forms which speak of what will happen if you don’t renew your domain, and that you should ‘act now’.
Many do act now, and return the form with payment. In doing so, they have handed over their website domain to DRoA.
If you wish to return it to the company you originally registered with, as I recently had to do on behalf of a client who had been in the same situation of unwittingly transferring a domain to DRoA, here are the steps you will need to take.
Firstly, you will need to choose a new registrar. There are hundreds available, amongst which are Fasthosts, 123-Reg and 1&1.
Once you have decided on a registrar, you will need to unlock your domain in your DRoA control panel. This is to allow the transfer to take place.
After unlocking the domain, open a new account with the new registrar of your choosing. Then, request the transfer of the domain you are trying to recover. The transfer procedure at each company may differ slightly, though it is a common task and a “How to…” guide should be easily found in the help section of the registrar’s website if required.
It is likely that a fee for one year’s registration will be charged, but this will pay for an extra year to be added to the domain’s registration.
The next task is to get an Authorization Code from DRoA. This is an important step in the process which is not commonly known, and even for someone experienced at dealing with domains, there is no obvious way of getting hold of such information. It doesn’t get sent to you automatically, as some registrars will do. Nor is it available on the control panel for you to have access to, as is a method used by others.
Instead you have to ask for it.
Specifically, you must send an email to email@example.com from the specific email address which is registered to the domain. This will be the email address you wrote on the form which you returned to them. If a request is sent from any other email address, it will not be acknowledged.
Included in the email must be a request for an “authorization code” for the domain you are wishing to transfer. You must also include your control panel password in the body of the email.
If you have strictly followed the instructions in the previous two paragraphs, then you should recieve the Authorization Code required to complete the transfer, although it will be enclosed at the foot of a long email asking you to reconsider and renew with them instead.
So what do you do with your authorization code when you receive it?
Well as a result of placing a transfer request with your new registrar, you will have received an email asking you to confirm the transfer. The email will have been delivered to the email address registered on your DRoA account. Within the email, a link will be provided for you to either confirm or decline the transfer. Clicking this link will give you the option both to confirm you wish to transfer the domain, and also enter in the relevant authorization code.
On a successful entry of the code, the transfer will have been formally initiated. It should be noted that it may take up to five days to complete but if you, like my client, have enjoyed a less than pleasant experience dealing with the DRoA, it will be five days which will be worth waiting.
The Domain Registry of America, also known as NameJuice or Brandon Gray Internet Services have tricked many customers over the years into handing over the registration of their domains.
They operate by sending renewal forms to people or businesses who have domains which are due to expire within 6 months. The pre-printed forms are created in such a way that they appear to be the only way in which you can renew your domain.
The language of their letters is strong enough to convince you that they are your only hope of keeping that web address which you or your business have become known by.
And they have your address. So it must be legit, right? Wrong. Well, sort of.
They are a legitimate company, but the practice which they engage in simply should never have been legal. What the DROA are actually asking of you is not only that you renew your domain, but that you transfer it to them, rather than renewing with the company which you chose to register with in the first place. Your completed form is basically your consent for them to take control of your domain.
But how do they know your domain is appraching its renewal date? They know because registration dates are public. Your address too, in many cases.
So why do so many people fall for it? Well, a few reasons. What the DROA are actually doing is specified in the vast quantity of smallprint written on the back of their forms. Most people don’t read the small print. And those that do may not understand all of the technical terminology anyway and therefore won’t be fully aware of the repercussions.
To anyone who may recieve a letter from this company, you would be advised to ignore it. The company you registered your domain with in the first place would have been chosen for a reason. If you wish to change it, research other domain registrars and find reviews.
If you have already fallen into the trap and paid your money, you will be in the same boat as a client whose website I recently took over the management of. Five years ago they were dishonestly convinced to renew with the DROA, and subsequently handed over payment. And their domain.
Getting it back has been something of a battle, and in the next post I’ll explain just what you need to do if you wish to transfer your domain back into the more trusty hands of your original registrar.