Termination of RegisterFly Registrar Accreditation Agreement

by Paul Levins on March 16, 2007

ICANN today issued a formal notice of termination of RegisterFly.com’s Registration Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

ICANN has issued a letter to RegisterFly indicating that it will cease operating as an ICANN-Accredited Registrar on March 31, 2007. Under the terms of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), ICANN must provide 15 days written notice to RegisterFly of its intention to terminate.

Effective immediately ICANN has terminated RegisterFly’s right to use the ICANN Accredited Registrar logo on its website.

Between now and 31 March RegisterFly is required to unlock and provide all necessary Authinfo codes to allow domain name transfers to occur. Any and all registrants wishing to transfer away from RegisterFly during this period should be allowed to do so efficiently and expeditiously.

Paul Twomey, ICANN President and CEO said today that “Terminating accreditation is the strongest measure ICANN is able to take against RegisterFly under its powers”.

Once the Agreement is terminated, ICANN can approve a bulk transfer of all current RegisterFly domain names to another ICANN Accredited Registrar.

Of course no one needs to wait till then for that to happen. RegisterFly is at liberty to act in the interests of Registrants and ask ICANN to approve a bulk transfer immediately. If they won’t do that they should explain why.

Beyond this immediate action to do with RegisterFly, ICANN intends to hold a forum to discuss the reform of the Accreditation policy and process at its Lisbon meeting in a week’s time*. It will be a searching and comprehensive discussion that will inform necessary changes to the Accreditation Agreement policy and process into the future.

A set of questions and points to inform the discussion will be made public prior to the Lisbon meeting.

* The Lisbon meeting is one of three meetings held a year by ICANN to meet with global stakeholders. It will take place from 26-30 March 2007.

{ 155 comments }

bassem 03.17.07 at 12:57 am

what about my problem after termination of RegisterFly.com’s Registration Accreditation Agreement

Nick 03.17.07 at 1:24 am

To everybody concerned about RegisterFly’s NEW reason not to bother helping anyone any more – just grit your teeth and hold on for now. The situation seems to be changing every few days right now, and there’s no telling what could happen between now and the end of March. Nothing to do except keep bugging RegisterFly and apart from that, try and get on with the rest of our lives until our domains are out of there.

Hold on, it gets bumpy from here!

Tom 03.17.07 at 2:07 am

When RF transfers all its domain in bulk to another registrar it will also transfer the username/password fields so we can access our domains at the new registrar?

Stephen 03.17.07 at 2:42 am

Registerfly has not given me auth codes in the past, why would this change now ?

John Watson 03.17.07 at 3:28 am

I have my domains protectfly enabled, how would the new registrar know if i am the owner of the domains or not.? Mike… Please explain more how things are going to happen.. Thanks

ES 03.17.07 at 3:56 am

First of it’s about time registerfly lost their accreditation, secondly will these “bulk transferrs” cost us anything? i certainly cant afford to transfer all of my domains to namecheap, which is who ill be transferring my names to. A lot of other people will be in the same situation, unable to pay for transferrs, worrying whether they will loose their domains or not.

RegisterFly should be doing more but it’s obvious to me that they are not going to and customers will end up paying the price for their disgracefull behaviour. We’re are the Law Enforcement agencies in all of this? aren’t RegisterFly breaking laws by charging for a service they do not provide?

I should also point out to you that RegisterFly still have their ICANN logo on their website, darn cheek if you ask me.

Chris 03.17.07 at 4:04 am

I am almost sorry this happened. Although it took sending my complaint via ICANN, RegisterFly did fix my problem (“RRP” auth code) within 48 hours, which tells me they were trying. I got my last domain “out of there” just in time.

They obviously have no incentive left to try anymore and those with domains (and various unresolved problems) remaining at RF can only hope the ICANN bulk transfer will solve their woes. Just looking at the magnitude of the task and previous comments from ICANN about ProtectFly, etc. I suspect that process will have its own casualty rate.

ICANN understandably had to do something about RegisterFly, which has become a total farce — but for anyone still stuck with valuable domains at RF, I am not sure this announcement means good news.

Sander J. Rabinowitz 03.17.07 at 4:46 am

I am very appreciative of these latest developments. I also realize the concerns everyone so far has expressed regarding the uncertainty of expired and/or remaining R’Fly domains, but I can’t imagine anything worse that R’Fly being allowed indefinitely to carry the ICANN “stamp of approval,” while its compliance to ICANN directives–from the very highest of ICANN leaders, no less–seemed to be very spotty on a good day.

I really can’t believe for an instant that leaving R’Fly alone or sparing them for several more weeks really would have helped things. Mr. Medina, et.al., really had no incentive to save their accreditation, regardless of ICANN’s actions in this matter, because respectfully, the brand itself DIED weeks ago. Stating it a different way, R’Fly could have had a change of heart and bent over backwards to fix its issues, but by then, most everyone would have still shouted, “Good riddance.” It’s self-evident that trust, once lost, is next to impossible to retrieve. –SJR

Lynsay 03.17.07 at 5:40 am

I’d like to raise a few practical questions:

1) Will Registerfly refund the balances of all of its clients on Mar 31? Without ICANN accredition (and without the ability to register, renew & transfer domains), I have absolutely no use for their services, and this change in status prompts me to want all my banked money back.

2) If the answer to the above is “no”, then will Registerfly be capable of performing new registrations or renewals in the interim between now & then? If I can’t get my account credit refunded before Mar 31, I might as well burn it up.

2a) And if the answer to the above is “yes”, then will any newly-registered domains be transferable OUT of registerfly on Mar 31? I think the regulations require 60 days before a new registration can be transferred to a new registrar. This would conflict with any new orders which require obligatory transfers to new registrars at the end of Registerfly’s contract (Mar 31).

Thanks again, ICANN, for taking action and for providing this blog as a direct communication channel.

Lynsay

Konstantin Boyandin 03.17.07 at 6:12 am

Yes, I think that the idea of transferring all the RegisterFly’s held domains to anither registrar requires clarification.

1. What about domains cloaked with ProtectFly, those their owners can’t uncloak?
2. Will the transfer be a formal acquisition (after which the new registrar will contact us and offer the terms of servcies or offer transfer elsewhere? Or shall we all pay for all our domains in bulk? The last is the worst possible scenario.

Also, it would be great to know the major remaining registrar comments on that.

Joe Alagna 03.17.07 at 7:01 am

Problems with registrars like Registerfly could be completely avoided if ICANN creates a transfer process that puts domain registrants back in control of their own domain names and transfers.

Some time ago, ICANN created a domain transfer process that protects registrars more than registrants. It requires domain registrants to ask for a secure code from their existing registrar before allowing them to transfer to another registrar. This may have seemed appropriate back then. People were complaining about domain hijacking and fraudulent transfers. But in light of this problem which affects over a million domain names and countless businesses, new transfer procedures should be developed.

A registrant should not have to rely on the actions of a non-performing registrar before being allowed to transfer their own paid-for domain names to another registrar. Fixing the transfer procedures and giving customers/registrants proper control over their own domain names will go the furthest in solving problems with non-performing registrars. ICANN may have limitations but it certainly can create proper fixes to a faulty transfer procedure and put registrants back in charge of their own domain names.

Jay Jaeger 03.17.07 at 7:56 am

The number one thing that I can see that would help right now would be if ICANN could lean on RegisterFly to get them to make their “spamfly” email address relaying work.

That is the number one thing that is causing all sorts of headaches and support calls for both RegisterFly AND the other registrars, from what I can see. It is certainly the thing that is getting in the way of me transferring a small number of domains in .ORG off of RF.

During the week, these emails were bouncing. Today they seem to be going into a black hole.

Quentin Reader 03.17.07 at 8:02 am

In my case:

Email forwarding from a registered domain has stopped. Registerfly indicates the domain has expired. However, the expiration date is a few days off yet. Attempts to renew or transfer the doman have failed. I have an account balance with RegisterFly that I am sure I will have to forfeit.

The method recommended by “Scammed Again” (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/15/registerfly_icann_court_accreditation/) did not do the job for me.

Q.

Doug Mehus 03.17.07 at 11:03 am

Tom,

My guess is ICANN would have other registrars submit offers to be the receiving registrar of the transfers. However, unless RegisterFly submits to ICANN its internal database containing customer information that is behind their WHOIS protection service and usernames and passwords, coupled with potential conflicts with existing usernames at the new registrar, my guess is that the new registrar would establish an account with a temporary password for each administrative contact e-mail address and then place domains associated with each e-mail address into their respective accounts. The new registrar would then provide a process to retrieve the account password by sending an automated message to the e-mail address. Obviously, for people with WHOIS protection enabled, they would need to provide a manual process for say submitting your driver’s license and a signed affidavit acknowledging you are the rightful domain owner to reestablish your name. This is all going to get very messy, it makes me shudder just thinking about it. And, it’s all just an educated guess because, to my mind, a formal termination of an RAA has never occurred before.

I’m fortunate I was able to update my domains’ contact information at RegisterFly before eNom shut off access and also obtain my AuthInfo codes from RegisterFly.

Cheers,
Doug

Yew 03.17.07 at 11:20 am

Email was sent to Mike of ICANN on 12 March and I was told to wait 2 business days. As of today, nearly one week later still nothing.

Registerfly is not replying their emails, solving support tickets or even answering their phones. I can only get thru to their machine and have been put on hold for 30mins twice, and I’m calling from the other side of the world!

Now that the termination is final.. my domain will be done too. ProtectFly is masking my ownership, I cant update my latest email contact, and the Authorization Code is RRP.

What will actually happen once ICANN removes itself from the picture come end of this month? What a mess.. a grand 5 day meeting at Lisbon only after the fact.

:-(

Samir 03.17.07 at 12:22 pm

E-mail was sent to Mike….and Mike sent an E-mail to Registerfly asking them to provide me with the Auth EPP codes within 2 days…I was hoping that I will get these codes.As you may expect, the 2 days were over and nothing happened… I e-mailed Mike twice so far and still waiting for any positive reply…nothing happened yet…I’m thinking about sending him an e-mail for the third time but afraid of having my e-mail listed as SPAM….so PLEASE PLEASE Mike or whom ever is there, we need your help. I really don’t understand why can’t we get the Auth Codes,specially for those of us who don’t have a problem with the whois…WHY the registery is not providing those Codes ???
Well..not all of them, in fact Neulevel.biz was very very helpful and provided the codes,yes you hear it right,I really appreciate very much the positive response of Neulevel and I was expecting the same attitude from other registery but unfortunately I got no response from .info ( I have several domains stuck with registerfly ) nor from Verisign… !!!!! I sent them Afilias an e-mail and called their support over the phone, they confirmed receiving my e-mail and promised to help but NOTHING happened.I’m going to register about 100 New domains and they’re all going to be with Neulevel (.biz ) at least I can guarantee that I’ll have full control whatever happens in the future.
One last word, ICANN you did a very good step forward regarding the termination of Registerfly but we still need your help in getting our domains transfered from them and this is our Right as you stated in your letter to Registerfly.

Adam Masri 03.17.07 at 1:12 pm

I have several domains at Registerfly, and it is impossible to contact them to transfer them out. I offered to pay whatever (extortion) fee they wished, no response. ICANN is saying that a bulk transfer will be made, but when? Will it be before or after my domains expire?

Does ICANN have a method whereby we can report domains we own, to make sure they are transfered to the new registrar smoothly and we regain control of them? Could ICANN even facilitate our choice of registrar to move our domains to?

Please ICANN, help us!

Adam Masri
President
Nolex

Kim 03.17.07 at 1:52 pm

Great news! Although it is very sad to see RegisterFly go (I’ve yet to find a registrar with a better GUI) this speaks volumes that ICANN has realized that it is REGISTRANT concerns which are of utmost importance. We were concerned for a while when it appeared as though RegisterFly could make the sword of damocles go away by paying their back fees to ICANN. It is encouraging that ICANN took the step of yanking accreditation rather than letting them continue. On behalf of RegisterFlies members, I thank you for your integrity.

HOWEVER: what is being done about domains that are about to expire, or have expired and fell into pendingDelete status? Will registrants who paid for these domains in full receive their rightful property? Is there a process in place for this? A client has six domains in this status at the moment, despite having renewed the domains last month. It has been almost a week and it does appear that they are not being purged after the five days (THANK YOU ICANN) but how does our client retrieve their domains?

Again, we thank you but there is much more work remaining to be done. I hope that this RegisterFly debacle has shown that there need to be strict remedial processes established to deal with rogue registrars, because although over the course of the last year to year and a half RegisterFly was the worst of the bunch, they are not the only registrar lacking integrity.

Diane 03.17.07 at 3:37 pm

Dont feel bad, I lost a dot com domain now because of RF’s lack of doing anything since my trouble ticket was submitted back in the beginning of Feb 07.

I have had that domain for a yr or two, I have a local business based on that domain & now some claim jumper down in the carib or something has stolen it & has offered to resell it to me for $95 USD at minimum.

I want my dang domains fixed & I dont care if they do go back to GoDaddy.com, least they havent screwed me over like RF has.

I’m in the process of losing over 70 domains, many business based, have 4 dot coms & 1 dot us in limbo & cant reclaim, & I also signed up for RF’s backorder service which I’ll also lose.

And yes, I’ve been a good customer of RF for several yrs now, even transferred a large part of my names away from GoDaddy. Biggest mistake I ever made.

Also, it seems I have several domains with ENOM & not even sure if I can reclaim them.

Flip it all.

elmister 03.17.07 at 5:46 pm

Don’t worry about RF’s backorder service, 3 months ago i got a refund from them because a domain i had in backorder wasn’t registered, i saw it free, and registered it manually at another registrar, after doing that, i asked for a refund, luckily i got that refund.

A backorder service beaten by a human… simply sucks

About your domains in limbo, does them have your info in whois?

Chris 03.17.07 at 6:00 pm

ICANN has previously commented on ProtectFly here. I expect they will make every effort to obtain the unmasked registrant data, but the tone of the comments made a week ago suggests there is a singnificant risk for users of the ProtectFly service.

The very first thing I did after learning of the RegisterFly debacle was to remove ProtectFly from all my domains. I highly recommend that you try to do so now, if you can. In cases where that doesn’t work due to RegisterFly’s technical issues, you will just have to hope for the best.

danny 03.17.07 at 6:15 pm

What does the termination of RegisterFly.com’s Registration Accreditation mean to those who’s domain was bought from registerfly but has eNom Inc as the registrar? As far as I can any late comers to this fiasco will find registerfly still controls the eNom registrar domains bought from them.

danny 03.17.07 at 6:18 pm

What I meant to say was:

As far as I can tell, any late comers to this fiasco will find registerfly still controls the eNom registrar domains bought from registerfly.

Jose 03.17.07 at 9:47 pm

Paul and crew -
Nothing new for us evidently (as of this post)

ICANN logo still ‘proudly’ on the Registerfly site.
RRP auth codes still on numerous (valuable) domains

The kicker – one of my clients got an automated
renewal e-mail from them (60 days out) today.

I suggested they don’t enter their credit card.
I have those auth codes and those domains
are on the way out.

The large question? Are the who-is records for
those of us that still have a significant amount
of domains there (other than those that have been
transferred out) on file with ICANN and Verisign ..
in the unfortunate event that we have to prove anything later? …
More imprtantly, the authorization codes?.

I would assume that ICANN’s responsibility ceases
here at the end of the month?

Thanks for your support ….

Bigfoot 03.18.07 at 3:33 am

Domains showing correct whois and eNom as Registrar can be reclaimed via eNom. The information is on how is here and at registerflies.com and for me it has worked.

Even those that had ProtectFly service enabled were retrieved by eNom (as they technically still had them) and simply moved to an account at eNom aft4er providing photo ID and screenshoots from within RF’s control panel showing the listing of the domain.

Lynsay 03.18.07 at 4:37 am

Similar experience here, Diane. And I’m sure we’re not the only ones. I would love to see ICANN (or anyone else, for that matter), provide some sort of arbitration whereby we can get our stolen domains back.

It’s really unfair & imho illegal–we paid our money, we begged and pleaded, but still our domains were lost to some squatter who is now charging us ransom.

If anyone within the sound of my voice can offer some help, please speak up. (Btw, please don’t suggest some profiteering company like National Arbitration Forum who charges $1300 per case. They’re no better than the profiteering squatters. What we need is a non-profit regulatory committee who acts solely in the interest of the law.)

Yew 03.18.07 at 4:43 am

Seems that things have truly gone to the dogs. I saw this when I logged into my registerfly “Account Control Panel”.

http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/3643/rflyct5.jpg

Try for yourself to verify this.

Satviewer 03.18.07 at 6:39 am

REGISTERFLY WEBSITE DEFACED BY EMPLOYEES…

Registerfly employees are defacing the company website…
Kevin Medina cannot control his employees who are obviously fed up!

This is to confirm what Yew saw:
http://www.360news.info/17-march-2007_registerfly-terminated.htm

ICANN I know you’re not the police of the internet, but don’t you think its time to call the Police to take action and release the hostages ( domains )… This is becoming very serious guys.

ICANN you took already a very good step forward but that’s not enough…HELP people moving their domains away from Registerfly..NOW !!!!!!!!

Edwin 03.18.07 at 7:55 am

any help obtaining the auth code for .name domains? i email to ‘transfer-questions@icann.org’ and it has been 3 days and no reply on the auth code

Tom 03.18.07 at 9:43 am

I have send an e-mail to “transfer-questions@icann.org” requesting auth codes and have received the missing ones a few days later from registerfly.

george 03.18.07 at 12:23 pm

3/18
4:20 pm est
Registerfly is off-line:

504 Gateway Time-out
nginx/0.5.

Anonymous 03.18.07 at 1:02 pm

I have been waiting 3 weeks for auth codes.

Robert Oneill 03.18.07 at 1:26 pm

i am very sorry to hear that please send me your domains that u need the auth codes and also the email and username that is with your regfly account to robert.oneill@registerfly.com
and i will have some one get on it

thanks

Robert Oneill

Max 03.18.07 at 2:48 pm

And whois Robert Oneill ??

Jonathan 03.18.07 at 2:52 pm

tech from RF apparently

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 8:59 pm

Bassem

If you wish to transfer out of RegsiterFly you should try that.

After Registration is terminated ICANN can allow a bulk transfer of names to another Accredited registrar.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:00 pm

We have asked RegisterFLy to act responsibly during this period.

They should allow transfers.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:02 pm

Doug

This is one approach. Thanks for taking the time to answer Tom

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:02 pm

Stephen

We have asked them to act responsibly and we expect them to

Paul

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:04 pm

There is certainly a balance to be struck in deciding to go with a privacy service and we spoke of that last week as indicated by Chris

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:08 pm

I just checked their site and you are right – our logo is still there. I will ask our legal section to address this first thing tomorrow.

The other thing that amazes me is that there is just no mention of the customer service problems they are having nor of the fact that we have issued a notice of termination.

As I have said before if you believe that a criminal act has been committed you should refer it to the law enforcement authorities.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:10 pm

Yes Chris we did have to act. The breaches were not cured, were still occuring. The complaints about RFly have not stopped. the level of anger and frustration in this blg and in other places has been strong

Tony 03.18.07 at 9:10 pm

Can someone help please!

I have a domain that is lost. Registerfly. whois shown as Registerfly as
the registrar but the domain is not in my account. It was transfered to registerfly.com prior to all their problems and has only appeared in my account for a total of 24 hours before dissapearing again.

Anyone can tell me how I can get this back?

Rgds,

Anthony

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:11 pm

Thanks for your observations

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:13 pm

Thanks Lynsay. I think the blog had been helpful as an information exchange. As to the questions I will see what we can advise. I will ask Mike Zupke and his colleagues to come back to this blog this week.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:14 pm

I would be very grateful to see contributions from the other registrars on this blog

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:16 pm

These are useful comments to be made in the context of the discussion we announced last week. We will be issuing a set of discussion points early this week in the lead up to our Lisbon meeting

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:17 pm

We’ll see what can be done

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:19 pm

Yew

Our meeting on Lisbon is one of three that take place per year. It is not solely about RegisterFly or Registrar Accreditation issues.

When Accreditaion is terminated ICANN can allow a bulk transfer to an accredited provider.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:21 pm

Will discuss this with Mike

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:23 pm

There is nothing to prevent RegisterFly authorising ICANN to do a bulk transfer now.

They say they have registrants interests in mind.

Let me come back re your other questions

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:26 pm

Kim

Not sure about the retrieval. Will come back to you. Glad you think our actions are positive

Paul

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:30 pm

No our responsibility does not end at the end of the month. There is the whole bulk transfer process to work through.

I will have aour legal section pursue the logo remaining on their site.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:32 pm

We have to follow the legal process for termination under the agreement.

We are doing all we can to assist people to move who wish to.

Paul Levins 03.18.07 at 9:32 pm

will chase these

Bigfoot 03.18.07 at 11:41 pm

Spamfly doesn’t work because registerfly.com doesn’t own it.

Do a whois search and you’ll see how I came to that conclusion.

Bigfoot 03.18.07 at 11:54 pm

Kim 03.19.07 at 3:42 am

Thank you.

I understand that ICANN may have been blindsided by the RegisterFly scandal however it is obvious from this situation that there needs to be a process established to respond quickly to situations such as this. RegisterFly may have become the worst registrar over the last year, but they are not the only one with problems.

Thanks for your response Paul, and I look forward to the solution. There are many who are only now discovering RegisterFly is in shambles, their domains that they paid renewal fees for have fallen into redemption or pendingDelete status, and are coming to registerflies.com looking for answers. We are of course recommending that these registrants email icann since all we can do is provide advice and a voice for these users. For other users we have been able to tell them how to get their domains unlocked and transfer them to other registrars – in some cases they have had to turn to ICANN when their accounts were restricted or domains were inaccessible (due to lack of auth codes or other reasons). ICANN reps have been doing a fairly good job of getting these registrants the information they need to transfer, but on the other hand some were not so fortunate and their domains are still in limbo.

It is perhaps understandable that ICANN was at first hesitant to do anything beyond forward complaints back to RegisterFly because a situation like this has never happened before, but this exact situation is likely to repeat itself again in the future – and probably sooner rather than later.

If nothing else, RegisterFly has taught registrants that we can’t just sit back and wait for problems to be fixed for us; we have to take the bull by the horn, monitor our domains closely, and scream loudly and often until the registrar is made to do its job.

We can no longer assume that because we renewed a domain that it was actually renewed, or because we paid for new registration that it was actually registered on our behalf. We registrants need to immediately check the WHOIS record, and even after verifying the work was done, we need to keep re-checking the WHOIS info to make sure a rogue registrar is not changing the WHOIS with intent of reselling our domains.

I’m hopeful that ICANN sees that this current situation has proven that there needs to be more accountability and that the accreditation process has to provide real pain for the registrar long before the situation gets out of hand as it did at RegisterFly. The sanctions ICANN applies against registrars have to have real teeth, and not just the final solution when it reaches the point where it is too late to help registrants.

elmister 03.19.07 at 4:33 am

Tony, check whois, is your info on whois?

If not, you have a real problem, if yes, you’ll be able to claim your domain

Frank Marano 03.19.07 at 7:43 am

I’m in “Pending Current Registrar Approval” status thanks to Robert getting me Auth Codes!

Yew 03.19.07 at 8:04 am

Paul,

Thanks for you reply. I really don’t know what to do now.

On one hand, hopefully somebody resolves my issues raised and gives me the Authorization Code. If I keep waiting and nothing happens, will the bulk transfer be able to retain my ownership since it’s masked by Protectfly?

OR

Immediately push my domain to another account to disable the Protectfly and reclaim ownership, and wait for the bulk transfer to an accredited provider. This part is confusing as I do not know what is the exact procedure of this process and I’ve already paid another accredited provider for that unsuccessful transfer.

Mike of ICANN knows of my situation and I’ve recently mailed Robert Oneill of Registefly, both of which I’ve not heard from since.

p.s.
- I’ve checked my bulk/spam folder
- ICANN logo is still being used throughout their website

Doug Mehus 03.19.07 at 8:12 am

hi Paul,

Yes, ICANN did have to act and I’m glad they did. This is a far different action than a couple months ago when Mike Zupke was commenting on “registerflies.com”, an unofficial support site, saying ICANN was not a police agency and had no enforcement powers when asked if they could terminate RegisterFly’s accreditation and access to the various registries. He must’ve misspoke or been misquoted because clearly this is the case. ICANN can revoke accreditation in certain circumstances – and I’m incredibly thankful that it can.

Does the bulk transfer approval require ICANN Board approval or just approval from an executive officer? Also, how will ICANN determine the receiving registrar if there are multiple registrars wanting to take on RegisterFly customers?

Cheers,
Doug

Micky J 03.19.07 at 8:44 am

I still can’t login into my RF account for 10 days… I’m afraid I’m gonna loose my domains… secure range ip function is keeping my account blocked :( any help please? :(

Louis 03.19.07 at 9:49 am

Paul,
Since you seem to be the ICANN person, will there be a statement from you or them on what to do before RegFly loses it’s accredidation (sp?) on March 31? Such as what kind of documentation should we have in regards to domains we own? Auth Codes? Screenshots? Etc? Will all domains remain under our control in the interim? I don’t have any that expire this month from RegFly. Will I still own them afterwards until their expiration or have to pay to keep them? Many I had planned to let expire. I know there is a lot of confusion, so I guess what I’m asking is will there be clarification in the next week or so on what is to be done.

ChiTown 03.19.07 at 10:11 am

Hi Paul
I think most of the prob now getting auth codes is so many people are hitting the site it’s timing out returning packets..
I moved 4 out last week and 2 took 3 days and 2 took 2 days..
However that’s not why this post.

I have over 1000 domains there and it would cost me 10 grand
to transfer them right now and I’m not alone.
At the end of the month if ICANN changes the Registrar will our
domains be moved in bulk or will I get 1000 different passwords?

I think it should be talked over where anyone with over X amount
of domains can have them pushed in Bulk to their registrar of choice.
Like if mine were transfered in bulk to my account at GoDaddy or
NetSol for instance it would save everyone from a major headache.
Also the fact it shouldn’t cost us anything, just a new registrar with the same expir date..

If this isn’t handled right it’ll turn into the Iraq of the internet and ICANN will lose alot of credibility itself.

Point 2, I recieved my usual 500 pcs of spam this morn along with around 500 emails from RegFly saying I need to fix my whois or
risk losing them.
Everything is right in the whois except if in the Orginazation box.
Instead of being blank the word NONE get’s added by default every
now and then.
When that happens the registrants first name moves to the last name box and it shows NONE for the registrant.
ALL the rest of the info for billing ect is there and so is the registrant info but it doesn’t show..
I did a bulk whois change for 1000 domains taking the NONE off of the Origazination box which I’m sure is still going on a little while ago..

Bottom line is this is a major Cluster F as we used to say in Nam
and if it isn’t handled right the entire Domain structure is at risk.

I know speaking for myself if I had to come up with 10 grand the
first person I’d see was an Attorney and I wouldn’t be first in line.
The protection covered in any TOS is just words when incompadence
is so broad.
This didn’t just popup overnight and nothing was done about it..
Reminds me of Katrina in a way.

Before this is over ICANN will either be a Paper Tiger with no respect of teeth or what it was meant to be in the first place..
Please see that it’s not just another Government pothole in the
internet highway..

And when this is over with RegFly maybe it would be a good time to look at some other practices Registrars practice like 1and1 taking
your domain if you cancel hosting there like you’ve had furtive complaints over, or a dozen other tricks used to stop a transfer.
I had someone at 1and1 tell me it was against ICANN policy to transfer a domain 30 days before expiration a few months back.
I did set him streight by the way in English he understood..

Someone in Chicago using a Registrar in New York shouldn’t
have to email or call support and wind up trying to explain a
problum with someone in India..

This entire mess has cast a cloud over ICANN and they’ll follow RegFly down the trail of yesterdays news if they don’t wake up
untill it’s too late..
I know speaking from 1 prospective if every country starts policing
other countries TLDs reg’d in their country nobody will know which way is up..

Try to get some answers at least on the bulk transfers ICANN will make after the 1st of the month so at least we have an idea
what to plan on..
This can be a cut and dried issue without a meeting of the minds..
Is it so hard to inform the registrys for the TLDs to offer some input
and help?? They should have updated whois info on who registered domains they control even it RegFly and Medina end up in Cuba..

I know I’m not alone in the thought if I have to pay for transfering domains that I already paid for this entire issue will be in courts till
Hillery serves her 8 years and everyday ICANN will move closer to Fema in stature..
Thanks for letting me eat up some BW..
And Good Luck

andrea dal zovo 03.19.07 at 11:06 am

Hi. I’ve called registerfly 2 times today (72mins waiting on the line, international call…), and the didn’t give me the auth code (their computer didn’t work anymore….) and also tells me that they are qualified icann, and i’m wrong if I say they did not.
I’ve tried to renew 2 of my domains on 11.march.2007, have my credicard debited, but 1 domain is expired yesterday. To have the auth code for that expired domain I should renew it with registerfly (and paying another time for that…. and pay another time to transfer it after that renew = 3 payments!!!!!!). I’m very sick about registerfly service, and hope that ICANN will fix this problem soon.

AJ Doyle 03.19.07 at 11:39 am

I don’t want to seem like I am beating a dead horse, but what, if anything, is going to be done for those of us that are in extended RGP with eNom because of registerfly.com?

With ICANN Terminating Registerfly’s accreditation, this most likely spells the end of Unified Names, Inc. d/b/a Registerfly.com, inc.

If they are to file bankruptcy, there probably wont be any way for those of us ran blindly to eNom’s promise to help to be able to get any closure on our RGPed domains. We went from being at the mercy of one registrar to being at the mercy of another.

Congratulations to all that were able to get their domains straightened out! Please don’t forget about those of us who are still trying!

-AJ Doyle
coolerthanyou.org

Sander J. Rabinowitz 03.19.07 at 1:48 pm

Technically, R’Fly’s ICANN agreement doesn’t expire until the end of the month. Perhaps for now they might then be able to claim to callers they are still accredited (although I tend to think even that is misleading). But if R’Fly were to also say there is nothing wrong their their relationship with ICANN, that’s another matter, since that would be blatantly false. –SJR

Sander J. Rabinowitz 03.19.07 at 2:04 pm

Paul–

It happens that although I was able to transfer all my domains successfully prior to the meltdown, R’Fly still has some of them showing in my Registerfly control panel (and from what I understand, that’s not unusual). Stated differently, R’Fly acts as if they still have the domains, even though they are safely with another registrar. In the past, I had to expressly ask R’Fly to remove the domains from my account…something I imagine they can’t or won’t do now.

This leads, I think, to a potentially serious technical dilemma. Will the bulk transfer process that ICANN contemplates be able to distinguish between domains that are *really* locked at R’Fly and the ones that R’Fly thinks it still has…? Adding to the complexity: Will ICANN be able to distinguish between domains in these two groupings with domains that were allowed by R’Fly to expire and were then registered by third parties prior to the commencement of ICANN action?

My main concern is making sure that apparently safe domains aren’t inadvertantly caught in any bulk transfer process. Since my domains appear to be safely locked at the new registrar, I feel I should be all right, but a sanity check remains in order. –SJR

wstevens 03.19.07 at 2:44 pm

Hi. I have 2 domains part way through the process of transferring away from Registerfly to GoDaddy — but they’ve been sitting at “Pending Current Registrar Approval” for 5 days, and I’ve yet to receive an approval email from Registerfly. And they are not responding to my service tickets.

I’m concerned because these domains expire at the end of March and losing them would cause great difficulty to the internet-based nonprofit using them.

Is there anything else that I can do to get beyond this step? They are org domains, and I have received and logged the Auth Codes with GoDaddy. Thanks for any insight. -ws

Bigfoot 03.19.07 at 3:41 pm

I’ve just got the mail from RF. I initiated the transfer on 17th March at 2:24 EST. I got the e-mail from RF and have checked, the domain is safely out. It’s the 19th March and 23:42 GMT.

Rui Bebiano 03.19.07 at 4:58 pm

Hi

When do you plan to announce the schedule and guidelines for the workshop at the Lisbon meeting?

Pete 03.19.07 at 5:14 pm

hmmm, what a relief, I can definitely sleep now.

You’ve been asking them to act responsibly for a very long time,
has it changed anything at all ?
You’ve been asking them the act responsibly when their accreditation depended on it, has it changed anything ?

It’s good to hear from ICANN that now when RF lost absolutely everything and have no motivation whatsoever, they will suddenly start to act responsibly.

Thanks for the assurance, it made my day.

Pete

Chris 03.19.07 at 5:47 pm

As long as your domains are unlocked and you had the correct auth codes, don’t worry about not receiving the approval email — your domains will transfer by default after 5 days.

Kim 03.19.07 at 6:51 pm

As of 22:53 EDT on March 19 the logo is still there, and many people are still just now discovering the RegisterFly problem. I’m sure there are many more just thinking it’s business as usual, submitting renewals and even new registrations even though RF is not submitting them through to the registries.

Stricter remedies need to be put into place for future incidents because I doubt very much that RF will be the last accredited registrar to conduct themselves this badly.

George 03.19.07 at 8:37 pm

What will happen with the domain names that are ready to expire???
These domains are unable to be renewed, and if expired, has the ICANN taken note of the domain names that are due to expire and protect them from being lost ????

I have one domain name that is ready to expire and am unable to renew.

What are we doing about this issue?

The ICANN needs to take action right away and take over the databases. This is illegal what Registerfly is doing. This is the beginning of a regulated domain name industry.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:40 pm

I think the answer to your first question is no the bulk transfer wont retain your ownership.

I would go with the second option. We will soon publish again what you have to do to transfer with some other advice. Ihope to have that up tommorow.

Yes the logo is still being used. We wrote to them today and demanded it be taken down. the correspondence will be posted at our correspondence link.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:42 pm

Helpful advice for others thanks

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:46 pm

Lynsay

We have had early discussions about this at ICANN but it is VERY hard. I’d like to say it was easy but that would be deluding you.

The fact is that even though you may have lost a name in unfair circumstances, the new ‘owner’ has most likely got the name legally.

We have not given up looking at options here but at this stage it is looking impossible even though that is rotten conclusion to have to reach.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:50 pm

Kim

Thanks for this considered response. You are right I think, there are menay lessons to be learnt and that’s why tommorrow we will list a set of discussion starters for a major forum we want to have at our Lisbon meeting and beyond. If you or anyone else wants to participate in that there is a remote participation website that will provide access.

The details are on our website.

Your point about not just sitting back if you are a registrant is well made.

Now is the time to give input and to inform change to the accreditation process.

Paul

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:52 pm

I dont know – I will raise this and come back

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:53 pm

good news

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 8:56 pm

Yes – we will clarify and advise ahead of time any actions that we take.

There are a few variables here. RFly still has a number of options available to it funder the agreement for arbitration as well as its legal rights to challenge the termination. SO it is not clear cut.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 9:07 pm

ChiTown,

none of this is clear cut. And it varies from case to case too.

We are most concerned about registrants presently so we’re not that occupied with our own image. As Ive said before we are doing what we can given the circumstances and the limits of the agreement. So we are less worried abt how we look and more interested in just getting information and advice and taking the appropriate action.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 9:08 pm

I dont know Sander.

Let me see if I can find out 2moro.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 9:09 pm

Bigfoot

Congratulations

Paul

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 9:10 pm

Tomorrow I am hopeful we will have a short set of discussion pointers and ideas out in the public domain.

Paul Levins 03.19.07 at 9:21 pm

George

We are simply not empowered to ‘take over the databases’.

We are doing all we can under the agreement to pursue RegisterFly. There are a whole lot of issues here that are simply about poor business practice.

We have issued a notice of termination last Friday.

As to your last point – if you believe that the industry should be more regulated then you are free to express that view and now is the time to do that as we launch a major debate around the issues that RegisterFly has produced.

Micky J 03.19.07 at 10:54 pm

Before you do that please think about the people that can’t login to their RF accounts – no contact information is possible to change or no transfer for them… there are domains with protectfly enabled remaining there! How many times shall I say it: there is a glitch and everyone who has secure range ip enabled can’t login anymore… you have to transfer the RF database (so domains are related to accounts), not only the domains – this will create chaos!

Micky J 03.19.07 at 10:59 pm

Dear Paul, you promised an update on this matter (on the other blog post). Please help.

bassem 03.20.07 at 12:19 am

when i make renew to may domain name with my registerfly company this domain with registerfly from 17/1/2004 and i make every year renew it success but this year tell me failure failure
But now registerfly give my domain to another owner after delete it
i make Backorder to follow up my domain with registerfly
problems but Registerfly company did not make it
and i have all documents frome registerfly copmany you can making sure this is my domain
And i need my domain name now?

Nick 03.20.07 at 4:56 am

I couldn’t agree with this more. ICANN please please take note of this. Write it down on the back of your hand for holy please’s sake – transfer ACCOUNTS WITH DOMAINS. It will take longer but it is essential to prevent total chaos involving thousands of domains and it will never come to an end.

Paul Levins 03.20.07 at 8:25 am

Micky

If you have a proxy registration (or Protectfly as it is known in this case) there is little you or we can do to unlock your account

I am very sorry to have to tell you this but there is nothing ICANN can do other than to forward your request to Rfly and you should keep pursuing them too.

Paul.

Tim G 03.20.07 at 10:06 am

Yes, this is going to be very problematic… Registerfly still has a domain showing in my account that I transferred to 1and1 last year, and several other domains that I’ve actually managed to transfer in the past month or two (.org; my .com and .net domains still won’t unlock) also are still sitting there.

Which indicates that a bulk sale is going to be very problematic. Registerfly’s databases simply are fundamentally inaccurate.

It’s true that WHOIS will presumably show who the domains really are registered through, but is there going to be a company willing to sift through all that?

Kim 03.20.07 at 10:53 am

March 20 2007 at 14:47 EDT the logo is still there.

Kim 03.20.07 at 11:12 am

Hi Paul,

I do not mean to hound you but has there been any process put into place for retrieving pendingDelete domains? My client’s domains seem to be frozen in this status as promised (thank you) so they do not get purged, but there needs to be a way to restore them to their rightful owner.

Thanks.

–Kim

CD 03.20.07 at 12:10 pm

I still have domains in my account saying they are registered till X-X-2007, yet registerfly FAILED to renew them EARLY last year – and I refused to pay the Enom ‘extortion fee’ when they contacted me to let me know that I no longer owned them.

This type of rubbish database error has been going on for years – it’s a good thing that they are joining the dodo.

My account is an absolute MESS… almost 200 domains still listed, yet only 50 left…

It has taken me weeks to sort through and double check everything.

WK 03.20.07 at 3:37 pm

The STRANGE thing for us, the webmasters affected for Registerfly Bad business, is the ICANN attitude.

We know you say canT do more, but..

why you not follow the TRANSFER stats YOU say Registerfly give each day ?

AT the moment, the majority of us, get the perspective of a ICANN without Power and guilty of omission sins.

By the way, me and many, are wasting two to three hours DAILY in the follow of the INEXISTANT notices. When think u free the Auth codes ? What is the PROPOSED, NOT DEFINITIVE plan for the 31 ?

Myself have many domains in directi, mydomain and some in godaddy and dont want ENOM if possible.

vegi 03.20.07 at 6:35 pm

Paul Levins;
I found one guy at registerfly tech support very helpful. His name is Oscar and direct the guys here if some one looking for Auth codes help/ Domain error fixing/Who is error fixing etc. His mail address is Oscar@registerfly.com

He is very responsive and very prompt in replying and resolving

I got all my auth codes and transferring now

thx

Out-of-business 03.20.07 at 8:10 pm

Yes,

I agree that all through this saga the ICANN position has been questionable.

In the very previous post to this, Paul Levins sings the praises of a helpful registerfly employee.

Your attitiude is dissmissive and irresponsible.

Peoples incomes are being taken away from them on a daily basis as domains expire.

Shame on you, your organisation and your attitudes – everyone needs their domains – not just you Paul.

May the wrath of public rage bestow upon you.

Paul Levins 03.20.07 at 9:03 pm

I’m sorry but you have this very wrong.

I did NOT ‘sing the praises’ of anyone at RegisterFly.

If you read the post you refer to you will see that the poster uses my name to address my attention to the fact that there is a person called Oscar at RegisterFly who is apparently helpful.

This blog has been used by many people to exchange information about the problems they have encountered with RegisterFly. This may be useful news to those affected. That’s why I leave it up on our blog.

I completely understand your anger and frustration but I will not accept that we have been dismissive or irresponsible in our approach. I take particular exception when you have based this comment on a misreading of someone else’s blog comment.

Gina 03.20.07 at 11:50 pm

I tried to renew my domain but all attempts failed. They wouldn’t allow me to transfer it and, of course, they wouldn’t reply to my tickets. My domain seems to have expired, so I have absolutely no control over it.

At the same time I cannot register it as all whois records show that it expires in 2008.

Any ideas?

Bigfoot 03.20.07 at 11:54 pm

Logo still in place. Time 7:55 GMT

Johnny 03.20.07 at 11:55 pm

and what if you have protectfly enabled? the bulk transfer must be done with domains associated to RF accounts as said before!

andrea dal zovo 03.21.07 at 12:25 am

Have the same problem. I’ve spend 72min on the phone with RF, but there is no solution for that. We should wait until it expires + 30 days, and hope nobody is buying it.

Johnny 03.21.07 at 1:00 am

I think you are too optimistic. Someone will take it if has at least pr2 or traffic

andrea dal zovo 03.21.07 at 1:10 am

maybe… but hope mr kevin media will have some strange kind of dysentery for at least 2 months…

Adam Masri 03.21.07 at 1:20 am

Hello Paul,

Thank you for continuing to read & respond to the posted comments in this forum. There are a lot of angry Registerfly customers here.

After this fiasco, I think the domain name industry needs regulation & restructuring. I’ve heard you say multiple times, in multiple ways, that such-and-such an issue is outside ICANN’s jurisdiction. But there must be “adult supervision” when a domain registrar has many similar customer service complaints against it that affect the Internet’s resolution of domain names, which is your job. Your “Registrar Services Dispute” page here

http://www.internic.net/

is woefully inadequate.

I think I see the problem. You see ICANN’s job as to coordinate the root name servers, and charge fees from registrars. That’s it. As long as you’re paid, and registrars do their job of getting you domain name registration information, you’d rather not get involved with simple billing disputes & customer service issues.

However, what happened in this case is that you have many, many reports of people paying their fees, yet not receiving the domain name service they paid for. Since you were paid for these registrations by the registrars, that makes you ethically (if not legally) bound to ensure that what the consumer paid for was received. If it was not, you need to provide a method of recourse. These consumers & businesses need a way to escalate their problem to someone who will provide needed “adult supervision” to make sure they are taken care of, without requiring a class action lawsuit or individual lawsuits against the registrar, which would be time consuming & expensive. Most small business people simply cannot afford it.

My thoughts:

1) The domain registrar should not hold the authorization codes to transfer a domain, someone else should. I understand if ICANN is reluctant to hold them; then ICANN would be subject to myriad lawsuits from disgruntled customers of registrars to obtain their transfer code. Instead, I recommend the customer holds their own auth code. When the customer uses their auth code to transfer a domain, a system is in place whereby the current registrar is told of the impending transfer and are given x days to deny the transfer (for no payment, etc). If the registrar fails to say anything (which would be true in this case), the domain is transfered. The old registrar is of course free to sue, use a collection service, etc. to regain funds, but the customer’s domain is not held for ransom, and ICANN isn’t in the middle of it. If the customer’s auth code doesn’t work (perhaps the registrar mistakenly or purposely gave an invalid code), ICANN should have the ability in their registrar contract to take over the domain & give it back to the customer.

2) When a customer & a registrar have a dispute, customer should have a method of alerting ICANN of the problem. ICANN should keep these reports. Every business has a few disgruntled customers, but when you see patterns of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of customers with similar problems, some method of arbitration should happen on behalf of customers to fix problems wholesale. If large numbers of customers have paid for domain services that have not been provided, then the free market Internet domain name system is broken, and that should be under your jurisdiction. You should have an internal system to decide at what point a registrar has gone beyond a couple simple customer service complaints, and is committing wholesale fraud. You should have a system in place to deauthorize the registrar & swiftly move customer accounts to their choice of new registrar (registrars should be allowed to say whether they will accept this business or not). Your system should have an automated method for customers to tell you if they’ve already moved from the fraudulent registrar, and you shouldn’t touch their account any further.

3) When a customer & a registrar have a dispute, customer should have a method to log disputed domain with ICANN. The domain should enter a locked status at ICANN, displaying a “locked by ICANN” Webpage, so it cannot be sold, used by another registrar customer, used to show advertising that financially benefits the registrar or advertises its service, allowed to expire, and/or be bought up by a domain squatter elsewhere in the world. If ICANN is the “United Nations” of the Internet, and doesn’t want to appear to be controlled by American interests, then it should allow these services worldwide. The initial lock status might be for a period of 3 months, giving time for customer & registrar to work out their problem via customer service channels. If a lawsuit is filed, domain should remain locked throughout length of court case until a court order tells you who gets it.

4) If a customer has paid for domain name service that they did not receive, customer is entitled to receive that same period at their new registrar.

5) If registrar fails to renew domain registration for a customer who has paid, and a squatter buys the domain, ICANN should have authorization to return domain to owner who previously paid and not make customer sue domain registrar & new registrant, who might be in a foreign country. Otherwise, ICANN is in a position of profiting off the misfortune of its customers (two registration fees paid to ICANN) and opens itself to possible lawsuits.

6) New registrar receiving aggrieved customer shall not be allowed to charge any fee for transfer. No “reinstatement” fee, no “transfer” fee, no fee at all. Registrar is free to charge their then-current renewal fee for domain name hosting ONLY, as they would treat any other current customer.

I think these few simple changes would instill confidence in consumers, and reward ethical registrars with new business.

Adam Masri
President
Nolex

andrea dal zovo 03.21.07 at 1:27 am

In switzerland we have switch that sells domains “.ch”, and any kind of problem can be solved with one company. It’s not cheap, that means that only one company on the market make price higher, but we can agree that next time everyone will look at something more than the price…

xaver 03.21.07 at 1:30 am

I created a new account at RegisterFly and I am pushing domains that I transfered successfully away to this fake account.

In this way I keep my RegisterFly account’s list of domains accurate and I have good overview about what I have still to do.

xaver 03.21.07 at 1:57 am

Type of problems with domains still at RegisterFly

I have transfered 80% of my domains away from RegisterFly, anyhow I have still several domains there with following problems:

* domains younger then 60 days (I am not very worried with this domains, until they are unlocked, with correct administrative contact email and I have the Auth codes)
* domains with RRP instead of Auth code (usually older domains worth more money, I am keeping my eye each day on them and I expect the bulk transfer will move them to a fair registrar)
* domains with blank Auth code (in my case quiet random domains and also looking forward for the bulk transfer)
* domains with wrong whois information and I am unable to change it through RegisterFly interface (in my case one .org domain, that I expect to loose) – I am afraid that ICANN will not have any means to help with such scenarios (no access to RegisterFly accounts database, wrong whois information), however I can positively surprised.

* domains that are in EXPIRED or PENDING DELETE status (luckily not my case) – as far as I read nobody was able to save domains in this status except of domains at eNom
* domains with ProtectFly administrative email address and unable to be changed through RegisterFly interface – this would require access to RegisterFly accounts database, that ICANN will not get, but a the registrar gaining the domains in bulk could buy it

—————————–

As RegisterFly is now selling one of its remaining assets what is the customer base behind the bulk of domains still at RegisterFly to a new registrant and this sale requires ICANN approval I would suggest that ICANN will approve the sale to a registrant that is able to handle large volume of domains and who confirms that it has received the accounts database including the ProtectFly and mixed-up whois information.

wstevens 03.21.07 at 4:41 am

Thanks Chris — your comment was very helpful. And, I’m happy to say, accurate too! -ws

Alex 03.21.07 at 4:51 am

Not Protectfly. It is a security function that only lets you logon to your account from a chosen IP or IP-range. The system does not recognize our IP anymore and won’t let us logon to our accounts. It has been 2 weeks already! How can we get back into our accounts to transfer the domains?

Mike Zupke 03.21.07 at 5:07 am

In the event of a bulk transfer, all gTLD names under the sponsorship of one registrar (as recorded by the registry) are transferred to another registrar. It doesn’t matter what names a registrar thinks it has under management, only what it actually has under management according to the registry. I hope that answers your question.

Anonymous 03.21.07 at 5:38 am

Just so you guys all know, ICANN is censoring these responses. This morning I posted to this thread an explanation of why ICANN was structurally the wrong kind of organization to prevent the kind of debacle we’ve seen at Registerfly. Three hours later and my message has been deleted from the thread. Way to go, ICANN. Still, you’re probably going to delete this message too, right? So it’s all for nothing. What a mess. We’re all on our own.

vegi 03.21.07 at 6:29 am

Paul;
You are well said. I am also registerfly victim with 16 domains without authcodes and whois info from long long time. But only Oscar solved my problems just a day ago and thinking of other guys who are on the same boat like me, i posted oscar email address here

“Out of Business” needs to go slow walk on these blogs and use the relevant information, otherwise his problems cannot be solved forever.

“Out of Business”–First you write to Oscar and try for the solution( I already mentioned he helped me in authcodes and whois blank , domain not found errors) i dont know if he can help you in other issues.

thx

Kieren McCarthy 03.21.07 at 6:43 am

More accurately, Anonymous, ICANN deleted *one* of your posts. You will note this one has appeared.

Why did we delete it? Because it broke nearly every part of our clearly stated Comment policy.

It was full of SHOUTING, wild, inaccurate and pointless comparisons, it was impossible to provide a useful response to, and did nothing to further discussion or debate about RegisterFly or any related ICANN matters.

The ICANN blog is not a public messageboard and we will continue without any shame to delete posts that serve no practical purpose. You of course wish to paint this as censorship. We see it as improving the signal to noise ratio.

Post something useful, insightful, helpful – even if it is critical – and it will appear.

Kieren McCarthy
General manager of public participation, ICANN

vegi 03.21.07 at 6:50 am

for all your authcodes and Domain not found errors and Whois info blank, contact Oscar@registerfly.com
He will solve easily and you will have prompt replies.

I worried more than you guys, but finally got the right guy there and he helped me a lot

danny 03.21.07 at 7:48 am

With this registerfly mess you pay more in the end then with the one company concept.

Edwin 03.21.07 at 8:12 am

i still have yet to get any respond from icann or registerfly regarding the auth code for .name domains

Anonymous 03.21.07 at 8:46 am

Sure, take your point on the shouting. Here’s the post again with the caps removed. Tell me exactly how this isn’t information directly pertinent to the failure of ICANN to prevent Registerfly imploding and, by extension, the same thing happening again at another registrar. Tell me exactly what the factual errors are here.

***
You’re all barking up the wrong tree with ICANN. Anyone that expects ICANN to simply solve this situation with the wave of a hand shows a complete misunderstanding of what ICANN is and does.

For all those of you out there who cannot read, ICANN stands for ‘Internet ***Corporation*** For Assigned Names and Numbers.’

Look carefully at that word ‘corporation’ and you’ll see why ICANN is, and always has been, a toothless organization unable to prevent the Registerfly debacle.

People, do your homework before you bitch. ICANN is *not* a governmental or regulatory body. It is a not-for-profit corporation. It has no regulatory powers. The only leverage ICANN has over a registrar lies in the service contract that exists between ICANN and the registrar. This is nothing more than a commercial contract. To enforce a commercial contract requires pursuing a civil case in court. And if the company has no assets left, as is almost certainly the case with Registerfly…. well, you get the idea.

To use another example from recent history: when Enron went bust, their accounts had been audited by Arthur Andersen, a massive and well-respected accounting firm. Enron still went down. In fact Arthur Andersen was destroyed in the aftermath too.

Let’s be clear. You’re all thinking that ICANN is like the IRS.

It isn’t. It’s like Arthur Andersen. And will probably go the same way in the end.

WK 03.21.07 at 8:47 am

Sounds very good , our global legitimate question is, when can we recieve the stats or reason RF to not give 2 icann , of the transfers ?

We can use it the DRAFT with apples and oranges of the LEGAL and PRACTICAL ACTIONS ICANN maye be do in 31 march.

We are see ICANN very…… Elusive.

saeed 03.21.07 at 11:13 am

Hi, Guys I am completly worried about this, I have transfered a domain to register fly about 30 days ago. since its not 60 days old after transfer… can I trasnfer this out in this situtation… and if I CANT or NOT ALLOWER…what will be the future of this domain after 31/03 ?

Please help

Fred 03.21.07 at 11:37 am

Hi Saeed ,

If the account appear into your RF Account Manager do the following steps :

The auth code to transfer at Manage Domains:

Click domain name / Domain / Contact Information at the bottom there appear the Auth Code to transfer domains , if not wait untill ICANN comes with a solution I guess , I am still stuck with 2 domains myself one of my hosting company ( Registered at RF since 2002 ) and 1 costumer domain.

Darrel 03.21.07 at 1:50 pm

After 2½ weeks, 286 emails, ~18 hours on hold, missing contact info, locked domains, RRP auth codes, and being refunded my $100 PayPal deposit… I am officially out of Registerfly!

Now’s a great time to slam Registerfly, but frankly, I’m so exhausted and just want to go to sleep :-( On the positive side I would like to thank:

1) ICANN – Sara Stohl (transfer-questions@icann.org) for her enforcement if ICANN policy with Registerfly
2) PIR – Pamela Miller (pmiller@pir.org) for lifting the “Transfer Prohibited Status” on my .org domains.
3) Robert Oneill (robert.oneill@registerfly.com) for his speedy assistance in providing valid Authorization Codes to replace the non-working RRP.

Best of luck to those still stuck at Registerfly. My best advice is to follow instructions on this website, be persistent, courteous, and grateful for any help you receive. I’m so tired of being nice I think I will (reference to gratuitous violence deleted) Just kidding ;-)

Paul Levins 03.21.07 at 2:31 pm

Darrel

Thank you for post. It’s good to hear you were successful.

I know your reference to a violent break out at the end of the post was intended as a humorous and graphic illustration of your relief that you have finally transferred, but I couldn’t allow it to stay up, I’m sorry.

So I have edited your comment. Should you wish to change it to something else (but not back to its original form) feel free :-).

Sleep well.

Paul

WK 03.21.07 at 3:16 pm

Well Paul, many of we send emails to the 2 registarfly, three times to transfer-icann and no luck. I need change some DNS and cant, my domains expires in 5 months, but nobody give us a real answer.

Is not possible PIR give us directly the AUTH CODES ? I appear in the whois field.

Kieren McCarthy 03.21.07 at 3:57 pm

I have no idea why I am responding to this. Possibly it is to make myself feel better before I refuse to ever embark on such pointless and time-consuming discussions again in future.

> You’re all barking up the wrong tree with ICANN.

There are a lot of distressed people, ICANN is doing what it can to smooth the path, this is your entry point. It is deliberately designed to be an attention grabber but in fact provides only doubt, without resolution; promises failure without any explanation.

> Anyone that expects ICANN to simply solve this
> situation with the wave of a hand shows a complete
> misunderstanding of what ICANN is and does.

At no point has anyone suggested that any of this can be dealt with the “wave of a hand”. In fact, the opposite has been the case: it has been consistently stressed that there is no simple solution.

You are, again, purposefully encouraging distress by either knowingly or ignorantly painting a false picture.

> For all those of you out there who cannot read,
> ICANN stands for ‘Internet ***Corporation***
> For Assigned Names and Numbers.’

This doesn’t actually mean anything.

> Look carefully at that word ‘corporation’ and
> you’ll see why ICANN is, and always has been,
> a toothless organization unable to prevent the
> Registerfly debacle.

This doesn’t make any sense. You may have an argument somewhere in your skull but it isn’t making it to the page.

> People, do your homework before you bitch. ICANN
> is *not* a governmental or regulatory body. It is a
> not-for-profit corporation. It has no regulatory powers.

This was made clear by ICANN a week ago. In fact it was stated extremely clearly and there was some lengthy debate over what this meant in reality. Since then, there have been three extensive updates outlining the extent of ICANN’s role. You have still not provided *a single item of useful information* in this post.

> The only leverage ICANN has over a registrar lies in
> the service contract that exists between ICANN and
> the registrar. This is nothing more than a commercial
> contract. To enforce a commercial contract requires
> pursuing a civil case in court. And if the company
> has no assets left, as is almost certainly the case \
> with Registerfly…. well, you get the idea.

Conjecture posing as facts. You have no idea what assets RegisterFly has. You also misunderstand both the nature of the registrar market and the registrar contract. RegisterFly still has the details of many tens of thousands of legitimate domain name registrations. Your implication is… well, what is it? That ICANN will have to sue RegisterFly? That a lawsuit would do… well, what? Those details are still there, still valid.

You are throwing out vague warnings about nothing for the simple reason that you have no idea how this will turn out. In fact, it is amazing that you continue to find words with which to say nothing, but on it goes…

> To use another example from recent history:
> when Enron went bust, their accounts had been
> audited by Arthur Andersen, a massive and
> well-respected accounting firm. Enron still went
> down. In fact Arthur Andersen was destroyed in
> the aftermath too.

This analogy is utterly useless. Enron and Arthur Anderson as ICANN and RegisterFly? What are you talking about? You can’t just grab famous examples of company collapses and pretend the comparison works. It’s like comparing the Superbowl with the World Cup Final. It works on a weak sort of level until you attempt to draw any form of deeper connection at which point the futility of the comparison becomes immediately apparent.

> Let’s be clear. You’re all thinking that ICANN is
> like the IRS.

No, we’re not. No-one is thinking that. What on earth are you talking about?

Now what is it to be? Is ICANN a regulator, a government body with investigative powers, or an independent overseer? You have thrown out three different models without any explanation or understanding of any of them, without any examples of why ICANN is one or the other, and without any suggestions for how one model or another model may be better or worse, or why the current problem has happened, or what could be done to improve the situation to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Most tellingly, you have failed utterly to provide a single piece of information about *what the actual model is* and what is *really going on*.

> It isn’t. It’s like Arthur Andersen. And will probably go the same way in the end.

You’re right, it isn’t. Of course, not a single person in the world except you has ever considered ICANN was the same as the IRS. Oh, but hang on, you’ve shifted models again to Arthur Andersen.

What will probably go the same way in the end? ICANN will be folded into one of the other main accountancy firms on the Internet? ICANN’s Chinese Walls will receive the attention of the financial authorities?

Your post was deleted because it was utter nonsense. If you find that future posts don’t appear please assume that it is because they were utter nonsense too.

Kieren McCarthy

vegi 03.21.07 at 7:27 pm

Wk
send email to Oscar@registerfly.com
you will be authcode in 24 hours into ur inbox

saeed 03.21.07 at 11:05 pm

Mr Levnis, I still cant find a way for transfer my valuable domain name cause it have under 60 days of beign transfred to RF.

there must be some way, If you alerted on 16 March, there must be a way to transfer domains under 60 days old. am I right?

a lot of people have this problem and I read theire posts on forums. such peoples are so worried about this 60 day law.

and an important question : If we not able to transfer our domains until 31 March, what will happens to them?

this really put me and them to a high stress.

basem 03.21.07 at 11:52 pm

i donot need the future !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

when i make renew to may domain name with my registerfly company this domain with registerfly from 2004 and i make every year renew it success but this year tell me failure failure
But now registerfly give my domain to another owner after delete it
i make Backorder to follow up my domain with registerfly
problems but Registerfly company did not make it
and i have all documents frome registerfly copmany you can making sure this is my domain
i need my domain name now?????????????

Bigfoot 03.22.07 at 12:06 am

Still in place at this time!

Bill 03.22.07 at 3:33 am

You can consider yourself lucky. Congrats.

Micky J 03.22.07 at 3:39 am

Dear Icann,

since you say that Registerfly is forced to give us the auth code this means that I should be able to login to my account in order to do that. But Im not able to do it because of the glitch in their system. As far as I read there are lots of RF users who cant login because of the secure range IP function. RF can’t see our real IPs and doesnt let us to login. Ive sent several emails to you and to their support… nobody is answering. I want to transfer out – in order to do that I must have access to my account… anyone cares about or life, our health, our time and our money???

Thank you…

saeed 03.22.07 at 5:05 am

I think ICANN is somehow responsible for this mess, why you give ICANN ACCREDITION to registerfly? I registered some domains in RF only because of I saw ICANN thruted logo on their site.

What will happen for our domains after 31 March, someone reply please! I cant really take this stress any more…

bigfoot 03.22.07 at 5:28 am

But what use is the Auth Code at present if the domain is in multiple stages of Lock. transferProhibited being only one.

WK 03.22.07 at 10:55 am

i send the mail yesterday, i am the guy of the 11 domains, all info or org.

Nick 03.22.07 at 1:19 pm

This domain disaster wasn’t intentional by either RegisterFly’s staff or ICANN. It’s just a big accident that’s making it into the history books. To everybody shouting at the only people with any power to help rescue your domains, it’s not helping much.

If and when there is a bulk transfer out of RegisterFly, it will be a somewhat time consuming process as a program to carefully transcribe user accounts from RegisterFly to the new registrar(s) must be devised, and there will be legal issues. This is probably why ICANN’s letter to RegisterFly removing their accreditation was keen to encourage THEM to request the transfer, so that they can approve it without it forcing it through the courts or something. Once the accounts are established on a new registrar, they can fix the domains through their usual support ticket/email thing. Just my 2 cents assumption on what MIGHT be ONE WAY of doing it and what might happen. But put it this way: things can only get better.

There are a lot of people who probably still don’t know what’s happening. I’m wondering, to ICANN, is it technically within your power (just what you technically can do, not what you should do or legally are allowed to do), to forcibly redirect RegisterFly.com to a different server providing information and help to people about the situation?? Right now, people are still stumbling across RegisterFly’s website and signing up and losing more money inside it.

ricbia 03.22.07 at 3:11 pm

I have 4 sites on RegisterFly:
http://www.threex.org (domain)
http://www.northernstrike.info (domain)
http://www.csstemplates.biz (domain)
http://www.vipmonitor.org (domain + hosting)

Someone have some tips to save them in the best manner?

kim 03.22.07 at 8:35 pm

Still in place as of 0:36 EDT on March 23.

Bigfoot 03.23.07 at 12:21 am

All but one show (I assume) correct whois info (one has ProtectFly). The three with correct info should be retrievable after the 31st when ICANN are hoping to do a bulk transfer to a registrar. (I say hoping, because if RF invoke the disputes procedure then it could drag on for much longer!).

You could try the various e-mail contacts given here and at registerflies.com but I’ve had no success via those routes. The only success I’ve had has been when eNom was showing as registrar, and that isn’t the case for you.

xaver 03.23.07 at 3:59 am

Was it really only because there was the logo of ICANN, that you used RegisterFly services.
As you very probably know, it is not very difficult to put whatever logo on any site.

dirk 03.24.07 at 3:39 am

I have bought the domain mutters.com in December. I tried several times to transfer it, but it was impossible. Now I even can not reach the page of registerfly…. what is the best thing to do to protect my domain and to transfer it? I can not reach the any page of registerfly…
Any idea what to do? Even my e-mail is not coming any longer. Do they still exist??

dirk 03.24.07 at 3:56 am

In the who is information of my domain appears know the company enom.com with the name servers “hostingfly. What happened now and how can I get my domain back??

xaver 03.24.07 at 12:04 pm

I was very sceptical when writing to Oscar, however after nearly 72 hours I received answer from him and Authorization codes were available for my domains that had RRP or blank auth code before. I just want to say big thanks to the person behind this email address and if there is anyway for ICANN to reward such a person, I am nominating him for any kind of reward.

I still have one domain with mixed-up whois information and some domains younger then 60 days (I am not worried about the young ones).

kim 03.24.07 at 10:29 pm

still in place as of 2:30 EDTon 25 March 2007

Mike Zupke 03.25.07 at 7:05 am

Doug,
You’ve got your facts wrong. First, I didn’t post to that site. An email I sent to one person was posted there. In any event, when Justin complained to ICANN, he did not provide any domain names that were affected. If you write to us now without providing affected domain names, the answer is the same: we cannot help you. Second, as I explained in the email to Justin, “[Compliance] action [by ICANN] could include de-accreditation, assuming the circumstances warrant such action under the RAA. Unfortunately, letters like yours [. . .], which do not include any actionable specifics or domain names, are not particularly helpful to our compliance efforts, nor would they be particularly helpful to resolution of your specific complaint.”
As for the bulk-transfer process, please continue to watch this site for details as they can be made available.

Shawon Halder 03.25.07 at 2:40 pm

I have 45$ in my registerfly account for quick funding. How can i get them back? Its more then one month so i cant open paypal dispute even. Moreover, one more thing i would like to know, if i fail the transfer my domains from registerfly in the meantime, will i loose the access to it? Or i will be able to update it and renew it from the new registrar?

Thanks.
Regards

Simon Regan 03.26.07 at 4:05 am

Dear Mr. Levins,
Approximately one year ago RegisterFly for reasons best known to themselves started using my email address (sregan@bluebottle.com) as the Admin contact on their Default WHOIS Profile (at the time I had 1 .info domain and 2 free .be domains with them) – I have never been an employee of theirs and am at a loss to explain why they decided to use my email as a contact for their company.

As a result I have been deluged with spam mail, misdirected transfer requests, and similar (in one 24-hour period RegisterFly sent me 990 WHOIS confirmations). I have been contacted by numerous customers of RegisterFly believing that I am a member of RegisterFly’s support staff or that I have hijacked their domain (most of whom I have been able to help, but I resent the time and energy I have to spend effectively working for RegisterFly). I have obviously been unable to determine the true intended recipients of most of the transfer requests I receive (since the domains use the default WHOIS profile now emblazoned with my own email), which means that other people are also suffering due to RegisterFly’s blunder.

I have repeatedly contacted RegisterFly to ask that my email be removed from their WHOIS database, and have been told every time that the email address has been removed, only to find more misdirected mail and domain-specific spam (automated link requests, etc.) in my inbox the next day. RegisterFly’s appropriation of my email address is actually illegal under international law relating to the sending of unsolicited electronic mail as well as law requiring the provision of accurate WHOIS information. I have kept full and accurate transcripts of all the email conversations I have had with RegisterFly and people who have contacted me should their provision be at all helpful to the ongoing debacle.

Since RegisterFly looks to be on the brink of collapse, is there any chance of my woes ending anytime soon? Would the WHOIS details of RegisterFly’s domains be changed with the proposed mass transfer on the 31st? More worryingly, would an automated email be sent to the “admin” on the transferred domains’ WHOIS profiles to let them know about the transfer? Since there seems to be almost 1,000 of RegisterFly’s domains wrongfully emblazoned with my email address that could well result in me being sent huge amounts of misdirected mail.

Yours,
Simon Regan

ricbia 03.27.07 at 12:44 pm

“The only success I’ve had has been when eNom was showing as registrar, and that isn’t the case for you.”

Unluckly I have all on “only registerfly” not on “registerfly over eNom”.

Neal Jenkins 04.04.07 at 11:31 am

Good afternoon, Paul, Mike, and Keiren.

While I don’t have a dog in this hunt (as the expression goes), I am following it with interest to see if ICANN can resolve these and future issues.

As I understand the matter, ICANN already HAS revoked RegisterFly’s accreditation, effective March 31st.

Would it be of interest to you to know that as of today (April 4th), RegisterFly is still claiming to be ICANN accredited. See the following link: http://www.registerfly.com/info/about.php
which leads to:

“Company Information

RegisterFly.com, inc. is an ICANN Accredited registrar. RegisterFly.com provides industry leading 24/7 Support via a variety of methods which includes, phone, email, ticket system. RegisterFly.com offers domain registrations as low as $2.99/ea and domain transfers for only $6.99. By adhering to our basic principals of low cost and value to our customers and excellent customer service we have grown to be one of the largest low cost registrars on the web today. In terms of number of customers and domains registered we are one of the 10th largest registrars in the world. We are not a “one man” shop (like many domain registrars and resellers) or a “here today gone tomorrow” business, we have invested substantially in positioning Registerfly.com as a global industry leader….”

This “global industry leader” is making a mockery of ICANN and at the expense of the real owners of the Internet — the public — and the ones who provide ICANN’s funding and who MAY determine ICANN’s future.

You have a long uphill road to regain the confidence of myself and many others.

Thank you for your attention and for the information you are publishing.

Neal Jenkins

Paul Levins 04.04.07 at 12:55 pm

Neil

ICANN gave them notice of termination under the agreement which would have meant they were terminated on 31 March. But under the Agreement they are entitled to seek arbitration as to the appropriateness of the termination and they have exercised that option. Is it frustrating? Yes. But until they are terminated they remain technically accredited by ICANN. We are suing Rfly to get access to data and to audit their books.

We are doing all we can under the agreement. The agreement needs to be reformed and we have started that process. I would encourage you to go to our main website to see the other work we are engaged in. But the RegisterFly situation is our key focus at the moment.

Paul

joe 05.17.07 at 6:24 pm

if you are moving from registerfly and have protectfly, do this before its too late:

go to your account on registerfly and do a screen shot or save the web pages that list your domains, that list your account information and also go to your purchase history and list all your transactions and save that screen as well.

Then you will at least have some proof that YOU are the owner of the domains… IF not then soon when the registerfly site comes down and they dont cooperate with Icann what will you think will happen? yes your domain may be stuck in limbo forever?

ICANN, why dont you offically recomend this action? I thought of it for you

joe 05.18.07 at 11:49 pm

Mr Levins,

what is the status of the situation, in all of these blogs there is no information as to what is now going on?
1) Are transfers being done successfully to another registrar for instance?
2) Transfers require a code from Rfly and they are not providing transfer authorization codes as far as i can tell will ICANN push it through anyway?

3) I unwittingly registered two names just two days ago with Rfly on their website, they took the money via credit card (pay-pal has cut them off) in the system it said that it was a success. then i read all this nightmare situation going on and called godaddy, godaddy told me the domains i registered were still avail!, so i re-registered with them and they say they will help me make the transfer of my other sites to them.

4) The emails listed under the protect fly for my domains, when i sent them a letter they bounced back undeliverable.

5) enough is enough you have so much evidence of fraud on its face that if you are not able to push domains through then maybe its time to everyone will focus on ICANN as the real problem and not some for profit business that has is obviously engauging in a fraud.

6) In a crime corruption who is worse the criminal or the corrupt cop that knowingly allows crimes to done before their eyes? I think everyone here knows already that Rfly is dishonorable at best yet we all look for the naime police force to protect us and when they dont even faced with all this evidence then what you can next expect is a backlash against ICANN.

7) Personally I hope you resolve this soon, no one wants this to go deeper but if it does not resolve in favor of the name holders real soon then people will be demanding heads to roll and not just Rfly.

I wish you the best of success, may i suggest that ICANN assume control of all names and immediately push them to yourself or a 3rd party arbitor.

Thank you and take care.
joe

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