Meanie Registrar Gives In After Yanking Nonprofit’s Domain

ourgoods Meanie Registrar Gives In After Yanking Nonprofits Domain


In what can only be a Christmas miracle, the domain registrar 1and1 has decided to return the domain to the New York City-based barter startup. Renewal notices went straight to spam, and OurGoods forgot to renew their domain name for about $9; in retaliation, 1and1 blacklisted them. The cofounders begged, but customer service wouldn’t listen: the domain had already been shuffled over to DomCollect, 1and1’s partner, for resale.

“We hope that no one buys it and I don’t know why 1and1 doesn’t want to work with us,” cofounder Caroline Woolard said at the time. “I was just telling them we are a nonprofit, it’s $9 a year, can we really just pay you $9? They say the grace period is over somehow and because we didn’t pay they want to blacklist us and just let it go up for grabs.”

But apparently persistence paid off. Out of the blue, 1and1 emailed OurGoods last week to say they could have the domain back. Provided they follow the necessary bureaucratic procedure, that is:

As your bill went unpaid for ongoing months, your account was terminated.  Domains in a canceled account do not renew.  The domain had expired as has gone into the redemption period.  If you wish to retrieve the domain, we will require that you take the appropriate steps to have the domain restored.

Back in November, you attempted to redeem the domain, however, as explained by a 1&1 agent, we were unable to restore your domain at that time because you did not currently have an active account.  Please know that this does not mean that we are unwilling to redeem the domain for you, it simply means that you will need to create an account so the domain can be added to that account when restored.  This would also means that we will require a new redemption form using the information from your new account.

You may create an account by visiting, or you may speak with a sales representative to assist you.  They can be reached Mon-Fri, 8AM-11PM EST at 1.877.461.2631.  Once a new account is created, please allow 6 hours for your new account information to be sent to you via email.  Once this information is received, you can use it to fill out a new redemption form.

Below is the URL to our Domain Redemption form.  The completed and signed form can be sent as an attachment in reply to this email, or faxed to 610.560.1501.

Ms. Woolard said the change of heart was a welcome surprise, but she’s not quite sure what brought it on. “Absolutely NO idea, but I’m thinking they made sure to keep us happy after all the people who called on our behalf,” she said in an email.

One of those advocates was Larry Erlich of, who emailed Betabeat after our first story about the debacle. “I read the story and it pissed me off,” he said. “So I forwarded it to my contacts at ICANN the head of compliance [sic]. They are on it… I had been informing ICANN about this behavior in the past by registrars (competitors) which essentially isn’t allowed.” Registrars are supposed to return a domain if the failure to renew was unintentional.

Mr. Erlich said his lobbying was responsible for 1and1’s reversal (Betabeat was unable to confirm this). And hey, maybe registrars are receptive to public opinion—what with GoDaddy switching its position on SOPA after an outcry and reprimand from Ashton Kutcher. Although 1and1 doesn’t seem to mind its stack of files on or angry rants from French people.


  1. Dan says:

    I hate to break it to you but the fault is NOT with 1and1. There are rules and they followed it. The renewal notices reached the junk folder, clearly indicating it was sent, which is their responsibility. It’s the domain owner’s duty to check his mails. It’s sad to see ignorance be taken as the truth.
    “Registrars are supposed to return a domain if the failure to renew was unintentional.” – this is equivalent to not paying your phone bill and blaming your provider when your number is blocked  >>> NOT TRUE

    1. Anonymous says:

      ICANN provides for this circumstance.

      1. Dan says:

        As the title suggests –  “Discussion Paper: Redemption Grace Periods for Deleted Names”, it’s a *discussion paper*. It ends with “Proposed Solution”. Are you implying that this is a rule and effective policy? Would you be able to point me to where it states so

        I think it’s important to be aware of the rules when buying domains and not leave it up to the sympathy card, when the fault does not lie with the registrar

      2. Anonymous says:

        OK should have used this link:
        In this case, they were still within the grace period. They at least had grounds for an appeal, though it’s not clear whether they’d have won it. But there was also some evidence of bad faith domain squatting on the part of 1and1, which may be why they gave in after advocates started complaining.

      3. LE says:

        All registrars follow consensus policies here:

        This is the expired names deletion policy here:

        Additionally (although for some strange reason I can’t find relevant link) redemption (the link ADR refers to) *does* exist and is applicable to all registrars. It is implemented at the registry level actually.

        What happened here was  the name was never deleted by the registrar (so it never went into redemption). It was simply given to another registrant 1 day after it expired. I’ve attached a screen grab which I made on 12/2/2011 (approx. time I got involved). From what I determined the name was transferred into the ownership of a new registrant around a day after the expiration.

      4. LE says:

        Attached is the screen grab I refer to below.

      5. Dan says:

        Larry, I understand how the process works. ICANN provides policy to registrars and registrars have t&c that dictate terms to customers. ICANN policy does not necessarily need to be enforced as is to customers…certain practices may be unethical, but not illegal.

        If 1and1 say by buying a domain from us we get ownership after 1 day of expiry, that’s their prerogative and up to you to not accept if you feel it’s unjust. I agree it’s an ethical practice.
        I feel bad for the owner too but the article has way too many incorrect facts to paint the right picture

    2. LE says:

      “Registrars are supposed to return a domain if the failure to renew was unintentional.”

      As you are correctly inferring this statement is not true – obviously. And it wasn’t something I said or implied – even though it appears in proximity to my quotation.

      1. Dan says:

        It wasn’t pointed at you, just stating an incorrect statement

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