It troubles me greatly that I keep seeing reports of domain registrars blatantly misbehaving. Apparently my own experience with Register.com in making domain transfers almost impossible is not unusual. There there’s the “tasting” issue that seems to have never been completely resolved. ICANN seems to have done a pretty decent job on the technology side of things, but when it comes to registrar oversight it is more aptly named ICAN’T.
One of the most frustrating things we deal with is helping customers transfer domain names from other “registrars” (domain name companies) to us. To do this, we effectively ask the old company to release the domain name, and they have five business days to either release it or reject the transfer.
There’s an obvious potential conflict-of-interest here. An unscrupulous company could easily make more money by rejecting the transfer and forcing the domain name owner to renew it there instead.
However, this shouldn’t be a problem. ICANN, the organization that controls domain name policy, requires registrars to follow some very specific rules about transfers (here, with an update here). They list nine specific situations in which a transfer can be rejected, explicitly banning other reasons.
For the most part, this prevents arbitrary rejections. However, there are a few registrars that continue to violate the rules. We’ve complained (again and again) to ICANN about this, but they don’t seem interested, so I’ll mention a few problems here.
Register.com is one frustrating company. The ICANN policy clearly prohibits blocking a transfer of a domain name that has expired but not yet been deleted. Despite that, a customer trying to transfer a three-day-expired Register.com domain name told us last week that they refused to give him the necessary code to allow him to transfer — unless he pays them to renew it first. That isn’t the first time we’ve heard this, either. (Tigertech blog)