Domain squatting is rife despite the introduction of ZA Central Registry’s Accredited Registrar process which requires that all registrars act in good faith and adhere to guidelines and policies set out by ZACR.
There is an increasing trend for Registrars to register expired domain names for the sole purpose of reselling these domain names at exorbitant amounts.
One particular incident involved a non profit organization who lost their domain to Domain Club, who were only willing to return the domain back to the NPO for a ransom fee of $6000.
Note that we are aware of many other incidents regarding this particular Registrar and it is safe to assume that they employ methods to monitor domain names due for expiry and register them for the sole purpose of resell at hefty prices.
We understand that domain name reselling is a profitable business, but at what point does it become unethical and amount to extortion?
One could argue that the registrant has ample opportunity to renew their domain as part of the life cycle of a domain name, but in many instances the nominated Registrar is guilty for not ensuring that the registrant information assigned to the domain name is correct and thus the registrant would not be alerted as to the possible dangers of loosing their domains.
This post is here to help you educate yourself and ensure that you register your domain names through an ethical Registrar, and one who registers your domain names in your name and not their own. If you have existing domain names then make sure that they are registered with your correct details, and last but not least renew your co.za domain name before it expires – it could cost you if you don’t.