[DNS] Bad experience with auDA RE Domain Central, Bottle Domains, Explorer Domains and their holding company Australian Style Pty Ltd

[DNS] Bad experience with auDA RE Domain Central, Bottle Domains, Explorer Domains and their holding company Australian Style Pty Ltd

From: Chris Disspain <ceo§auda.org.au>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 11:07:59 +1000 (EST)
Dear Mr Moore,
I have investigated the details of your email below. We have had no
correspondence with you and dealt with no complaint from you (formal or
otherwise) regarding any of the registrars to which you refer. Indeed we
can find no record of you whatsoever.
If you would like to contact me direct (ceo&#167;auda.org.au or 03-8341-4111) I
will happy to discuss the matter with you. The situation that you outline
below is a serious matter and we will thoroughly investigate any complaint
that you wish to make.
Chris Disspain
CEO - auDA 
Australia's Domain Name Administrator
Important Notice - This email may contain information which is
confidential and/or subject to legal privilege, and is intended for the
use of the named addressee only. If you are not the intended recipient,
you must not use, disclose or copy any part of this email. If you have
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From: dns-bounces+ceo=auda.org.au&#167;dotau.org
[mailto:dns-bounces+ceo=auda.org.au&#167;dotau.org] On Behalf Of Paul Moore
Sent: Sunday, 4 May 2008 14:53
To: dns&#167;dotau.org
Subject: [DNS] Bad experience with auDA RE Domain Central, Bottle
Domains,Explorer Domains and their holding company Australian Style Pty
In correspondence with auDA, it was revealed to us that they know that the
domain name registrars they accreditted, Domain Central, Bottle Domains
and Explorer Domains, are reregistering the domains of their customers to
themselves, by the thousands, as auDA said to us they had received DOZENS
of complaints around the subject from other businesses who like us lost
their domains and websites to and through these outfits. Let me repeat
myself: I informed auDA of an abusive situation (explained below) and they
advised us that they know of, and have known of the issue for quite some
time; that several of their accreditted registrars are reregistering for
themselves their customers dot com dot au (.com.au) domains whenever the
customer forgets/neglects to renew them. 
The registrars are refusing to give the domains back to their rightful
owners stating that they themselves as "Australian businesses" are equally
as entitled to register domains as any other business conducting ecommerce
in Australia.
auDA has done nothing, and is doing nothing about this improper conduct.
These Australian registrars are misusing their priveldged position and
conducting insider trading to scoop up thousands upon thousands of peoples
dot com dot au (.com.au) domains that were not renewed in time.

We accidentally forgot to renew, within a ludicrous "90 day renewal"
period, some of our highly descriptive dot com dot au domains that we had
registered some 6 years earlier to point at our main website. These
weren't just random domains. They were common dictionary words that
received highly qualified leads that generated a significant amount of
sales on our main website. These leads came through the domains because
the domains describe desirable items that people type directly into their
web browsers followed by the dot com dot au suffix, like " email.com.au".
Since people directly "type-in" these domains it makes them valuable. This
"type-in" phenomenon is called "direct navigation" and is the main reason
we beleive our domains were targeted by the Australian domain registrar
holding company "Australian Style Pty Ltd".
Australian Style Pty Ltd reregistered our domains within minutes of their
release to the public, but not to us! They reregistered our Australian
domains to themselves and refuse to give them back!
When I realised our oversight in neglecting to renew our domains a "90 day
renewal deadline" had passed by a couple of hours only so that our domains
were already in a "ServerHold, ServerRenew and ServerUpdate Prohibited"
status. Thus our domains were still registered to us but could not be
renewed due to the status they were in. We were informed that they were
due to randomly become available to the public on a "first come, first
serve" basis. We were told "there is nothing we can do except you can try
to reregister them once the registry has released them."
Of course the night that followed was near sleepless pondering what chance
we had to reregister our prized domains before another could. I came to
the conclusion our chance was 100 per cent because how on earth could
anyone except our domain registrar, "Aus Registry" (the maintainers of the
Whois database) and auDA (the ".au" domain suffix regulator) know that our
domains were expiring!!?
I was confident in the conclusion that we would be able to reregister our
domains back because some Australian domain investors/developers (a.k.a.
domainers) explained on a domain forum that they would buy dot com dot au
domains but cannot because of the restrictive policies and that none of
the expiring domain name services (SnapNames.com, NameJet.com, Pool.com)
provide information on the dot com dot au domains that will become
available as the expiry information on all dot com dot au domains is
PUBLICLY UNAVAILABLE and AusRegistry has an "IP (Internet Protocol)
address lookup restriction" in place on the Whois database that restricts
people from looking it up more than 20 times per day! So no one, except an
insider, could be privy to the fact our domains were expring. In other
words it is IMPOSSIBLE for the public to learn the expiry date of dot com
dot au domains. 
I was extremely disapointed in auDA's innaction and reaction to our loss.
I demanded to know what actions they had undertaken since they received
the first similar complaint and what actions they planned to take
regarding the conduct relating to the documented abuse and misuse of
customer records and Whois database information theft by some of the
registrars they accredditted to stranglehold peoples domains.

We tookup this issue with auDA as they are the self governing industry
body who oversees dot com dot au domains so it is their duty to do the
right thing by the public. They did not, and are not fullfilling their
Well, to our discust, our questions and issues have still not been
resolved. In fact, the issue has been swept under the carpet, and to this
day (months later) auDA is continuing to allow the above mentioned
registrars and their related enterprises to WAREHOUSE thousands upon
thousands of dot com dot au domains. Thus I am now posting this open
letter in this public forum to demand to know why auDA is continuing to
allow "Australian Style Pty Ltd" (the holding company of *three* auDA
accredited registrars Domain Central, Bottle Domains and Explorer Domains)
to reregister for themselves the domain names of their former customers
and to hold them hostage while MONETIZING them to display paid links by
Google? There is no doubt in my mind these extortionist registrars will
soon turn around and sell these thousands upon thousands of warehoused
domains back to the market when auDA's new reselling policy is formulated
this coming June 2008!
It is sickening that auDA is allowing their registrar partners to rape the
Australian domain suffix. Something should be done to stop this abusive,
racketerring-like conduct and misuse of a priveldged position of trust to
literally 'steal' Australian domains from their former and rightfull
I hope that those of you who agree with us will follow through in
demanding that auDA respond to and satisfactorily address this important
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