Substantial Registrant issues for Bulk Transfer after Partial Portfolio Acquisition
#1, The timeline is too short for registrants to respond in a timely fashion. I would propose a minimum of at least the grace period for a domain renewal. 45 to 60 days would benefit the registrant and prevent a backlash. 30 to 45 days would likely be sufficient if properly carried out.
#2, I am not clear as to what a "written notice" includes. This is 2009, and the only thing I write are little notes to myself. Everything else is electronic and not in the classical sense is it "written."
#3, There needs to be a clear way to notify registrants. Does the winning registrar get to send out an email? What if there was a new field in the registrant-registrar agreement that said,
"If a BTAPPA is proposed and this domain is affected, then I wish to be notified by:
a. e-mail b. fax c. telephone d. mail Choose at least 1 and no more than 2."...And then let the customer decide. The opt-out should also be spelled out in the registrant-registrar agreement such as:
"Registrant may choose to opt out of a BTAPPA. A minimum of 30 days to opt out will be offered. After the opt-out period has expired, there will be a minimum of 5 days until the BTAPPA occurs. At any time the registrant may choose to transfer the domain to another registrar."
#4, There needs to be a registrant opt-out option for all domains and for all BTAPPA. Using this proposal,
"in the event that the Losing Registrar has indicated that it is willing to continue to serve as the registrar for the domain name"
logically precludes an opt-out request if the losing registrar denies it. There is nothing a registrant can do about it.
#5, It is appropriate for the Winning Registrar to pre-notify the registrant. The proposed prices, guidelines, agreements, relationship, account information, services, and other pertinent info should be included. Should the winning registrar send an advertisement? Not until the relationship is established. Here is how I believe it should work:
a. Registrant gets 35 days notice of transfer from losing registrar. b. Customer has 30 days to opt out.c. Once opt-out period is gone, there is a second notice from losing registrar with 5 days left. d. The Winning registrar now sends proposed prices, guidelines, agreements, relationship, account information, services, and other pertinent info within 2 to 5 days of transfer. Registrant can login to the winning registrar's website, if applicable to that registrar.
e. Transfer happens. f. Customer receives a success notice from winning registrar.g. Losing registrar allows account access to old billing information and account services for another 6 months related to the registration of the transferred domain
#6, What level of information is shared between the Losing and Winning Registrars? Billing and credit cards and recurring payments? Other services? Will other services transfer? Why does the proposal not cover the obvious issue of whenever hosting/DNS/email and other ancillary services are involved as they usually are? Perhaps ICANN and VeriSign don't care about those services, but there needs to be a "best practice" or guideline for registrars.
#7, Will VeriSign or ICANN force registrars to enact acquisition scenarios and BTPPA terms into their registrar-registrant agreement? For example, if a registrant has a 2-year registration for a .com domain, when will they be subject to a BTPPA? Will they simply get a notice of the change in their registrar-registrant agreement one day, effective immediately? And then, they get a BTPPA notice, effective in 15 days? There are numerous holes in the process:
a. What will registrars put into their Terms of Service? Will they (be able to) say that BTPPA cannot be opted out?
b. How soon can the TOS change? During a registration period?#8, PENDINGRESTORE REDEMPTIONPERIOD and REGISTRAR-HOLD are statuses that benefit the registrant who may eventually restore a domain. I would propose that it will be highly unusual to transfer a domain during any of these statuses. It is not clear whether VeriSign intends to transfer domains in these statuses except that they clearly want to transfer a domain in the redemption grace period. This would be quite confusing to the registrant.
#9. There needs to be a guideline that a domain cannot be in any of the hold/pending statuses, nor the redemption period, for the entire length of the BTAPPA proposal. That means that if at any time a domain goes from a typical registrar lock to a Registrar hold, then this domain becomes ineligible for transfer. Example: example.com expires on 1 Jan 2010. Notice is sent on 2 Jan 2010. The registrar places the domain on registrar-hold on 1 Jan 2010. BTPPA is scheduled for 16 Jan 2010. Customer contacts the Losing Registrar on 27 Jan 2010. With Verisign's proposal, the customer's records, domain, and login information has all vanished! Calling tech support for losing registrar is no help. Registrant never discovers how to re-register example.com and it eventually gets deleted.