A little over ten years ago, I saw that a small business near where I grew up did not have its brand match .com domain name. It had a unique name, so I thought that was strange. A visit to the brand match name showed me why – someone in another country owned the domain name and displayed links in another language.
Since this local business is definitely the only company in the world with this particular name, I monitored the domain name via GoDaddy. Within a couple of years, the domain name expired and deleted. Because I grew up shopping at this business and appreciate what they do I backordered the domain name and won it.
Immediately after getting control of the domain name, I forwarded it to the domain name they were using. Within several weeks after getting the domain name, I visited the business and told them I secured the domain name for them. I asked them how I could get the name to them at no cost so they could control it and use it however they want. They gave me the office manager’s email address, and I followed up later on that day.
When I didn’t hear back after a week or so, I emailed the office manager again. I also cc’d the contact email address found on their website and mentioned the owner’s name. I did not receive a reply. Years later, I am still forwarding the domain name to them.
A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend where I currently live, and he mentioned that business near where I grew up. It reminded me that I still have their domain name! I reached back out to them to let them know I still want them to have it. No response again.
At this point, I am afraid that if I let the domain name drop, someone else will grab it. There’s a decent chance someone won’t be as nice as me, and they’ll use the domain name in an unhelpful manner. At best, for them, the person would put PPC links. At worse, there are more harmful things that could be done. If that happens, they’ll probably notice and reach out to me to ask WTF? Then, they’ll want the name but it will be out of my control.
You can have the best intentions in mind when you register a domain name for someone else. If they’re not onboard at the outset, you can give yourself a time suck and a headache trying to get the name back to them.