It’s important that you keep your credit card information updated at your domain registrar. Some people and companies who don’t actively monitor their domain names’ status, may not log in to their domain control panel very often since it’s unnecessary once a website is set up. Because credit card numbers change over time as do email addresses, a domain name could be lost if it isn’t renewed in time.
One example of a possible problem has to do with Cisco. Via Sahar’s Blog, I read a post discussing Cisco.com’s upcoming expiration date of May 15, 2009. Ordinarily one month+ is plenty of time to renew a domain name. However, after looking into this a bit, I see that they originally registered the domain name in 1987, and the expiration date of May 15, 2009 is the same as it was from day one. This means they’ve never had to deal with renewing their registration on this domain name.
Although Cisco owns many other domain names, all with the same admin email address, this could have been problematic for them had they used an employees’ email address, who may have departed the company sometime in the last 22 years. They also may not have had a valid credit card number on file. Both of these issues aren’t applicable in this situation for Cisco, but I am sure it happens to others. Long term domain registrations are great, but they could be problematic down the road for some who aren’t vigilant.
While it is highly unlikely that Cisco will forget to renew their primary domain name, it is important for all domain owners to keep credit card and email information accurate and updated. If a company only owns one domain name, and it has an invalid email address and an expired credit card on file, there is a good chance the domain name will expire and be sent to a drop auction.
Yes, I can remember a couple of equally high-profile cases of domain expirations which caused all kinds of problems. Many years ago Microsoft forgot to renew Hotmail.com and it expired and was dropped – causing all kinds of disruption to the email service.
Also, I remember once when all of WebEx services worldwide stopped working, and it took the staff there nearly a day to figure out why – it turns out the name had expired and had stopped resolving through DNS. Although it was never dropped, it took them nearly 2 days to get everything working again.
Oh, and one more thing – WebEx is now owned by CISCO, of all companies – so hopefully they learned their lesson and will address this before it becomes a problem.