In my update post yesterday, I mentioned how I find it to be a good sign when a Whois email address contact doesn’t work. I look at it as a challenge to find the owner to try and buy the domain name. Abdu Tarabichi of Domainsville replied to my comment suggesting that the domain name can be reported to ICANN, and if they can’t get in touch with the owner, it might be deleted and he could possibly catch the drop.
As he pointed out in his comment, ICANN does have a form to report a domain name that has invalid Whois information. The form is called the “Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form,” and you can file a complaint by visiting the ICANN website.
According to the website, “this form allows Internet users to submit a complaint to ICANN regarding incomplete or incorrect Whois data, including privacy or proxy contact information. The complaint is then forwarded to the sponsoring registrar, who must take reasonable steps to investigate and correct inaccurate data.”
In response to Abdu’s suggestion, someone commented that it was a “slimy tactic” to use this means to buy a domain name, and I have mixed feelings on that.
People are required to keep Whois information updated, but I would be dismayed (and angry) if I lost a domain name that I had been paying for because an old email address was invalid. I would be especially irked if I paid for a ten year registration and they took the name away when it was all paid up.
If I was asked about whether or not I would fill out the form, my first inclination is to say that I wouldn’t fill it out because I feel that I’d rather try and find the owner using other means, since others probably didn’t have luck contacting the person either. Additionally, the price could go sky high if it goes to auction, and I doubt I’d have luck catching it without an auction. I have not reported a domain name for having inaccurate Whois information, and I can’t imagine that I ever would.
Have you ever reported a domain name for having invalid contact information? What was your experience like with that? Has someone else reported an invalid Whois contact for one of your names? What was the result?