I just received two emails from Snapnames with information about the rebate offer (both emails look the same). The email from the company confirms the bidder ID as “halvarez,” which has been widely reported already. It also informs users that audits were performed on all closed auctions by FTI Consulting, a third-party forensic accounting firm. The rebate offer is described in full detail in the email, and customers were notified what auctions were affected and how much their rebate will be.
If you were involved in a one on one auction with “halvarez” and won, the rebate is the difference between what you paid and the opening bid, plus interest. If you bid in an auction with “halvarez” and others, the rebate will be the sales price minus what the next high bid would have been without the involvement of “halvarez” plus interest.
One issue I see with the rebate offer is related to the perceived value of the domain name in auction. On a personal level, I feel more comfortable bidding on a domain auction where there is more than one person bidding against me. It reassures me that the domain name has more interest than me and another bidder. Having read that “halvarez” was a big bidder in the past, I may have been more confident in my bidding if he and another bidder were involved.
Another large issue I see is that this rebate offer does not take into consideration domain auctions where the bidder lost to halvarez. Had halvarez not participated in the auction, there is the potential that domain auctions would have been won by another bidder at a lower price. I don’t know how or if Oversee will address these issues. Maybe there was another email sent to people who lost auctions to halvarez.
Finally, Snapnames requires you to return the acceptance form to Rust Consulting (who according to their website is the leader in “Class Action Settlement Administration”), as they are the third party administrator for these rebates. If you do accept the offer, you will need to waive “any claims you may have against SnapNames and its affiliates relating to this matter.”
I have never been a big Snapnames bidder, so most of this doesn’t really apply to me, but they’re a few things to consider. As with any document of a legal nature, you should consult with an attorney and/or accountant to review your options.