In an email sent by Rick Schwartz today, World Association of Domain Name Developers Inc. announced that Tucows has been stropped of the WADND Registrar Seal of Approval that was awarded on October 22, 2007. To receive this seal of approval, a registrar has to meet the following criteria set forth on the WADND website:
1. Registrar must agree to cooperate with all other Registrars when a domain is claimed to be hijacked.
2. Registrar must have 24-hour Hot Line for reporting stolen domains or other registration problems.
3. Registrar must delay transfer, or double-check authenticity of purchaser when transfering a domain to a Registrar who knowingly harbors hi-jacked domains.
4. Registrar must have “Executive Lock” in place that can only be removed by direct communication with Registrant.
5. Registrar must have a minimum of one million (1,000,000) domains registered.
6. Registrar must provide sufficiently direct means to unlock domain locks, so as to not unduly deny a legitimate transfer request from a verified domain name registrant.
7. Registrar must collect emergency contact information from registrants, other registrars and resellers to respond to an urgent restoration of a hi-jacked domain.
8. Registrar must define and make clear the emergency procedures which can be instituted in events where emergency contacts are not available.
9. Registrar must provide clear and readily accessible information to registrants regarding domain locking and domain name protection measures offered by Registrar.
Below is the press release distributed today:
The majority of non-obstaining Board of Advisors from the World Association of Domain Name Developers Inc. has voted to revoke the WADND Registrar Seal of Approval awarded to Tucows.com. Tucows has continually chosen stockholder interests over domainer interests. The latest plan, selling expired domains they kept from their own customers for failing to timely renew.
And earlier this year:
It is great to see things like this happen. To many companies are out for the money instead of the needs of the people.
The action by WADND to strip Tucows registrar of their seal of approval could only be interpreted as a self-serving action to influence registrars like Tucows to join other registrars auctioning their domain names through Snapnames, Namejet and others.
As the value of domain names commands sometimes 6 and 7 figures, many registrars have used every trick in the book to make it difficult for domain owners to renew their domain names, sometimes by not accepting their credit card for payment for one reason or another, and other times not properly sending renewal notices to their customers, only for one goal and one hope, that the customer will not renew the domain name and on the 30th day, the domain name becomes available for auction to the highest bidder. And that is the real reason for all of the fuss. It is not because Tucows is doing something unscrupulous, but rather that Tucows puts their main loyalty first to their customers, and second to their investors and resellers. I personally own several thousand domain names with Tucows along with many other thousands that are owned by my customers, and I have not found that one domain that Tucows has acquired for their portfolio is subject to any complaint or an appearance of wrongdoing. As far as I know, Tucows is the only company that sends six renewal notices to the registrant before the domain name goes to “Pending Renewal of Deletion”. This phase takes 30 days, where the customer can still renew his domain name without paying any redemption fees which most registrars impose. After the 30-days period, Tucows allows another 30 days for the redemption of the domain name, where the registrant pays $100 as a redemption fee to reclaim the domain. In the meantime, Tucows takes some of those domain names after the 30 days for its own portfolio. In many instances, the customer is late to recognize that he did not renew his domain name(s). 100% of the time, when the customer sends an email stating that he or she did not renew their domain name for one reason or another, Tucows generously gave the domain name back to the customer without any charge. In many instances, the domain name in question was expired for many months.
Looking at the decision taken by WADND, to suspend Tucows from the Registrar seal of approval, we have to examine who is the winner and loser here? The winners for Tucows are their domain owners, since they have a long period of time to get their domain names back after expiration; their stockholders since the domain portfolio owned by Tucows increases the value of the company’s assets, and Tucows resellers since they are able to acquire the domain names back for their customers, which makes the customers happy. The losers here are those who make their living out of the secondary market, either brokers or domainers. To conclude, I must say that all of the storm against Tucows is fabricated by those special interest groups, and Tucows should not need their approval or disapproval to conduct their business. I am hoping that the decision will not to be taken serious by Tucows resellers or customers and investors, to whom Tucows has their allegiance, and WADND will reverse there decision.
does anyone even care what WADND does ??
Elliot your blog carries more weight than WADND
Any idea where WADND’s website went to? I thought it was at DomainDevelopment.com but that site hasn’t been updated in a few years.
What kind of a stupid name is WADND? Pretty ridiculous for them not to come up with something better. Horrible name. For that reason alone I hope they fail.
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
Umm… that would be an acronym, not the name of the organization.
No kidding. The name of the organization is stupid, and the acronym is also stupid. Both are too long….and confusing. I bet you can’t even tell me the name of either one without looking. I bet less than one in 100 domainers could even tell you the name of the acronym above….if you asking them randomly. That is dumb.
# “Tucows has been stropped…” #
I agree that the management of Tucows should be stropped, but they in fact have not been. Pity.