Pool announced on the 20th of December that it is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. I had 12 affected domains that were registered in these registrars in the past few months. These registrars were used for drop catching for the Pool backordering service.
First thing to do if you have domains in these registrars is to transfer all domains that have been registered for more than 60 days to your preferred registrar. (These domains can also be either renewed at Namescout and this will automatically move them from the affected registrars to Namescout.)
After transferring the 60+ day domains I am left with 8 domains stuck in those Pool registrars. Pool was actually still using these registrars to catch domains until at least the 16th of December. That is the creation date of the newest of my 8 domains. I am sure they knew they were closing down all these registrars 4 days before their email on the 20th. They just didn’t care about their customers. Acro has already filled a BBB complaint at Canada against Pool.com.
One of these 8 domains cost me $1,233 so I am not very happy with this “situation”. So this is my solution:
All domains caught by Pool using these registrars are managed through Namescout.com. I logged into my account at Namescout and I unlocked all the domains. I then got all the auth codes and saved them. I can’t start a transfer yet as these domains are under the 60 day registration lock. But as soon as the 60 days have passed I will start a transfer from my registrar. 5 days later the domains will be at my registrar. I hope this will work because the losing registrar doesn’t need to actively ACK the transfers. Transfers get the AUTO-ACK exactly 5 days after a transfer has initiated.
There are only a couple of days left to unlock the domains and get the auth codes. After the 10th of January you will not be able to use Namescout to unlock the domains and get the Auch codes. My only fear is that ICANN might lock the domains making my solution obsolete. This is a first for me so I will test this and find out what happens.
If you do none of the above ICANN will take steps to allocate the domains in inventory to another registrar through a public bid process and will make public announcements. But this could take months and your domain will be in limbo as you will not be able to update whois, nameservers or renew it.