Namejet & RightOfTheDot Mistakenly Auction Turner Broadcasting Owned Domain Names

namejetA couple of weeks back I wrote how I won a Namejet auction for a domain name owned by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

The domain name was movieheaven.com and I won the auction for $413 on the 16th of November. Since I won the auction I received no details on how to get the domain and no login details with the registrar CSC CORPORATE DOMAINS, INC. I got a little worried from a couple of comments on the post I mentioned above too. The registrar is owned by the Corporation Service Company that was featured in one of my other articles regarding Chic-fil-a spending $100,000 for .restaurant domain names.

The domain was featured in a RighOfTheDot-Namejet auction for which I had received an email on the 21st of October. The email from Namejet had the subject “Premium Domains From RightOfTheDot‏” and said “NameJet is pleased to offer 25 premium domain names from RightOfTheDot.”. Actually I had forgotten all about this email when I backordered the domain a few days later. The email also included another domain owned by the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.: southern.tv. This is part of the email:

movieheaven.com1

As I said I won the auction on the 16th of November, about a month after the email above, and then on the 24th of November I got a message from Namejet:

We regret to inform you that a domain you recently purchased through a pre-release auction has been cancelled by the registrar of record, as allowed by the NameJet Agreement. We are not provided with specific details and therefore do not have any further information to provide.

As a result of this Registrar request, we will be refunding the entire auction fee and removing the domain from your account within the next few days. Please be assured that this is a rare occurrence, and we do apologize for the inconvenience.

I told them:

“The domain is registered with CSC CORPORATE DOMAINS, INC.and is owned by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.. Do you have a contract with CSC CORPORATE DOMAINS, INC. and with the seller?”

And they replied:

Reviewing this situation, it looks like I erroneously indicated this was a Registrar cancellation, when if fact it was being submitted by a private party.

The domain should not have been listed, and was provided to us in error. I realize this does not change the outcome, but the domain is not available to sell, which is why we must issue a refund.

Our apologies for the frustration and disappointment this cancellation has caused.

I then told them “So it seems that this private party didn’t have permission to sell the domain or didn’t like the price of the auction. Anyhow I want to know if this private party has been banned by Namejet.”

They refused to give me any more info so I was stuck. But then I talked to J. and he reminded me of that email above that I had completely forgotten. So I contacted Michael Berkens that directed me to his partner at RightOfTheDot Monte Cahn, President / Director RIGHTOFTHEDOT.com, that handled this auction.

I asked Monte Cahn what had happened this is what I was told:

Two names were submitted in error.  they came with the submission stating “submit all offers” it should’ve never been put up for auction. The client who is a CSC corporate client wanted $5000 for this domain. So it was a mistake. Our mistake.

We are very sorry that this happened as it rarely does.

I was also told that this domain and the .tv domain should have never been in an auction even with a reserve and I also noticed that the 2 Turner domains didn’t have the mostwanteddomains.com nameservers. So I guess it was pretty easy mistake to catch.

A lot of questions remain. I don’t see any other Turner owned domains auctioned at Namejet. Are there any more? Was RIGHTOFTHEDOT supposed to auction any other of the Turner domains? Why did it take Namejet and Right Of The Dot 8 days to inform me? Why didn’t they catch the mistake more than a month (or even 2 months) after the domains were submitted to Namejet? Why is this happening all the time at Namejet lately? Why are people wasting my time and the time of others?

My bank charges me for international transactions using my debit card and does not offer refunds on that. So it is $10 from this domain and another $10 from last week for a different domain. And I just got my refunded money ($413) back yesterday. After 2 weeks.

This is not about the money, it is about principles, TIME and respect for people’s time. And it is a bigger issue that just 1 domain name. It is about trusting the industry domain name auctions. My trust to this industry is long gone but I still participate in auctions. At times like these I wonder why…

And this is not some common mistake. This is mistake that was done because nobody did their due diligence at Namejet and at Right Of The Dot. And it’s not like there were thousands of domain names in the auction or the process was automated. There were only 25 hand picked domain names in the auction. I don’t know how Monte has handled other auctions in the past. I don’t know because I don’t usually bid on these high profile auctions like the one coming up at Namescon but prefer private auctions like these in Namejet. Maybe he was great but that doesn’t relieve my frustration. Sorry but “As it rarely does” is not good enough.

Yes, I am angry. I don’t want anyone wasting my time and money. I have written about the legendary Go Daddy auction problem. Now we are supposed to deal with this too? Do you know how much paperwork I have to submit to my tax office because of this?

Who paid for this mistake? It was not Namejet and it was certainly not Right Of The Dot. It was only me that paid for it. The thing here is that there was a auction and a deal. Then the deal was breached by one of the parties. This was a big auction with 10s of bidders. The right thing to do by Namejet and Right Of The Dot was to proceed with the deal, honor the auction and take their losses.

People that don’t pay for auctions are banned at Namejet. Are sellers that don’t deliver domains banned too? And who is going to stop Namejet from keep doing this? It happens all the time. Just because they have some clause in their agreement that they can do this, it doesn’t make this right.

I have made mistakes in the past and I have paid for all of them. For example I have accepted an domain name offer for a domain name only to get a higher offer 2 days later. I honored the initial offer.

This is a mistake that started well before the 21st of October when the email was send. That started when the domains were submitted to Namejet by Right Of The Dot. And then for the next few weeks before the auction started nobody caught the mistake. And they didn’t catch during the auction or even a week after the auction.

At this point and because of this 8 day delay, between the auction end and the Namejet message to me, I am not sure that this $5,000 price appeared after Turner Broadcasting learned that the auction ended at $413 or from the start. And I don’t really want to know.

But problems don’t end here. I see that movieheaven.com is parked with DNSLINK.COM and being sold off at domainpower.com. Both are owned by Domain Holdings Group, Inc. that, like RightOfTheDot, are domain name brokers. I was informed that the 2 companies are co-brokers for these 2 domains. I have no idea how this works, having 2 brokers negotiate at the same time for the same domain names but it seems like a recipe for disaster. I submitted an offer at domainpower.com but never heard back.

I also submitted a $413 offer to Monte after he told that I could make an offer to buy the domain after the auction was cancelled. Needless to say the offer was rejected and I am not offering a penny more.

I would like to know what others have to say about all this issue. Not only about Namejet & RightOfTheDot but for the whole industry as well.

UPDATE:Monte offered to compensate me for all the expenses related with the failed transaction and my time and I accepted the offer. It is not exactly the perfect ending to this failed purchase but it is still a lot better from what I have seen in this industry in the past 12+ years. Thanks Monte.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

35 comments

  1. This does not look that great for Right Of The Dot and NameJet. Really, how hard is it to verify the listing of only 25 domains?

    Right Of The Dot is a major player in this field, and if they value their credibility they should probably do the right thing.

    I think it would be reasonable for them to sell you the domain for $413. It was their mistake, and they should take the loss.

    It is not right for the buyer to be left holding the bag for their mistake. You lose time, energy, and resources with nothing in return.

    Brad

  2. Konstantinos – I think I responded to you very quickly and honestly. We have the sole rights to sell these names. We were holding a special auction with many first time available corporate domains and NameJet was our partner in this auction.

    When the domains were submitted, they had a footnote that stated, all offers must considered. I mistakenly left that into the auction submission when it should have been a “make offer” type submission. This was not NameJets error.

    DomainHoldings is also a partners of ours and many of our domains we are selling, they have for sale and help us sell. This is why this domain and many others are offered through them.

    So again, it was my / our error. And again, very sorry for the error.

    Monte

  3. I understand a mistake was made, but the question I have is why should Konstantinos take a loss due to your mistake?

    It seems like the NameJet terms are a lot more binding for a buyer than a seller. If a seller makes a mistake nothing happens.

    What if a buyer makes a mistake or doesn’t pay for an auction? What if Konstantinos said he made the bid in error? Do you think NameJet would let him out of the binding bid? I seriously doubt it.

    Brad

    • Love it when the shoe is on the other foot, and the buyer gets screwed they get an oops, other way around buyer didn’t pay, threat, and termination.

      What a bunch of amateurs these guys are looking. Just trying to make a quick commission on every corner, without rolling up the sleeves.

    • I agree with Konstantinos. He made the offer, it was the winning bid, and the seller (Right of the Dot) should honor the mistake they made and make it right. It says a lot about their business that they’re not willing to set up.

      If the registrant wants $5,000 for it, then ROTD should eat the difference and transfer the domain. A transaction is a transaction.

      If BestBuy or Apple advertises a product for lower than their cost, don’t you think they’re going to honor the offer they made? Even if they made a mistake?

      It’s not NameJet’s fault. It’s Right of the Dot’s fault. An error is an error. Learn from it, change your process, eat the error and move on, Monte.

  4. Regarding the domain industry as a whole….There is an unofficial “Standard Operating Procedure” for the domain industry to not honor certain domain registrations and auctions….Generally this “SOP” is to apologize and then make you feel lucky that you will receive a full refund…It happens too much and it is a very sad, but realistic, part of domain investing…..

    • Brad there was no loss financially as The transaction was refundable. Also the transaction was not a large one. I don’t understand what loss occurred here? It was a mistake we, owned up to it right away it was not a valuable name and the name should’ve never been listed.

      We did not taken any funds and did not say the transaction was not refundable.

      I think that most of you know that I and we have an impeccable reputation and can’t recall if this had ever happened before. With that said it was a mistake for a $400 name that never exchanged hands.

      • Monte – With all due respect, you mention, ” Also the transaction was not a large one”…. May I recommend a more ethical and honest solution? One that would be “owning” up to it, not running from it……..That solution would be to honor the “SMALL” transaction……Many of us entrepreneur’s face this constantly in regards to our mistakes, the difference is in how we truly “own” the problem….I hope you reconsider your thoughts. Best to you..

      • Monte, there was a financial loss and I think I explained that. But here it is in detail:
        $10 + 2 weeks of interest (no matter how small) + about $30+ for my accountant + my time.
        My time is about 5-6 hours on this and counting because I will have to prepare and file 2 separate files on my tax office on this.
        Where should I send the bill to?

        The transaction was not a “refundable” one. If I am correct buyers ask for a refund. Not sellers.
        We actually had an agreement (or whatever that was) with me buying the domain.
        I don’t bid on auctions because they are refundable…

        And the transaction size is totally irrelevant.

        It took you weeks to realize and 8 days after the auction.

        What do you mean it is not a valuable name? It was valuable to me. $413 valuable. Isn’t that enough?
        Of we can piss on sub-$1000 agreements just because they are cheap to some people?

        I guess Aaron is right on this. I should feel lucky I got a refund.

        The problem was that the domain NEVER exchanged hands when it should have. Yes, that was the problem.

      • Also please note that I / we are as much of an entrepreneur as anyone, we actually lost in the transaction by not earning our commission as did namejet. so it’s unfortunate all the way around. Not sure what else there is to do about this. So we are actually the ones that “lost” financially in this transaction.

        In regards to the other names that you said were reversed, that was not in our auction or part of our offering.

        Again these things are less common than frequent events and certainly not comparable to domain theft or not getting paid if you sell a domain.

      • Monte:

        The mistake was yours like you have clearly and commendably admitted.
        In admitting your mistake you acted honorably.

        You should also take responsibility for your mistake.
        Oops.Full refund. Is not really taking responsibility for your mistake

        I think the commenters demanding you pony up the 5k and buy the domain from the big company and sell it to Konstantinos for the winning bid price are taking the taking responsibility demands a little bit far.

        In my opinion a good example of taking responsibility for your mistake would be for you to pay the costs Konstantinos has incurred which seem to be about 45 dollars so far and also paying Konstantinos for the time he has spent for nothing because of your mistake

        So far Konstantinos has spent 5-6 hours and taxes in most european countries are time consuming and bureaucratic hell so I have no doubt that Konstantinos will spend at least 2-3 hours more with the tax reports in addition to the 5-6 hours already spent so let’s round it up to 9 hours.

        If Konstantinos time is worth 25 dollars per hour that would be 225 dollars and when you add the about 45 dollars this comes to 270 dollars total.

        I suggest you could set a good example for the domain industry as one of the icons in the industry by paying Konstantinos 270 dollars for his troubles caused by your mistake and if you want to be extra nice you could donate a matching 270 dollars to a good charity for example Water School.

      • Your calculations were pretty close!

      • Wasn’t southern.tv part of the same auction?

        Again it was ME that lost financially and not YOU.

        This is not comparable to domain theft but it is directly comparable to “not getting paid if you sell a domain”. It is the same breach of contract.

    • This is what happened with Halvarez at Snapnames. Sign this and you will get your refund. Else you get nothing.

  5. “Why did it take Namejet and Right Of The Dot 8 days to inform me? Why didn’t they catch the mistake more than a month (or even 2 months) after the domains were submitted to Namejet?”
    It’s really unbelievable they didn’t notice such kind of mistake for more than a month, with only 25 names at auction, and then took them 8 days to inform you … it smells like they took that time trying to cover-up …
    another blow to an industry, domain auctions, already with a bad reputation … new lows, congrats …
    You are even too patient Kosta 😉 …

  6. When I was living in Japan, I enjoyed shopping at the local mom-and-pop stores, because I knew whenever there’s a problem the owners would focus first on me. They cared about my loss in time and money, and most of all my hurt feeling when there’s unfairness in a deal. Often they closed the case by offering me something extra (actually nothing of huge value). They knew I would come back and give them more business. Unfortunately, this old fashion has gone out of fashion these days.

  7. Thank you Jay for your suggestion. I have actually reached out to Konstantinos personally to resolve in a similar manner before you sent your response.

  8. I’m surprised namejet did not do any due diligence on these names either.

    The auction system is way to loose,
    Nobody cares because buyer always pays, everyone gets a cut from all these mistakes.

    Monte wrong attitude man, seriously you are looking like a baby crying about not getting your cut, you didn’t even cover the basics of providing a transaction, you deserve to be sued at best.

    • Monte does NOT deserve to get sued.

      I see that Monte already posted that he has reached out to Konstantinos and is trying to find an acceptable solution that is reasonable.

      That is good and would set a good example for the whole domain industry if an icon like Monte changes the Oops. Full Refund. culture which seems to be standard business procedure among most domain companies.

      Konstantinos is one of the top bloggers in the domain investment space and if Konstantinos and Monte change the culture among domain companies to a better direction everybody would benefit.

    • Yes, most companies have a “get the money first worry about delivery latter” system.
      And that is going on for years with ridiculous/non-existent registrars etc.

  9. Dude, you need to get yourself a lawyer and stop letting these guys walk all over you. Contracts 101, bona-fide purchaser w/o notice of mistake has rights. See what their agreement says about attorneys fees though considering your damages are nominal. Could get punitive damages maybe if you show its a pattern and practice to take similar actions against their end users.

  10. Monte said he was, “sorry,” and “we apologize.” I was thinking, too, RightoftheDot could offer double back – $826.00 instead of $413 to cover costs, maybe have that company-wide policy on future auctions? But it is a lame consolation when the buyer doesn’t get the domain he wants. If RightoftheDot offers double back, Konstantinos should accept and move on, because Berkens does a lot for the domain industry. It is very telling, since he didn’t comment, that the ball rests squarely in Monte’s court.

  11. i informed namejet of this error before the auction ended. they should have solved the issue then. I stopped bidding because there was no way Turner would sell this name IMHO.

    Page Howe

  12. @ Konstantinos Zournas, Would you bid on another RightoftheDot/NameJet auction, in the future?

  13. I am a bit late to comment on this but it is never too late.
    Monte offered to compensate me for all the expenses related with the failed transaction and my time and I accepted the offer. It is not exactly the perfect ending to this failed purchase but it is still a lot better from what I have seen in this industry in the past 12+ years.
    Thanks Monte.

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