A 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:
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.