CentralNic’s CEO, Ben Crawford, Ignores My Questions (So I Will Answer Them)

Last month CentralNic announced in an email that it will be deleting several sub-domains (and websites) from 8 of their domains like .GB.COM and .NO.COM.

CentralNic (LSE: CNIC) sent out this chilling email informing several of its clients that the domains they have bought, build into websites and have been renewing for years will be deleted in a year from now (April 30, 2017). CentralNic offers domains like .uk.com, .co.com, or .xyz(?) as a substitute.

The following SLD domain extensions will be sunsetted, meaning that new registrations and renewals will not be permitted:
.AR.COM, .GB.COM, .HU.COM, .KR.COM, .QC.COM, .NO.COM, .SE.COM, AND .UY.COM.

CentralNic is probably going to sell these domain names and make a quick buck.

The next day after I posted the article about CentralNic deleting these domains I got an email from CentralNic’s PR company about an unrelated announcement they were making. (05/05/2016) The email said “If you would like to speak to the company or would like any more information, please do not hesitate to get in contact.”, so I replied and said I would like some answers on this.

This was CentralNic’s reply:

CentralNic’s CEO, Ben Crawford is travelling this week and due to the time difference it will not be possible for you to speak to him. However, if you have a list of specific questions surrounding your enquiry then he would be happy to answer them via email if you send them through to us.

So I sat down and wasted my time writing 11 questions that I sent them.

I reminded them a couple of times so I could get their answers. Nothing.

On the 30th of May I sent my last reminder telling them that I will publish the story anyway after a few days.

This was their last reply:

Thanks for letting me know. We will chase Ben again and hopefully he will come back with answers before Thursday (06/02/2016).

So after a month a have no answers from CentralNic’s CEO, Ben Crawford so I will answer them on CentralNic’s behalf the way I like.

So here are the questions with my replies:

Why is CentralNic sunsetting these 8 SLD domain extensions?

Because we don’t care about our long time customers and want to make some money while the Chinese short domain name market is still hot.

Why isn’t CentralNic sunsetting all their SLD domain extensions?

Because the other domains have move registered sub-domains. It’s all about the money.

Have registrations/renewals in your extensions slowed down in the past 2 years? (since New gTLDs came out)

Yes, they have slowed down.

You could potentially get sued. Have you factored this cost in your decision?

Sure, we would love to get sued and we know we will. That is why we are not answering any questions.

How many domain names are affected by this sunsetting?

We don’t know and frankly we don’t care.

What is your estimate on how many active websites are affected?

We don’t know and frankly we don’t care.

Do you think that a free 2 year registration to some other extension and probably some other name is enough to compensate your customers?

Of course not. But once again we don’t care.

How would you feel is Verisign too away your 2-letter .com domains and gave you the option to register a .net instead?

We would sue them.

How safe can your other customers be that you won’t sunset all your other extensions in 3 or 5 years?

They are not safe at all. We could decide any moment we would like to sunset all our extensions.

Are you going to sell these 8 domains or do something else with them?

We are going to make lots of money selling to the Chinese market!

What are CentralNic’s plans for the future?

Sell everything and go for an extended holiday just like our CEO Ben Crawford that has been traveling for more than a month now.

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.

19 comments

  1. The tone and tenor is spot on!

  2. Disaster! 😉 Are they retiring GR.com too?

  3. LOL nice one-person interview

  4. Bravo, that was awesome , brilliant 🙂

  5. Do you not see the similarity between this scenario and what can happen with the new gtlds? Registries with dumbass extensions will go out of business and those who relied on them for their tld will be in the same situation of which you now speak.

    To me this article is a great reminder to stay away from the new gtlds as they can be toxic.

  6. LOL, your summarization was spot on, thanks for sharing

  7. Scathing .. and with more than a grain of truth. Couldn’t help laughing aloud, honestly.

    In a sense, I appreciate Centralnic’s position on these 2LD suffixes, which they created artificially at a time when the business model was more compelling. They’re far less competitive now that hundreds of nTLDs exist, which means the business of leasing 3LD names is likely to wane.

    Meanwhile, the market demand for 2-letter .COMs in China is considerable. It’s almost impossible to resist that financial pressure – a sinking vacuum on 1 side and millions of PSI / $$$ on the other. In Centralnic’s shoes, anybody – myself included – would want to do retire the underperforming 2LD suffixes.

    These were pointed questions that could only result in an awkward, embarrassing response from Centralnic. Still, isn’t it better for a company to accept responsibility for making tough decisions? Plenty of hard choices cause collateral damage. Companies will often give up at some point, causing customer accounts to be lost.

    People generally respect the decision makers who answer for these tough choices, explain their reasoning, and make an effort to minimize damage. In contrast, ignoring questions gives the appearance of indifference to the damage caused. Maybe Centralnic’s lawyers advised against responding, but people at Centralnic who care about PR ought to have pushed for public engagement.

    Retiring these 2LD suffixes has been, I think, inevitable. As they say, the writing is on the wall. The main issue is how Centralnic recompenses its past customers and fields questions. Hopefully they won’t throw their customers to the wolves the way they strung you along, Konstantinos; but I suppose we’ll see.

  8. Hello Konstantinos,

    The Dynamics of Greed are washing over the whole Industry and anyone not seeing the same or worse scenario for new TLDs are just hopefully burying their heads in the sands of Denial.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master ) https://www.UseBiz.com

  9. All of these retiring domains, except gb.com and no.com, are held in escrow. Check Whois. Presumably CentralNic doesn’t own them and therefore will not be able to sell them to China or anywhere else.

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