So I did the right thing and I got screwed…

Opinions

I sold a domain name using the Escrow.com domain name holding transaction service for about $10k. You can read all the details here: “What to do? A default in a domain name holding transaction“.

Long story short the buyer missed 4 payments and defaulted on the transaction. Escrow.com returned the domain to me and the next day the buyer sent the last 5 payments completing the transaction. But by that time it was my choice to give him the domain and get the remaining $1,385 or I could just keep the domain.

The community consensus in the comments was to transfer to the buyer. I had decided to transfer the domain before I wrote the post but I really wanted to hear what people had to say.

So escrow.com told me that they had they were holding the complete amount but I had to transfer the domain directly to the buyer and once he had confirmed he had the domain, escrow.com would release payment to me.

So I followed escrow.com’s instructions and then I was screwed… Almost…

I transferred the domain to the buyer and then the buyer confirmed he had the domain to escrow.com. All good? NOT!

The next day I received this email:

“Thanks for confirming ****.
One last issue: we received your payment of $1,385.40 on July 25th however, it came from a third party name: ******* ****** that is not registered and verified to us. Please complete this process first before our payments team can approve your payment. Once done, we can proceed in releasing the funds to the Seller.”

It turns out that the final payment was made by a relative of the buyer and that relative was not KYC verified at Escrow.com. So I could not have my money! The relative of the uyer had to create a new account and submit all the paperwork needed to Escrow.com.

So an endless back and forth of emails began where I was accusing the escrow.com agent that he screwed up and I could lose my money, the buyer was asking why this had happened, the escrow.com agent was trying to cover up the fact that he screwed up and never admitted anything (or say he didn’t screwed up) etc.

At least the buyer cooperated and had his relative do the verification. I guess I was lucky that the buyer didn’t just went MIA.

Finally after a full week of countless emails, paperwork problems (scanned passport was not clear), etc. the verification was complete on Friday. I got the funds yesterday in my bank account. So even if in the end I didn’t lose any money (which I certainly could have) I was certainly screwed. I lost many hours of my time trying to fix this mess and I also lost my peace and quite during a week I was on vacations.

So I did the right thing and I got screwed. It was not because I did the right thing but the fact that it was a complicated situation was a factor that made the escrow.com agent make a mistake as the transaction was closed when escrow.com received the funds.

But you live and learn. From now on I will have to double check with escrow.com or I will always use the concierge service where you give the domain to escrow.com and they have to worry with what to do with it. Anyway I use the concierge service in 95% of my sales lately.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

18 comments

  1. Same situation here with a 6 figures sale, in the list of opened escrow transactions I see:
    “Escrow.com has received the buyer payment”
    But when I click the details I see in the right pane:
    “Aug 1 2019 12:45PM PDT
    Payment or partial payment arrived, awaiting processing. We are still processing the Buyer’s payment, please hold off shipping the merchandise until the payment is marked as secured. Once we secure the funds, you will be notified to deliver the merchandise to the Buyer.”
    A chance I clicked the details and noticed this text so I contacted escrow.com and they told me a third party made the payment and now they must verify him (still not done).
    Definitively they must replace the notification message in the list when payment received has been secured but needs to be verified and in the detail a red bold font saying “DO NOT TRANSFER, WAIT VERIFICATION”.
    I am wondering what happens if one pushes the domain precipitately in this situation and the third party payee does not want to verify.

    • Francois, wanted to ask you for a couple years already, is eCop.com still functioning? And if Yes, why not to use it instead of Escrow.com?
      Thanks

  2. P.O. box provider dumps Seattle-area company tied to 8chan and El Paso shooting

    https://www.geekwire.com/2019/p-o-box-provider-dumps-seattle-area-company-tied-8chan-el-paso-shooting/

    No more address for Epik

  3. Thanks so much for letting us know what happened to you and Escrow.com.
    It is a good lesson for every seller to know that Escrow.com is the “Safest” way to collect the seller’s money. One has to be careful with all a transaction details for, otherwise, one gets screwed.
    Have a wonderful time!
    Bye

  4. ESCROW.COM has to put their act together, is their responsibility 100% if they confirmed payment was

    received and instructed you to release the domain from that point on Escrow.com is again 100%

    responsible.

    If he would have been MIA and took your name Escrow.com has to pay you no questions asked.

    They can’t send you a message Payment received and then say that payment came from the moon or

    an unverified source, companies have to take responsibility for their actions and screw ups, sorry.

    • Yes, escrow.com created this problem but if they told you to transfer they are now liable if the rest of the payment doesn’t clear or has to be returned to the person who wasn’t cleared under KYC.

      It’s strange that the person could make the payment. Interesting to know the limits of KYC. Does it stop at the buyer? Who isn’t necessarily the same as the payer!

      At least it all worked out and I think it shows that the buyer really was at their limit of making the purchase, meaning less likely you left any money on the table.

      Nice that he helped you resolve it quickly with escrow. Good karma all around 🙂

  5. I will not use escrow.com anymore as either buyer or seller, have not since the buyout, feel they became terrible after the buyout and loss of the original leadership, but I will gladly use Epik escrow services and will even insist on it. Using any other alternative would take considerable convincing as well, and only if the other party paid. I don’t see anything as appealing as Epik for escrow out there.

    • P.S. And yes my opinion is based on experience because there was a major problem with my account even though to my knowledge I never actually used them for a transaction again after the buyout.

  6. In fact, Konstantinos, I’m wondering why you didn’t use Epik escrow for this.

    • Is Epik even properly licensed? No license numbers on their site.

      • Snoopy dog, am I or is anyone supposed to believe you don’t already know that particular talking point has already been discussed and exposed for the competitive talking point nonsense that it is?

        https://www.namepros.com/threads/if-you-are-not-using-epik-com-for-escrow-you-are-wasting-time-and-money.1119508/

        So what, are you playing, or were you sleeping when all this took place?

        And did you know…

        That I can probably even bet safely I’m the only person who ever comments in these blogs who ever even had professional experience obtaining actual “licenses,” in my case from government contractors making super big bucks from a public treasury?

        Or how that’s not even the half of it in terms of my own personal experience with government policy and authority?

        “Licensed” my @&#&!%.

        Pure nonsense. Speaking as a person with far more experience with such “things” than probably anyone who ever comes within a mile of these blogs –
        I’ll take Epik escrow service any day over that. I laugh at the idea of requiring “licensed” for a service like this.

      • John, I take it they aren’t licensed to provide escrow services by your non answer?

        How is this a safe service especially with Epik constantly in the media in relation to sites being taken down, services blocked, and hate speech?

      • You are one sneaky game playing dog, Snoopy, but you don’t seriously think I thought your question contained integrity or good faith to begin with, do you? That was for the readers who do, who are looking for something better than the status quo and for the sake of the industry, and the readers got everything they need from my reply. Your attempt at a doubling down move is rather weak, however. You don’t seriously think anyone believes you didn’t already know the answer to your little question there or that you still don’t know even after my reply, ay? And good luck explaining how your last remarks have anything to do with anything regarding this topic and Epik’s ability to offer the kind of great escrow service we’ve all been wanting and needing for a long time compared to the status quo. When game changing and desirable services like that appear on the scene I for one won’t be standing by while they are bashed, however. And the readers are getting what they need from this reply as well, so do your thing again and I’ll decide whether it serves the larger cause to waste any more time on it here again as well.

  7. Hi Konstantinos,

    I congratulate on doing the right (good / helping) thing for the buyer.

    I dont think the title of this article is correct… I did the right thing and I got screwed is not true as you already mentioned the same

    On your part you did a favour to the buyer and I am sure the buyer is happy and thankful to you for this.

    The total fault is on Escrow side… it is their responsibility to verify and then give final status to you…they are in hurry to contact you and then reallising KYC is not done…it is very basic process for the firm which deals with millions of dollar and numerous deals.

    This pictures Escrow as a less worthy of consideration for our deals.

    Thanks for sharing and again nothing is on your side to do this right / fast….but you lost some valuable time in this decision.

    Thanks,
    Ravi.

  8. Oh, man, I went through a similar situation a few weeks with escrow.com
    I called support – “yes, funds received, but he used a different email address on the transaction so maybe you might want to cancel the transaction WTF.” They had me convinced that there was potential ID fraud.

    This needs to change.

    Eventually, all was resolved — but after several weeks — 6 weeks. These transactions used to take days.

  9. I had a sale and used Escrow.com recently to close it and all went well, but you always worry until it hits the bank. One thing that would have helped my case if this were to go sideways was saving all the emails between myself and the seller, and I take a screenshot once the domain transfers via DomainTools.com. I have a couple of larger deals looming and wondering what a better option would be to Escrow.com. I won’t use Epik after having bought into one of their past campaigns for generating landing pages and parking income. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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