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.