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I registered a domain name with a large domain registrar.

The domain is very unique.

The transaction went through. My credit card was billed. I received an invoice.

I set up the domain with my website. I used CloudFlare for DNS and still have the domain listed in Cloudflare.

Google has cached copies of the website pages on the domain. I verified the domain on Google search console and it is still listed under my properties.


Four days after the registration I received an email from the registrar saying that there had been an error.

They said the domain is a premium domain and the actual price for the domain is $1,000,000. They took my domain down and removed the whois information.

They refunded me with in-store credit plus $25 "for any inconvenience". My credit card was never refunded it's all in-store credit. I never agreed to the refund.

I have all the bank invoices and other documents.

I want my domain back. What are my options?

  • Out of curiousity which site did you buy the domain name from? – Shazamo Morebucks Sep 20 '17 at 5:11
  • How is a domain name "very unique"? All domain names are, by definition, unique, whether "very unique" or only "slightly unique". – Upnorth Sep 21 '17 at 15:31
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You need to look at the domain registrar's TOS to determine their polices for canceling a domain after the fact in the way they did, i.e. claiming the domain is "premium" and as such allowing them to cancel and raise the price and re-offer the domain.

The registrar may, in fact, have such a policy in their TOS that you agreed to when you opened an account with them and registered a domain. "Clicking through" and accepting a TOS is a binding contract. Their policy may hinge on an "escrow" hold on the domain for a certain time until your payment clears, they do due diligence, or other reasons, and by agreeing to the TOS you allowed them to reserve the right to cancel or re-offer the registration.

However, such a policy is at least (I think) ethically challenged and at most could be illegal - US and local laws in your your jurisdiction may come into play - in terms of ICANN's policies. You may have success opening a complaint with ICANN, the international organization that oversees domain registrars and works to resolve complaints such as cyber-squatting, issues with the way registrars operate, etc. See Registrant Rights and Responsibilities Under the 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement - ICANN.

If the registrar doesn't have a clear policy on the form of cancellation and re-offer you have been subjected to, your next step is definitely looking at Dispute Resolution Options - ICANN.

Keep all your documents and emails, and log all phone calls or chats with the registrar. Make screenshots of your Cloudflare account and Google's web cache.

And, it might be helpful to do a Google search for that registrar and "domain cancellation" or more relevant keywords to see if anything similar has happened in the past and the outcomes; those stories may give you ideas for other options. You may also need to find a local lawyer to advise you on your next steps, or talk to a free legal aid clinic in your area.

  • Hope that works out; just take into account that none of us here are real lawyers. – BlueDogRanch Sep 21 '17 at 13:14

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