Have You Had An auDA Domain Name Complaint?

So you’ve received an email from auDA (probably via your domain registrar) threatening to delete your domain name unless you can prove all manner of things?

It’s upsetting I know. Even to seasoned domain investors. And it is happening with increased frequency.

Why are complaints on the rise?

There is one standout reason – and that is the introduction of .au domain names.

In simple terms, there is a pecking order as to who is entitled to the .au of any particular domain name. You can see this here in auDA’s Priority Status Tool.

It often happens that there is more than one party that has “priority” – and so some people decide to try and “knock the competition out of the running”.

How? They make a complaint that the other person is not eligible to hold the domain name. This complaint generally passes first look if the domain is “parked” or not used. If the complaint is upheld or not defended, then the complainant gets first rights to the .au.

The big problem is that auDA allows anyone to make an online complaint for free – and the identity of the complainant is protected. As you can imagine, it has become like “duck season / wabbit season”!

Some tips

  • Don’t panic!
  • In particular, don’t make an emotional response via email. This can do more harm than good. All auDA (via your registrar) wants are facts that tick boxes.
  • Consider using a good local registrar that is experienced in dealing with complaints. They are generally there to assist. My top picks are Drop.com.au; Synergy Wholesale and Ventra IP.
  • The auDA compliance team do not want to take your domain off you – but they do want you to comply with policy. In my experience, they are fair and helpful.
  • Understand all your rights and options. If you’re unhappy with the outcome of a registrar’s decision, and have exhausted all avenues of redress with them, you can then request a review of the decision by auDA. And there are a couple of further steps thereafter. Read here.
  • Reach out and seek advice from experienced others.

In my opinion

auDA could easily reduce the number of unfair / vexatious / misconceived complaints overnight. And the unnecessary workload!

How? Make it compulsory to put a legitimate name to the complaint (verifiable); and charge a token fee of say $25. The complainant’s details should also be made available to the existing registrant. Any legitimate complainant should not have an issue with this. After all, an auDRP complaint requires a substantial fee and full disclosure.