.com enquiries

Posted by John Tomic on 29 November 2011

A number of general enquiries that come through to the auDA office involve domain names that are not in the AU name space. Most of these are in the .com zone.

Often these queries come as referrals from other people and it is quite disheartening for them to be told that they had been referred to us in error as auDA does not have jurisdiction in any name space outside of .au.

For the majority of these contacts, they just simply need to be referred to the registrar or reseller managing their domain name. A useful site I have found that provides a handy WHOIS service is at http://www.kloth.net/services/whois.php.

For the people who have genuine issues with their registrars or resellers, the advice is a little more complicated.

An issue with a reseller of a .com domain name can be escalated to the registrar they use. This can be determined via a WHOIS service as noted above. What policies or procedures they have in dealing with a reseller of theirs is entirely up to them.

If you have an issue with a .com registrar, your options are limited to following their own complaint procedures or; if they are located within Australia, you can discuss the matter with your local consumer affairs office (http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=consumers_ACL.htm); or you may take them to your local small claims court or tribunal (http://www.fos.org.au/centric/home_page/resolving_disputes/helpful_links.jsp#Small_Claims_Courts___Tribunals). If the registrar is overseas and depending on their location, you may have some level of local recourse, but that is dependent on the laws of the country or locality involved. Finally, you can seek legal advice about your issue.

Please note that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) does not handle complaints about resellers or registrars of .com and other generic top-level domains (gTLD’s). ICANN’s policy regarding registrars and resellers is noted at http://www.icann.org/en/dispute-resolution/#services.

Information about name spaces other that .au can be obtained from http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db.

For information about making a complaint in .au about a registrar or reseller, please refer to the Complaints Policy (2010-04) at http://www.auda.org.au/policies/auda-2010-04/.