Kevin Murphy over at Domainincite.com wrote a post yesterday, entitled “Guy hit with $1,600 bill a month after registering “premium” name for $12.99″
The post goes onto explain:
“One DI reader, who said he’d rather not be named, received a bill from the registrar today for $1587.01 for a .みんな domain name he hand-registered March 10 for the base fee of $12.99.
The email from 101domain stated that unless he pays the bill by 5pm PST tomorrow, his domain will be deleted:
It has come to our attention that the .みんな registry considers certain name(s) that you have registered with us as premium names and that there were some intermittent pricing errors on our website allowing you to purchase these name(s) at regular pricing. The cause of this error has been resolved and we sincerely apologize for the error.
In order to correct these pricing errors, the Registry has granted us the option to delete these names if we are unable to collect the premium pricing from our customers.
Due to a short deadline, payment must be received by Thursday, April 24, 2014, 5pm PST in order for deletion of the name not to occur. In the event that payment isn’t received by Thursday, April 24, 2014, 5pm PST the domain name(s) will be deleted, released back into the pool of available domain names, and any payments previously received for the domain names will be fully refunded to you.
The registrar offered a full refund of the $12.99 and a 20% discount coupon as compensation.”
We chatted about this on the DomainSherpa.com show yesterday and we all agreed that the registrar not the customer should eat their mistake.
Domainincite’s post goes on to quote the COO of 101Domain, Anthony Beltran that “fewer than 50″ names were affected by the pricing error, all of them in .みんな. :
In order to offer pre-paid orders, 101domain’s practice is to put up pricing as soon as it is confirmed and as soon as we receive lists of premium names, reserved names, and name collisions from a registry. This is generally well before EPP is available so there is no live domain:check. Our search queries these lists internally to offer accurate pricing well before most other registrars do so that our clients are well ahead of the curve with plenty of time to research and submit orders. Mistakes do rarely occur; some premium lists are fluid, complications have been introduced with SEDO and AFTERNIC getting exclusive listings of premium names (while we have access through their distribution channels like SEDO MLS), or names are snapped up in Sunrise, EAP, or Landrush. We will typically notify clients prior to names becoming active of any changes in pricing or availability and promptly refund in full if requested. With this TLD, this did not happen properly unfortunately.
Sorry no other business in the world operates this way.
“”When certain Delta fares on the airline’s own website and other airfare booking sites were showing up incorrectly, offering some savvy bargain hunters incredible deals. A roundtrip flight between Cincinnati and Minneapolis for February was being sold for just $25.05 and a roundtrip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City for $48.41. T
The correct price for both of those fares is more than $400.”
It isn’t known just how many folks snapped up the bargains, but Delta says it will honor the fares.”
“”Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) said it will honor tickets sold at incorrect prices today on its website and through other booking channels after customers snapped up bargains like a round trip to Hawaii for $6.90. ”
However the domain industry seems to be the only one where if someone upstream screws up the downstream customer gets holding the bill.When Zappos’ 6pm.com site, posted all items on sale for $49.95, they honored the price despite costing them over $1.5 Million.
So plain and simple, In the domain industry if a registry or registrar makes a pricing mistake they should eat it, not the customer.
Making the customer pay for your mistake is bad business.
That is business 101