A thread that started a few days back with regards to bidding discrepancies has picked up steam on Namepros.
Namepros member Arca got the thread started with regards to non paying bidders and domains that needed to be re-auctioned.
At the heart of the matter was focus on the name CannaMarket.com which has been re-auctioned three times and currently in limbo. Along with the action around CannaMarket.com, one name kept coming up WittyNut. This member seemed to not be paying for auctions. DropCatch initially had its customer service rep reply, but they really did not answer things in a satisfactory manner for the Namepros army. ( I always tell companies to get out in front of things if a controversy comes to light, the membership at Namepros has a lot of excellent researchers and a lot of people who are not going to stop bringing the heat until they are satisfied with the answers.)
DropCatch did bring out the big guns as both Jeff and Andrew Reberry are members at Namepros.
Jeff explained that WittyNut had not paid for 69 auctions. He also went into how his company was looking to improve.
In addition, we have one other user (WittyNut) who has not paid for 69 domain auctions, dating back to May of 2017. There was a glitch in our system which allowed this user to continue winning auctions, even though he had outstanding items in his shopping cart. We identified and fixed this issue back in August and suspended the account. We have been in communication with this user and extended a grace period to pay for all of the auctions due to our partial cause in this mistake. (Granting the user the benefit of the doubt here.) Even though this user has promised to pay for these winning auctions, he has only paid for a few, and 69 auctions remain outstanding. We now believe there was intent of fraud on behalf of this user, with no interest in actually paying for the domains. We will be re-auctioning all 69 of these domains very soon.
We want to point out that re-auctions are TINY compared to the total number of closed auctions. Almost all of our auctions close and are successfully paid for by the winning bidder. Nobody is talking about the 98% of the other auctions that are successfully paid for each day.
We have been working very hard to enhance and refine our new user verification process and we have made great improvements, even though this thread suggests otherwise. Approximately one month ago, we added a mobile phone number via SMS or voice verification. Unfortunately, this did not stop the Lumeo.com fraud. We know we can do better and are working on it right now.
Soon we will be requiring all users to provide us with a valid credit card and rolling out additional fraud detection and mitigation tools for our team.
Our goal is to have zero re-auctions. We are committed to making re-auctions a thing of the past. And we are sorry for the issues these bidders have caused.
After that Namepros member wwwweb posted the following:
Wittynut caused you to profit by tens of thousands of dollars, by using this loophole to bid up your customers as he knew he was not expected to pay. He gamed the system, and he cost other bidders tens of thousands of dollars. I know of one auction where he caused a domainer at least $2000 in back, and forth bidding, how will you be compensating innocent bystanders who play by the rules for your own platforms pitfalls?
WittyNut owes about $30K, doubtful he comes up with the $$$, and cost other bidders many tens of thousands more. You will reauction, and probably make more doing so, but your customers are on the losing end. To allow WITTYNUT 3 months grace is unheard of, he was bidding with an unlimited payment schedule, and could care less if he paid, or not, or if he bid others up for the fun of it.
A platform with only a 20-40names being auctioned everyday, not locating the WITTYNUT issue is very troubling. How did this single account get UNICORN status? You profited from this, how do you go about to make this right?
If you admit he was committing FRAUD, you need to refund these users immediately.
Talking about making things right, and doing the right thing are two different things. Obviously the cookie cutter statement your customer support stated was not going to fly, we all knew something was not right, Thank You for doing the right thing, and taking the first step to make things whole, but now you need to compensate your customers for allowing this fraud to happen, and continue for many months.
There is some other back and forth about bidding patterns and ways to stop of the games.
As more talks about conspiracy and the specter of SnapNames was mentioned, Andrew Reberry chimed in:
a.) What Jeff said above is absolutely correct. Especially with our making this issue right and figuring out a workable solution to where people were bid up by fraudsters.
b.) The blank username is a COMPLETE MESS. I was brought into this issue yesterday around 3pm, and during that user’s termination, XdaydreamX, his alias was deleted by our team. Lets just say I was extremely upset with this, and was a mistake by our team!! This user is fully suspended and we will reinstate his username on Monday so everything above can be seen transparently. Again, reiterating what Jeff already said. And I will say this user was one of our biggest accounts over time, and unfortunately he failed to pay for just a few weeks. (Wow, what a harsh system to kick one of your top users out like this.)
If you want to claim fraud, please know I have stated on here in the past, and continue to state, NOT ME, NOT OUR COMPANY, NOT OUR EMPLOYEES. Not in the slightest chance. And if fraud is happening as you are claiming, I SHOULD BE IN JAIL, just like Halvarez should be. (In my opinion.) That is absolutely not the case. Much of what is here is speculation but far from a conspiracy as some are suggesting!!
Trust me, we care a lot, and we want to ensure you all are taken care of!
Please understand we are working on this. And the blank username, XdaydreamX was a MAJOR mistake by our team and not something I am even remotely happy about. However it was an honest mistake and not malicious in any way.
Interestingly in the 5 pages of discussion there less than a dozen members who chimed in, many probably use DropCatch far less than they do NameJet or GoDaddy. Either way there was a lot of great work done by the likes of Arca and wwwweb and kudos to Jeff and Andrew for stepping up and engaging in the conversation.
If you participate in auctions on DropCatch or are thinking about it, read the thread to get up to speed.