Bill Hartzer

SnapNames and Moniker Return Domain to Prior Owner After Winning at Auction

On June 26th, 2008, I was looking at the domain name auction listings at SnapNames and saw a domain name that caught my eye. For some reason, I just “liked” the domain. So, I bid on it. Apparently I was the sole bidder, so I won the domain, fair and square, for $99. It was promptly put into my Moniker account.

Now, today, on July 18th, 2008, I get what I would call a “disturbing” email from SnapNames:

Good Afternoon Bill,

Thank you for previously bidding and winning the auction of, unfortunately that domain was erroneously included in an auction. You have been refunded for your purchase and the domain has been returned. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Thank you,

I was kind of dumbfounded. “Excuse me?!?!!!” I thought. I won a domain name, have been using it for nearly a month, and the prior owner comes back and claims it? I checked the whois information and, lo and behold, the domain is no longer in my name. Furthermore, a call to Jonathan at Snapnames goes right to voicemail; how convenient that he sends an email late on a Friday and conveniently is away for the weekend.

This is totally unacceptable in my opinion. I won the domain name, at an auction. It is my understanding that this domain name was not renewed by its prior owner. I backordered the domain name, Snap acquired it, and I purchased (and paid for) the domain name.

The domain name should be mine. SnapNames, could you please explain to me how you can possibly return a domain name to its prior owner without my knowledge?

I have read the SnapNames Legal page and I cannot find anywhere where a domain name can be returned to its prior owner.

Would someone please explain to me how Snapnames and Moniker can award me a domain name that I paid for and then take it away from me, without my knowledge, some 22 days later? Wow, this kind of reminds me of the domain name fiasco that I wrote about a while back.

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