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Coober Pedy Council's Hard Domain Name Lesson

May 21, 2018

Australia's Coober Pedy Council is another high-profile victim of the consequences of forgetting to renew a domain name.

Coober Pedy, a town in northern South Australia, is well-known as the opal capital of the world - and it even had a related domain name stating to that effect that it held for around a decade. Unfortunately, the council failed to renew the registration after it fell due for renewal in 2016.

The council is now in negotiations with the current holder of the name in order to get it back - and it looks like it's going to cost over $1,200. While a significant sum compared to a standard renewal fee, it could have been a lot higher.

“He’s not charging a lot of money (for the name), so we really got off scot-free,” said Council acting chief executive Colin Pitman.

The failure to renew the name was simply an oversight, one that is easy to make even though registrants should receive multiple reminders before expiry. 

However, procrastinating on the issue of renewal can end in heartache. While the first renewal notices can be sent 90 days from the expiry date by a registrar and subsequent reminders should follow, as the old saying goes "why put off doing what can be done today until tomorrow".

Something that can also occur is the contact email address on name's record can be out of date - meaning the registrant doesn't even get to see the renewal notices, which are sent via email.

This is why it's also very important to check a domain record regularly to ensure all details are current - another task that shouldn't be put off. This is particularly crucial in a business scenario where multiple people may have access to the record and changes aren't properly tracked.

On a related note, it's also wise to ensure that renewal notices are genuine. Over the years, many Australian registrants have been caught out by scams whereby they recieve what appears to be a renewal notice, but turns out to be an invoice for other services from another party or worse still, transfer documentation that moves the name's management to another registrar.

Learn more about domain name expiry processes and issues relating to security.

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