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'halvarez' at Snapnames auctions uncovered

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews started by prague7, Nov 4, 2009.

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  1. prague7

    prague7 NameTopic.com ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Ooer - this one's going to run for a while... :O

    From DomainNameNews:
    SnapNames User Name “Halvarez” Was Nelson Brady, VP of Engineering Bidding on Domain Names [Updated]
    From Snapnames:
    SnapNames User Name “Halvarez” Was Employee Bidding on Domain Names
    There's also a FAQ page at Snapnames
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. nomak

    nomak Established Member

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    I knew it!
     
  3. wellmanneredsquirrel

    wellmanneredsquirrel Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    That's good damage control.. took them 4 years but compensation seems fair + they take the iniative of finding the scammed customers and paying the rebates.. no need for bidders to go thru the list of impacted auctions and filing an online form demanding a rebate etc...

    + try to find 5.22% in 2009 !
     
  4. telking

    telking Account Closed

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    another reason why i have always believed ALL of these companies are shady.

    so what ARENT they telling us...
     
  5. QualityNames.com

    QualityNames.com Stand out from the crowd

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  6. MicroGuy

    MicroGuy Miembro Especial VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    A sad day for the domaining industry. I think this goes on a lot more than we are aware. I've seen some pretty shady bidding at other auction houses too. :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  7. Oversee Rob

    Oversee Rob Established Member

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    An important message from SnapNames

    Recently, SnapNames discovered that an employee had set up an account on the SnapNames system under a false name and, under this name, bid in SnapNames auctions. This is a clear violation of our internal policy and was not approved by the company. We deeply regret that this conduct has impacted our customers.

    Extent of impact

    This conduct affected a small percentage of SnapNames auctions:

    · Bidding affected approximately five percent of total SnapNames auctions since 2005, most of which occurred between 2005 and 2007.

    · The incremental revenue from the bidding represented approximately one percent of SnapNames’ auction revenue since 2005.


    No matter the level of impact, SnapNames takes this matter extremely seriously. When the matter was discovered, the company immediately closed the account in question and began a thorough investigation. The employee has also been dismissed from the company.

    SnapNames further discovered that, on certain recent and limited occasions, when the employee won an auction, the employee secretly arranged to refund from SnapNames to the fictitious account a portion of the winning bid amount.

    Remedy to affected customers

    Though on some occasions the employee won the auction, in many instances the bidding caused the ultimate auction winner to pay more for a name than had the employee not participated in the auction.

    SnapNames neither condones this conduct nor wants to be perceived as benefiting from the conduct. Accordingly, we have decided that regardless of the circumstance, in every auction where the employee’s fictitious account submitted a bid which resulted in a higher price being paid by the winning bidder, SnapNames will offer a rebate, with 5.22% interest (the highest applicable federal rate during the affected time period), to affected customers for the difference between the prices they actually paid and the prices they would have paid, had the employee not bid in the auctions. The rebate will be available in cash or in credit on the SnapNames platform, at your discretion.

    SnapNames has moved quickly to address this situation. The company has retained Rust Consulting, an independent third party, who will administer the rebate offer. Within the next week, Rust Consulting will contact affected customers to provide details regarding the offer.

    Your business and ongoing relationship are important to us and we can assure you that we have taken all necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the platform and reinforced controls and procedures to avoid any possibility of further breach. These include:

    · Enhanced monitoring of bidding activity for suspect behavior

    · Additional controls over financial transactions

    · Specific domain name registration policies for employees

    In the meantime, if you have any questions, you may consult the FAQs here, or contact the SnapNames support team:

    By e-mail: [email protected]

    Phone: +1 (866) 690-6279 (toll-free in the U.S.)
    +1 (503) 241-8547 (outside the U.S.)

    SnapNames, and all in the Oversee family of companies, are deeply disappointed with this incident. Since its founding in 2000, SnapNames has been committed to the principles of fairness and trust; the company wants to assure customers—through both words and actions—that it remains committed to those principles.

    Thank you again for your business, and for your ongoing trust in SnapNames.

    Rob McClinton
    Oversee Support
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  8. MicroGuy

    MicroGuy Miembro Especial VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Were is the double line? Hehe
     
  9. metrisoft

    metrisoft Established Member

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    I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this happens or has happened at a lot of the aftermarket auction sites (possibly even secretly condoned by the company). I see a lot of bidding activity that doesn't seem rational.
     
  10. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This is very bad. I have a suspicion of the name of the shill bidder's account.

    Brad
     
  11. MicroGuy

    MicroGuy Miembro Especial VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Nice idea but, it will be impossible to determine what the winning bidder would have paid had the shill bidding not taken place. This is due to the fact that the shill bid could have attracted additional bidders who otherwise would not have participated (or increased their bid amounts), and those additional bidders would have also contributed to the higher sales price. IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  12. NameCharger

    NameCharger Established Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Is the nick of this shill bidder being disclosed?
     
  13. MicroGuy

    MicroGuy Miembro Especial VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    'halvarez'
     
  14. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It should be. There can not be full disclosure without this information.

    Brad



    ---------- Post added at 02:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:34 PM ----------

    Yeah, well that is my guess as well.

    Somehow he was always the second bidder in any auction that would have otherwise been a straight backorder.

    He would rarely bid, but when he did he would make irrationally high bids on turd domains.

    Brad

     
  15. has2hands

    has2hands Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    He accounted for 1% of revenue over the years...that is huge.

    when the employee won an auction, the employee secretly arranged to refund from SnapNames to the fictitious account a portion of the winning bid amount.

    What does that mean? that's another huge black hole!

    stay tuned.........more to come.

    Paul
     
  16. D0MA1N

    D0MA1N Established Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    We all knew about it, but could not prove. It remains only to find out how many people continue to raise bids artificially.
     
  17. HappyBunny

    HappyBunny Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    What took them so long???
     
  18. cmason

    cmason Established Member VIP

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    Personally, I think that SnapNames is taking the appropriate action to correct the fraudulent bidding. It is a shame that it took this long, but the initial press release has been quite open. There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be quite costly for SnapNames, but again, it is needed action.
     
  19. MicroGuy

    MicroGuy Miembro Especial VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I think the only fair thing to do would be to give the domain to the winner at the standard backorder price or his initial bid price which ever is greater. IMO.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Is that confirmed? I always had a feeling that was a fake account.
     
  21. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I am glad SnapNames.com is disclosing this, but I have questions about how it it could take 4+ years for them to discover this.

    I wonder if this was more of a case where they were caught somehow, and then they came clean.

    If the user is "Halvarez" there have been many discussions over the years about his bidding activity on domain forums. If it is not, then Snap needs to disclose the username.

    Brad
     
  22. tetrapak

    tetrapak Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If that's him, then Snapnames owes me $x,xxx+
     
  23. Steve

    Steve Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Oops.
     
  24. Steve

    Steve Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I commend SnapNames for revealing this info to us; this makes me trust them a little more, though I am still very disappointed to learn this. I don't understand why it would take four years to investigate something like this.
     
  25. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It is "Halvarez"

    SnapNames User Name “Halvarez” Was Employee Bidding on Domain Names | Domain Name News

    Brad

    ---------- Post added at 02:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:42 PM ----------

    There have been several threads about "Halvarez" over the years. SnapNames.com taking 4+ years to discover this is ridiculous.

    Here are two such threads about "Halvarez" of many -

    why is halvarez...... - DNF - Domain Sales, Domain Forum, Domain Appraisals, Domain Registrars

    http://www.namepros.com/domain-name-discussion/163933-whats-good-tactics-beating-guy-snapnames.html

    Why was this not investigated at the time?

    Brad
     

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