Pheenix.com is Warehousing Their Customer’s Expired Domain Names

Discussion in 'Drop Catchers and Expired Domain Services' started by Arca, Nov 7, 2017.

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  1. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    The domain name forexspot.com was dropcaught by Pheenix on September 26, 2016, and in the ensuing auction it was won by a Ukrainian domainer.

    A year later the domain was still with Pheenix and let to expire. Similarly to many other registrars, like GoDaddy, DynaDot, Name.com, and NameSilo, Pheenix run in-house pre-release auctions for expired domains.

    I recently won forexspot.com in the expired auction for this domain. However, Pheenix did not deliver and have informed me that they do not intend to deliver the domain to me. I was informed about this after the auction had completed and I was waiting to get the domain. So I thought the past owner might have renewed the domain.

    But it turns out that Pheenix are warehousing the expired domains of their customers. I already knew that they have their own domain portfolio, but I was not aware that they are cherry-picking domains from their users expired domains. I think in this case they should have owed up to their "mistake" and delivered the domain to me, rather than still go ahead and warehouse it, as I won it in an auction run by them. But completing their own auctions and maintaining the integrity of their own platforms is apparently not important to them.

    What is warehousing? From Wikipedia: Domain name warehousing is the practice of registrars obtaining control of expired domain names already under their management, with the intent to hold or “warehouse” names for their own use and/or profit.

    Pheenix are now offering the domain for sale for $18,995. And that tagline? "second to none customer satisfaction"? I beg to differ.
    forexspot for sale page .png forexspot whois.png
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    @gorilla_bob is the username of pheenix owner here...

    This sounds really off, something has to be missing here.

    So did they take your money, and not deliver the Domain?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  3. pokainc

    pokainc Supportive Member NamePros Supporter VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I haven't read all their fine print, but their auction rules I would think would dictate that the winner of the domain auction gets the domain.. I would think that's the most basic rule... I don't understand what argument they can use to go against that...
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  4. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    They told me they will not deliver the domain and refunded my money.
     
  5. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times Business Account

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  6. pokainc

    pokainc Supportive Member NamePros Supporter VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    ......... wow that is an astonishingly horrible business practice... it's like running an auction, you don't like the price it reached although you had no reserve and just decide not to sell it because you just don't feel like it... unbelievable..
     
  7. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    He has lost registry connections, as in given them up big news surrounding that yesterday, well I would say he is about to lose all credibility in his auction platform now also as that is totally unacceptable.

    He has some want ads up on namepros currently also, for crypto domains.

    Did it sell for an insanely cheap amount, either way if you participated in an auction, and won, you should be awarded the domain:

    Pheenix has been raising prices multiple times anually now, I have about 50 names there that I won in auctions that I will be moving out right now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  8. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    I guess he likes his $18k price, better than your auction win price.

    He will sink his whole reputation over a single domain, wow?
     
  9. Kuffy

    Kuffy Name Stag VIP

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    Maybe it isn't just a single domain name.
     
  10. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    Maybe this is why he is taking back domains:

    Pheenix Daily Hot Auctions



    These are the hottest auctions taking place now!

    Here are our hottest auctions ending soon:



    Domain

    Current Bid

    xuvd.com

    165

    xvgl.com

    115


    Here are our hottest numeric auctions ending soon:



    Domain

    Current Bid

    370500.com

    59


    Here are our hottest short auctions ending soon:



    Domain

    Current Bid

    2de.org

    19

    ijcc.org

    70

    xuvd.com

    165

    xvgl.com

    115

    Not a very hot selection list for a dropcatcher.
     
  11. VaibhavA

    VaibhavA Active Member VIP

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    Well, its everyday business and we domainers are their everyday clients.

    If they dont intend to sell to the highest bidder, their marketplace is loosing its rep.

    Ideally, they must apologize and send the winner the invoice for the winning bid amount.
     
  12. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    I rmemeber a few years back, I was away and my domain expired about 7 days ago, and I went to renew it, and I couldn't. He wanted like $2XX redemption fee to renew a 7 day expired domain, which anyone else would have in grace for 25 days at least.
     
  13. GeorgeQuang

    GeorgeQuang Established Member

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    another thing that : I couldn't get any domains that caught by Pheenix since last month up to now. ( I using Back Order Services everynight). They are being beaten by NameJet and DropCatch, or they don't want to provide Back order service to their customers anymore after increasing their price 3 times in a year ? I don't know.
    I'm assuming that they are on HugeDomain's way : using Back Order to catch domains to increase their portfolio's size. Who knows ? :xf.rolleyes:
     
  14. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    Reason is Pheenix has lessened their registry connections, they don't have the same firepower now as they have less connections, there was some PR about it yesterday from Domain Incite.

    448 registrars have been terminated in the last week, all of them apparently shells operated by Pheenix, one of the big three drop-catching firms.

    Basically, Pheenix has dumped about 90% of its portfolio of accreditations, about 300 of which are less than a year old.

    It also means ICANN has lost about 15% of its fee-paying registrars.

    Pheenix has saved itself at least $1.2 million in ICANN’s fixed accreditation fees, not including the variable and transaction-based fees.
     
  15. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Business Member Business Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Aren't ICANN accedited registrars explicitly prohibited from doing domain warehousing? OK, in case of lets say dropcatch and co they at least use a separate legal entity (hugedomains) for their own portfolio.

    This forex spot shows pheenix itself as an owner, not anybody else, not even private whois...

    Registry Domain ID: 2061965885_DOMAIN_COM-VRS
    Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.pheenix.com
    Registrar URL: http://www.pheenix.com
    Updated Date: 2017-10-27T10:34:12Z
    Creation Date: 2016-09-26T20:48:13Z
    Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2018-09-26T20:48:13Z
    Registrar: Pheenix. Inc.
    Registrar IANA ID: 888

    Registrant Name: ******** This Domain is For Sale ********
    Registrant Organization: Pheenix.com
    Registrant Street: 200 Spectrum Center Dr.
    Registrant City: Irvine
    Registrant State: CA
    Registrant Postal Code: 92618
    Registrant Country: US
    Registrant Phone: +1.8007775683
    Registrant Phone Ext:
    Registrant Fax:
    Registrant Fax Ext:
    Registrant Email: [email protected]


    Quote from related correspondence between ICANN and register.com on similar issue:

    BEGIN

    TRANSMITTED VIA FACSIMILE, ELECTRONIC MAIL, AND COURIER
    11 September 2013
    Matthew McClure
    Register.com, Inc. (IANA ID# 9)
    12808 Gran Bay Parkway West
    Jacksonville FL 32258

    RE: NOTICE OF BREACH OF REGISTRAR ACCREDITATION AGREEMENT
    Dear Mr. McClure:
    Please be advised that as of 11 September 2013, Register.com, Inc. (“Register.com”) is in
    breach of its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (“RAA”) with the Internet Corporation for
    Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) dated 28 September 2009. These breaches result
    from:

    ...

    Register.com’s failure to enter into registration agreements with Registered Name
    Holders of domain names as required by Section 3.7.7 of the RAA, or alternatively,
    explain how the domains are used for the purposes of Registrar Services, as defined
    by Section 1.11 of the RAA.

    ...

    ICANN requests that Register.com cure the breaches by 2 October 2013, 15 working days
    from the date of this letter, by taking the following actions

    ...

    Provide a detailed explanation to ICANN how 62,232 domains in which Register.com
    itself is the registrant are used for the purposes of Registrar Services, as defined by
    Section 1.11 of the RAA;
    ...

    END
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  16. Kate

    Kate Thinking inside the Box™ VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    So they allowed the name in auction to get a free market appraisal ?
     
  17. GeorgeQuang

    GeorgeQuang Established Member

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    Thanks buddy for your info, i have just read ICANN announcement. Yes, and now the Backorder is a game for only DropCatch and NameJet/SnapName.
     
  18. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    ICANN allows registrars to warehouse domains. Although most do it in a more subtle ways and pick the names as early as they can, usually not letting them go to auction in the first place in order to obscure what they are doing. Letting your users bid on a domain and then blatantly put it in your own portfolio leaves a really bad impression for users, and also brings awareness to the fact that they are warehousing. Personally I wasn't even aware that Pheenix did it until this recent experience. While I dislike warehousing, it is legal, and my complaint here is that they ran an expired auction through their own expired domains system, let me win, and then told me that I will not get the domain, even though they have no problems of fulfilling the auction win if they wanted to (it's not like the domain became available due to the former owner renewing it, it became unavailable due to Pheenix deciding they wanted it for themselves - they hold the domain and could easily have upheld the integrity of their own auction system).

    This unsightly practice is carried out by many different registrar groups. 1&1 warehouses their users domains under domcollect. Tucows does it under Yummynames. Enom does it under AcquireThisName. Web.com (network solutions, register, snapnames, etc.) does it under New Ventures Services Corp. There are others but those are the ones that come to mind right away, maybe others can chime in with other warehousing operations going on. Most of these shell companies permanently each hold hundreds of thousands (!!!) of their registrar users expired domains and offer them for sale. Even the GD used to do it, though they stopped in 2008 (search for Standard Tactics, LLC. if you want to learn about their warehousing past).

    EDIT: I should add that, while warehousing is still legal, it is extremely controversial and this practice have received tons of criticism. The ICANN community has previously discussed possible amendments to the RAA to prohibit warehousing, though nothing concrete has come of it. Warehousing is considered to be unfair advantage of obtaining expiring domains for registrars, an abuse of the registrars position, and creates a conflict of interest due to the change in the dynamic between the registrar and registrant warehousing brings about.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  19. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Business Member Business Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Indeed, I meant to say that Pheenix does the same under Pheenix name, which is likely why they are not in compliance with Pheenix icann accreditation agreement. The same practice by register.com resulted an icann compliance notice. New Ventures Services corp etc. are another legal entities and are probably fine reselling domains, or anything else they like to sell, as they have no contracts with icann.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  20. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    By cutting all those connections Pheenix saved themselves $1.2M, I know 2015, and half of 2016 was a banner year, but maybe with all the price increases they can't sustain the costs anymore, and have taken a financial hit.

    I mean the owner is hustling the WTB threads at namepros, instead of focusing on building his multi mullion dollar dropcatch backorder platform?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  21. Kate

    Kate Thinking inside the Box™ VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If you do that on NP, and do not honor the result of the auction, you can expect a penalty like your account being restricted or terminated.
     
  22. offthehandle

    offthehandle Business Member Business Account VIP

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    Agreed complete BS.

    You gave them a free appraisal, free marketing exposure. Lovely way to doing business isn't it? Sorry to hear that. That is pretty low, in fact a slimey way of doing business.

    @wwwweb Can you post those want ads in this thread for NP usernames for all to see?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  23. Grilled

    Grilled 🙈🙉🙊 VIP

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  24. anantj

    anantj Active Member VIP

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    I think you can expect such a penalty on Pheenix itself if you're a private seller
     
  25. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    I really don't think this was motivated by getting an appraisal. A domainer auction only reflects reseller price anyway, which is of limited value when you target end-users, and there is obviously a massive gap between the price I won the domain for and Pheenix' asking price for $18,995. This price has clearly not been affected by the auction price.

    If anything, the when certain domains get bids its a way for them to see the cream to rise to the top (as good domains tend to get bid on), and when Pheenix see these bids it tells them that the domain might be worth looking at. I guess in this case they not only saw the name, but liked it so much that they decided to not deliver it after the auction, even if they could easily have done so as it is in their possession.

    They told me after I won that the auction was a mistake (even though the name expired, went through their automated expired auction system as usuall, and into their holding account ready for deliver to the auction winner - but when the name was supposed to be delivered to me, they had a change of heart and took it for themselves).
     

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