discuss SnapNames issues - Legal advice needed

I decided to make this case public only after multiple failed attempts to clarify this matter privately in a friendly way with both involved parties: NetworkSolutions & SnapNames

We won Picozzi.com on auction at SnapNames for $489 last 29th August so we paid promptly for it and got the name moved to our NetworkSolutions account some days later.
We changed dns, posted this name for sale in few marketplaces and forgot about it for few weeks.

Two months later we logged to our account to retrieve the auth code and to transfer it to our main registrar to consolidate our portfolio as we're used to do with all our acquisition but the domain was no longer there.
A whois query showed the most recent change was occurred in the first week of October where a new registrant changed its dns so we visited the domain and discovered it was redirecting to a landing page where someone having 'Picozzi' as surname was mentioned so this started to make us very suspicious.

We started to open a ticket at NetSol and got a delayed reply (as usual) some days later where their agent didn't read/understand our request and recommended to place a backorder if we were interested in acquiring Picozzi.com (what ridiculous and frustrating support).

We tried multiple times with new tickets but kept getting unrelated replies so we got in touch with a person we know in the company who admitted this domain was transferred back 'in error' to the original registrant few weeks after the auction completion.
Isn't this a real theft in your honest opinion ? We got no notice about these facts till then (we're now in November).

We started to open tickets at SnapNames and again we started getting unrelated delayed replies until after a strong pressure they admitted the mistake and promised a refund.
A fight of months till last 2nd February when we got a ticket affirming they credited back the whole auction amount to our account so we logged and the account credit was still showing $0 ...
It's important clarifying we paid by PayPal for this auction and asked repeatedly and clearly for a credit to our account balance but I also need to specify such refund didn't come to our PayPal as well.

We opened a new ticket and got in touch with a contact inside Web.com as well so we've been told the amount was credited to the credit card in account ... Such card wasn't involved in no way in this deal and it's not possible crediting funds on it especially in a case where it wasn't directly used for a specific transaction so such funds got lost and now SnapNames no longer care about our claims asserting we should check with our credit card company but we weren't allowed to credit funds directly on it (it's not an Iban card ops sorry ... it's a debit card).

So what happens now legally ? We're ready to hire a lawyer to clarify the whole matter without caring we might pay even more than what we lost but we'll obviously accuse them of having stolen our domain with no notice and no reason after that to have credited funds on a card not directly involved in this process by ignoring our clear and repeated requests for a direct account credit which was even easier to apply.

CONCLUSION: Multiple times during the years SnapNames took back domains few days after the auction ended with multiple excuses (especially where the winning bid was under $100 and always with a good justification of course) but we got always a prompt refund while now the situation is much more serious not just for the small involved amount but for the offensive fact they stolen it without giving us any written notice/prompt refund about that.

Any advice is highly appreciated before we'll hear a lawyer to take care of this case.
I'm sure you'll get all sorts of replies about this. I think it's a sad case on several fronts. Unfortunately, these days you really have to keep up with things and check on your domains quite often after you purchase them. As you probably realize, NetworkSolutions and SnapNames are owned by the same company web.com. If you call the fine folks at NameJet they may be able to help you at least get your money back. They are also owned by web.com. I've had good luck with them in the past when it comes to problem solving. Hiring a lawyer for this small amount doesn't seem like it would be worth the hassle and expense. Good luck with things! Let us know how things work out.
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