ATTN REGISTRARS! it.com domain sunrise starts on Jan 2nd! GET READY NOW

alert The fund can't be withdrawal from Epik.com via Masterbucks wallet

Catch.Club

enamebroker

Established Member
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It happened on 23rd Aug 2022 and this matter lasted almost one month without any process. Masterbucks.com declined my fund withdrawal and disabled the button of fund withdrawal. And I contacted Epik.com and got no further action even if Rob Monster got involved in it for two weeks. All the time I was told in email by management review.

What is wrong with Epik.com? Do you think it is normal to disable fund withdrawal? How can I get back my fund from Epik.com? Thanks for your suggestion.

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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

Derek Peterson

Upgraded Member
Impact
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https://www.icann.org/compliance/complaint
Show attachment 228012

I can't see anything there regarding not registering domains, but there is a section on Transfers and Renewals. Maybe since expiration, redemption, deletion process is time sensitive, transfers/renewals are probably an area ICANN wants to ensure stricter registrar compliance.

Transfers: Thus far, I have not had issues transferring out of Epik, so that is not yet to apply.

Renewals: I just tried renewing an expired .com at epik using PayPal. WHOIS instantly changed to reflect an added year, + new WHOIS update date.

Given registrar glitches, and common issues / discrepancies with domain registrations, I'm not sure to what degree ICANN has over registration delays. But, in my case, what happens if somebody registers my domain in the delay, will I be refunded my epik masterbucks, the same masterbucks folks have reported unable to redeem for months? Showing masterbucks not usable or redeemable?
I think the current, intermittent, problems regarding registrations is about money (masterbucks) not anything to do with ICANN. They are probably doing all these domain sales and renewals manually so if someone is not around it will sit there in pending status until someone pays for the sale. They probably don't have any money in that account, on purpose, so no one sneaks any large masterbucks purchases through. Remember registries don't accept masterbucks (lol) so epik is converting those masterbucks into USD to purchase on your behalf.
 
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Chris Hydrick

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They are probably doing all these domain sales and renewals manually so if someone is not around it will sit there in pending status until someone pays for the sale.

I was able to successfully process a domain renewal instantly this morning at epik paying with PayPal; that seems to defeat the manual renewal argument.

However, my yesterday masterbucks paid domain regsitration still sits unregistered. New registrations seem to be needing manual intervention, and maybe seperate funding/ICANN credit.

It's almost as if renewals are automatic and funded (so not to break ICANN rules) but new registrations are manually reviewed, and processed when funds are available? Though, on October 8th, 2022 @NickB reported in this thread that he had some dificulty renewing domains at epik with Masterbucks.

Does anybody know how registrar credit at verisign is handled? ie does a registrar have a certain account/credit for new renewals, and a certain account/credit to pay for renewals and/or transfers?
 
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Derek Peterson

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I was able to successfully process a domain renewal instantly this morning at epik paying with PayPal; that seems to defeat the manual renewal argument.

However, my yesterday masterbucks paid domain regsitration still sits unregistered. New registrations seem to be needing manual intervention.

It's almost as if renewals are automatic and funded (so not to break ICANN rules) but new registrations are manually reviewed, and processed when funds are available? Though, on October 8th, 2022 @NickB reported in this thread that he had some dificulty renewing domains at epik with Masterbucks.

Does anybody know how registrar credit at verisign is handled? ie does a registrar have a certain account/credit for new renewals, and a certain account/credit for renewals/transfers?
What? No that confirms it. When purchase is thru masterbucks conversion it is all manual. paypal is direct.
 
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Chris Hydrick

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What? No that confirms it. When purchase is thru masterbucks conversion it is all manual. paypal is direct.

I don't think that's been fully confirmed. What has been confirmed is that paypal appears to work instantly for .com renewals, while masterbucks/paypal doesn't work (or at least is significantly delayed as of now) for .com registrations. However, registrations and renewals are different, the test is incomplete. To be thorough, a .com renewal attempt paid in masterbucks would be needed to confirm.

I don't have enough masterbucks funds to attempt a .com renewal, which is why I used PayPal.

On November 24th, I used epik in-store credit to renew some .com's, and according to whois, those domains appear to have updated on November 24th, to reflect the new expiration date.

I have a $3.93 epik in-store balance credit, And $9.12 in Masterbucks.

.com renewal at epik = $9.99, and I can't combine the two, or use partial pay to clear either balance.

I can test a registration in a different (cheaper TLD) to see if masterbucks registration issue is just for .com, but I don't have enough masterbucks funds to test the masterbucks .com renewal manual or automatic theory.
 
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Chris Hydrick

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I can test a registration in a different (cheaper TLD) to see if masterbucks registration issue is just for .com, but I don't have enough masterbucks funds to test the masterbucks renewal theory.

As expected, my epik registration of HelpIveBeenScammed.Help ... a non verisign registry TLD, using masterbucks was processed instantly. The domain is in my account, and as a function test, the domain is able to successfully redirect to this namePros thread.

Whereas, my yesterday epik masterbucks registristration of Old*******.com has yet to be registered. Hinting at a possible issue with epiks verisign funding/credits for new .com registrations.
 
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Derek Peterson

Upgraded Member
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I don't think that's been fully confirmed. What has been confirmed that paypal works for .com renewals, and masterbucks doesn't work for .com registrations. However, registrations and renewals are different, the test is incomplete. To be thorough, a .com renewal attempt paid in masterbucks would be needed to confirm.

I don't have enough masterbucks funds to attempt a renewal, which is why I used PayPal.

I have a $3.93 epik in-store balance credit, And $9.12 in Masterbucks.

.com renewal at epik = $9.99, and I can't combine the two, or use partial pay to clear either balance.

I can test a registration in a different (cheaper TLD) to see if masterbucks registration issue is just for .com, but I don't have enough masterbucks funds to test the masterbucks .com renewal theory.
You can probably pick up some Masterbucks pretty cheap right now.
 
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Chris Hydrick

Top Member
Impact
10,584
You can probably pick up some Masterbucks pretty cheap right now.

I think that's what's being referred to as passing the buck. Eerily similar to FTX users passing their crypto to Bahama residents so they can cash out before bankruptcy. Would be curious to know a debt collectors going rate on masterbucks right now, ie what percent on the dollar they're offering now, if any.

What? No that confirms it. When purchase is thru masterbucks conversion it is all manual. paypal is direct.

To further test this theory, Using a seperate epik acct, I just placed an epik order via PayPal to register the .com I attempted to register yesterday using masterbucks. Both attempts to register a .com ("Old_______.com") using masterbucks, and using paypal have not been instant, and are still pending.

It will be interesting to see which epik account registers my ("Old_______.com") first, will it be the acct who placed the order first with masterbucks, or the epik account who placed the order second with paypal. Presumably it will be the account who attempted to register it first, but we'll see.

Again, wondering if funding weekend .com renewals is strategically positioned over funding weekend .com registrations, be it to stay ICANN compliant, or be it maybe epik has exisitng verisign credit/funding for .com renewals, but may be out of registration credit/funding at verisign for new .com registrations? Thus, the possible manual process of epik needing to add funds to verisign in order for verisign to process new .com registrations? I'm not sure how registrars fund verisign, but I don't think verisign accepts masterbucks.
 
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Domain Ethos

Upgraded Member
Impact
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I think that's what's being referred to as passing the buck. Eerily similar to FTX users passing their crypto to Bahama residents so they can cash out before bankruptcy. Would be curious to know a debt collectors going rate on masterbucks right now, ie what percent on the dollar they're offering now, if any.



To further test this theory, Using a seperate epik acct, I just placed an epik order via PayPal to register the .com I attempted to register yesterday using masterbucks. Both attempts to register a .com ("Old_______.com") using masterbucks, and using paypal have not been instant, and are still pending.

It will be interesting to see which epik account registers my "Old_______.com" first, will it be the acct who placed the order first with masterbucks, or the epik account who placed the order second with paypal.

Again, wondering if funding weekend .com renewals is strategically positioned over funding weekend .com registrations, be it to stay ICANN compliant, or be it maybe epik has exisitng verisign credit/funding for .com renewals, but may be out of registration credit/funding at verisign for new .com registrations? Thus, the possible manual process of epik needing to add funds to verisign in order for verisign to process new .com registrations? I'm not sure how registrars fund verisign, but I don't think verisign accepts masterbucks.

Just purchased a few different domains (and extensions) a few different ways and all are still pending. ~30 minutes so far.
 
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Chris Hydrick

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Just purchased a few different domains (and extensions) a few different ways and all are still pending. ~30 minutes so far.

Do you have any .coms you can attempt to renew with masterbucks? I assume they will go through quickly, and that the issue is limited to new .com (verisign) registrations. But for the sake of the test, since PayPal worked instantly for .com renewal, could you try renewing a .com with masterbucks?

So far:

Register new .com with MasterBucks: Failed, still delayed -- ((Old*******)).com
Register new .com with PayPal: Failed, still delayed -- ((Old*******)).com
Renew old .com with PayPal: Passed, instantly -- ((Gay Maui Wedding)).com
Renew old .com with Masterbucks: (Unknown - Need somebody to attempt)
 
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Recons.Com

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Impact
18,353
Look at @Tony Blessed playing dumb about this.

There is a $70K transaction above that specifically lists him as the escrow manager.

Trying to play semantics like he has nothing to do with Masterbucks.

He is enabling escrow transactions that are leaving sellers with a Masterbucks balance that can't be withdrawn.

What a joke.

Show attachment 227997


Brad

I wonder if Rob was planning for something like this when he announced the hiring spree from poor countries, allegedly, to empower people there.

It seems it comes very handy for him now that those people a) have kind of immunity against US prosecution b) have too much to lose if their, let' say, $1k/month salary is gone.

Meanwhile, he and Brian can play dumb about not knowing that the Escrow managers and other people are still bringing in more victims while withholding material information about the inability to make the payouts and, effectively, stealing their money.
 
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Derek Peterson

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@bmugford -- has the ICA been made aware of his? Seeing how this is internet commerce, it seems this may be of their interest.
I will bring it up.
Might help with another article. Not sure why that date is important. Maybe Brian made up something about that date or was when they were told something.

That was the date when DNW first published the article from Brian Royce. Outside that, I don't see what is magical about that date.

Even by that date, customer funds had be frozen for almost a month.

On a side note, has anyone been able to successfully withdraw Masterbucks funds in the last several weeks, especially for a significant amount of money and/or non US based?

After that initial batch of payments went out in mid October, I can't really remember seeing too many others, especially recently.

Next time @DomainNameWire gets comments from Brian Royce, I would love for them to ask why Rob Monster is in exile and has not made any public comment since early September. When the shit hit the fan, he disappeared. He is still the Chairman isn't he?

Brad
 
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Chris Hydrick

Top Member
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https://www.icann.org/compliance/complaint
1670184423131.png


I can't see anything there regarding not registering domains, but there is a section on Transfers and Renewals. Maybe since expiration, redemption, deletion process is time sensitive, transfers/renewals are probably an area ICANN wants to ensure stricter registrar compliance.
https://icannportal.force.com/compliance/s/renewal-redemption

Found on twitter... (tweet from 8 hours ago)

 
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I don't think that's been fully confirmed. What has been confirmed is that paypal appears to work instantly for .com renewals, while masterbucks/paypal doesn't work (or at least is significantly delayed as of now) for .com registrations. However, registrations and renewals are different, the test is incomplete. To be thorough, a .com renewal attempt paid in masterbucks would be needed to confirm.

I don't have enough masterbucks funds to attempt a .com renewal, which is why I used PayPal.

On November 24th, I used epik in-store credit to renew some .com's, and according to whois, those domains appear to have updated on November 24th, to reflect the new expiration date.

I have a $3.93 epik in-store balance credit, And $9.12 in Masterbucks.

.com renewal at epik = $9.99, and I can't combine the two, or use partial pay to clear either balance.

I can test a registration in a different (cheaper TLD) to see if masterbucks registration issue is just for .com, but I don't have enough masterbucks funds to test the masterbucks .com renewal manual or automatic theory.

You can add funds to your In-Store Credit from your Masterbucks account. That's what I did to renew some domains before transferring out my entire portfolio.
 
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Domain Ethos

Upgraded Member
Impact
218
Do you have any .coms you can attempt to renew with masterbucks? I assume they will go through quickly, and that the issue is limited to new .com (verisign) registrations. But for the sake of the test, since PayPal worked instantly for .com renewal, could you try renewing a .com with masterbucks?

So far:

Register new .com with MasterBucks: Failed, still delayed -- ((Old*******)).com
Register new .com with PayPal: Failed, still delayed -- ((Old*******)).com
Renew old .com with PayPal: Passed, instantly -- ((Gay Maui Wedding)).com
Renew old .com with Masterbucks: (Unknown - Need somebody to attempt)

I don’t unfortunately. Hopefully someone else does. Epik should really announce what is going on,

Do you have any .coms you can attempt to renew with masterbucks? I assume they will go through quickly, and that the issue is limited to new .com (verisign) registrations. But for the sake of the test, since PayPal worked instantly for .com renewal, could you try renewing a .com with masterbucks?

So far:

Register new .com with MasterBucks: Failed, still delayed -- ((Old*******)).com
Register new .com with PayPal: Failed, still delayed -- ((Old*******)).com
Renew old .com with PayPal: Passed, instantly -- ((Gay Maui Wedding)).com
Renew old .com with Masterbucks: (Unknown - Need somebody to attempt)

Update: only one random domain is registered now that I ordered last night. Based on the above and the tweet, I think it should be recommended NO ONE USE EPIK.COM until they get their sh*t together.
 
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jberryhill

Top Member
John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
Impact
7,207
This lady was an Epik employee for quite some time before she left or was fired. She probably had some idea of what was going on at Epik but chose to remain quiet after she left.

She's calling them out on twitter now that she's become a victim.

I've known and worked with Ms. May Chen for quite a number of years when I was counsel to Uniregistry, prior to Frank breaking it up and selling the parts. In Ms. Chen's focus as a domain broker, she is unlikely to have known about the company's financial issues. As noted above, she was let go along with others when Mr. Royce was brought. If she had been aware of Epik's financial condition, his proposal to cut her pay would probably not have been a surprise to her.

What would you recommend a person outside the US should do? Would the authorities help us get our money back as well?

Yes.

Reviews on Trustpilot are not going to do anything.

Sending your story to a stranger on an internet message forum is not going to do anything either, and may have some negative consequences. I've written elsewhere on this forum about the potential problems of communicating with someone who is not your lawyer about a legal problem.

However, the relevant law enforcement authorities in the State of Washington are not going to take the approach of "Oh, it's okay if a business in Washington is ripping off people in another country." Unlike Trustpilot, which is in the business of whitewashing reviews apparently, if the Attorney General's office receives multiple complaints about the same business stealing substantial amounts of money from people then that may be signal to them that they should look into what is going on.

Epik already has an enforcement file with the banking regulators in Washington, along with the insurance regulators (for having previously offered DNProtect "domain insurance" without an insurance license, the website for which has now been interestingly altered). There are persons in these law enforcement agencies who already know that Epik has been repeatedly running questionable businesses relating to financial services. And now, here we are, right at the exact sort of unauthorized, uninsured banking business ripping people off which the regulations are intended to attempt to avoid.

Yes, law enforcement agencies are usually interested to know that there is an ongoing criminal enterprise operating in their jurisdiction, regardless of where the victims might be.
 
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jberryhill

Top Member
John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
Impact
7,207
On the subject of ICANN, I would suggest two things. First, I would avoid advice from persons who cannot spell "ICANN". Second, I haven't seen anything in all of this which implicates anything within ICANN's limited concerns about compliance with the registrar accreditation agreement.

Delaying a registration is not an ICANN issue - there is no timeline in which a registrar is required to register a domain name for you and, there is no affirmative obligation to register an unregistered domain name for you on any particular timescale you desire.

ICANN does not regulate, and has no authority over, general commercial dealings with registrants. ICANN has no involvement in domain aftermarket activities or whatever other services a registrar offers.

Again, the agency which has the most direct jurisdiction over the commercial and financial activities of companies in Washington is the State of Washington Attorney General.

You might also productively complaint to the Washington Department of Financial Institutions:

https://dfi.wa.gov/file-complaint

You will notice they have links to file complaints about:

Escrow Agent or Officer Complaint

Money Transmitter or Currency Exchanger Complaint


If your problem is directly related to the escrow service, file an Escrow complaint. Additionally, the "Money Transmitter" form allows you to specify whether your complaint relates to a virtual currency - i.e. Masterbucks.

Again, the more reports they receive from different people about substantial amounts, then the more likely they are to spot the pattern and notice that one company seems to be generating a lot of problems. And, no, they do not say "Oh, this company is just ripping off foreigners, that's legal here."
 
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Derek Peterson

Upgraded Member
Impact
1,215
I will bring it up.

That was the date when DNW first published the article from Brian Royce. Outside that, I don't see what is magical about that date.

Even by that date, customer funds had be frozen for almost a month.

On a side note, has anyone been able to successfully withdraw Masterbucks funds in the last several weeks, especially for a significant amount of money and/or non US based?

After that initial batch of payments went out in mid October, I can't really remember seeing too many others, especially recently.

Next time @DomainNameWire gets comments from Brian Royce, I would love for them to ask why Rob Monster is in exile and has not made any public comment since early September. When the shit hit the fan, he disappeared. He is still the Chairman isn't he?

Brad
Yeah, that is what I figured, so probably they promised him some things like they stopped taking escrow deals, and now domainwire feels lied to. Not journalism. More like partner in crime.
 
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Gabriel360

Established Member
Impact
722
I've known and worked with Ms. May Chen for quite a number of years when I was counsel to Uniregistry, prior to Frank breaking it up and selling the parts. In Ms. Chen's focus as a domain broker, she is unlikely to have known about the company's financial issues. As noted above, she was let go along with others when Mr. Royce was brought. If she had been aware of Epik's financial condition, his proposal to cut her pay would probably not have been a surprise to her.
I understand why you feel the need to defend her but I do not agree with you.

Take a look at these:

1. She closed several deals including two 7-figure deals at Epik earlier this year:

https://robbiesblog.com/may-chen-of-epik-notes-second-7-figure-sale-of-2022/9972

Most domain investors have never and would never do that. That makes her smart.

2. At a minimum of 5%, Epik would have gotten a minimum of $100K from the two deals above. So, she made Epik money.

3.
You worked with her at Uniregistry for quite a number of years, so she's experienced.

4.
IMG_20221205_162925.jpg


In her response, she mentioned replying to work emails while pregnant and in the hospital for labor. Obviously, she's very hardworking.

The big question here now is:

Why would a financially healthy going concern DEMAND that a smart, hardworking and experienced employee who makes them money take a pay cut?

Then eventually FIRE her. Along with others.

Now everybody, including Chen, knows that retrenchment is a cost-saving strategy adopted by companies facing financial difficulties.

Yet, none of them said anything. Even when this thread was opened.

Plus, she also mentioned that Epik advertently VIOLATED her employment agreement which I assume is illegal to do. Again, not a good sign of a going concern.

In light of all these, I find your claim that Chen was unlikely to have known about Epik's financial issues an insult to her intelligence. Maybe not the EXTENT but like I said in the post you quoted "some idea".

I get why you tried to defend her but I don't buy it.

That said, this thread is about the criminal company not ex-employees.
 
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I understand why you feel the need to defend her but I do not agree with you.

Take a look at these:

1. She closed several deals including two 7-figure deals at Epik earlier this year:

https://robbiesblog.com/may-chen-of-epik-notes-second-7-figure-sale-of-2022/9972

Most domain investors have never and would never do that. That makes her smart.

2. At a minimum of 5%, Epik would have gotten a minimum of $100K from the two deals above. So, she made Epik money.

3.
You worked with her at Uniregistry for quite a number of years, so she's experienced.

4.
Show attachment 228048

In her response, she mentioned replying to work emails while pregnant and in the hospital for labor. Obviously, she's very hardworking.

The big question here now is:

Why would a financially healthy going concern DEMAND that a smart, hardworking and experienced employee who makes them money take a pay cut?

Then eventually FIRE her. Along with others.

Now everybody, including Chen, knows that retrenchment is a cost-saving strategy adopted by companies facing financial difficulties.

Yet, none of them said anything. Even when this thread was opened.

Plus, she also mentioned that Epik advertently VIOLATED her employment agreement which I assume is illegal to do. Again, not a good sign of a going concern.

In light of all these, I find your claim that Chen was unlikely to have known about Epik's financial issues an insult to her intelligence. Maybe not the EXTENT but like I said in the post you quoted "some idea".

I get why you tried to defend her but I don't buy it.

That said, this thread is about the criminal company not ex-employees.

None of what you mentioned would let May know that customers would not be paid their money.
 
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Derek Peterson

Upgraded Member
Impact
1,215
I understand why you feel the need to defend her but I do not agree with you.

Take a look at these:

1. She closed several deals including two 7-figure deals at Epik earlier this year:

https://robbiesblog.com/may-chen-of-epik-notes-second-7-figure-sale-of-2022/9972

Most domain investors have never and would never do that. That makes her smart.

2. At a minimum of 5%, Epik would have gotten a minimum of $100K from the two deals above. So, she made Epik money.

3.
You worked with her at Uniregistry for quite a number of years, so she's experienced.

4.
Show attachment 228048

In her response, she mentioned replying to work emails while pregnant and in the hospital for labor. Obviously, she's very hardworking.

The big question here now is:

Why would a financially healthy going concern DEMAND that a smart, hardworking and experienced employee who makes them money take a pay cut?

Then eventually FIRE her. Along with others.

Now everybody, including Chen, knows that retrenchment is a cost-saving strategy adopted by companies facing financial difficulties.

Yet, none of them said anything. Even when this thread was opened.

Plus, she also mentioned that Epik advertently VIOLATED her employment agreement which I assume is illegal to do. Again, not a good sign of a going concern.

In light of all these, I find your claim that Chen was unlikely to have known about Epik's financial issues an insult to her intelligence. Maybe not the EXTENT but like I said in the post you quoted "some idea".

I get why you tried to defend her but I don't buy it.

That said, this thread is about the criminal company not ex-employees.
Yeah, I don't buy it either. This thread has been going for a long time and surely she saw articles. She didn't care until she didn't get paid. Same for the rest of the insiders. Where are they? They took payoffs, that's where they are. Interesting to me how similar domain people are to crypto.
 
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Chris Hydrick

Top Member
Impact
10,584
Delaying a registration is not an ICANN issue - there is no timeline in which a registrar is required to register a domain name for you and, there is no affirmative obligation to register an unregistered domain name for you on any particular timescale you desire.

Thanks.

FWIW, the ("Old*******").com domain I tried registering twice at epik via masterbucks and paypal on December 3rd is still unregistered.

I know this isn't an ICANN issue now, was mainly looking for public signs that could hint at a registrars health. Perhaps wondering if epik has verisign credit is a fishing expedition, just thinking if .com registrations stop, and maybe .com renewals stop for an extended amount of time, than that may be signs the final straw is near.
 
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Thanks.

FWIW, the ("Old*******").com domain I tried registering at epik via masterbucks is still unregistered.

I know this isn't an ICANN issue now, was mainly looking for public signs that could hint at a registrars health. Perhaps wondering if epik has verisign credit is a fishing expedition, just thinking if .com registrations stop, and maybe .com renewals stop for an extended amount of time, than that may be signs the final straw is near.
All I know is I would hate to have paid for an Epik "forever" registration right now.

The situation that is happening now is exactly what I pointed to as a potential issue when they were marketing those. You are not paying for anything other than a promise to keep renewing them, in perpetuity, for an unknown price.

If Epik is unable to pay existing customer debts, how much of a priority do you think those "forever" registrations are going to be? Epik already collected all the money upfront.

Brad
 
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Derek Peterson

Upgraded Member
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Kathleen Kalaf

Upgraded Member
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