Recently I tried registering some domain names with a number of new gTLDs and encounter some of the very annoying and rather disappointing experiences that, in the consumer, the mind can encourage concern of ethics and practices these Registry companies are running. But most importantly I think it will affect long term adoption of these new TLDs.
These encounters I experienced and documented with a couple of different domain name registration service providers and a couple of different TLD Registries that are owned by different holding groups. I’ll try avoiding mentioning the names at this point as I believe that would be irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make with this article.
The domain name that appears to be available, by looking at the Who Is registry and that have never been registered before, returned back a couple of minutes after my initial attempt with a message such as:
This name is reserved by the Registry in accordance with ICANN Policy. Last update of WHOIS database: 2015-06-26T18:03:17Z
It’s perfectly understandable that Registry groups are paying for their privilege and that they are trying to cash in on premium domains, but these encounters are going to make this New gTLD Program initiative much less desirable to the public. At the end of the day what made .com so popular is a matter of scarcity that was generated by the general public, not because they ware holding back on generic names for the possibility to charge premiums.
Charging premium is fine to a certain extent too but people should be able to register a domain freely that previously weren’t under hold. Otherwise, there will be no desire to register any of these new gTLDs, if you are going with the assumption that somebody would want to take advantage of your attempt to register. The holding Registry companies really need to change these tactics and decide do they want to be in a Registry business or branded resale value of the name. Those two can play together nicely but the dividing line must be established right from the start.
We will see what the future brings, but so far the experience is not something to look forward to. I’m very concerned about these practices affecting long term global adaption of these new TLDs.
I would love to hear some explanation from one of the Registry owners and prove to me that my experiences are an isolated case and not something that is becoming a norm in the New gTLD Program.