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What the Ombudsman Can Do for You

How the Ombudsman can help you

This is a page with practical directions as to how the Ombudsman can help you with your problem, and to help you decide if the Ombudsman can help you. The Ombudsman is given some specific powers to look at problems. There are some things which the Ombudsman does not have the power to investigate, but sometimes the Ombudsman can facilitate some resolution, by discussion or mediation.

The ICANN Ombudsman is independent, impartial, and neutral. The Ombudsman's function is to act as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) office for the ICANN community who may wish to lodge a complaint about an ICANN staff, board or supporting organization decision, action or inaction. The purpose of the office is to ensure that the members of the ICANN community have been treated fairly. The Ombudsman will act as an impartial officer and will attempt to resolve complaints about unfair treatment by ICANN using ADR techniques. The Ombudsman is not an advocate for you, but will investigate without taking sides in a dispute.

Examples where the Ombudsman can help

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but just to give some idea of issues which may arise. The ombudsman will quickly advise if the issue requires further investigation, and whether it is within the power of the ombudsman to help.

  • I was at a meeting of my ICANN supporting organisation, and comments were made which were disrespectful and sexist, which I find offensive
  • I have been waiting for a decision about membership of my Regional at Large Organisation (RALO) but there has been a long delay
  • I rang the office of ICANN, but the person I spoke to was rude to me and did not listen to my problem
  • The voting system in my supporting organisation is unfair leading to results which are not representative of the constituents
  • I have been waiting for a decision from ICANN to refund money, but there has been a delay

Examples where the ombudsman cannot help

  • The ICANN Ombudsman does not investigate complaints between domain holders and registrars. The Ombudsman will provide self help information to domain holders and others who are in disputes not relating to ICANN.
  • If you are trying to resolve a dispute concerning a service provided by your registrar
  • If you are trying to resolve a complaint related to Whois data
  • If you have a dispute involving the requested transfer of a domain name from one registrar to another
  • If you need information about what you can do if someone is using your trademark in a domain name
  • If your complaint is about SPAM or Internet Viruses
  • If your complaint concerns an unsolicited renewal and transfer request, or an unauthorized transfer of your domain name

If you know who your registrar is and need to find out how to contact them, or if you want to see if a company is an accredited registrar, you can find that information at:

How to make a complaint

Go to the complaint form or send an email to:

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."