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Ask the Ombudsman; or Common Answers to Common Problems

NOTE: Additional questions and/or responses may be posted. Please check back.

Responses to questions

Questions about Registerfly? View FAQs for RegisterFly customers and the Registerfly Factsheet.

I want to get some information on a domain but the WHOIS data is incomplete or inaccurate. What should I do?

The best thing you can do in this situation is to submit a "WHOIS Data Problem Report" using the form at:

Your report will be forwarded to the sponsoring registrar, who will be responsible for investigating and correcting the data.

For additional information concerning WHOIS data accuracy, please review the following advisory:

I made a report about an incomplete WHOIS, as you suggested above, and the 15 day period the Registrar is supposed update the information in has expired. The information has not been corrected. What will you do?

The steps that ICANN will take are very much dependent on the contractual arrangement between ICANN and the Registrar. In most cases the steps we can take are limited, but, if you contact ICANN by email, we will follow up with the registrar to find out what the delay is.

I want to register a domain name for my business but I find that some one else is using it, and I think they are cybersquatting on the name? What can I do to get the domain name?

Unfortunately, the problem you described is beyond the scope and authority of ICANN to resolve. Here is some information about options that may be available to you:

If you have a dispute with your (prior) registrar or reseller concerning the registration of this name, you should try to resolve it with them. Detailed contact information for all ICANN-Accredited Registrars is available via the "Registrar" WHOIS service at If you cannot resolve your complaint with the registrar or reseller, you may want to address it to private-sector agencies involved in addressing customer complaints or governmental consumer-protection agencies. (The appropriate agency will vary depending on your jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the registrar.)

If your registrar or reseller is unable to assist you, and you want to obtain the rights to the name (now that it has been registered by somebody else), there are at least four alternatives:

1. Work out an agreement with the current registrant. 2. Wait and hope the current registrant lets it expire. 3. File a lawsuit in court against the current registrant. 4. If you believe the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which you have rights, and the current registrant has registered and is using the name in bad faith (and has no rights or legitimate interests in the name), you can begin an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. (Note: this is a narrow category, so you should proceed with caution.) For more details on this option, please see If you decide to file a complaint, you would need to do so through one of the four approved dispute-resolution service providers listed at

Before you decide which of these or other options is best in your case, you may want to consult a lawyer in private practice. We can't give you legal advice.

Hopefully this information will be helpful. Please feel free to contact ICANN if we can be of any other assistance.

I want to transfer my domain name from one registrar to another, but the process seems to be taking forever. What can I do?

In November 2004, ICANN announced a transfer policy that applies to all registrars across the globe. You may be interested to read about the transfer policy at:

The first step that you should take is to try to resolve that matter with the registrar(s). Remember that knowledge is power, so inform them that you are aware of the transfer policy and the timelines it provides.

If the problem can't be resolved, you can always contact ICANN through the Office of the Ombudsman.

The domain name for my website is about to expire, but the registrar won't let me renew as the web host I was originally working with is now out of business, and they were listed as the Admin-Registrant on WHOIS. What should I do?

This question very much deals with the conduct of your own domain name, and is really unrelated to ICANN's operations. Therefore it is outside of what I can help you with. The best advice I can offer: find another web host to be the Admin-Registrant on WHOIS and work with the registrar to make sure the host hasn't put the domain name under their WHOIS details.

Are registrars required to give renewal notices to domain name holders before the expiry of a domain name?

Under ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement domain name holders have to be sent an email notice prior to a domain expiring. The email address will be the one you list on WHOIS, so it is important for you to keep it up to date. If the email is sent to the email address on WHOIS, and that address is no longer valid, the Registrars may little other chance of contacting you.

ICANN Frequently Asked Questions

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."