Many years ago I registered 3 domains for a client with About 18 months ago the client ceased to exist and the domains became surplus to requirement. I believe I then set the domains to ‘expire’ via the 123-reg control panel because otherwise I knew they would be auto-renewed and I’d be charged.

Fast forward to today (15 November). I received an email saying 123 had renewed the domains and had taken the money. I contacted them and asked them to cancel the renewals and refund as I didn’t need the domains. They refused, citing their terms and conditions, even though I told them I was sure I had set them to expire in the past (I can’t prove this).

I then went back through my emails and found the notification for the renewals from September (yes I should have read it more thoroughly, but i have lots of domains with 123reg and get these emails all the time and most of them I DO want to auto-renew. I wasn’t concerned about my unwanted domains because I *thought* they were set to expire).

In the September notification was this statement “We will attempt to renew your domain names for you automatically on 22 November 2012, using the payment methods stored on your account…”. As it is only the 15th I thought – they’ve also taken the money early! I challenged them on this to which the response was:
“If you will check your email address you will find another notification email informing you that from that date all domain name renewals will be made 7 days before the actual expiry date of the domain name.”
The language here is inconsistent at best, I’d say it’s bordering on dishonest.

So, the warnings are these:

  • Be wary of 123-reg, they are not accommodating, they will simply cite Ts and Cs.
  • Check and double-check which domains are set to auto-renew.
  • Do not rely on domains being ‘set to expire’ via their control panel
  • Read all notifications from 123-reg very carefully
  • Check and double-check which domains are set to auto-renew. I said it again.
  • Regularly re-check which domains are set to auto-renew. And again.

Further reading:
NB strong language, lots of similar stories here:

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