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A few years ago, I registered a domain with a small local domain registrar. I've since become quite dissatisfied with their service and want to switch.

The domain expired a week ago (despite their mails telling me it would automatically be renewed, one of the reasons for the switch).

I've since contacted a new registrar and want to transfer the Domain name, but the old registrar doesn't answer my requests for an Auth code and there is no web interface to obtain one.

What can I do to get the domain transferred?

For completeness, it's a .net domain.

Edit: The previous registrar was a one-person company, and it turns out that one person died last October. Rest in Peace, Sascha.

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Your old registrar cannot not transfer a domain that has expired. They are just following the rules of the Internet road. You will very likely have to renew with the old company before transferring to the new company.

The good news is that most registrars understand and will transfer your domain without an additional charge knowing the situation. Explain it to them of course. This is because they want your business. For example, GoDaddy did this for me on several remaining domain names out of 30+ but I had to renew them first. After that, they transferred the domain names for me and charged me only when the domain name expired the next year.

On one domain name where I had a similar problem as you are having, GoDaddy called the old/crappy registrar and got it done for me. I had to call GoDaddy tech support, explain things, and explain it again to a supervisor, but it worked a peach! You may have to do something similar.

You may have to get tough with your old registrar. Companies do not like attorneys calling. I often get attorneys to write a letter or make a phone call to resolve simple issues like this. Sometimes the attorney does not charge anything or charges very little. I think the most I have ever paid is $100. Generally, it is just the price of a paralegal ($30 or so) or even free. Why free? They want your business! It is a reoccurring theme.

  • I just found out that the man running my old registry died (one-person company). Any idea how to proceed from here? Is there an expiry period after which I can get the domain name back? – Christian Aichinger Feb 26 '16 at 21:48
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    @ChristianAichinger I have no idea. I would call GoDaddy or any powerful registrar that will listen. Call their tech support, ask for a supervisor, and explain things saying you want them to take over as the new registrar. There is always something that can be done and there is always someone at GoDaddy that knows what can be done and will do it. I will have to think about this some to see what I can come up with. – closetnoc Feb 26 '16 at 22:16
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In .NET domains are autorenewed, with a grace period. Within this period, if the domain is not blocked any other way, another registrar could transfer it, as long as it has the authCode needed to start it. You can ask any new registrar to try help you (with them contacting your current registrar), see https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/name-holder-faqs-2012-02-25-en

However that could, in general take time, and based on your specific case basically would never happen. So without the authCode you can not act on the domain name. Except if indeed your registrar is definitively closed in which cas you will need to convince ICANN to act globally for all domain names sponsored by this registrar. This has happened the past (for other reasons), see the FireFly case.

If the current registrar really does nothing, the domain is autorenewed and will be kept like that. It is difficult to help you more without the specific name, and seeing what whois shows.

It may be sad, but in cases like this and others, sometimes the easiest/fastest route is just to start using another domain name that you will register now.

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