Have you ever transferred a domain name to another registrar and then noticed that you never received an extra year to your expiration date? Let me tell you what happened and what actions you can take!
The number one thing you need to realize in this situation is that the additional year is not controlled by the gaining registrar and it's not controlled by the losing registrar. It's controlled by the registry!
When a domain expires, the registry gives the losing registrar a grace periond in which they may renew the domain name. During this time, your domain is most likely in a registrar-hold status and can't be transferred. So, you renew the domain name with your current registrar to get it in an active status again. This renewal extends the expiration date 1 year. So let's say you expiration date is now in 2008. Then you initiate a transfer to another registrar. The transfer completes and the registry adds another year to your domain name. However, you look and see that it's still expiring in 2008! What happened?
Well, when your domain is renewed and transferred during the registry's grace period to the registrar, the registry actually REFUNDS the losing registrar the money for the renewal and takes the renewed year off the domain name. (That's right folks, the losing registrar has received back the money they paid the registry for the renewal of the domain name. )Then after the registry moves the domain name to the new registrar, it adds a year to the domain name. So your domain was renewed to 2008, then the renewal was refunded to the losing registrar and the year goes back to 2007, then the domain is transferred and a year is added making it 2008 again.
Yet, you have paid for a renewal and paid for a transfer which adds a year! Can you get your money back? Good question! I wish the answer was as easy as you think. There are many registrars who will refund you the renewal fee you paid, but not without a fight. You are almost always going to have to speak with a supervisor, and if possible, talk to the corporate team who handles the “big" complaints. In the end, the registrar might say that you were not paying for the addition of a year, but you paid for the domain name to be set into an ACTIVE status again. It might be a lousy thing to do, but if they define a renewal as adding a year under X, Y, and Z circumstances, you don't have much of a fight. Your best bet is to get to a higher ranking person in the support center, explain exactly what happened, how it happened, and explain that the registry actually refunded them for that renewal you paid for - all while keeping calm, then you are more likely to get your money back. Just make sure you call the losing registrar and not the gaining one!
Barry Davis has been in the domain name industry since 2000. He has contributed to the online community and now offers help for people in the domain industry at Domain Name Registration .