Only the other day I was berating a client for not securing his domain name – he let it expire and of course all of his services stopped working; emails, website, the lot causing all kinds of grief and business interruptions . And to make matters worse somebody else bought the name and ‘squatted’ on it, offering to sell it back for a couple of thousand dollars.

In cases such as this you can seek legal redress, but unless the domain name is trademarked, there is every chance that your claim to the name could be denied. Even Bruce Springsteen and Kevin Spacey have faced such problems.

The legal route can cost up to $10,000.00, but the least you will pay using a formal arbitration method (for a .com) will be $2,000.00, so you should be aware of the ramifications of being lax in renewal dates.

Two days later one of my email accounts stopped working.

I reset it. Several times. I chased up my ISP help desk to no avail. I changed the password.

Still nothing.

The domain name incidentally was the .com version of my own name, one that I bought way back in 1994. I was very attached to it and it had some value– especially when a client told me that he tried to buy his own name as a domain name this week and the seller wanted $4,800.00!

Having a busy week didn’t help and the domain name issue kept getting pushed back and back until I found a spare moment to check on Domain Tools, an online domain directory that tells you who owns which domain name and its current state.

I checked my domain. It expired in August and was in Redemption!

The dreaded Redemption period is the final stage before the name is re-released into the domain pool for re-purchase.

I have picked up some great domains on back-order this way; I place an order on a domain name that is nearing expiry and if it isn’t renewed and my ISP is on the ball, I get the name for a small fee plus the registration fee.

On this occasion I was fortunate and I was able to renew the name and will be transferring it my regular ISP who sends me a gently reminder when domains are due to expire.

To all the other James McRoy’s out there who tried to get the name – sorry, it’s mine again now.

To the client who I dissed the other day for doing precisely the same thing – you can call me up any time and diss me back.