No Name Photo by Giant Ginkgo

When buying hosting for the IRC logger, the provider offered the free registration of a domain name. As this looked like a good deal, I registered the colabti.de domain.

But the provider did not tell that it will cost 12€ each year to renew. There are cheaper options, but the hosting provider manages everything and I never bothered to look elsewhere.

Three years later, on february 1st 2008, the bill for the renewal of the colabti.de domain arrived. As always, I trustfully paid immediately and expected to be done with it for one extra year.

But a few days later, the february 6th, this message arrived in the email:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

über uns haben Sie die

Domain: colabti.de

registriert.

Gemäß den deNIC Registrierungsbedingungen (VIII., http://www.denic.de/de/richtlinien.html) muss der Domaininhaber seinen Wohnsitz in Deutschland haben.

Aktuell sind wir als Domaininhaber eingetragen (TRUSTEE-Service). Dieser Service ist jedoch ab März 2008 kostenpflichtig.

Sie haben die Folgenden Optionen:

- Sie benennen uns eine Person mit Wohnsitz in Deutschland, der Rechte und Pflichten als Domaininhaber annimmt - Sie nutzen unseren Trustee-Service für 12 EUR / Jahr (=1 EUR / Monat) - Sie lassen die Domain loeschen.

Bitte lassen Sie uns innerhalb der naechsten sieben Tage ab heute eine Information zukommen, wie in Bezug auf Ihre Domain verfahren werden soll.

Vielen Dank!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Kind regards

Easy to understand when you don't know German.

Luckily Google Translate can help. The text says that the domain owner must have an address in Germany. As I don't live in Germany, they provide three "solutions":

  1. Give the address of someone who lives in Germany who becomes responsible for the domain name,
  2. Pay them 12€ per year starting in March to act as a proxy or
  3. Lose the domain.

Thus you pay for a domain renewal, and less than 5 days after you're asked to pay again !

And they give you only seven days to answer. At short notice, I started a search for other registrars for ".de". Most of them tell you about that special condition for the ".de" domains before you try to register. A few also offer that German address proxy service for people not living in Germany.

To rescue the "colabti.de" domain, I ordered a domain transfer at europeregistry.com, a subsidiary of instra. They needed a full week before waking up and start the process of the transfer. And the transfer failed. According to europeregistry.com the old registrar did not acknowledge the email asking for confirmation. The old registrar says that no confirmation emails are needed for ".de" domain transfers. Who tells the truth ?

To get rid of all that trouble once and for all, I registered a new domain: colabti.org. Hopefuly, the old colabti.de domain will survive long enough for everyone to update his links and bookmarks.

By the way, if you live in Germany and want to help keep the colabti.de domain alive, please contact me.