Typing mistakes happen to all of us. The typo is with me every day. Even now as I’m typinge – oops – typing this. But when it comes to registering a domain name it’s important to carefully double check before hitting the “Go” button, because most registrars’ conditions make it clear they will NOT refund domains registered in error.
But I’ve found that that’s just not true.
ICANN accredited registrars DO have a few days after registration (usually 3 days), during which they can reverse the transaction. They can’t change the name that was registered, but they CAN simply have it deleted altogether and refund your credit card the amount you paid.
So why don’t they do it?
Well, let’s face it, some registrars understandably feel that dealing with claims for refunds caused by typing errors is a waste of their human resources because the claims can’t usually be automated.
Also, many registrars aren’t properly organised to cope with these mistaken registration requests because they obviously need quick attention and their staff may not be trained to handle these requests efficiently. Plus some feel that if they openly state they are willing to make refunds, it will be an open invitation to carelessness as domain name customers will know they can get a refund anyway.
So most registrars take the easy way out and publish conditions effectively saying “no refunds!”.
But in practice it works out differently because of one fact…
Registrars don’t want to be faced with expensive chargebacks.
What’s a chargeback?
Well, it’s a fee, usually $40 to $50, charged by the credit card company against the merchant (the registrar), when a sale is not paid by the client.
For example, say the domain costs $12 and if the customer refuses to pay, not only the registrar doesn’t get that money, he additionally gets charged $40 to $50 by the credit card company. Ouch! And as the registrar passes on the charge to the affiliate partner, i.e. the domain registration service, obviously a chargeback is something to be avoided at all costs.
So am I suggesting you threaten your domain registrar with a chargeback if you make a spelling mistake registering your next domain?
Definitely not! If you do, your registrar will likely black-list your credit card and you’ll need to look for another registrar or get another credit card.
So what is the best way?
First of all you need to act quickly.
Email your registrar IMMEDIATELY you have registered a name in error, but anyway not later than 24 hours after registration. Tell him the exact name you registered and inform him politely that you made an error and request the transaction be cancelled and you will then register the correct name.
You’ll usually get a prompt response but if you don’t, you should call your registrar 24 hours later to resolve the issue. Not all registrars will respond positively but most will.
And if you want to be sure you are dealing with registrars who respond positively, here are the names of two companies who WILL give refunds if you made a genuine mistake registering your domain name.
How do I know?
Well, I own both of these sites and I’m your first line of support.