Are You Master of Your Domain Name? Are You Sure?

So there you are, sitting and doing your thing with your very own domain name.  Fudge-for-the-masses.org, i-heart-dirt.com, it doesn’t matter.  It’s yours, all yours.  And as you sit back getting ready to write your latest post, it is with smug self-assurance because you paid the powers-that-be at an Internet Domain Name Registrar, and all you have to do is periodically send them money to re-up and all is smooth sailing.

Yeah.  Right.  That was me.  Yesterday.

Today I’m a totally different me.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I happened to notice that Blogger was no longer going to support custom FTP URL’s at the start of this month, of which mine happened to be one.  Well, no problem, I thought.  I’d been wanting to redesign my website for a while.  I’d been looking at WordPress.com, and I was planning to go with a template, because while I know HTML and some CSS, I am far from what you would call a graphic designer.

I got my files together and imported enough of them that the new site would make a decent showing, with the plan of adding the missing pages as time went on.  Then I found my account number with the company I did my registration through and gave them a call, expecting a walk in the park.

More fool me.

Apparently my beloved Domain Name, which I originated and paid my own money for back in 1998, and for which I did an extended renewal in 2006, does not appear to be mine.  The Primary Contact is a construction company in the Carolinas, and the Account Technical Contact is some guy who is most definitely not me.  In answer to my “What gives?”, I was told by the rep, “Sometimes this happens.  The records get scrambled.”

Curiosity piqued, I asked another question.  “Is this a common occurrence?”

The answer, which came sotto voce: “It’s a lot more common than we like to admit.  The records are not in the good order that everyone thinks they are in.”

So now I’m in a mad dash to prove that I’m me so I can get my domain name back.  I’ve got to take care to make a just-so photocopy of my driver’s license so it faxes with no problem, and I’m scrambling to get a copy of a utility bill or insurance or credit card invoice because I need to prove “the business” (being Joe Clifford Faust) is mine – something easier said than done since I pay everything on the Internet now and have pretty much gone paperless.  But I will prevail.

Meantime, if you’re still sitting comfortably with your Domain Name, you might want to check and see if you have your driver’s license and a utility bill handy, and then dial up a course for the company who sold it to you.

Because things out in interwebland ain’t all they’re supposed to be.

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