Last year I was the Media Director for the Midnight Sun Intertribal Powwow, and this year I'm wearing the same hat with another added: webmaster.
While the old webmaster had dropped out of the group, and no one was maintaining the website, the domain expired. I didn't know it had expired, as I hadn't yet assumed the webmaster responsibilities. I was told it needed to be reregistered, and I agreed to be webmaster. So I blithely went to reregister it, thinking that there was little reason for anyone else in the entire world to have coincidentally chosen our midnightsunpowwow.org name and registered it. I mean, how many Midnight Sun powwows could there be?
The answer is none, but someone had stolen our domain name anyway. When I tried to go to our old website, I didn't get a 404 (page doesn't exist) error. No, it was much worse than that. I got a page exclaiming very loudly that midnightsunpowwow.org was FOR SALE. Buydomains.com had registered the domain apparently the minute it became available. What was the price to get it back? I just sent off for a quote from them as to what they'd sell it for, but at the bottom of the form it states, and you have to click a checkbox or the form won't send, that you "understand that the minimum price for this domain will be $888.00."
Checking availability of domain names and using Whois, I found they'd also registered midnightsunpowwow.com as well.
You can go to your registrar and pay for the registration, but you are only paying for Buydomains.com's registration, it doesn't revert back to you. And it's very easy to do that by mistake. So CHECK who is listed as the owner before you click that payment button! If it isn't YOU, then you aren't paying to get control of your domain, you are just giving money to the folks who stole it!
We had to switch our domain name to a .net version, one of the only ones left that we could use. Now we'll have to change all our materials to reflect that change.
"5. BuyDomains' Intellectual and other Property Rights
You agree that BuyDomains holds all rights, title and interest in and to the name BuyDomains, The Seeq Network, Rare Names, Seeq.com, AboutRetirement.com, AdorableCats.com, Adultfriends.net,Amazingdogs.com, AnimalWorld.com,ApprovedRental.com, AutomotiveCenter.com, BabyFriendly.com, BacktoSchoolShopping.com, BeautyGuide.com, Business1.com, CancerConnection.com, CareerGuide.com, Cash4You.com, ChampionLeague.com, CheeseOnline.com, Christiancircles.com, CreditCardClub.com, DegreeCentral.com, DietersNetwork.com, DiscountMart.com, EducationCentral.com, eSales.com, e-taxes.com, FashionSource.com, FathersDayGift.com, FindCondos.com, FoodPlanet.com, FootballAuthority.com, GamblingNet.com, GamingSource.com, GardenSeeq.com, GayTravelSearch.com, GreatDate.com, HappyMothersDay.com, HomeAnswers.com, iGuide.com, ImportAndExport.com, infoindia.com, InfoPage.com, InHomeTheater.net, InsuranceProviders.com, InvestmentZone.com, KidsGuides.com, LasVegasLife.com, LatinConnections.net, LegalOnline.com, LocalRealEstate.com, LoversLinks.com, MechanicalWorks.com, MedicalSource.com, MilitaryCommand.com, MortgageGroup.com, MovieCity.com, MusicMania.com, OnAir.com, OnlinePolitics.com, Order-Flowers.com, PhotoConnection.com, PhotoConnection.com, PureBusiness.com, RightLoan.com, SearchForGifts.com, ShopAround.com, SoccerWorld.com, SportsUnlimited.com, Stockpoints.com, TechBuyer.com, TechnologySource.com, TechShopping.com, TelecomSource.com, TherapyInformation.com, TheStartupGroup.com, TicketsCentral.com, TobaccoCenter.com, TravelChoices.com, TravelSeeker.com, TVChannel.com, WebsiteSolutions.com, WellnessPrograms.com, WineWorld.com, WonderfulWeddings.com, WorldReligion.org and you acknowledge that no license or right under any copyright, patent, trademark, service mark or other proprietary right or license is granted to You or conferred upon You by this Agreement or otherwise"
"Cheeseonline.com"? Holy Wallace and Gromit!
And even weirder enough, this company is on a page of Grassroots.org, a supposed liberal community-building site. Do these people even know what they are affiliated with? Is grassroots.org a front? This is a nestful of snakes. More than that, it's a veritable city full of snakes.
I can't imagine any 5013c buying back, that is, ransoming a hijacked domain for nearly nine hundred dollars. I would suggest that if you have a site hosted by Buydomains.com to switch host servers immediately to someone with some real business ethics. I wouldn't trust my site to them. And to boycott all the above websites as well. And spread the word. That's one thing the internet is very good for! This domain-snatching may be legal, but it's entirely unethical.
Bottom line: don't let your domain name expire or you'll be next.