I notice that Register.com's Afternic has now cleaned up its act somewhat. There are presently only a couple of aol names available. Up until at least a few months ago and for many months before that, there were hundreds of domains available containing the string aol, many of them owned by Afternic member discountbin, an alias for Register.com. I covered some of those such names being offered here last February.|
Curious about the names on my list, I checked on their current status. Here's an update:
aolbillcenter.com - Still registered to register.com. The WHOIS says if you want to buy it, go to Afternic Offers.
aolbillingdepartment.net - This is a strange one, a web-based WHOIS tool balked at finding anything. A direct query found it registered to an individual in San Diego via TuCows. Hypermart.net nameservers but it doesn't resolve.
aolbillingdepartment.org - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.
aolbillingdomain.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.
aol-billing-failure.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.
aolbillinginfo.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.
aol-billinginfo.com - Now unregistered and available. Although it wasn't part of my original list the .net version is owned by an individual in Texas and resolves [Warning, multiple popups including for its registrar of record and hosting provider ICANN accredited registrar DomainsDirect. Will attempt to reset your default homepage, install Gator spyware, etc.]
aol-billing-info.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.
aolbillingservice.com - Now unregistered and available.
aol-billing-staff.com - Now unregistered and available.
aolbillingsupport-usmembers.com - Now unregistered and available.
aol-billing-update.com - Registered to an individual in Escondido, California. Tech contact, which is otherwise similar to Admin, has email of version70sucks@aol. Registered via MelbourneIT, doesn't resolve.
So, other than the first, from this list one might think register.com is getting out of the business, or one could speculate that perhaps these names dropped and were then registered via other registrars, or one could conclude register.com is doing a fair bit of business.
I am also curious as to what might happen if those names not owned by AOL were challenged under the UDRP (except for the register.com one, can one file against a registrar? They presumably didn't click on their own clickwrap agreement which binds registrants to the UDRP.). In the other cases the new registrants could perhaps argue that AOL had ample opportunity to rescue their names. Nothing is ever simple in ICANNland. -g