Saturday, 8 March 2014

I am not a consumer!!!

According to Nominet, and I quote "Adrian Kennard is not a consumer"

They do not explain that assertion, but they have decided that they will now publish my home address on one of my domains and prohibit me from opting out because I am not a "consumer".

Their own rules do not use the word "consumer" at all, they reference individuals.

I am clearly a consumer, and an individual. I buy the domain from Andrews & Arnold Ltd, and am invoiced for it at my home address as an individual and pay for it from my personal bank account. You do not get much more "consumer" than that!

The domain in question (find.me.uk) has O/S maps I downloaded when they were made free. No adverts or pay for click or any such. My placement of the maps on there is not a business of anything commercial. It was a fun exercise to do the O/S maps.

Even so, they have not asserted that I am using the domain for something commercial, they are asserting that I am not a consumer, which is total nonsense. And just to be clear, this is not a complaint about the .me.uk part, which requires the registrant to be an individual. It is for the whois opt-out. Very odd indeed.

What gets me here is that they just published my address without asking. It is not that secret (Companies House have it), but that is not the point. There is no consultation, no warning, no checking anything, they just make a decision and change the whois - done - published. If there was some reason they thought the whois was wrong somehow, they could have asked - should have asked. They didn't.

Basically, whatever the reason was for this, it is clear that nobody can actually trust Nominet to respect the opt-out, and so A&A will have to recommend customers use a correspondence address even for opted-out personal domains.

This is the email:-
Hi Adrian Kennard,

It has been brought to my attention that your find.me.uk domain name is registered to Adrian Kennard and is also opted out of our WHOIS facility.  To qualify for the opt-out you must be a 'consumer' i.e. an individual who has registered and is using the domain name for a purpose unconnected with any business, trade (this includes the registration of domain names for monetisation purposes, e.g. pay per click advertising etc) or profession.

As Adrian Kennard is not a consumer, I have removed the opt-out from the domain and the associated address details will now be visible on the WHOIS search facility.  Please note that any email or telephone details will not be made public.

You will now be unable to set the opt-out through our Online Services.

You can find more information about our WHOIS policy and carry out a WHOIS search by visiting http://www.nominet.org.uk/go/whoisfaq

15 comments:

  1. I didn't even know there is an opt out, and I have a .net domain registration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nominet handle .uk domains, not .net, so different rules.

      Delete
  2. Could this be a registrant type screwup on the Nominet contact, ie the type is not set to individual but something else?

    Either that or the same contact is used for another obviously commercial domain perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The type was definitely individual, but I am quite prepared to believe some aspect of the registration was wrong somehow - the issue is that they should point that out, and ask, give notice even, not just publish personal details.

      Delete
  3. Have you considered gandi.net as a registrar? They got an excellent track record for customer service (and their UI doesn't suck, which is a plus)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would make no difference, would it?! This is action by Nominet, not the registrar.

      Delete
  4. "Nominet are arses" dept. Like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite, and it highlights the stupidity of this all.

      Previously, I thought I could trust the opt-out, so I put my home address.

      Now that we know it simply cannot be trusted, I will have to put correspondence addresses instead. A&A will have to start recommending that customers do the same and do not trust the opt-out any more.

      Delete
  5. Is there no appeal process with nominet?

    I'm guessing not, since I'm already aware that these people are pretty arrogant anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is, apparently (replying to the email) but the deed is done and the personal details disclosed already. Not the way to do things and something the ICO may find interesting.

      Delete
  6. Someone must of explicitly requested to see the details or Nominet will not of revealed. You should complain to both Nominet and the ICO, find out who requested the domains whois details and ensure the Nominet employee is appropriately retrained (for the benefit of all).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah yes the rules of Nominet that are randomly and at-will modified to suit themselves. I've had the same experience with a domain - same scenario - I personally pay for it, am invoiced for it etc etc, but it just happens to be on the same tag as my business (cause y'know why the hell would the owner of an company handling registrations use another ISP for its registrations unless totally mental).

    The domain had my PERSONAL blog on it. Same result as I happen to blog about "business" type things.

    Nominet has the weirdest definitions for "consumer" and "commercial"

    ReplyDelete
  8. I notice it is now reverted with an updated date of the 10th. Did you get any comment from Nominet as to why they updated without waiting a reasonable amount of time for your response? It seems like a very risky strategy to not give a fair hearing to both sides in a complaint, if only because an incorrect outcome would cause an irreversible disclosure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They said it had "trading-name" on the whois, which was a typo on my part. No explanation of why they did things this way around and published details then knew I had asked not to be published without notice.

      Delete
  9. I've complained to Nominet about "personal" domain names (i.e. those with the WHOIS hidden) but with trading-names on the WHOIS (all of which were actually trading from their website - but without disclosing their address on the site: hence the WHOIS lookup), but they've never taken any action to my knowledge... I wonder why they decided to pick on you.

    ReplyDelete