Kenyan Web Hosting – Extended Redemption

I bet you have never ever heard of such a thing as Extended Redemption Status. Well, mark my words… you had better hear it from me than from your web hosting company! I wasn’t so fortunate, but I guess we’re always learning.

We have all become accustomed to the reality that domain names and hosting are relatively cheap nowadays. A .com domain goes for about Kshs 800 only. Pretty cheap, huh? I think it is. And that mindset has brought about a laxity that is bound to cost the uninformed, dearly. In my case, I had a client who had a domain name registered with a local hosting company. After the period of one year had been spent, the domain expired. Of course, there were automated emails and all that, but somehow both the client and I knew we could easily repurchase the domain since there was a 30 day allowance for renewal after its expiry. This is what is known as the Auto Renew Grace Period.


However, I had never though of what would happen after that. So, after a series of unfortunate events, the 30 day period ran out. All the hosting company told us (of course through automated emails) was that we should renew the domain or else they’d have to delete the web site’s files within four months. So, finally getting around a lot of hurdles and co-operating with the client, I received the money for hosting and the domain which I immediately paid to the hosting company. Half a day later, the site still wasn’t live! So I contacted the hosting company via email and asked them what was up. Shock on me! This was the message they sent back:

The domain name is in extended redemption status and cannot be updated.

This is because it elapsed the 30 days renewal period.
To get it renewed you will need to pay $260. This is not our regulation. It’s the main domain registrar policy.

A short explanation followed:

The redemption period is a Domain Registry period that occurs when a domain name is deleted after having expired unrenewed. Instead of just getting deleted and returning to the pool of domain names available for registration, the existing registry keeps a hold on the domain name in a what is technically called the Redemption Period. During the redemption period, the original domain registrant (owner of the domain) is allowed to retrieve the domain name from deletion by contacting their Registrar. This process costs the additional fee.

So there you have it! I never knew such a thing existed before and BAM!!! It’s right there in my face! What do you say to the client?! Well, at this point I was overheating, my mental gears were in hyperdrive, my processors were maxed out, and my fan was audibly spinning and chucking fumes! Then Tada! I was lucky… the exact same domain name could be obtained with a extension! So if you’re in such a crisis, that’s possibly the only way out, unless the client is to take full responsibility and they are willing to pay $260 for it (wish you all the best with that!)

As cruel as the price seems, the flip side of the coin is that for a domain that is as valuable as say…, it is far much better for Nation Media to pay $260 dollars for their domain if it ever goes into extended redemption, than to let someone immediately purchase it and charge them millions for it. (I hope I am not giving anyone evil ideas!)

So bottom line, get to know how your hosting and domain registration company handles expired domains, and don’t ever think of letting your domain name expire.

Parting Shot

Have you ever been in such a situation? Had you ever heard of all this extended redemption status stuff? What do you think of it?

Signed. Martians.