Sanmay Ved, an ex Google employee, found he could buy Google.com for just 12$ in their new Domain sale section. He went straight ahead to buy it and it went through successfully.
A little while later, Google sent him an email reversing the sale. Thankfully someone obviously spotted the mistake, but it does go to show even bit companies can forget details at times.
A bit more can be read in the Sky News article here.
So what happened, how could he do this? Well the answer is quite a simple one, which most people forget about. When you buy or register your domain name, you are merely leasing it for a period of time. Usually it is 1-5 years, and every 1-5 years you have to make note or pay attention to emails that come through from the registrar you bought it from. They will send you reminders that you have a certain amount of time, usually a couple of weeks, to re buy it again. If you do not buy it again before its up, it will normally go back on public sale. As a slight twist in the tale, people might want your domain, and almost all of the domain registrars offer a service where they alert the interested party when your domain is up for renewal. If they buy and you forgot to renew, then its theirs, cue a long legal battle!
The moral of the story, is keep an eye on when your domains expire, and make sure you don’t delay renewing them. If you don’t, someone else might have your name and if they get it, its going to get costly getting it back.
Use this WhoIs tool, provided by MXtoolbox.com to check your domain status, who owns it and when it expires. If you need any help or guidance, give us a call on 0151 334 2543