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NetAlliance Townsville.com.au Matter

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neddy

Top Contributor
Guys,

We registered Townsville.com.au as part of our testing procedure. We test every day (missed everything today - Kudos George & DW) and have done for weeks. Maybe we just got lucky on Monday. As part of that test, we need to have a registrant ready. We used Netfleet just as I'm sure D8 and DW used themselves or related entities when they were in testing phase. Nothing wrong with that - repeat you have to use someone - we thought it may as well be us.

I just read your post again David. The problem for you is that you didn't use NetFleet as the Registrant as you say - you used NetAlliance Pty Ltd which is part owned by NetRegistry. That's what we're all on about because it seems to be in direct contravention of auDA policy. And then belatedly you have tried to change the Registrant following the outporing of angst.

Perception is everything. I seriously urge you to acknowledge that you may have made an error of judgement in this case, and fix the problem. It will give you guys a much needed PR boost, and take the heat right out of the situation.

Cheers, Ned
 

soj

Founder
Alright heres the deal Ladies and Gentlemen. Things are still getting out of hand in here. There are things that are being brought up which are COMPLETELY off topic. If you have a problem with NetFleet, then make a complaint to Netfleet, go and speak to your solicitors, or go and make a complaint to the auDA.

This thread is for the civil discussion of the Townsville.com.au issue, and if your post is not on that topic exactly, it will be deleted.

Yes there has been a frenzy over the past couple of days, but lets make things a little more relaxed.
 

Jonathan

Top Contributor
I'm a big fan of Netfleet, but it's also clear there's a potential conflict of interest here. I'll be curious to see what auDA makes of it all.

Whatever their findings are, I feel that it would probably be improper for NetAlliance (or any related entities) to hold onto these domains. I like the charity auction idea.

And I agree that we should keep personal attacks out of this.
 

Data Glasses

Top Contributor
a real can of worms has been opened up this week , i just hope everyone is objective in their views , i am just happy to keep reading at this point
 

Mark

Top Contributor
Hi All

I’ll respond on behalf of David whilst he is unavailable.

Domainer aka Domainnames.com.au,

As soj has rightly said, this is completely off topic. Apologies for responding to this soj, but I feel I must defend our position. For the benefit of others, a quick google search will show you all you need to know about Domainnames.com.au. You have a long standing grudge against Publishing Australia for acquiring a certain domain name before you. You are merely trying to capitalise on ‘townsgate’ for you own personal revenge. This has nothing to do with Netfleet, NetAlliance, or Townsville.com.au. I strongly suggest you contact auDA, ACCC and your legal representation before making wild and unfounded accusations. For clarity, the domain name was bought by PA after seeing the listing on Netfleet – PA jumped at matching the target price as it was very reasonable (as any buyer would). The domain was then marked as sold, contact made with the seller, funds transferred, and change of registrant forms completed. The seller was, and always has been, very happy with the agreed sale. As many of the members on this forum are aware, PA own a large portfolio of domains, and have bought and sold numerous domains using the Netfleet sales platform. This is simply another sale. I would seriously urge all reading this to not judge Netfleet/NetAlliance based on these untrue accusations – this is exactly what “Domainer/Domainnames.com.au” is hoping to achieve. I will not comment further on this matter, unless contacted by relevant authorities, whereby I will be more than happy to legally prove these allegations as false.

Back to the NetAlliance Townsville.com.au matter:

It is clear that we will not be able to convince everybody that our intentions were anything less than proper. Hand on my heart, I believe we have done nothing wrong by registering a domain name during testing. I can honestly say that in the course of our testing we managed to register this domain name. The only crime we are guilty of, which I admit, is mistakenly registering the domain name to NetAlliance. This was an error on our part for which I apologise.

Perception is everything. I seriously urge you to acknowledge that you may have made an error of judgement in this case, and fix the problem. It will give you guys a much needed PR boost, and take the heat right out of the situation.

Our error was registering the domain name to NetAlliance I agree. We have spoken with auDA and have followed their recommendations to correct the matter, which will be announced in due course. We sincerely did not intend to cause any distress by our actions.

Thanks,
Mark
 

neddy

Top Contributor
Hi All



Back to the NetAlliance Townsville.com.au matter:

It is clear that we will not be able to convince everybody that our intentions were anything less than proper. Hand on my heart, I believe we have done nothing wrong by registering a domain name during testing. I can honestly say that in the course of our testing we managed to register this domain name. The only crime we are guilty of, which I admit, is mistakenly registering the domain name to NetAlliance. This was an error on our part for which I apologise.



Our error was registering the domain name to NetAlliance I agree. We have spoken with auDA and have followed their recommendations to correct the matter, which will be announced in due course. We sincerely did not intend to cause any distress by our actions.

Thanks,
Mark

Hi Mark,

This is a very conciliatory post, and I commend you for it. However, in my humble opinion, it is a couple of days too late to be totally effective in the minds of many.

One just needs to read the posts from beginning to end to see what I'm alluding to. Unfortunately David went on the attack defending your actions, and then after being surprised by the amount of ill feeling, he kept changing the company line. This included taking the unheralded steps of changing the Registrant's after the act!

And by the way, let us not forget, it wasn't just one valuable domain, it was four of them.

You may well win the day with auDA Mark, but let there be no doubt that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who think you "guys" have abused the system.

As I said in an earlier post, perception is everything - particularly as NetFleet are aggressive buyers of domains, and that your business partner is a Registrar.

All I'm trying to get across is that if you wanted forgiveness and credibility, then this apology should have come on day one. Instead we got obfuscation combined with personal attacks - until now.

Whatever the outcome Mark, I am finished worrying about. I'm going to get on with life - albeit somewhat more wiser and definitely a bit more cynical. Good luck to you.

Cheers, Ned
 

Roo

Member
Hello,

I have been watching this thread for a while and have previously not spoken out awaiting the result of auDA's decision which in my opinion is incorrect.

Firstly I would like to state.

On seeing the post made by Netfleet on this site

Note a couple of important exclusions:

1) No domains that are in pending delete status at the time of backorder
2) Orders will only kick in at 5pm the following day (so don't bother trying to backorder Domain8's or DW's lists! This is meant to be a different service to that not a competing one!!)

And the knowledge that townsville.com.au was in serverHold (Expired) status I registered and was accepted for a backorder on the domain name townsville.com.au

PLEASE NOTE. This backorder was made on Friday Morning at 9.57 am prior to the name going into serverRenewProhibited Status and prior to it becoming available on the droplists of DW and D8. My backorder was paid for and accepted.

The name went into serverRenewProhibited on friday afternoon to be dropped the following business day.

On sunday night I received an email from Netfleet saying that my backorder would not be activated until the next business day. Fair enough I was 9 hours too late.

We can't make exceptions to our terms and conditions - our backorder service is not like the drop services that some companies employ. If we were to make an exception to this, then this could potentially open the flood gates, and we would have a directly competing service to those drop list sites, albeit at a margin of the profit due to our pricing model. Our aim is more for the retail market, rather than wholesale domainers market.

Now I see that Netfleet/NetAlliance/Publishing Australia has registered the domain for themselves and have come up with the following excuse

We registered Townsville.com.au as part of our testing procedure. We test every day (missed everything today - Kudos George & DW) and have done for weeks. Maybe we just got lucky on Monday. As part of that test, we need to have a registrant ready. We used Netfleet just as I'm sure D8 and DW used themselves or related entities when they were in testing phase. Nothing wrong with that - repeat you have to use someone - we thought it may as well be us.

WTF?? I had a legitimate backorder. I paid my money. My details were in your system and you have the audacity to say that you need to have a registrant ready. What a load of f***ing s***

I will never use Netfleet again. I still have my backorder running however I expect that it will be cancelled as per their T&C.

I expect repercussions from this but could no longer stand aside and listen to the bull that is emerging on this forum.

Secondly

Netfleet had the audacity to contact me to see if I wanted to participate in their testing procedure saying that they could set me up for testing as long as I did it before 11:30 on the day of the drop.

WTF????

WTF???

I am not happy. I accept what has happened but NOBODY should be defending Netfleet for their actions. I was directly affected by them and once again I AM NOT HAPPY.

By the way I recently sold a .com.au for a six figure sum but am not at liberty to give the details. I am well aware of the au domain industry and have been involved in it for 10 years.

Many Thanks

Roo
 

geodomains

Top Contributor
Hi Mark,
Have to agree with Ned, the credibility of Netfleet has been lost with me if you guys can't see how wrong this is on so many levels.

Basically it looks like Registrars can snap valuable domains as long as it is hidden in a web of companies that makes it harder to find.

Why don't we have a vote on the forum of members who think this is not right? How about Soj ?

Don
 

domainer

Member
Mark

I don’t have a “long standing grudge against Publishing Australia and im not sure as to what you mean by "revenge".

Yes, you "acquired" the name before i did. But Im simply concerned about the process you used to acquire this domain, just like the others are concerned about the "townsville" process.

i also had enough of reading netfleet "stories regarding townsville" and your personall attacks towards anyone that questions netfleet and thats the reason for my posts.

I don’t need to contact auDA, ACCC or my lawyers, as i simply stated the actual facts as they have occurred and i did not make any wild and unfounded or untrue accusations. I have the actual emails confirming my previous posts.

Yet david and now you, have used this and the previously related forum to personally attack anyone that questioned your actions in relation to “Townsville.com.au” and to me your actions are a pure conflict of interest and it’s the same conflict of interest that transpired in relation to the domain name i’m talking about, so i decided to let everyone know what has transpired previously.

I have not attacked you guys personally, i simply questioned the process. Yet, you have decided to attack me personally for simply posting the truth, You also try to deflect the issue by providing a google link to “DomainNames.com.au” - still unsure what everyone is meant to be looking for on the results page?

The name in question is “DomainName.com.au” you paid how much for it? Well here it is: http://www.netfleet.com.au/index.php?a=d&id=17126 – it confirms my previous post.

Strangely the name was not published on your “recent sales’ list and not made available for anyone (potential buyers) to find on your site via the "Domain Name Search" once listed by the seller, except to those in the know (netfleet) or the ones with the direct link - exactly the same link to you emailed to the seller abount 1 hour prior to you guys buying the name, so much for getting the best price for the seller.

You claim that the “seller was, and always has been, very happy with the agreed sale”

26/03/09, seller sends this email to netfleet
___________________________________________________
Dear Netfleet Team,
I have been contacted by a prospective purchaser who says he is unable to search the listing in order to place a bid. My search test confirms. The only access appears to be the link provided by you below, and that is not available to prospective purchasers. Can you please investigate and advise whether the listing was readily available to any person searching your site.
___________________________________________________

It doesnt look like the “seller was, and always has been, very happy with the agreed sale” and in my view the process doesnt appear to be kosher.

Domainer / DomainNames.com.au
 
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TV Skit - “Law and auDA”

Proposed plot for new TV skit

Title: “Law and auDA”

Screen writer’s note: This is a fictional and satirical effort on my part – with apologies to “Law & Order”!

Synopsis:

Burglars and bank employees plan inside job on grabbing the contents of a number of targeted safety deposit boxes locked up in a secure off site vault. Precision timing and knowing how the security system works is the most important element of the plan.

Plan works perfectly, and they get away with the loot. They decide to put the proceeds into a joint account at another bank so they can all have access to it.

Burglar 1 is very chuffed with himself – it was all so easy. In a moment of absolute joyful delirium, he goes online to his favourite forum and brags about it.

Customers hear about heist, and angrily start complaining to Mr Plod. They also abuse Burglar 1 online for being so brazen.

Mr Plod promises full investigation, and assures that if appropriate, justice will be done – and be seen to be done.

Burglars and bank employees start panicking. Now regret going online. Start devising strategies to counter Mr Plod and the wrath of the public who are baying for blood. Bank employees no longer want their name on the joint account for fear of penalty. Burglars apply to bank to change name of joint account to just their own.

Mr Plod confronts burglars and bank employees. They claim it was all only a security exercise to test the systems – nothing untoward really happened. Customers hear this excuse, and tell Mr Plod in no uncertain terms that the loot should be returned.

Mr Plod decides that the burglars and bank employees are very powerful and nice people, and to take them on and try and enforce the law is a dangerous and difficult path to tread. Instead gives them stern lecture that antics like this should never happen again. They give promises and undertakings that of course they will never “themselves” do it again.

Mr Plod then allows them to keep the loot just this one time – and also lets them move it to another bank account.

Customers not happy, call for action. Many are so disgusted that they decide never to use the same bank again. Some go to media with story.

Burglar 2 goes online at the same forum in an attempt to mollify anger. Assures everyone with his hand on his heart that nothing untoward has happened; and that Mr Plod is so happy, so therefore everyone else should be happy.

The End (or is it?)
 

geodomains

Top Contributor
Hey domainer,
That was a good domain domainname.com.au and is worth heaps more than the $500.00 paid, I wonder why it never got posted as a sale? David is so good at putting up sales on this forum, he must of missed that one.

Don
 

domainer

Member
Hey domainer,
That was a good domain domainname.com.au and is worth heaps more than the $500.00 paid, I wonder why it never got posted as a sale? David is so good at putting up sales on this forum, he must of missed that one.

Don

david bought the name for himself/publishing australia, so how can he miss a name that he was personally involved in buying? by the way, thats the name im talking about in my earlier post, http://www.dntrade.com.au/showpost.php?p=4001&postcount=19
 
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DomainMarketPlace

Top Contributor
The only crime we are guilty of, which I admit, is mistakenly registering the domain name to NetAlliance. This was an error on our part for which I apologise.

Thanks,
Mark

So this is the loop hole that prompted auDA to allow the change of ownership even though the domain is registered for less than 6 months.

I can understand auDA accepting this excuse once, but 4 times when you were clearly front running? What a joke.
 

neddy

Top Contributor
So this is the loop hole that prompted auDA to allow the change of ownership even though the domain is registered for less than 6 months.

I can understand auDA accepting this excuse once, but 4 times when you were clearly front running? What a joke.

Very succinctly put DMP!

And MythBuster, you've missed your true calling. Very funny take on matters! :D

Cheers, Ned
 

domainer

Member
For clarity, the domain name was bought by PA after seeing the listing on Netfleet – PA jumped at matching the target price as it was very reasonable (as any buyer would). The domain was then marked as sold, contact made with the seller, funds transferred, and change of registrant forms completed. The seller was, and always has been, very happy with the agreed sale. As many of the members on this forum are aware, PA own a large portfolio of domains, and have bought and sold numerous domains using the Netfleet sales platform. This is simply another sale. I would seriously urge all reading this to not judge Netfleet/NetAlliance based on these untrue accusations – this is exactly what “Domainer/Domainnames.com.au” is hoping to achieve. I will not comment further on this matter, unless contacted by relevant authorities, whereby I will be more than happy to legally prove these allegations as false.

Mark

your answer doesnt make sense.

23 Mar 2009 08:00am - seller lists the name on netfleet - http://domains.ehost-services132.com/nf/domainname_listing.pdf

23 Mar 2009 09:49 AM - seller receives an email from netfleet titled "Listing approved on Netfleet" here is the actual email
----------------------------------------
Hi mitzi1,

Congratulations! Your domain name listing has now been approved on Netfleet: domainname.com.au
http://www.netfleet.com.au/index.php?a=d&id=17126

Best of luck,
The Netfleet Team - http://www.netfleet.com.au
----------------------------------------

23 Mar 2009 11:50 - an offer of $500 was accepted from publishing australia. - http://www.netfleet.com.au/index.php?a=d&id=17126 (time stamp on your site)

so my question to you is: If the prospective purchasers were unable to search netfleet for the listing in order to place a bid, how did publishing australia find/see the listing on Netfleet?

the fact that prospective purchasers were unable to search netfleet for the listing in order to place a bid is actually confirmed to you by the seller in an email on 26/03/09 08:01 AM, here is the actual email
----------------------------------------
Dear Netfleet Team,

I have been contacted by a prospective purchaser who says he is unable to search the listing in order to place a bid. My search test confirms. The only access appears to be the link provided by you below, and that is not available to prospective purchasers. Can you please investigate and advise whether the listing was readily available to any person searching your site.
----------------------------------------

PA could not have "seen" the listing via normal processes and channels as the name was not searchable or locatable on netfleet unless you knew what the actual link is (http://www.netfleet.com.au/index.php?a=d&id=17126) and the only people aware of that link were netfleet/PA and the seller.

It appears that the only way PA could have "acquired" the name before anyone else, is by you having the "inside" information of the actual listing before anyone else.

Now thats not a level playing field and that not getting the best price for the seller.
 
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neddy

Top Contributor
auDA decision

Hi everyone,

As suspected (given the posts of yesterday), auDA have accepted NetFleet's explanation that registering 4 domains in the name of NetAlliance Pty Ltd was all an "honest mistake". They have accordingly allowed them to correct their "mistake".

Full statement here: http://www.auda.org.au/news-archive/auda-30102009/

Jo Lim from auDA personally phoned me to explain the situation (which I thank her for). We had a good chat about the issues involved.

Just as a matter of interest, she was not aware of Roo's allegations last night on this forum. She said that auDA would be happy to re-look at the whole situation if Roo cares to make a formal complaint to auDA. Of course you cannot do it anonymously Roo.

Cheers, Ned
 

DavidL

Top Contributor
Townsville affair - my personal view

I think what this whole drama boils down to is whether you believe me when I say, “We registered that domain as a by-product of testing our name catching scripts. We did not and do not have an agenda of using our technology to snap up the best names for ourselves”

Do you believe, me, David (not Netfleet), when I give you my word, that this is the case? When I say my word is my bond and that’s what I’m stating.

People who don’t know me, and have never done business or met me, may well find it a little hard to accept that our testing just happened to come good on such a valuable name. Why now if we’d been trying to grab names for weeks? I don’t know the answer – one theory is that D8 and DW were trying so hard to grab that particular name that they ‘overdid’ it somehow and it backfired.

However, I would hope that people who do know me, who have dealt with me before either in a personal or business sense will look through the lynch mob mentality seen on certain threads and make a sound judgement based on their knowledge of me as a person.

I must admit I have been felt ill at ease by all this carry-on. Although there are only a couple of ringleaders (all of whom either refuse to identify themselves, are duplicate accounts or of doubtful integrity), those people are effectively calling me a liar. That didn’t sit well with me until my wife told me not to worry – the people who matter, the people who are important to you will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you.

And that’s the best advice I’ve had during this whole affair.

Please don’t respond to this post – it’s just a statement of my position, not an attempt to win the argument already covered copiously in other threads.
 

neddy

Top Contributor
David,

Firstly, I note that you initially posted this thread in the General Forum - I'm glad that the moderators have decided to move it back to the appropriate thread.

Secondly, your request that people should not respond to this thread is a trifle disingenuous, particularly when you make certain statements that attempt to denigrate people - and when you further try and justify your position.

I wrote a conciliatory reply to Mark's last post - and as far as I was concerned I was going to let "sleeping dogs lie" (pardon the pun) following auDA's decision. However, given your latest post, I cannot.

The denigration I refer to is your statement concerning the ringleaders who levied criticism about what happened with townsville.com.au and the four other high value domains "you guys" i.e. NetAlliance Pty Ltd won on the day.

"are only a couple of ringleaders (all of whom either refuse to identify themselves, are duplicate accounts or of doubtful integrity), those people are effectively calling me a liar.

From this, one can only deduce that I am one of the so called ringleaders (which I don't shy away from), and that as I don't fit in to either of the first two categories (I am a senior member of this forum), I must therefore be someone of "doubtful integrity". And if I'm tagged with this brush, is GeoDomains similarly tagged for also being vocal and even having the "temerity" to start an online poll concerning NetFleet's actions? What about DomainMarketPlace? These two posters are also senior members.

This forum should allow any member to express their honestly held beliefs and opinions without fear of attack or denigration. Whilst being totally against what "you guys" did, I have always been courteous in my posts.

Finally, as you have re-opened this issue, I just can't let you get away with this statement you made:

“We registered that domain as a by-product of testing our name catching scripts. We did not and do not have an agenda of using our technology to snap up the best names for ourselves”

Here are just a few examples of when you have used technology (I assume you mean in conjunction with your partner NetRegistry) to acquire top domain names for yourselves:

23rd September - fascinators.com.au - highest bid on domain on both Domain8 and DomainWatch. WhoIs states that the owner is Publishing Australia and the Registrar is NetRegistry.

1st October - mobiletanning.com.au; insuranceguide.com.au; hotwatch.com.au. These domains also highly sought after on both dropcatchers. Same WhoIs info!

Now there is nothing legally wrong with this, because you registered them in the name of PA - as opposed to townsville and the 4 others.

I would be interested in your response.

Cheers, Ned
 
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