While the deregulation of the domain name system has been generally lauded by the channel, the transition has caused a number of teething problems for registrar Melbourne IT. The company has been quick to deflect customer complaints about registration difficulties on to the new wholesale domain name registry AusRegistry.
According to Greg Williams, managing director of Lincoln Computer Centre, domain holders have not been able to change their contact details since July 1, when the deregulation of the domain name industry went live. Lincoln Computer Centre became aware of the problem when it performed routine maintenance and reviews of its customers' domain names, which it offers as a value-added service.
"Renewals and correspondence from auDA are sent to the administration contact registered on the domain name record. If that e-mail address has changed, which they do all the time, domain holders won't receive renewal notices."
Williams spoke to representatives from auDA and AusRegistry who both promptly passed the buck to each other before finally suggesting that Williams contact his company's registrar, Melbourne IT.
Melbourne IT was able to amend the contact details of his customers' domain name records via e-mail, but attributed the cause of the problem to AusRegistry.
Adrian Kinderis, managing director of AusRegistry, was angered when revelations surfaced that Melbourne IT had been deflecting the blame for its own system problems on AusRegistry since deregulation.
"[Melbourne IT] has been using us as a scapegoat for its own shortcomings. Melbourne IT's systems are not up to scratch and there are long wait times for customers who want to register," Kinderis said. "We're an easy target and I'm ready to wear a bit of grief, but when [deflecting the blame on us] becomes a consistent problem, as it has been, the public has to know exactly where the problem lies," he said.
"AusRegistry's registration system is 100 per cent perfect; we have full functionality."
Melbourne IT's chief technology officer, Bruce Tonkin, conceded that the company had been experiencing problems associated with domain name registration and that at least one of its employees had been mistakenly referring customers with registration grievances to AusRegistry.
Tonkin attributed Melbourne IT's recent problems to the increase in demand for domain name registrations coupled with the deployment of a new software system.