Registry deletion of domains explained
Every once in a blue moon, registries (the companies that run extensions such as .com, .design, .blog, .space, etc.) realize they have accidentally let a domain register that they really, really didn't mean to let go. They were saving it, either to charge more, or for a planned future use, or the domain was the subject of a court order, and then goofed up by allowing it to be sold.
We usually don't write knowledge base articles that only impact one in 50,000 registrations, but due to a rash of registry deletions in 2021, we decided to write this one to explain this unusual phenomenon.
When registries realize their mistake (usually within a few days of registration), what do they do? Delete the domain without warning, of course! In the unlikely event this happened to you, you would log in to discover that a domain you just registered has been deleted from your account without notice.
Are registries allowed to do this?
Sadly, yes. When you read the fine print on domain registrations, they usually contain language like: "The registry reserves the right to suspend or delete any registrations determined, in the Registry's sole discretion, to have been registered in contravention of the TLD’s eligibility restrictions." There's no appeal process, and Porkbun can't block registries from taking the name back.
Can I get my money back?
Yes, if you paid for a domain and it was cancelled due to a registry grab-back (and not due to a terms of service violation), Porkbun is refunded for the wholesale cost. We'll in turn refund the retail price back to you, the justifiably disgruntled customer. Unless the registry did a particularly bad job of letting us know about the deletion, we'll attempt to proactively issue a refund and email you to let you know what happened.
This ruined my day. Can I get any additional compensation?
So, no promises, but we'll at least advocate on your behalf to the registries to try to get something. In the event of a registry grab-back, we will ask the registry for financial compensation, and also just to issue a plain-English statement regarding the event that we're allowed to share with you. We'll continue to be a pain in their side until they at least give us a firm "no" to either request. If they do agree, we'll pass the compensation on to the customers impacted.
If you believe yourself to be a victim of such a deletion, please notify us at email@example.com.