Hmm... I need to find out myself. I don't know what is the right answer to your question. I'll do some research and get back to you if I find an decent answer. You should email the people at iPage as they probably could assist you..
This happened to me at Dotster also. Can you believe the ethics?..
Check them again next week; dollars to donuts they'll be available again. (Maybe even sooner).
Also, don't forget that adding the names to your cart and beginning the checkout process can "reserve" the names at some servers/extensions - so don't assume that anything malicious is afoot (Or at-hand)..
This has absolutely happened to me before, but I've only seen it on .coms. I was hit by.
A few months ago. The names were uncommon and not previously registered, but they were snapped up within minutes of doing an availability search. In one case, the HostGator was dropped within a week or two and I was eventually able to register it..
There have been a number of articles about this backchannel access to registry searches and "domain kiting." The Whois search information must be compromised by one or more registrars (not neccessarily the one you are doing the search at), because it is beyond the limit of statistical probability that they randomly happen to be searching certain invented names at the same time I and others who have been hit were searching the same names..
I think they have an automated script that goes through all the recent Whois searches and then registers names that fit certain criteria, like a name containing certain keywords under a certain length. I think the people behind domibot have moved on to other aliases, but at the time it was active, they would openly offer to sell you your name for $950. If you didn't contact them, there was a good chance that they would drop it within the time limit for deletions, if the type in traffic didn't meet a certain threshold..
From one article, I think I recall a figure of 32 million names out of 35 million registered being "tasted" by these domain-kiting operations then dropped..
Anyway, since then I have changed my searching and purchasing habits. I check Whois directly through Internic, rather than any registrar. And when I register something, I try to minimize the time between putting a name in my cart and checking out...
There was a DIY script for doing WHOIS searches posted here a few months back..
It could also be that they were showing up as available and they actually were not..
I regged some great .ws name at godaddy before but they were not actually available..
Are you sure these weren't just reserved or premium .ws domains ? .
They often show available at places other than website.ws (.ws has the worst reg data out of probably every extension) and were not available at all - or , were reserved as premium..
No 3 letter or 5 digit .ws domains are supposed to be available .... If you search the website.ws iPage site - You should find a list of premium names they reserved at a higher price..
( PS - I actually own a 5 digit .ws - though it's not a real high searched number - It is the only one in existence to my knowledge.
Well Im not convinced that the registrars themselves are tho ones entirely at fault here. I know there is some odd behavior going on. Several things have happened to me: I have several times put a name into the shopping cart then payed for it and then never received the name. For example, Vishing.com I saw the term first coined in a story, it was only about 10 minutes after the news broke about it. So I searched out vishing.com, it was available. I continued searching for 20 minutes and got sleepy, I took a 20 minute nap, then I woke up and paid for my names...
I noticed the next day or so that Vishing.com sold for 2k. Sigh. Another problem is I have searched on Godaddy, then check the whois 1 or 2 times and it says I have used my maximum amount of whois database searches. It happens to me all the time, not sure if someone is hacking my IP address and making automated requests? I know that sometimes after I search a name and it's available, sometimes the next day it is Not Available* and then a few days later it's available again. Very odd if you ask me.
It can be the difference between you and 2k..
PS. NEWS FLASH UPDATE:FOR EXAMPLE THE SAME THING JUST AGAIN HAPPENED. YESTERDAY I SEARCHED FOR EZMONEY.TV AND TODAY IT IS REGISTERED BY NETWORK SOLUTIONS LLC! WTF IS GOING ON LOL!..
Recommend you do your future searching at moniker.com *safe*..
Use DN Analyzer to do your searches. It's a free prog...
You do know that all unregistered .ws domains are automatically redirected to website.ws, right?.
Who does it list in the WHOIS for the domain?..
The names were availible when I checked on a "safe site" and when I went to do the purchase on godaddy. They were bought when I cleared them out of my shopping cart. The names were then all used as forwards to webite.ws..
I don't do any searching on godaddy. I only use them for registrations. I just checked the availibility of the names, they're still not availible. Oh well, just be careful out there fellow domainers...
Care to share one of these .ws names with us, might help figure out what happened.....
I'm not much with conspiracy theories. I have found searching at various sites, that an available will be corrected to unavailable. A simple whois search showed that these domains were in fact registered long before and were not available. Its even happened at checkout when the registrar 'corrected' the avail notice. It's just a matter of unreliable whois checking...
I totally agree, zenlogo. I have an account rep at Dotster who I'm pretty chummy with and when I asked him about this some time ago he assured me (and I totally believe him) that Dotster, at least, does not, and would not, register domains that are searched but not purchased on their sites. I think it’s more likely just a problem of incorrect search results...
I used to work for GoDaddy.com - and I can assure you "they" do not do this. If you type in a HostGator name to search but dont reg it, they will not register the name. However I have seen another of really bizzare things occur when people do try to reg domains. A few times a Customer called in, having a problem processing there order. When we checked, it turned out the HostGator was registered moments earlier to someone with privacy. I wrote it off to coincidense (it does happen!) but I had noticed that a similar pattern did develop with a few other people, on domains....
But the registrar GoDaddy does not do this. FYI...