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  • To: Registrars Constituency <registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: "Robert F. Connelly" <BobC@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2007 07:58:44 -0700
  • List-id: registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Sender: owner-registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Registrars:<br><br>
The following is the present draft of the &quot;Outcomes
Report&quot;.&nbsp; It deals with uses of the AGP other than domain
It is a redlined version and I see that the redlined elements did not
survive my cut and paste efforts.&nbsp; <br><br>
Regards, BobC<br><br>
<font size=2><b>4.3Opinion Polling of Registrars regarding use of
</b>Following statements within the group that the AGP was sometimes used
by registrars for other purposes, not connected to domain tasting or
corrections of misspelled names, the question was raised to some
registrars to exemplify their uses of the AGP. Below is an excerpted,
edited version of the submission provided by the registrar
representatives in the group, the complete submission is in Annex
The RFI regarding the use of AGP posed three different options to
consider in remedying the current abuses in AGP: (1) making the ICANN fee
non-refundable; (2) requiring some form of restocking fee per name
deleted within the AGP term; and (3) eliminating the AGP in its
[In a straw poll [please provide for an Annex] sent to [how many, and how
many responded? Provide responses for Annex.] registrars to comment on
what the impact would be to their registrants were AGP to be eliminated
in its entirety, certain [how many? Who?] registrars indicated that they
were using the AGP for customers in a beneficial manner. All of these
registrars believed that the elimination of AGP would break their cart or
provisioning systems or monitoring, and would require significant
re-engineering to re-architect their registrar systems should there be an
elimination of AGP.]<br><br>
[The concept of eliminating the AGP in its entirety is of concern to some
registrars who utilize the AGP in ways other than tasting or kiting to
provide a high quality of service to their registrants, including by:]
1.Correcting typographical errors made by the registrant<br><br>
2.Using a cart ?hold? system to provide access to names<br><br>
3.Mitigating fraud impacts; and <br><br>
4.Proactively monitoring the security and stability of their provisioning
systems and customer experience. <br><br>
[Two of the identified uses [which two? Identify briefly.] were
considered proprietary, which required some generalization to where the
polled registrar was not identifiable specifically and the respondent was
comfortable with supplying it in response.]<br><br>
[Some registrars felt that the complete elimination of the AGP would miss
the importance of these benefits which are completely separate and
distinct from tasting or kiting. A description of each of these benefits
and a review of how the two other measures proposed for curing the abuses
of the AGP, making the ICANN fee non-refundable or requiring some form of
restocking fee per name deleted within the AGP term, follows.] <br><br>
[It should be considered that the response to the RFI from registrants is
generally formed largely by the experience that they have with their
registrar. Registrants are presented by their registrar (or registrar
reseller) with a ?front end? consisting of web based ?shopping carts? or
portals to register or manage their domain names, host records, email,
web hosting, blogs, etc. in the interests of simplifying the process and
streamlining the user experience. Most registrants are sheltered from the
confusing world of the provisioning protocols and technical aspects or
business rules of policy that registrars face, and as such may not
appreciate some of the other issues registrars face and how the AGP helps
address certain of those issues. ] <br><br>
<u>AGP Use 1: Correction of typographical errors made by
</u>Whatever the source of the typographical mistake the registrant seems
to make, typographical mistakes do happen, and the AGP is used by many
registrars to remedy this situation.<br><br>
At last count, there are now more than 900 ICANN-accredited registrars.
This has caused intense competition for customers, and has driven down
margins in some of the price competitive registrars. Price sensitive
customers have found registrars that service their needs, but there are
also registrants who are more service sensitive than price sensitive, who
demand a higher standard of experience from their registrar.]<br><br>
Because there are so many registrars, there is competition to
differentiate themselves to the marketplace. Some registrars provide very
high levels of customer service as a distinguishing feature. These
registrars are extremely focused on the quality experience of the
registrant, such that a phone call to the registrar?s customer service
department can reverse a registration within the AGP, to correct a
typographical error.]<br><br>
<u>AGP Use 2: Cart ?Hold? as an improved registration experience<br><br>
</u>[There are registrars that have raised the argument that the practice
of domain tasting is creating a confusing user experience that is
disruptive to their business. They believe that domain tasting generates
volumes of customer complaints being fielded by their customer service
departments, which contend that a domain was looked up and available for
their company one day, and then approval or budget to proceed is
obtained, only to find that within the time elapsed it had been
registered by someone else.<br><br>
When one shops for something unique at a store, it is a common customer
experience to see an item that interests a potential purchaser and that
potential purchaser asks the sales clerk to set it aside while the
purchaser continues to shop, or the purchaser leaves and comes back to
confirm with a spouse, or goes to get some cash, etc. The item gets held
for a period of time and presumably this is done so that nobody else can
purchase it as though it was left on the shelf. <br><br>
Many registrars leave the item on the shelf, as it were, and only fully
allocate the item upon completion of payment. This creates a circumstance
where someone could conceivably purchase it elsewhere.<br><br>
On the other hand, there are some registrars that have created a cart
reserve process utilizing the AGP, that immediately adds the domain at
the registry once it gets looked up by the user. This completely
mitigates the issue of the domain being otherwise provisioned by another
while completing the sales process. If the sales process is not
completed, or nearly 5 days passes, the domain is deleted at the
registry. <br><br>
This process could be adopted by registrars that are concerned about
customer confusion, but many of the registrars that compete on price and
thus operate on thin profit margins will likely not adopt this approach
because it means that their available funds at the registry are held in a
non-sales transaction until it closes. <br><br>
As a matter of budget, most registrars opt to keep their balance
available at the registry and not commit funds at the registry with the
add command until a finalized purchase has completed with the
<u>AGP Use 3: Fraud remedies<br><br>
</u>The AGP currently allows, in the event that fraud occurs, that domain
names registered but still within the AGP can be returned for
Some of such types of fraud correction would be (but are not limited
</font>?<font size=2>Recovering from activity where some bad actor stole
registrar account credentials through phishing<br><br>
</font>?<font size=2>Remedy of credit card fraud, or <br><br>
</font>?<font size=2>Correctional efforts against a rogue reseller
customer. <br><br>
<u>AGP Use 4: Proactive monitoring<br><br>
</u>[Many registrars take proactive steps to monitor and ensure the
security and stability of their registration and resolution systems. This
is done to provide quality service to their customers, to ensure high
availability, or to meet dedicated service level agreements for their
customers or resellers. <br><br>
Registrars use the AGP as a fundamental tool for proactive monitoring as
a means to determine the health of their connections to the provisioning
system of registries. <br><br>
Some of the registrars polled do this only when there is not typical
registration activity to indicate system help.<br><br>
Some of the registrars do a simple EPP registration and deletion, others
run a fairly comprehensive suite of tests combining EPP and DNS that
involve registration, modification, and determination that DNS resolution
changes also took effect prior to deleting the test name.<br><br>
Registrars indicated in their responses that they gratefully appreciate
careful forethought, evaluation, and consideration of these other impacts
should there be changes to business logic or provisioning logic, or
provisioning systems as a part of any PDP. A forced or sudden change in
the behavior of an EPP command or expected behavior of current
provisioning systems, could take time and technical resources to
implement, per GTLD, per registrar.<br><br>

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