The Unfortunate Case of the Expired Domain Name

Over sixteen years ago I put together a simple website for my dad’s business at Nothing special really, just a standard brochure site with information about the business, pictures, etc. A year later I went off the college and didn’t think much of it until I received a frantic phone call from my dad: was now a porn site and they had called the police to find the culprit.

Explaining the site probably got defaced by some script kiddies, I fired up my FTP client to restore the site. Only, I couldn’t login — it was worse than I had expected. The domain name had expired and someone else registered it, likely owning to the fact that the longest serving professional porn actor shares our last name (and my full name, to be clear). To make matters worse, the domain name was prominently featured in my dad’s new Yellow Pages ad strewn about Tallahassee.

Naturally, I did what any desperate kid would do and I pulled up the WHOIS registry to get the email address of the person that had registered the domain. I shot off a quick email to the new domain owner in New Jersey asking if it was for sale and how much he wanted for it. By a miracle, the domain owner quickly responded and said he would happily sell it for $1,000. I swallowed my pride and did a PayPal transfer spending $1,000 of my personal savings to fix the situation and move on. Everything was back to normal.

The moral of the story: pay the extra money and do a five or 10 year registration for your domain and make sure the associated email address is correct.

What else? Have you had this happen to you and how did it turn out?

5 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Case of the Expired Domain Name

  1. Oh snap! the same thing happened to us but with our old 1-800 number turned phone sex line! Funny but embarrassing thing to deal with when a client called me to tell me about it…funnier still he called it 8 times!

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