One of Go Daddy’s most unpopular practices – the infamous 60-day domain name transfer lock – has essentially come to an end.
From today, customers will be able to unlock their domains before the period is up, by contacting a special support team, according to director of policy planning James Bladel.
For many years Go Daddy has blocked domains from being transferred to other registrars if changes have been made to the registrant contact information within the last 60 days.
The company alerts users to the lock before they make changes to their Whois data, but that hasn’t stopped the policy bugging the hell out of domainers and regular registrants.
It’s designed to prevent domain hijackings – something Go Daddy says it does very well – but when false positives occur it often looks like a nefarious customer retention strategy.
“It’s a very effective tool for preventing harm, but it does catch out a lot of folks who want to legitimately change registrant data,” Bladel said.
Under the new policy, if Go Daddy blocks a transfer because of the 60-day lock, registrants will be given an email address to contact in order to appeal the block.
According to Bladel, after a human review the locks will be lifted and the Whois data will revert to its original state, unless the Go Daddy support team suspects a hijacking is in progress.
“The bad guys are not going to call and ask us to take a second look at this,” he said. “The bad guys want it to happen under the radar.”
The changes come thanks largely to a new revision of ICANN’s Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, which came into effect today and specifies that transferring registrants need to be given a way to remove the locks on their domains within five days.
But Bladel said the way the policy is written gave Go Daddy a lot of leeway in how to interpret it – it could have kept the locks in place as before – but it decided to revise its policy to improve the customer experience.