Complaint against a registrar

The basic task set DNS Belgium is to ensure that the addressing process using .be domain names operates properly and is available at all times. In addition to this, DNS Belgium handles the registration of all .be domain names and makes the infrastructure for registering domain names available to what are known as registrars. The registration and management of domain names is carried out via registrars and not directly by DNS Belgium. DNS Belgium has an independent contractual relationship with the various registrars (via the registrar agreement).

In addition to this, and entirely independent of the agreement between DNS Belgium and the registrars, agreements are entered into between the registrars and their customers/registrants. As a result, DNS Belgium is not a controlling body that is able to monitor the contractual obligations between the registrar and the registrant. Nor can it conduct checks on the registrant or apply sanctions, if necessary. DNS Belgium has no rights or authority to act in a regulatory manner as a third party with regard to agreements entered into between the registrar and the registrant. On the contrary, acting in such a way could place DNS Belgium's liability in jeopardy.

Also, a complaint from a registrant against a registrar is only admissible if there has been a shortcoming on the part of the registrar that also implies a breach of the registrar agreement. If that is the case, DNS Belgium's role is restricted to investigating the complaint further. If the dispute between a party and a registrar has nothing to do with this agreement, DNS Belgium is unable to take any action. This means that any problems relating to the invoicing of specific services, or the quality of the services provided that extend further than just the management of the domain name (such as hosting) will not be ruled on by DNS Belgium. This does not prevent the parties from lodging a claim for damages with the relevant court.

If in addition to being admissible the complaint is also deemed to be justified and serious, DNS Belgium will serve the registrar in question with notice of default to comply with its contractual obligations. Dependent of the seriousness of the complaint(s), DNS Belgium may consider dissolving the registrar agreement or refuse to extend it when it expires (one year).

Let's take a look at some of the situations that occur most frequently:
 
DNS Belgium cannot under any circumstances intervene in the following cases

  • if you have a dispute with your registrar regarding the invoicing of the registrar's services
  • if you have a dispute with your registrar regarding one or more domain names with an extension other than .be
  • if you feel you are not receiving sufficient support from your registrar or if your registrar does not have a properly developed helpdesk
  • if you have a dispute with your registrar regarding services that do not involve the registration or straightforward management of a domain name. For example, hosting your website, creating a website, the link between a domain name and a website, setting up and linking mailboxes, etc.
  • if you have a dispute with your provider who is not a DNS.be registrar, but instead is an intermediary acting between you and the actual registrar (what's known as a "reseller")

However, DNS.be can intervene if you come up against the following problems

  • your registrar has not submitted the general terms and conditions of DNS.be to you for acceptance
  • during the registration process your registrar has not forwarded your details, so that according to WHOIS, you are not the registrant of the domain name in question
  • your registrar has provided its own e-mail address during registration and not your own, whereas in no way have you asked the registrar to do so
  • your registrar (or the persons or companies associated with your registrar) are guilty of "warehousing" i.e. the registering of a stock of domain names without having been asked to do so on behalf of one or more users
  • your registrar has carried out an operation that results in your domain name suddenly belonging to someone else without complying with the correct DNS.be procedures (transfer transaction)


The best thing to do in any of these cases is send in your complaint (with any attachments) to legal@dnsbelgium.be.
Your complaint will in any event be investigated by the DNS Belgium legal department and you will be informed of any follow-up action that can be given to your complaint.

WHOIS

Look-up which gives information about the registrant of the domain name, his registrar, the name server and also some information about the domain status. 

registrar

Is the entity that registers a domain name for a company, organization or person. Next to the “resale” of web addresses registrars can also offer hosting services, web design... 

registrant

Domain owner, person who holds a domain name.

Hosting

rent of a physical space to store a web server which is permanently connected to the internet. This service will typically be offered by your Internet Service Provider.

DNS

Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. The global DNS is the system and protocol used on the internet to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa.