Are idiots running domain registrars now?

I have a user who has a domain with Freenom. Recently, his domain resolution stopped and he blamed us for it. We provided the logs and told him to open a ticket with Freenom support as there is a clientHold status on the domain and DNS resolution won’t work from the registry itself.

Can’t blame my client because there are new people who don’t know about DNS much yet but the Freenom response shocked me:
“The error is coming from your hosting provider who helped you create your website. Transferring the domain will not fix it. You need to get in touch with your hosting provider to troubleshoot the issue or hire a web developer”

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I’ve been testing different phrasings for when another vendor pushes a user back to me for a problem that is obviously theirs. Where I’m at right now is something like:

“I wish I knew what to tell you here. You contacted the party I can verifiably and factually prove is the only one capable of resolving this, and they denied responsibility. What are you to do when the party responsible for this failure refuses to acknowledge it? The only thing I can think of is to cut them out of your business relationships. I certainly wouldn’t work with them after this.”

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Wait, Freenom is still around? I thought they were sort of pending closure a couple of months ago, as many LE users reported that things stopped working and new domains couldn’t be registered anymore. I also had some (free/paid) domains with them in the past, but looking forward, I would suggest moving the domains asap.

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I’ve had domains at Freenom a few years ago. Completely nonresponsive. I was glad that I managed to get them out…!

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Try to transfer out is the most sensible advice.

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Freenom is one of the sketchiest registrars. Would not recommend. Unfortunately they also run the registry for a few TLDs, so to avoid them, there’s some entire TLDs you need to avoid. For example, .ml was ran by Freenom until 2023, and .cf and .gq are still ran by them.

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I heard their registrar accreditation was terminated by ICANN recently. 100s of my domains were transferred to another registrar. Are they still registrar for some domains?

Looks like they still are for .gq. The root zone record (.gq Domain Delegation Data) says the registry URL is www.dominio.gq, which has a “powered by Freenom” logo at the bottom. The .cf site (http://www.dot.cf/) looks identical so I think that’s still Freenom too.

There’s always been issues with Freenom. They’re very lazy about handling reports of things like phishing pages and malware hosted on their domains, which resulted in a lawsuit from Meta plus losing their ICANN accreditation. They also had a habit of taking customers’ domains away from them once the domain started getting popular, and charging a premium for the customer to recover it.

ICANN accreditation is only really a thing for gTLDs… The smaller ccTLDs can do whatever they want. I’m surprised that people would actually register .com domains at Freenom ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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