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VIC Australian Consumer Law - Transfer of Website Domain Name to Another?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by AndrewB, 27 August 2016.

  1. AndrewB

    AndrewB Active Member

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    Hey all,

    I run a small web hosting company and have come across an issue today and not sure on the best way to handle it.

    An employee/ contractor of a company has registered for web hosting and a domain name with us. This employee has locked the rest of the company out of the account and suspended their access to email. One of the directors of the company has contacted us and is wanting to have the account transferred into their name.

    Would we legally under Australian Consumer Law be able to transfer the ownership of the account into the director's name?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    No, if the employee paid for the domain name. Suspect not if the employee used company funds to pay for the domain name. Remedy is to get money back, not take control of the domain.

    You may be able to suspend the account, but if he has access to the control panel he may just un-suspend it. It is better to talk with the employee about your real concerns, not tamper with his domain.
     
  3. AndrewB

    AndrewB Active Member

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    The employee isn't ours, they're a customer of ours.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, ok.

    No, unless the director has MD or board approval. You need to be careful. The director might be telling porkies as he may be in a dispute with the other directors. Generally there is no need to change ownership details, just change control panel passwords and give it to company. If Name servers have been changed contact the registrar, possibly by fax if email is down, asking for the password.

    I recommend against making ownership changes unless the request is an official request from the MD and board.

    Something smells fishy about the director's request. While you will probably not be guilty of a crime by acting on the director's request (assisting in theft of company property), it is not worth the subsequent hassle to prove otherwise.
     
  5. AndrewB

    AndrewB Active Member

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    Problem with just changing passwords is that the employee created the billing account with us and can just change them back. The account was also registered with the company name as well, however this employee has since removed the company name from the account.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    What control panel are you using? Seems strange that you cannot control access to one of your accounts.
     
  7. AndrewB

    AndrewB Active Member

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    We use cPanel for hosting and WHMCS for billing. I would need to disable access to the billing account as well, otherwise they would reset the cPanel account password. I have a feeling they may not be an employee, and most likely a contractor or something. I will try and get the 2 parties to sort it out themselves, otherwise get the MD or board to put a request in.
     
  8. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    I would block billing account, change its password, change name back to company, and go from there.
     
  9. AndrewB

    AndrewB Active Member

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    Thanks for your help mate.
     
  10. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    BTW, forgot to say that my understanding is the reason you can change the account name back to the original company is that you (your business) contracted with a particular business entity. That entity, or it's employee/contractor, has no right to change who you are dealing with without your approval. You have a contract in place and they need to abide by the contract.
     

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