Uniregistry sent a notice to customers today informing them that it has updated its Terms of Service, including adding a “late renewal” fee for domains renewed toward the end of the grace period.
The fee applies to domains registered during the final ten days of the 40 day grace period after a domain expires.
Uniregistry says it’s making this move in response to customers trying to renew at the last minute and missing the deadline:
We have observed a small number of incidents where some customers delay renewing their domain names until the last possible moment, as an expense management technique. While customers are entitled to manage their payment practices as they see fit, this practice has consumed an inordinate amount of customer support time and expense when customers fail to appropriately time these late renewals. In order to dis-incentivize this practice, we have instituted a nominal “late renewal” fee, which we hope will allow us to maintain lower costs for all of our customers.
The email notice doesn’t link to the actual terms of service, but the new language is in section 2.13.
It’s unclear how much the late renewal fee is. The Terms refer to Uniregistry’s pricing page, which does not currently list a late renewal fee. Presumably, it will be less than the $50 restore fee for .com domains. [Update: it will be $10 when it is imposed.]
There are two benefits to waiting to renew a domain. First, depending on how the registrar auctions expired domains, it could give you some intel into the domain’s demand. Second, it postpones the renewal expense.
But I’ve never really understood the expense management side of this. You effectively get 30-40 days of “free registration” but only one time. During this time, your domains will point to registrar default servers so your for-sale landers will not appear. If you really need this extra grace period, you should probably re-evaluate your finances.
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