DNForum is my favorite domain forum to frequent.? Never had any problems there for the 8 months I’ve been there (well I actually had one but it was a miscommunication between another member and I that we worked out amiably).? But I’m puzzled by an issue I had (which began on DNForum, then occured on a GreatDomains auction, and moved to email) and DNForum’s Adam lack of action.? If you like the long read here are the two threads you should check out (makes good bathroom reading material if you have an iPad or laptop to bring with you).? I mentioned the first thread yesterday and the second thread is a followup that started today.
I asked Adam to close the first thread after his decision because when I get fired up about something I don’t let it drop until it gets resolved and I didn’t want to keep debating in the thread.? But a respected domainer at DNForum “TheLegendaryJP” started the new thread titled “Adam, I Respectfully Disagree”.? I made a post or two in there until Adam asked me not to post any more in there because he was not going debate me… so I respected that and came here onto my own server to post my final writeup.
If you don’t like the long reads the nutshell of it is that I was contacted by the member King dot net on DNForum about a domain I had listed for sale.? He offered me $2k for it.? I explained that the domain was already submitted to the GreatDomains auction and that the reserve coincidentally was $2k and he could bid there.? The domain sold at that auction for $3.1K.? I waited four weeks for payment.? After the second week, King dot net emailed me and said if the winning bidder did not pay he would like to offer $2k for the domain.? So after the 4th week of no payment I contacted Sedo, was informed they contacted the bidder 5 or 6 times, there was no reply and no payment so I asked them to cancel the auction.
For those who are not familiar with this (I was not until now), after Sedo cancels a winning bid due to non-payment they provide you with the name of the person who bid on your domain in case you wish to pursue legal action against that person since their winning bid is a legally binding contract.? The winning bidder’s name was Emil.? When King dot net emailed me he signed it as Emil.? Dohhh!? (I can hear Homer Simpson in my head)? I did a quick Whois lookup on King.net and yes, I find the same name/address/etc…? as was provided to me by Sedo of the winning bidder.? So my winning bid came from King dot net.? The same guy who emailed me asking me to sell it to him for $2k if the “winning bidder” didn’t pay for it.
I think we can all agree this is not just a deal gone bad.? This was shill bidding which cost me a sale.? This was emailing me to try to get the domain for a significant discount to your winning bid which you knew you weren’t paying.? I believe we can call this fraud.? This was a scummy/shady/disgusting thing to do, and this is not a person I want to have as a fellow member on DNForum. There were other bidders who wanted the domain and King dot net screwed them over too. He bid more then everyone, knowing he would not pay, but keeping the domain in my hands so he could attempt to buy it for $2k again. Gross.
So I started my thread and I PM’d King dot net and told him he should be ashamed.? He replied, admitted he did it and apologized.? Normally I’m a forgive and forget type of guy, but what he did was a little more then just a deal gone bad.? So I asked Adam at DNForum to ban King dot net.? It wasn’t asking out of revenge or spite, I was asking because King dot net’s account at DNForum started in 2002.? He has over 100 iTraders.? To the domaining community he looks like a stand up guy to do business with, and after this incident I believe the community is a better, safer, more trustworthy place without him.
Much to my surprise Adam declined.? His point was that since the sale did not occur on DNForum, it was not DNForum’s place to take any action against King dot net.? Really?? Don’t you want to protect your members from scammers and provide the most secure community possible?? Would you let Halvarez start peddling domains on DNForum just because his sins didn’t happen on your servers?? This sounds like a cop out to me.? Adam went on to say that:
“he apologized to me and the other member and admitted 100% he was at fault, he manned up.”
Adam, he told the truth, he didn’t man up.? Manning up is not about apologizing after you got caught red handed committing fraud.? Manning up would have been to make good on his bid and then ask you to cancel his DNForum account so he could attempt to start clean.? He doesn’t deserve an account that makes him look like a stand up guy and frankly I’m appalled that you are allowing him to keep it.
Adam shocked me against by posting a follow up comment saying:
“If we banned every member that had any issue through all the domaining sites we would have very few members.”
So member count is more important then integrity?? You would rather have DNForum known as a place with XXXXX members, some of which are scammers and cheaters, rather then a place with XXXX members and is known as a place of ethics and integrity?? The bottom line ($) is more important then doing the right thing?
Now I’m a fan of DNForum and I think Adam is a respected guy in the domaining world, but I think as a leader in domaining (regardless of whether or not he wants to be, Adam is since he operates the best domaining forum out there) I think you do have a duty to the community to maintain its integrity regardless if an offense occurred on your site or another site.? I don’t think it is reasonable to ask you to chase down people, or patrol other forums seeing who you can nab, but when a clear cut issue arises I do expect you to do the right thing.? Rule #32 of the DNForum says:
“32. Any member found liable for click fraud or any other form of fraudulent or deceiving activity will immediately be terminated from DNForum.”
This was fraud, it’s just that simple.? The other member did not deny it.? I don’t care if it happened in Middle Earth Adam, you are allowing a fraudster to maintain their pristine DNForum account.
Some people are due second chances, but I’m sure you caught “linkdomain”‘ ‘s post that said:
“i’m not suprised the “king” would do this. a transaction of ours went bad here i would never deal with him again. i should have left negative feedback so other might have been protected.? i see, unfortunately i was correct in my toughts about this domainer. i think he should be banned.”
So this isn’t a first time offender, this is a repeat offender.? History repeats itself…?
And I think almost every (if not every) DNForum member that commented in the second thread said a ban should be given.? DNForum’s most valuable asset is not it’s template, or it’s threads, or a single person…? all that stuff can be duplicated.? The most important asset is the members and when the members speak they should be taken seriously because without them there is no forum.
I enjoy DNForum and I still think Adam is a good guy (even though I can’t understand his decision for the life of me), but if member count is so important you will still be down one, either King dot net goes or I will go.? Do you want to keep an honest domainer and lose the scammer, or keep the scammer and lose the honest domainer?? Either way the decrease of one of us won’t make any meaningful impact, but the message you send to the community will be heard loud and clear.