3 well-known missed domain renewals

This is the top list you do NOT want to end up on.

We have met domain managers that tell us they can stay awake at night worrying about missing the renewal of their important domain names. And surely it would be a nightmare, with devastating consequences like lost money, lost productivity, and negative impact on the brand.

When a domain name is not renewed and expires, it becomes available on the open market and thus freely available for anyone to register. A quite common situation is that this happened by mistake and its previous owners have to pay large sums to get the domain name back. Having previously owned the domain in question does not mean that you have the right to get it back once it has been released.

Below is a list of three well-known cases where companies failed to renew an important domain name.


  1. Marketo:

In 2017, The Register reported that the large company failed to renew its .com-domain. Marketo, which offers marketing software, became aware of the problem as customers could not reach their accounts because the website, etc. was down. Fortunately, one of their customers was a domain specialist who registered the domain name and gave it back to Marketo for the registration fee only. It was a few sweaty hours before everything was up and running as usual again. According to sources, Marketo donated a considerable sum to a charity chosen by the domain specialist, as a thank you.

Read more about the case here!


  1. Bambora:

Bambora is a Swedish example. In 2015, ehandel.se reported that Bambora failed to renew a domain name, which caused downtime for their payment service Samport for more than 12 hours.

Read more about the case here!


  1. Microsoft:

In 2003, Microsoft was put in a tough spot when they failed to renew the domain hotmail.co.uk. As a result, their popular email service was down. Thanks to a benefactor, they got their name back – but it took a while.

Read more here!


AAF.com – a domain name that expires but will be sold for “mid-five to six figures”

This is not a missed renewal, but probably monetary reasons that are behind it. On January 7th this year, domaininvesting.com reported that the domain aaf.com is out for pending delete. When the domain is released, a lot of people are eager to get the domain. This will probably be done with a so-called drop-catch, and then it will be resold at auction. Three letter .com domains are highly desired and the total for this domain is likely to land on a considerable amount. Maybe the sum would not have been enough to save The Alliance of American Football (AAF) from bankruptcy, but it would probably still have been a welcome addition to the bankruptcy estate…

Read more here!

These are just a few examples of companies that have had the misfortune to miss domain renewals. It happens regularly to both large and small companies, but most cases remain unknown.

Do you want to make sure you secure your domain renewals? Read more about our Domain Management service!