Lost atterer.net to a Domain Grabber - Thank You 1blu!

Welcome to atterer.org! After exactly 10 years, I have lost control over my domain atterer.net. Update your links and mail addresses to use .org instead of .net - sorry for the inconvenience! Here is a (boring) explanation of what happened.

  • May 2010: Decided to move my domain from CNM/Variomedia to 1blu VPS (virtual private server).
  • 9 May 2010: Sent an email to CNM, asked them to change the whois mail address from a non-working one to richard [at] 2010 [dot] atterer [dot] net. Mistake, I should have chosen an address that is not on atterer.net.
  • 27 May 2010: Bought 1blu's vServer package, initiated the domain transfer. Got the ICANN "transfer request" mail.
  • 27 May 2010: Got the authcode by CNM. Unfortunately, mixed things up and entered the trigger ID from the transfer request mail as the authcode in 1blu's web UI.
  • 28 May 2010: Opened request ticket with 1blu about the wrong authcode and supplied the correct one. Answer: "The domain transfer will be started with the new authcode".
  • 3 June 2010: CNM tells me that atterer.net will be deleted on July 5th unless it is transferred elsewhere by June 21st.
  • I assume 1blu will take care of things. Nothing happens for weeks, I'm happy with my new website and busy with the rest of my life.
  • 4 July 2010: CNM deletes the atterer.net nameserver entries, my site and email is offline. I hastily open another support ticket with 1blu to restart the transfer, but it is a Sunday.
  • 5 July 2010: atterer.net enters redemptionPeriod state. 1blu tells me on the phone that they have sent another email with a transfer request to richard [at] 2010 [dot] atterer [dot] net on July 4th. I did not get it, the NS entries were gone by that time. CNM tells me on the phone that they can no longer change anything about the whois data, such as the listed email address. The redemption period is 30 days during which I could reclaim my domain if I were able to prove that I am the owner, which I cannot because the email address in the whois data does not work. (For .de, there is an alternative route via paper mail - not so for .net.)
  • 4 August 2010: atterer.net now enters pendingDelete state, another 5 days. I have set up a mechanism on my new shiny virtual server to check the domain's whois status every minute, and text me on my mobile phone once it changes.
  • 8 August 2010: I miscalculate the deadline, and wait all day and half of the night. Nothing happens.
  • 9 August 2010, 20.10: I receive the SMS, but fail to notice immediately because I'm busy inline skating. (My logs show that the domain was actually still pendingDelete at that point, the whois server just sent an empty response for some reason.)
  • 9 August 2010, 20.50: My domain is pendingDelete.
  • 9 August 2010, 20.51: My domain has been registered by some *$%§& domain grabber in under one minute after becoming free. My own scripts never actually saw it in unregistered state.
  • 9 August 2010, 21.30(?): I see the text message on my phone, try to use its data connection which fails, skate home sweating, try to re-register my domain.

So who is to blame? While I have made the mistake of sending the wrong auth code at first, 1blu performs a lot of transfers and should surely be able to handle this slightly non-standard case. Using a different email address in the whois data would have saved me, although everything should also have worked with the one I chose. Why did 1blu wait so long with the transfer? Why did I not contact them again in June?