Domain name ownership

This past December, experiencing internet speed/connectivity issues for almost a year, I switched internet provider.
After cancelling my account, including web hosting, I proceeded to register my domain name with another registrar, only to find out it was still registered to somebody from the ISP and as such was not available to me.
I’ve been using and paying for it since 2008 and was under the “uneducated” belief that said domain name had been registered by the ISP but with myself as registrant.
Not so, as I discovered on the CIRA| WHOIS website. The registrant was still this ISP employee/rep with the ISP’s email address and business phone # as contact and valid until 2021. From what I could see it had been renewed after I cancelled my account.
I sent them an email regarding the situation but never received a reply.
My first phone call attempt just degenerated in a never ending merry-go-round, switching from one clueless agent to another.
My second call, a few days later, lasted about 3hrs. of listening to some orchestra until I finally spoke to somebody who basically informed that:

  • the individual named as registrant no longer worked in that division and seemingly nobody could even confirm he was still an employee.
  • It was standard policy (as explained on the 11 pages of legal jargon) for the ISP to have one of their employees as registrant and basically owner of the domain name.

He did give me the option to recover my domain name, for the same monthly fee, as long as this “no name” individual remained as registrant or change to another domain name and register with another registrar.
Having used that domain over 12 years, I opted for the recovery option.
From what I read, this seems to be a very common issue. According to CIRA, I could file a complaint but I understand the process could become a legally extensive and expensive vortex which I’m not sure I want to undertake.
I guess the old “Buyer Beware” apllies in my case.

You have to be very careful with domain names. There are people who will register to be on a waiting list for your domain name the moment you domain expires - whether it is from an expired credit card no, of not checking off the Autorenew- and then you are stuck paying a ranson fee for it.

Also, NEVER order graphic design services or business cards/stationary online without having your domain registered FIRST. Eg. Vistaprint,, 99designs,, etc… A lot of them will automatically check if the domain you provided for the design is registered, and will have someone register it if you haven’t. So, you’ll have a new logo, new business name, new website, new business cards and - Oh, a $1500+ cost to buy the domain that was available a couple days ago from a new owner…but you failed to get…

My understanding is that you should be able to determine who the owner of a particular domain is by using a whois lookup service and entering your domain name. My understanding is the “registrant name” is considered to be the domain name owner.

Yes you are right. Presently my domain name, is registered to an ISP employee according to The “registrar” is
In contact with ISP it seems the “registrant” is either no longer an employee or has been transferred to another division. (although this person does have a LinkedIn account listing him as presently employed by ISP).
This morning I called about it and they informed me they have a downloadable form that has to be signed by the present registrant (owner) to transfer ownership to myself.
I can try to reach him on his LinkedIn page and take it from there … assuming he is co-operative …

You may want to contact CIRA as well and explain what has happened as this might be a violation of the .ca rules.
I’ve never been a fan of rebel and their practices (for example, charging you one month in advance of the bill due date as a convenience to you?), so this type of thing does not surprise me. Real registrars do not have domain names registered under employees, that would be a disaster, as you are experiencing.

I did try to contact CIRA about it … “please stay on the line. your call is important to us …” but I’ll try again.
And yes, from what I read, this could be a violation of .ca rules.
As for for registrars, I never interacted with any other than rebel recently. Would anybody have any references?
From what I understand in order to transfer ownership, the “transferee” has to have an account with a registrar in order to enable the transfer.

We use

They are both a Canadian Name Registrar and also has site hosting plans on Canadian Servers (located in BC).

We have 3 domain names registered with them, 2 sites hosted with them, and one (email service) where Namespro is only used as the domain registrar and use their nameservers (DNS Hosting), which is free.

We have had pretty good service from them.

Maybe try emailing them to start, if they provide one. (Canadian), namecheap, or namesilo is what I have been using. I have no problems changing or transferring domains to or from there.

Thanks for the reference. While researching CIRA re: domain names etc. I came across one that is presently ready to expire and would interest me.
I registered with and put a bid on it; fair system and easier than I thought.
As for the domain, I was finally able to connect with the registrant and he’ll get back to me shortly. :slightly_smiling_face:
As for CIRA, the only info they gave me was to contact, about the matter who in turn sent me a PDF form more suited if I was the present registrant.
My domain name knowledge sure increased tenfold in the last few days!

+1 for

Super reliable and helpful on several rather difficult issues for me. Some technical (transfer issues) and some more technical (DNS Zone issues)…

@taxwave The legal department of Rebel is more likely to respond, especially if you believe that they “misrepresented” accidentally or otherwise as the domain owner in contravention of your expressed wishes…but if the original guy comes through and signs off, that’s a lot easier!!

I have registered numerous domains for clients - I now ALWAYS give them their own account at so they are in charge of it (much like corporations and annual returns!! I don’t wanna be responsible.) .

Issue is resolved ! :slightly_smiling_face:
The whole process could’ve been greatly facilitated had I been given the right contact info for transfer by the ISP help/info desk.
Job done, in 1/2 hr.

Excellent!! Good to hear.