Strato (Cronon AG), which is one of the larger German registrars, has pulled *.uk domain names from its offerings. The company made the announcement via a blog post (in German) where they outlined the reasons for their decision.
The issue? Nominet’s registrant data validation processes.
I reached out to the guys at Cronon, who handle domain regisrations for Strato, to get some details and their CEO, Christian Müller provided the following statement:
Nominet’s registrar interface has never exactly been close to the EPP standards we’re used to, and the processes too often required manual intervention. We were also unhappy with the new registrar agreement. But it’s the verification process that was the last straw.
We’ve been complaining to Nominet for several months now about the broken verification that’s been bugging our registrants, but nothing has been done.
At Cronon, when we become aware of a system of ours that’s buggy, we either fix it, turn it off, or both.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Nominet, at least when the complaints come from registrars.
So we needed to do something to protect our registrants, and we also wanted to send a message to registries and our registrar colleagues: that registrars need not accept every policy and every implementation a registry comes up with.
Whether Strato’s move will be followed by other registrars or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Nominet’s incoming CEO is going to have some “interesting” issues to deal with during his first few months in office.