I lost a client a while back.
When we went to register her domain name (a .com.au) we needed the clients ABN (a business number). Because she didn’t have an ABN we weren’t able to progress in the purchasing process.
I rang the domain name registrar and mentioned the client didn’t have an ABN so how could we register her domain name. The support guy said “Just provide your own ABN – it won’t matter.”
So we did that to make it as easy as possible for everyone involved. The domain name was registered entirely in the client’s name – it just had our ABN.
Then I Was Away For A Few Days
About a week later I went away for a few days. It was at this time Anthony started getting emails for the client demanding to know why we’d registered her domain name in our own name.
Anthony had no idea why. When he rang me I had no idea why either – I remembered that we registered the domain name in her own name.
Anyhoo, we changed the ownership details 3 times but each time they simply revert back to showing us as owning the domain.
The client was, as you would be, rather angry at our perceived sneaking attempt to steal her domain name.
The client then lost complete trust with us and went elsewhere with her site design.
3 Days Later We Figured It Out
It was a few days – and quite a few hours – before we figured out why the domain name was continually showing as us as the owner.
When we provided our ABN number for the domain to make the process easier, it turns out it did matter.
You see, what happens is that the ABN number is cross-referenced to the business name and by default, that over-rides any and all information we manually input into the domain registrar.
As soon as we took out the ABN the domain showed the client as the owner.
It was one of those “D’oh!” moments.
It was a good lesson for us to show that you always need to do things by the book with aspects like domain name registration because in this cynical world it can be easy for the client to lose faith.
And when that happens you lose a good client. We all know business is hard enough without doing that.