GoDaddy reviews : Good idea to purchase GoDaddy?? Cancelled Transaction  Being Threatened With Legal Action

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I was contacted by an interested party about a domain name I have parked. We agreed upon a price, and he began the escrow process. I changed my mind about the transfer, and cancelled the transaction.

Now he is emailing me, telling me we had a contract via email (we agreed to a price for the domain name). I told him I changed my mind, and cancelled the transaction. He is telling me this constitutes a "breach of contract".

He then proceeded to explain if I do not transfer him the name for the price stated earlier, he will "initiate legal proceedings, including notifying your registrar that the domain is now part of legal proceedings and provide for a preliminary injunction on transferring the domain as it is pending legal action".

I responded, told him I cancelled the escrow transaction and that was the end of it. He responded by telling me he already had a lawyer working on getting the domain name locked out of my possession, and the only way to prevent a lawsuit against me is to transfer the domain name and accept the payment.

I decided to hold on to the domain name to my own personal development. Is it possible this guy has any kind of case against me? I cannot imagine godaddy taking away my domain name, and giving it to someone else simply because "he said we agreed". What should I do here?..

Comments (15)

An agreement is an agreement. I don't blame him for starting legal proceedings against you. It's his right. You just can't go round saying you changed your mind, when you've already agreed to the sale. Well you can, but this guy seems determined to make things difficult for you if you do. So it's your choice...

Comment #1

I agree. Why would you go through all the details of agreeing a price and to sell but to then pull out at the payment stage? However, even though moraly you are wrong, it depends on the value of the domain that you are selling. I cannot imagine if for example the sale was say 500 is the guy really going to go to all the expense of a legal claim for such a small value item?.

Your call, but I would suggest that you consult a lawyer for advice...

Comment #2

Godaddy will registrar-lock the domain upon receiving evidence a legal procedure has been started. It means no modification to the domain name can be made anymore. You risk a court ruling mandating the transfer of the domain name and paying the associated legal costs. It may very well outweigh the purchase price of the domain name. In my opinion you will have to respect the agreement.



Comment #3

It sounds like both of you have initiated a legal binding contract, if so, you are obliged by law to carry out this transaction as per agreed.

If material evidence exists then you probably don't have a leg to stand.

Unless you have a very good reason for pulling out I would suggest you reconsider negotiations with the buyer who by all accounts sounds quite serious.

Can I ask why you changed your mind ?

Comment #4

Email contracts mean very little and I am sure, if he actually has a lawyer, that they told him that. Unless you have something in writing you are probably safe.

I wouldn't worry too much, the name hasn't changed hands and you haven't taken a payment. Its more "uncool" than it is "illegal".


ERR. maybe it is binding!

Comment #5

Really? Remind me not to do any work and expect to get paid by someone who has contacted me by email...

Comment #6

These things depend on where you are from. Most of the comments posted here refer to US law but the OP might be from a country where only written agreements are considered legal. There are also countries outside the US who have their own law! In this case you would need to transfer the domain outside Godaddy, to a registrar in your country.

In many Eastern countries it is acceptable and legal to back off from agreements unless it was in written and signed. There is a cultural and legal difference on this subject depending where you are from. What I'm trying to say is just because you are from a country where it is morally and legally wrong to back off from an agreement, don't assume it is the same all over the world. It is not.

A legal case in the US is not enforceable in another country. The OP should act according the law where he lives. But if the OP is from the US then I assume he should honour the agreement...

Comment #7

Short answer.

He can sue you and based on your description he has a chance of winning...

Comment #8

Complete the transaction, he is 100% right to threaten to sue...

Comment #9

Did you cancel the escrow transaction at the very beginning? Or did you accept the escrow, and then sometime afterwards cancel it?.

A detail that could help in litigation, since many buyers / sellers of domain names using escrow don't consider email alone constituting a sales agreement, but rather the escrow contract does so... Not saying that's legally correct, but it may be sufficient to make the case that there was not a "meeting of the minds" - you hadn't yet committed to selling the domain, since you hadn't yet accepted to the buyer's escrow; the buyer opened the escrow, you didn't.

What was the sales amount? ... under $5,000 or far more? For a few thousand or especially hundreds, litigation likely isn't worth the hassles for an "investor", though it could be worthwhile if it's an end-user who has their mind set on using the domain for their business or whatever.

IMHO, bottom line, this is not a slamdunk case for the buyer. However, with that said, a sales agreement in email can be potentially binding - so this could get dicey depending on the location of the buyer and how determined they are to get the domain.


Comment #10

The location of the buyer is unimportant. The buyer would need to file a claim in the country where the seller lives to make it enforceable. Otherwise the seller can just ignore it.

There was a case filed in the US against Spamhaus, a UK organization. Spamhaus simply ignored it because they couldn't care less about a legal case in another country. However, if the domain registrar is in the US, obviously a US registrar is obliged to comply with a US court ruling. So that detail needs special attention.

Therefore the OP should transfer out from godaddy if the buyer is located in the US and he is not. The buyer doesn't have a legal case unless he files it in the country where the seller is located. Post added at 04:48 AM Previous post was at 04:39 AM There is an interesting story here about, e360 Insight LLC, a US company trying to enforce a US court ruling against Spamhaus.

Scroll down to middle: The Spamhaus Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

They even tried getting icann involved but it didn't work...

Comment #11

That is actually not a correct interpretation of the law (at least in US/Canada), since email/electronic contracts are just as enforceable and legally valid as any other written agreement. In Ontario, we have a specific section of the law that deals solely with e-commerce and other forms of electronic contracts. To the OP:.

The contract was formed as soon as you accepted his offer price and he proceeded to make payment. By backing out after the contract was formed, you essentially breached the contract. However, as others noted, the buyer may not be willing to spend a lot on legal costs if the sale was for a nominal amount. On the other hand, he does appear have a valid legal claim based on the details you provided.

With respect to the legal jurisdiction of the contract, there are specific rules one has to follow. If I remember correctly, the general rule is that the law governs where the contract is actually formed...

Comment #12

Buyer's remorse Buyer's remorse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia..

Comment #13


Yeah, but GoDaddy is located in the U.S., so, O.P., you're basically screwed.

Wouldn't want to do business with you. Your word is meaningless, bankrolls.


Comment #14

Just sell it to him,.

Get it over with and you don't have to worry about been prosecuted...

Comment #15

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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