What's the name of the registrar?. Also, I think it's against ICANN's rules to charge such a high amount for a transfer, you may want to check with ICANN. Also, if you're trying to transfer the domain within a 60 day limit, that might be the reason for the high fee...
The registrar is NOT permitted to change anything for gTLD domain transfer outs. If it's been registered at least 60 days at the current registrar and was paid for initially, then you have the right to transfer out at NO charge from the losing registrar to the registrar of your choice.
File an ICANN complaint and contact the registrar (including via phone) and remind them, as per ICANN rules, they must provide you the authcode / unlock promptly at NO cost to you.
If still no good, post more details, including name of registrar, persons you have corresponded with, etc on the forums for more assistance.
On a related note, GoDaddy plays games with their 60 day no transfer policy for registrant changes - that's a situation, where a little reminder email to them regarding ICANN transfer policy works wonders.
They are entitled to charge a fee. Here is the information that you are looking for: My registrar is charging me a fee to transfer to a new registrar. Is this allowed?.
Yes. Registrars are allowed to set their own prices for this service.
Reference: ICANN | FAQ for Domain-Name Holders..
That FAQ is outdated. The transfer policy was revised in late 2008. ICANN | Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars.
When the registrant requests transfer out, assuming the domain was already paid for, the losing registrar (even if the registrant owes money for other services, such as other domains, webhosting, etc) must allow transfer out at NO cost.
In short, registrars are NOT permitted to hold gTLD domains hostage.
Thanks so much guys.
Ive been hunting through icann policy and dispute resolution all morning too, it just seemed very "suspect" to me.
FYI: the registrar: DIRECTI INTERNET SOLUTIONS PVT.
I will contact them again today. Then lodge a formal complaint to icann to get the ball rolling.
P.s it's been in continious registration for years. and well outside the 60day transfer time.
DirectI did not. However, one of their resellers may have closed it's website...