Trouble with CoCCA Registry

I’ve been rather despondent all week. People who see me daily could readily identify this fact. Unfortunately, the exact reason was difficult to adequately explain. The problems that nerds deal with…

When A Domain Expires
As a few people noticed, the domain and all of it’s subdomains didn’t work this last week. The problem started on Monday, October 1. Whose fault? Well, fundamentally, I neglected to renew the domain name in time. However, I prefer to place the blame on the .cx domain registrar, CoCCA Registry. You see, they have never developed the technology to email a domain holder with a notice that their domain is about to expire or has already expired.

This domain is the only one I have ever held so I don’t have a lot of experience in this matter. I wondered if I was crazy for thinking it would be normal for a registrar to send an email or 2 with status updates about your domain. I get the impression from speaking with others that this is indeed normal. I have 3 different email addresses listed under my account at the registrar– 2 at and a backup gmail account. I checked spam folders after this incident. Then I remembered that I have never received any email notifications from them (although password reset emails show up, so that part thankfully works). Also, their support emails are black holes.

So, I guess the moral is: be wary of dealing with CoCCA Registry. However, they seem to be the only way to register domains under a wide variety of uncommon country codes.

By Friday, the domain appeared to have been reinstated, even through the status was officially listed as “renewal-pending” according to the web-based management console. Eventually, as cached DNS results started to time out throughout the day, I started seeing subdomains come back. I excitedly used the ‘dig’ command to count down the seconds until was accessible on the network I was on (the number after the domain name is the time-to-live or ‘TTL’ value):

$ dig +nocmd +noall +answer 3      IN      A
$ dig +nocmd +noall +answer 2      IN      A
$ dig +nocmd +noall +answer 1      IN      A
$ dig +nocmd +noall +answer 12962  IN      A

Finally, today (Saturday), I received a receipt confirming that the domain has been renewed.

8 Years Old
Incidentally, happy eighth birthday to It was September, 2004 when I decided to branch out from a simple ISP-based web presence.

People often ask why I went with the .cx TLD. When I decided I wanted a proper domain name 8 years ago, I found that multimedia.X was already taken for just about every TLD value of X. .cx was a notable exception and was distinctive enough (speaking of .X, though, I see that is still up for grabs as of this writing; I imagine that would come with a whole other set of problems).

It’s funny that tech nerds often rail against outsourcing too much — email, storage, computing power, web hosting — all to some type of cloud provider under the premise that it could easily be taken away. But this episode teaches me that even having your own domain name is no guarantee of a solid online presence.

Meanwhile, I have taken proactive steps to avert this same situation from arising again:

Barring a lack of automated emails from the registrar, I hope a Google Calendar reminder set up a month ahead of expiration will do the trick.

7 thoughts on “Trouble with CoCCA Registry

  1. Kostya

    Just a notice — there’s specially for ;) and I’m sure some people can provide proper samples in existing codecs (I think I even stumbled upon one or two of them in our samples collection).

    Also it’s a bit pity that there was no alternative way to access in the mean time but who could foresee that indeed.

  2. Multimedia Mike Post author

    Wow, I haven’t visited in forever. Nice redesign.

    Take comfort in knowing that all the content and databases are still automatically backed up. Even if the domain went away permanently somehow, the information could still live on elsewhere.

    The biggest ramification (for me) would have been the matter of my email address.

  3. Doghouse

    I am also having problems with CoCCA Registry. I tried to renew my domain name with them today (luckily with several months before expiry), and they took the money twice, with no confirmation or acknowledgement at all. Their email helpdesk do not seem to return any replies, and their phone number goes straight through to a voicemail with a French message!
    How did you resolve your problems, and how did you manage to contact them in the end?

  4. Multimedia Mike Post author

    @Doghouse: It took a few days before I got a receipt for my domain. Hopefully, the same delay is in effect for you.

  5. Doghouse

    Thanks, Multimedia Mike: In the end, I did mange to get through on the phone. The switchboard number was forwarded to a French mobile, as the person in charge was on holiday in Paris. I did have a brief conversation though. Hope I didn’t wake him up as I was expecting it to be 11:00am in New Zealand! Hopefully he can fix it soon. Will post when I have some extra news!

  6. Oliver

    Same here. Domain expired and its impossible to renew it through their webpage. Nobody answers emails at all and I havent been able to contact someone by phone.


  7. Multimedia Mike Post author

    @Oliver: I feel your pain. More amazing to me, though, is that this blog post must be highly ranked in Google searches when looking for resolutions to this problem.

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