Earlier this year GoDaddy won the rights to distribute domains under the extension .me, which belongs to the country of Montenegro. After a number of private distribution periods for corporations, the highly desirable extension finally went on sale this morning for $20 dollars a year (with a minimum 2 year purchase - nice). And now, things are rapidly descending into chaos.
Many users have reported getting confirmations (and credit card charges) for their domains, only to receive the following cancellation notice about an hour later:
Dear Jason Kincaid,
The following domain name has failed to be registered:
Error: WATCH.ME: cannot register - already registered
We will evaluate this error and retry the registration
If we are unable to successfully register the domain
name, your account will be credited accordingly. Please
allow one business day for the refund to be processed.
Understandably, a lot of people are outraged. And, disappointment and shattered dreams aside, there's the issue of who actually will wind up owning each domain. A Twitter search for "hug.me" shows that at least a half dozen people hold confirmation letters (myself included).
GoDaddy says that the problems are a result of a "SuperBowl -like response to the open registration" that exceeded everyone's expectations and wound up crushing their servers. Apparently they didn't realize that after months of pent up demand and publicity for an extremely desirable domain, they'd be seeing an onslaught of prospective buyers.
The company says that disgruntled users can expect a refund in the next 24-48 hours, and that the servers should be stable now. No word on when we'll know if we actually own our newly-purchased domains.
You can try your luck elsewhere on this list of alternative domain registrars for the .me extension.