Freenom as a Registrar

There is an ongoing debate about who is to blame when Freenom domains do not work on Cloudflare. My experience to date (outlined below) suggests that the problem almost certainly lies with Freenom.

I spent months trying to troubleshoot a domain name on Cloudflare. Freenom is the registrar. I had no problems on Cloudflare with any of my other domains which were purchased through Google domains, GoDaddy, etc. Just Freenom.

I decided to transfer my domain away from Freenom. First, I went to EURID, which manages domains ending in .eu. I noticed in the WHOIS section that Freenom listed another company as the registrant. I am the registrant. I asked Freenom to remove the other company and put my information. Freenom replaced company A with company B. Company B has the exact same name as company A, only it ends in the word “Proxy”. Freenom appear desperate not to list me as the Registrant.

EURID’s legal team told me to stop giving Freenom permission to hide my details. I told EURID that I never gave Freenom such permission and if Freenom claimed I had given them permission, Freenom were lying. In fact, I had contacted Freenom repeatedly to not list another company as the registrant of my domain.

Here is what EURID wrote to Freenom

Dear Mr. Trik,

We are referring to the domain name “XXX.eu” and the issues that the
registrant is having to regain control of the domain name.

We would like to remind you the following obligations resulting from the .eu
accreditation of Open TLD:

  • As an Accredited Registrar, you will provide Registration Services and
    proper customer support to Registrants in at least one of the official
    languages of the European Union (section 2.4 of the .eu Registrar
    agreement)

  • You will assist and provide your full cooperation to both the Registrant
    and us in relation to the Registration Services (section 4.1 para 7 of the
    .eu Registrar agreement).

Moreover, we would like to draw to your attention that as the authoritative
registry, we determine the purpose and means of processing .eu domain holders’
personal data; in this capacity we act as data controller of any personal data
of the .eu registrants. This means that in the context of .eu domain name
registration services, Open TLD collects registration data, in its capacity as
data processor to comply with its contractual obligation to us. Therefore,
please comply with the request of XXX who is asking for an explicit
update of their registration data. This requirement arises from the following
provision of the .eu Registrar agreement:

  • You will ensure that the Domain Name Registration term, as agreed with the
    Registrant, corresponds at all times to the authoritative Registration term
    shown in the registration database. You will ensure that the registration
    data linked to a Domain Name submitted to us and shown in the web-based
    WHOIS is at all times the data of the Registrant, and not your data. The
    email address submitted in the Registrant’s contact information will be
    that of the Registrant only and not yours, unless you can demonstrate that
    the Registrant expressly requested otherwise (section 4.1 para 4-5 of the
    .eu Registrar agreement)

As a conclusion, we urge you to provide a concrete solution to XXX
in order to enable her to update their registration data and transfer their domain
name to the registrar of their choice.

Thank you for your collaboration.

There were recently issues with adding domains from the Freenom registry to Cloudflare, but this was limited to their registry service and should be fixed by now.

In your case you have an issue with their registrar service, which is unrelated here and I am afraid any transfer related issues is something you need to clarify with your registrar and the registry. Neither Cloudflare nor the community can assist here.

Once your domain can be properly configured you’ll be able to add it to Cloudflare.

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The Freenom issue went beyond simply adding domains. If you look at the issues under Freenom, you will see that the issues varied.

My point is that a company that does not follow procedures it signed up to, even when asked / reminded by EURID, is probably responsible for other issues.

In my case, I had an issue with serving my site. The issue with how they report the registrant data is symptomatic of a wider issue.

In the context of Cloudflare it was only related to adding new domains.

That might be, but as I already mentioned I am afraid that’s beyond the scope of the topic here. You really best discuss this with the registry.

To say that in the context of Cloudflare the only issue is to add a domain is 100% false. That was not my issue. Not maybe. Not might. My issue was around something else.

Moreover, registry data has to be correct for sites to serve. The issues are not as unrelated as you suggest.

As I wrote, this is not Cloudflare related and hence off-topic for the forum here. You need to discuss this with the registry or a legal consultant.

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