It was been a year of irregular service for Venezuela’s .ve, owing to factors  both within and ouside of the registry’s control.  Yesterday marked an important milestone on the path back to normalcy, as a more robust web interface went live.

There platform is still buggy and we don’t want to get our hopes up, but after spending an hour or so poking around, an outline of a functional domain management system begins to emerge.  Specifically, it appears that the three main “problem areas” have been addressed:

Contacts: 

The pre-2019 .ve Whois listed the usual four contacts:  registrant, Admin, Tech and Billing.  Each contact corresponded to a registry account, so it was possible to logon as any of these roles.  Registrant and Billing were the important ones, as only registrant had full authority to modify the domain and only Billing could pay for registrations and renewals.

The Whois that debuted in 2019 created an inconsistency between the Whois display and the domain registration form. When ordering a new domain, the user still needed to input four contacts. However, the Whois showed only registrant and Admin. Furthermore, NIC VE began rejecting payments made through the account of the Billing Contact, leading to doubts as to what privileges still existed for that role.

The new platform clears this up: The only contacts that survive are Registrant and Admin, both of which have full control over the domain. The difference is that the registrant can request a change of Admin Contact, whereas the Admin Contact cannot relinquish this role in favor of another party.

NOTE:  In the new interface, Contacts still must correspond to an existing registry account and it remains impossible to use the same e-mail address for different accounts.

Payments:

The last time NIC VE introduced a new interface was in 2017.  This update brought with it two significant changes to payment policy:  It was no longer possible to pay for multiple years and the option to pay with credit card was removed.

The latest incarnation restores the option to pay with credit card.  Given the volatility of Venezuela’s currency, this may be especially relevant to Toweb customers.  When credit card payment was possible prior to the 2017 update, we were occasionally able to register domains for less than 1 USD.  If this situation repeats itself, we’d be keen to offer attractive promotions for this TLD.

While not announced, it didn’t take long after the 2017 overhaul for Toweb to discover that the registry wasn’t allowing multi-year registrations.  The first such payment we attempted was rejected with a comment from NIC VE about only being able to pay for “one year at a time.”  Still, a slight confusion remained, as it was not clear if it would be possible to renew domains that weren’t approaching expiry.

NIC VE has removed this doubt as well, as their interface automatically separates domains that are eligible for payment.

Registrar Transfers:

The emergence of the Admin Contact as a powerful role changes the procedure for transfers between registrars.  When it was understood that the registrant was the only contact with full administrative capabilities, registrars needed to use owner contacts that contained the registant’s data, except with a unique e-mail address controlled by the registrar.  For example:

Registrant Organization: Client Company, Inc.
Registrant Email: clientcompany@losingregistar.com

…so to switch to a new administrator, one had to change the registrant to:

New Registrant Organization: Client Company, Inc.
New Registrant Email: clientcompany@gainingregistrar.com

It was an awkward system that led to registrars creating tens or hundreds of accounts for each unique registrant.  Now that it is known that the Admin Contact has complete authority, the registrant can stay inchanged during a registrar transfer.  To move a domain, the registrant will simply set the new registrar as Admin via the web interface.

We appreciate the patience our clients have shown during this tumultous year for .ve and hope to reward your understanding with lower prices and shorter processing times in the years to come.

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