An expired domain name, purchased through WordPress.com, continued to work normally *after* expiration.
I have never seen this before. Domain have never continued to work during the 30-day grace period when you could still renew.
The first indication we got (other than the requisite, albeit overlooked, notification emails) was when a cyber-squatter (connected to and/or associated with GoDaddy) took over the domain name.
GoDaddy’s exploitative “Domain Broker” service ($99.99) says we should offer $500 to $1,500 to buy back our domain. He is acting in the best interest of the cyber-squatter (perhaps self-interest). I say that $200 we’ve offered is feeding the pirates.
I think that we’ll quickly drop our offer from $200 to $100, and then to basically nothing…
UPDATE: The aforementioned domain broker, of whom I assumed the worst, ended up being honest, letting us know that we could still technically owned the domain name and could still renew it, although not via the regular automated system. After a bit of time with customer service, we finally got through the manual process and now have everything working as it should. Still a major hassle. Not sure if our insistence or Rev Teague‘s kindness prevailed, yet the $99 “broker fee” was refunded and the “late renewal fee” was waived.
So, I now feel bad about how perceived this situation. I still cringe that domain names don’t get cut off until after the regular renewal system has been shut out. Going through these people to renew the domain name doesn’t seem at all necessary… how do they make money with such a system? Perhaps not everyone in our situation comes out so well??