Please make any special advisories regarding domain renewal more obvious in the notices you send out. If a domain must be renewed BEFORE the actual expiration date, this should appear above the expiration reminder. Better yet, set the expiration to match what the registry requires (in this case, 10 days prior to the Dreamhost expiration date).
I have a domain I registered elsewhere and transferred to Dreamhost. It’s a .es TLD, and it is due to expire on 1/18/2015. Imagine my surprise when I log in to renew it on January 12, six days BEFORE the expiration date, and find it in Redeem status.
It’s a blog that I have not really kept up, so I’m not about to spend $100 to keep it. I did not have it set to auto-renew because I wanted to evaluate whether to keep it, given the lack of use. I was mystified as to why it was placed in redemption status prior to the actual expiration date.
Then I took a second look at one of the expiration notification emails I got, informing me that the expiration date was coming up. There, in ordinary text, below the text advising me to renew, was the crucial information: “The es registry requires that domains be renewed 10 days before their expiration. For your domain, this means that you need to renew it BEFORE 2015-01-08. Once that date has passed, you will no longer be able to renew your domain!”
Granted, I should have read the whole thing last week. Mea culpa. That said, I would appreciate it if Dreamhost put that kind of information at the TOP of the notice, in bold and all caps. It’s far too easy to miss when it’s below the rest of the notice.