I have a client that design websites for other people. He included in his price the hosting and then pays me for it. However the person decided to change designer without notifying him or me. So my question is: Who does the domain name legally belong too? Is it the designer who paid me for it or the person that asked for the domain and design ? Techically I think the domain belongs to the person who paid for it. Am I right ?If there is no written aggreement between the designer and the person in question, what should I do ?
Essentially, the person who pays YOU is the person that you're responsible to. If the designer did not transfer the domain to the customer or provide them access to it, that's their responsibility.
As a web host, your responsibility is to the person who is paying for the hosting/domain (which is your designer friend). It sucks for the client, but that's how it is. There's nothing to say that the client and designer didn't have a falling out and the client actually owes money to the designer. Bypassing the designer and "giving" the domain to the customer could cause issues if the designer was holding the domain for payment.
Talk to your designer friend, find out where things stand with it and then from there you can make decisions.
At the end of the day the chain of command is that the client goes to the designer and the designer goes to you. The client can not bypass the designer and go directly to you (unless you have that sort of agreement).
We deal with resellers all the time here who disappear or don't answer to their customers. Unfortunately the files etc are belonged to the reseller and while we want to help the end user (the resellers client) we are unable to. The reseller is the one who has the contract with us and we are only able to communicate with that person.
So I decided to contact the domain name user directly. I explained the situation and gave them a deadline (their account expire on february 4th) and what I can offer them. Now the ball is in their court and can now be at ease with this situation.
Again thank you, it's thanks to this great forum that I am able to brain storm with others and come up with ideas and solutions.