IONOS holding domains hostage

I don’t know the full story but I am trying to help a client of mine. They had their sites and domains through IONOS and requested hosting cancellation. IONOS never cancelled and tries renewing which created an invoice. The client had already removed the CC form the account so it would not be charged again. Now the invoice has been sent to collections.

Because of this, the two domains which have not expired are listed as being in the account but all functionality has been disabled. So the domains can not be transferred away, renewed, pointed elsewhere, etc.

My question is, is this legal? I would assume this is against the ICANN rules but I am unsure how to find rules on a situation like this. The domains are fully paid for and do not expire for a while. How can the client get the domains moved if they are being held hostage due to a renewal they refuse to pay for?

unfortunately as well, they cant just pay IONOS because its the collections company that needs to be paid now. Otherwise, I would think something along the lines of pay and dispute with CC provider could be an option.


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