As a domain registrant you have certain rights. Unfortunately those rights can be abused by companies that don’t believe in ethical business practices.
It would be nice and simple if the whois display were the same across all TLDs (ie. domain extensions), but they’re not.
A basic right is for the domain to be registered to you and under your control.
That means that the domain details should show yours. For example a .ie domain registered to me shows:
person: Michele Neylon
person: Blacknight.ie Hostmaster
(I’m only showing the contact parts)
The administrative contact for the domain is clearly listed as me, while the second contact (tech-c) shows Blacknight, as I obviously register my domains with my own company.
For some TLDs, such as .eu the command line whois will give out varying amounts of information and you may need to go to the web based whois server to get the full details.
In either case the registrant is listed somewhere, even if the public cannot see it easily.
If the registrant wants to move their domain between registrars that is their right.
Under ICANN rules registrars are obliged to provide the EPP codes to registrants in a timely fashion (bearing in mind that you cannot transfer newly registered .com’s etc., between registrars immediately)
If they want to update their domain’s nameservers then they should be able to do so.
Unfortunately this does not happen.
The reality is that a disproportionate number of companies are denying registrants basic rights.
In some cases they may be doing this by accident, but in other cases it is 100% deliberate.
There is no valid reason for your web designer or developer to put their details all over your domain. None.
If you have asked your designer / developer to register a domain for you and paid them for it then it should be registered to you (which is one of the reasons why .ie domains are attractive!).
Over the past couple of years I’ve seen some crazy things, including a particular “registrar” that registers ALL .co.uk domains to themselves regardless of who has requested the domain.
Another company warehoused hundreds of .eu domains “on behalf” of their clients ie. in the hope that the clients would want to register the domains at some point in the future. Of course it wasn’t clear if they would be charged a premium for this “service”.
If a provider won’t update the DNS for a domain then there is something wrong somewhere.
(If they can’t update it due to the DNS not being loaded that is the registrant or their provider’s issue!)
There’s no good reason to delay handing over an EPP key.
If a registrant wants their co.uk domain retagged simply do it.
Why make people suffer?