Expiring domain names is a pain for web site owners.
As you would expect, you need to make sure your important domain names do not expire. I’ve had a friend loose his to a Chinese business that wanted large money to hand it back, because his hosting company screwed up the renewal.
Now this blog post over on Domain Name Wire shows that even Go Daddy, a company that many people use, may also be in on the act.
As I have said before, register your domains with a decent company and preferably not your hosting company, so you have direct control over them. Then make sure that your contact details are always correct with them, so you never miss a domain renewal notice.