Domain Registry of America

Now here’s a scam. I wish I thought of it. It’s gotta be a big moneymaker. A client of mine almost fell for it, but asked me first saving them $$$.

You probably realize that if you own a domain name for your web site, like gritzmacher.net, or microsoft.com, etc. you have to register it somewhere for it to work. I’m avoiding technical details here, because they don’t really matter for this discussion. And these domain registrations work for a period of time, then have to be renewed. Everyone has heard of stories where some big company somehow overlooked renewing their domain name, only to find it registered by someone else who eventually sells it back to them for big bucks.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone reminded you that your domain was about to expire and offer to handle it for you?

That’s what Domain Registry of America does. It might be a nice offer except for a couple things.

1. Your current domain registrar will probably notify you too. You may even have arrangements to automatically renew it.

2. DRA’s prices aren’t even close to competitve rates. They wanted $30 for ONE year. I pay $5.99. My hosting service throws in 5 for free. The biggest consumer domain registrar, GoDaddy has different deals depending on the TLD for prices from $.99 to $15.99. Most are less than $10.

Why would you want to pay more for someone new, who you don’t have any previous experience with, do the same thing your current registrar does already? Why would you want to deal with another company every time you needed to change your web hosting? You probably wouldn’t.

What they are doing is preying on those who aren’t knowledgeable about how this all works. They send the bill to the administrative address and hope it falls down to some clerk who pays what looks like a legitimate bill. They don’t realize DRA is not the current registrar. Next thing you know, it’s transferred over and DRA has the domain account at a premium price.

Fortunately, many registrars are aware of this practice and you can lock your domain to your current registrar. Changing to a different registrar than requires your authorization with the current one before a new one can take over the domain.

If you own your own domain, you should be aware of this practice and this company, which incidentally, has an office located here in Buffalo, and not be fooled by this tactic.

I’ve since discovered that DRA has offices in Canada and Europe and has been sued by the FTC over these practices. The current letters are very carefully worded to skirt the law and avoid being out-and-out illegal.

More articles:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/12/domainreg.shtm

http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=6995

http://log.does-not-exist.org/archives/2004/04/01/1519_domain_registry_of_america_again.html (includes PDF of a typical letter)

http://ask.metafilter.com/63781/Who-will-stop-Domain-Registry-of-America

http://www.searchenginecollege.com/2005/06/domain-registry-of-america-scammers-at.html

Posted in Rants, Tech Stuff, WNY
2 comments on “Domain Registry of America
  1. Bridget says:

    (Thanks for the Twitter follow!) IT is such a small world because this post is exactly why I was asking for a new domain / webhosting company via Twitter. I’m with the company that you recommended to me and they did not inform me that there was an issue with my automatic renewal. I had even checked my account to be sure that there wasn’t an issue around the time of the expiration and it stated that it would be automatically renewed. Well, come to find out, it wasn’t. My account was locked and they turned me over to a collections agency! Plus, they turned over a late fee on top of my renewal amount. I’m disputing it but am not sure how this will turn out. I’m new to purchasing domains; this was my first and I’m not really happy about the experience. Thanks for sharing this post!

  2. Al Gritzmacher says:

    I’m surprised to hear of your troubles. I have had problems with billing with 1and1 – just expired CC# – but received a email from them in plenty of time to resolve it.

    I have 6 domains registered through them and all are handled automatically.

    Hope you can straighten it out.

    Sorry about Twitter, I hit the wrong icon and blocked you and didn’t know how to undo it. Naturally, Twitter then said it was too busy and I had to wait until later to fix it.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Domain Registry of America"
  1. » Domain Registry of America Available Domains: says:

    […] Read the original here: Domain Registry of America […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*