Recently, I received a “Domain Name Expiration Notice” from a company called “Domain Registry of America”. What bothers me most about this notice, is that it’s designed to look like a bill, and to the untrained eye, or unlearned domain owner, you are very well led to believe that you need to follow the instructions on this form in order to renew your upcoming expiring domain.
For this reason, I’m issuing this Public Service Announcement to Small Business Owners who may have or will receive a “Domain Name Expiration Notice” from Domain Registry of America. In my opinion, this company participates in an unsavory business practice of preying on individuals, via the mail, who are likely not web-savvy enough to know that this “notice” is nothing more than an advertisement of their high-priced domain transfer and registration service.
And when I say “high-priced”, I mean it. I’ve attached a copy of this notice here:
And on it, you’ll notice that a one year renewal for one domain is $35! This is highway robbery, especially since the worst case scenario I’ve seen for a domain renewal has only been upwards of $12. So, with Domain Registry of America, you’ll likely pay 3 times more than you would with other registrars!
It bothers me that this company is participating in what I believe is a “shady” business practice, especially since they’re going after people who likely don’t know what they don’t know. I’ve been getting these notices for quite some time now, but it recently came to my attention again because one of my clients inquired to me about it, based on some recent domain purchases that I had just procured on their behalf. They thought, that something mentioning their domain name and having their address on it, with what LOOKS like a bill, was a bill, and if they hadn’t spoken to me first, they likely would have been out of at least $40!
Because I knew to intuitively ignore these notices, I assumed that others did as well, but then I later learned I was wrong in my assumption. For that reason, today I say: BEWARE OF “Domain Registry of America” of 2316 Deleware Avenue, #266, Buffalo, NY 14216-2667. They may in fact be a “legitimate business”, but the way they go about business sucks and they need a new model that doesn’t prey on misleading people and taking advantage of them.
I would suggest, if you get one of these notices in the mail that you REPORT IT TO YOUR LOCAL STATES ATTORNEY FOR CONSUMER FRAUD! That’s what I intend to do! It’s your State’s Attorney’s job to stay vigilant and protect your state’s consumers from companies with unsavory and predatory business practices, and this should be brought to everyone’s attention, to keep “Domain Registry of America” from sending out these faux-bill notices with its ridiculously small fine print on the back.
I hope that this information has been useful to you, and I’d encourage you to share your experience with Domain Registry of America, and similar companies that operate like them. Have you gotten one of these notices before?
Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist