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I have just received a letter from the "Domain Registry of America" (56 Gloucester Road, Suite 526, London SW7 4UB) requesting renewal payment for a domain name that I own.
I have received letters from these people (or this person) in the past, and as far as I am aware this is nothing but a full blown fraud.
The letter appears quite convincing, and has arrived at about the time that the domain name is genuinely due for renewal.
What I would like to know is whether there is any person or body to whom this letter should be reported, and does anybody care in the first place?
I will place this message in both the Web design forum and the Consumer Forum.
that the letter requested payment? These letters have been around for years, and usually they contain text which states 'this is not an invoice or a request for payment' or words to that effect.
The exact wording of the letter is "... This notice is not a bill, it is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to switch your domain registration to the Domain Registry of America".
They then provide prices, - 1 year @ £18, 2 years (recommended) @ £39=0 and 5 years (best value) @ £55.
This is followed by options to purchase additional domain names, followed by means of payment (tick boxes, enter credit card details etc.)
If this letter isn't trying to get money out of people who have yet to be warned that what appears to be a credible letter ISN'T a credible letter, then I am a ***** (fill in the blanks).
What perturbs me is that the scam has been around for a long time, and yet is still obviously functioning. An earlier scam, the Domain Registry outfit in Cambridge, DID get stopped, - but only after taking a great deal of money and causing a great deal of unpleasantness. So how come these people are still operating.
A timely warning in PC ADvisor might be a very good idea.
the letter is the same one that's been in use for a long time. It's cleverly worded and designed to look official, but in effect it's an invitation to transfer your domain name to a new registrar - at a greater cost that that which you'll currently be paying.
Whether or not fraud is involved is a moot point. To classify as a fraud there would have to be an intention to deceive in order to secure an unlawful or unfair gain, and that might be difficult to prove.
I too have received the letter and scanned through the T&Cs regarding their "free" domain space. If my understanding of the legalise is correct then if you were to select either one or two years (rather than the third option of three years)then you are liable for a surcharge
It states on click here
All domain names registered, renewed, or transferred with DROA after March 1st 2007 at DROA's regular price will qualify for this program. Any domain names transferred over to DROA during their registration period must have no more than 2 years left until expiry in order to qualify. (example: if today is January 2007 your domain name cannot expiry any later than January 2009). Any domain names that have over 2 years left on their registration period may be subject to a $15.00 per year additional fee at DROA's discretion. (example: if today is January 2007 and your domain name expires in 2010, DROA may charge an additional $15.00 on top of your renewal fee)."
Am I correct. I did contact trading standards but they said that as the T&Cs are covered by Ontario law it might be legal even though the postal transaction takes place here in the UK.
These letters have been arriving for years and years - almost everyone who registers a domain name will get at least one at some point, and probably several.
As far as I've ever been able to determine the letter contains nothing that's illegal, and it certainly isn't fraudulent. Many people mistakenly think that these letters are a demand for payment, but they're not. They may not accord with everyone's idea of responsible marketing techniques, but that's an entirely different thing from a scam.
I do all my registrations through Heart Internet - as recommended by FE.
The individual sums involved are minuscule in the great scheme of things so I ignore all of these letters - scams, frauds or otherwise as I already pay Heart to look after these matters.
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