Your Domain Name
In the last few days I've had clients contact me about an email they received from DNSIreland regarding their domain name. It looks very official, the company's website looks legit and it appears that the person is trying to help. However, like many aggressive marketing tactics or scams, it wants you to fork out a huge fee and it is time sensitive. The main points are:
- Costs €199.50 plus VAT
- Must respond within 48 hours to their agreement
- Can cancel after one year with remaining years refunded to your account
The email starts like this (replace your-domain-name with your own domain):
We have received a request for the registration of the website www.your-domain-name.info. Our system shows that you are the owner of www.your-domain-name.ie. This can have far-reaching consequences for you in the future. We are therefore under the obligation to contact you, in order to offer you the first right of registration. This means that we will reject the application of the third party and the website:
www.your-domain-name.info (also www.your-domain-name.com)
It continues trying to get you to sign up with them and they want you to respond within 48 hours.
Here's the Problem
There are many problems with this email and, in theory, this company is not doing anything legally wrong. However, they are misleading you in many ways.
- They are under no obligation to notify you and give your first option on an extension of your domain name. This is untrue and is simply a marketing ploy.
- It's highly unlikely that someone else is trying to purchase that domain. When my client got the email, I searched the domain and found that, if I wanted, I could have purchased it myself then and there and I didn't need to sign up for 10 years.
- They are trying to get you to sign up for much more than you need. Most businesses sign up for a domain name for one or two years at a time. Many businesses do not last in their current form for longer than 5 years. They may re-brand, change their name or may no longer be trading. It is highly unlikely for most businesses to sign up for 10 years.
- There are hundreds of domain extensions on the Internet. You don't need all of them. This is something you think about and plan. You should not just be buying extensions because it already has your domain name and you definitely shouldn't be signing up for 10 years.
- They are charging more than what you would pay in many places. If you're interested in a new domain, have a look around. There are loads of sales and you can get them for seriously cheaper prices.
- They say you can cancel after one year but how many people remember to cancel something after a year? Many do not. Be careful.
Domain variations and extension should be given thought. They do not cost much and you do not need to rush in doing this. If you see anything which asks you to fork out huge fees and in a short amount of time (whether it be from DNSIreland or some other outfit), you should always beware. Ignore the email or, better yet, mark it as spam!
A quick Internet search shows this email was not just written for you to help but is wide spread with many clients contacting their service providers. See recent blog here from Blacknight. It's good to see others creating awareness of this very misleading email marketing. Be careful.