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Domain Name Expiration Scam

Apr 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Marketing

Don’t fall victim to the misleading Domain Name Expiration Notice that Domain Registry of America mails out.

I register and manage my own domain names, and the domain names of many of my clients, at several registrars. Domain Registry of America is not one of them. I received a misleading “Domain Name Expiration Notice” from DROA for my own domain name indicating $30 to renew for a year, TRIPLE my current rate. A quick glance at the DROA Domain Name Expiration Notice does not reveal that the domain name is not registered with them. The notice is designed to confuse non-technical people into TRANSFERRING the domain name to DROA, and to pay triple the normal rate.

Then a client called. She received a DROA Domain Name Expiration Notice for their company domain name and she was puzzled because she paid me annually for the domain name. I’m glad she manages accounts so carefully and remembers annual payments. This kind of diligence is not widespread and DROA is preying on this. DROA even highlights “Reply Requested By” in a way that looks like “Payment Due By” and the date is several months before expiration so that TRANSFER can take place before normal renewal procedures kick in!

Beware of mailings from DROA. It is easy for them to get the address of the owners of domain names. My client originally reserved the domain name through the Yellow Pages (yikes!) and it took quite a bit of work to get it back from them, but I have managed the name for years. Unfortunately, this information continues to be on a contact database and the mailings will continue. Don’t fall victim to this misleading Domain Name Expiration Notice. It is predatory .

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  1. I received another DROA Domain Name Expiration Notice today. This time, for a domain name that I created, and has never been with DROA. Very troubling.

  2. What company is the best Domain Registrar? i’ve heard that Godaddy and Moniker are the best.~`-

  3. I think GoDaddy would be confusing for a beginner to use because they bombard you with so many add-ons — it could be difficult to navigate the first few times through. GoDaddy is one of the registrars I use, however. If you can hack your way through their advertising, they have full functionality. Have you read my blogpost on Choosing a Domain Name?

  4. Here’s an article on the hacking of WordPress sites on GoDaddy. While I use GoDaddy for some domain name registrations, I would never recommend them for WordPress hosting http://www.wpsecuritylock.com/exploit-on-wordpress-returns-go-daddy-responds/ Same for Network Solutions.

  5. That above is a pseudonym that I use in lieu of real name. However the rest is dinkum, verdad, pravda, recht! not only that its a fact, Jack!
    This outfit sent me a letter like that. They get the info by trolling, and I do mean TROLLING, the WHOIS database. Even then they make comical mis-spellings. The letter contains a vicious contract on the back. When you sign on the front, you give up literally all your constitutional rights on the back. On the back are their doing business as names:
    Brandon Gray Internet Services, Inc
    NameJuice, Inc.
    eNom, Inc
    DROA, Inc
    and the front page, Domain Registry of America
    A call to their fone number rates a person with a Chinese accent.
    Go Daddy charges me 8 bucks a year for each name. These huckleberries wanted at least thirty….and I think more down the road, plus some nasty surprises.

  6. You should file a complaint with the FTC if you recieve a misleading letter from DRoA. This action is in violation of a 2003 settlement with the FTC.

    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

  7. I have gotten this several times in electronic form and now in printed paper. These criminals who sending mails like that should be in prison for good…

    I can not say a bad word for Godaddy, they have excellent customer service. I have not seen ANY hosting company ever who never had mistakes in their service. What really counts is how they respond to these problems.

    Talking about WordPress, that is a very good example for why I use my own developed CMS system. Nobody knows the weak points but me… 🙂 …I have run 30 websites on it for years now, and never seen anyone who could hack it, however many, many have tried and is still trying…

  8. You should file a complaint with the FTC if you recieve a misleading letter from DRoA. This action is in violation of a 2003 settlement with the FTC. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

  9. I think GoDaddy would be confusing for a beginner to use because they bombard you with so many add-ons — it could be difficult to navigate the first few times through. GoDaddy is one of the registrars I use, however. If you can hack your way through their advertising, they have full functionality.

  10. I have gotten this several times in electronic form and now in printed paper. These criminals who sending mails like that should be in prison for good… I can not say a bad word for Godaddy, they have excellent customer service. I have not seen ANY hosting company ever who never had mistakes in their service. What really counts is how they respond to these problems. Talking about WordPress, that is a very good example for why I use my own developed CMS system. Nobody knows the weak points but me… 🙂 …I have run 30 websites on it for years now, and never seen anyone who could hack it, however many, many have tried and is still trying…

  11. This is a transcript of my emails back and forth with DROA last week. I cannot believe this company is still in business. Eric Voisard even went so far as to mess with my account so that I could not access it. I called tech support to get the EPP code so I could transfer it and was told that “something was wrong” with it. The notes said that I wanted to let my site lapse and not renew. Umm…no! The guy was super nice and read thru my emails and made copious notes in my acct stating that was not my intention at all. He unlocked my acct and sent the EPP code to me. He said he has nothing to do with Eric Voisard and couldn’t believe the guy is still around. Tech support has nothing to do with customer service just FYI. I told him I am peppering the internet with my emails back and forth. Until this morning I had no idea so many people had the same experiences with DROA. Anyway, read this from the bottom up…

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Eric Voisard
    To: XXX
    Sent: Thu, Dec 23, 2010 1:00 pm
    Subject: Re: Shady business practice
    If you want to remain ignorant of our prices and deals because it better suits your pre-determined notions about us, by all means, live in ignorance, I’m sure it is more comfortable for you there.
    And your claim that you are giggling to your “friends” on your “social networking sites” has been quite entertaining for us, thank you.

    Eric Voisard
    Customer Relations Manager
    1-866-434-0212 ex 248
    evoisard@droa.com

    On 23/12/2010 3:45 PM, XXX wrote:

    I’m not interested in your attempt at justification although this has been quite entertaining for my friends and colleagues and I on our social networking sites. They are taking notes.

    You send me a link to your own site? You think I care what your company says about your pricing and how you beat the competition? I can do my own research thank you. I pay less on Go Daddy and Pappashop FYI.

    Bottom line, take me off of your mailing list.
    Don’t respond to this, you are wasting my time now. I am putting you and droa in my spam folder.

    P.S. You might want to spell check next time it only shows your lack of professionalism.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Eric Voisard
    To: XXX
    Sent: Thu, Dec 23, 2010 12:35 pm
    Subject: Re: Shady business practice
    Unfortunately we will have to disagree as our letter quite clearly states in bold lettering that “This notice is not a bill”, it asked the potential customer if they are interested in transferring their domain name to us. It is everyone’s responsibility to read the information they are presented with, not reading it and claiming that you were deceived is not a vlaid response and is a way to deflect your own personal responsibility. So your assertion that it is not clear as to the purpose of the letter is wholly misguided.

    As for our prices we offer the lowest domain registration and hosting services in the industry, feel free to compare our pricing to other similar services: http://www.droa.com/whinfo.asp

    Eric Voisard
    Customer Relations Manager
    1-866-434-0212 ex 248
    evoisard@droa.com
    On 23/12/2010 3:22 PM, XXX wrote:

    I wouldn’t say clearly. That is a stretch. That language is hidden within several paragraphs into the letter. This looks just like the renewal for a domain, not a solicitation. You can put whatever spin you want on this but DROA has designed this letter to deceive customers into thinking it is a renewal not a solicitation to transfer their domain. You and I both know that people rarely thoroughly read through their mail, particularly one that looks like a bill. You are counting on this in fact. I think it is shameful that DROA would stoop to this level and am looking into my options on transferring my domain from your company to another. I think it comical that you mention how low your prices are when it is a well known fact that you have some of the higher prices out there. I had few options when I first purchased my domain name, now there are many and I plan to take advantage of this competitive market and get out of business with a company who seeks to prey on its customers and in such a duplicitous manner.

    If you truly want to offer a service and not seek to take advantage of people you would design a letter that looks like a solicitation and not one that looks identical to one of your actual bills. I know this will not happen because clearly your company is unscrupulous. Any company that would do this in the first place is lacking a moral compass.

    Nonetheless, don’t send me this garbage again.
    —-Original Message—–
    From: Eric Voisard
    To: XXX
    Sent: Thu, Dec 23, 2010 12:06 pm
    Subject: Re: Shady business practice
    Dear Customer

    The letter you received is a solicitation asking you to consider our firm for the renewal of your domain name. You have the choice of renewing your domain name with any registrar of your choice. The solicitation clearly states that you are transferring your domain name from one place to another if you decide to renew your domain name with our firm. The advertisement also goes as far as saying that you don’t have to renew your domain name with the current registrar or with the Domain Registry of America as the choice is yours.
    Eric Voisard
    Customer Relations Manager
    1-866-434-0212 ex 248
    evoisard@droa.com

    On 23/12/2010 1:58 PM, XXX wrote:

    Please take me off of your mailing list. I have one domain with you (papillonprincess.com) and that is it. I received what looks like a renewal notice for another website I have but you have nothing to do with that site. I maintain that domain through another company and I think it is really shady of you to send me a “bill” to renew something you don’t have. Why would I pay $35 a year through you when I pay only $11.99 with someone else?

    Don’t ever send me something like this again. This is very sketchy business practice of yours and I will be sharing it with my business colleagues. The only bill I expect to see from you is the papillonprincess.com one and even that I hope to stop in the future.

    XXX

  12. The “address” they use, 2316 Delaware Ave #266 in Buffalo, New York is actually a UPS store. UPS is well-known for having mail-forwarding services. This is a way to shield their actual place of business which is just over the border in Canada. They use this phone number 1-905-479-2533 which is in Toronto.

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