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Contacted Regarding Domain Registration


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I have fourteen domain names that I've registered with TCH. I occasionally receive a letter in the mail from various domain registrars stating that whateversite.com is set to expire soon so I better send a check to them tout-suite or else I'll lose the domain. Of course, I never respond because I can renew the domain on the registrar's website for about 1/3 of that price and just chuck the letter into the circular file. Besides, I have them all set to auto-renew (save one), and information regarding their renewal has always come via email in the past.

 

So a few hours ago my phone rings. The first thing I noticed is that the caller ID is blocked. I answer it anyway and the guy tells me he is from some company (unfortunately, I was busy at work and distracted, and didn't take a note of the name of the company or the person), calling regarding one of my domains (coincidentally, one that I don't use and was planning on letting expire).

 

The guy proceeds to tell me that he needs to verify my contact information, and requests a fax number so he can send me some "very important information" regarding the domain. I refuse to verify anything or to provide a fax number, and ask him what the call is regarding.

 

We basically go in circles for a few minutes -- him insisting that I (actually, that "Mr. Kelly") need to give him a fax number so that I can receive this "very important information" and me asking for more detail as to what this phone call is in regards to.

 

I eventually hung up on him, which was childish I'll admit, but I was getting fed up. In hindsight I should have given him the fax number here at work so I could see what this "very important information" is, since it wouldn't really do any harm. I just didn't want to give him the satisfaction.

 

As with the letters I receive in the mail, I assumed from the start this wasn't a legitimate phone call since anything that regards the domain names can be (and has always been) done via the website or over email. Besides, why would a legitimate business block their number from caller ID, and also refuse to give me more information?

* * *

It is very easy for anyone to find out your contact information via a whois on your domain name, unless you pay extra for a private registration. Some of the less ethical registrar companies use this fact to harvest names and try to get you to switch over to their service.

 

Please, if you receive a letter in the mail, an email or even a phone call warning you to renew your domain name, the first thing to do -- before you hand over any information or money -- is to make sure that you verify that the company you registered your domain with is the one contacting you. In fact ignore the letter/email/phone call, go to the registrar's website directly, log in and renew it there.

 

By sending money to one of these companies that contact you, you are essentially allowing them to transfer your domain over to their service (usually for many times the cost), and you may even end up losing the domain entirely.

 

Also, make sure you put set up "domain locking;" this makes is to that attempted transfers will fail until the domain is unlocked, and you can only unlock it by logging into the registrar's website and manually unlocking it.

 

Google has a lot of info on this subject -- do a search for "domain slamming." I'm sorry for the long-winded post. I thought it would be worth mentioning.

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Thanks for the note!

 

Remember, this clown is calling you without your request or permission to waste your time trying to sell you something you don't want. He will take your fax number and every 2-3 weeks will send you even more junk to waste your ink and paper and time -- and he will do it under the excuse that you had a business relationship with him when you gave him your fax number.

 

I feel bad for the individuals who can not do other jobs besides this kind of thing but the position itself is dredged up from the bottom of the swamp and they are trained to be your worst enemy.

 

I never have a problem saying "Thanks for calling - I'm not interested - bye." and hanging up. They are, after all, wasting MY time, not the other way around.

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I see that you are in the US (Chicago-ish <grin>), so is your phone number on the national Do Not Call registry? If so, this guy is calling you in violation of federal law.

 

When I get calls like this, I ask them their name, their agent number, and the company they represent. Then I inform them that they are in violation of federal law and I'll be reporting the call to the proper authorities.

 

If they won't give me basic information about their name/company name, I tell them that they are violating federal law, and ask to be taken off their calling list immediately, or I'll contact the police.

 

It is really fruterating to get these kinds of calls.

 

If you believe that the mail you receive regarding renewing your domain is decepting, you can always contact your state attorney general's office. Send them a copy of the letter with your specific complaints. It is illegal for companies to try to trick you into renewing your domain with them by trying to send you a pseudo-invoice. While you can't do much about it as one person, your state attorney general can, and if they get enough complaints, they have more incentive to do somethig. But if we all just ignore them and never complain, these sharks will keep preying on those who aren't informed enough to know that what is happing isn't right.

 

I dunno. Just my thoguhts.

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I eventually hung up on him, which was childish I'll admit,

 

Don't feel this way, these individuals are trained to prey on peoples kindness and the general manners that people use to conduct themselves on the phone. Its the old salesman "foot in the door" technique, as long as they can keep talking and keep you on the line, the better chance they have of making a sale.

 

Its a simple matter to determine that they do NOT have any real business with you except to get your money. Say "no thank you" and just hang up. They are in fact the ones in the wrong and do not deserve any of your time, they are intruders after your money. You did not ask for the intrusion nor did you want or need it.

 

I've gotten pretty good at it, "no thanks", SLAMMM. I used to use other methods but grew tired of them. I way say "hold on a minute please" and put the phone down and forget about them. I would blow a whistle in the phone real loud and say hang on while I get the tea off the stove, then come back with another excuse about letting the dog in just to see how long they would wait to talk with me. Time is money to them :lol2:

 

BUt don't feel bad about being rude to these folks. Just hang up, if its really an important issue and they have legitimate business with you they will call right back.

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The thing is, he never said that he is trying to sell me something. I never got an answer as to the real purpose of the call, besides needing to receive some important information regarding my domain. I just assumed that it was an attempt to transfer it over to another company. Thinking back, it is kind of weird since the domain he referred to isn't set to expire until the end of July. At some point in the call he also referred to another of the domain names I have registered (my main site).

 

I used to use other methods but grew tired of them. I way say "hold on a minute please" and put the phone down and forget about them. I would blow a whistle in the phone real loud and say hang on while I get the tea off the stove, then come back with another excuse about letting the dog in just to see how long they would wait to talk with me. Time is money to them :)

Coincidentally, I happened across this "counter script" yesterday shortly after this call: h*ttp://www.xs4all.nl/~egbg/counterscript.html I might try it next time I get a call like this. I'm usually not quick to come up with witty things to say (or do) to these people, until after I hang up the phone. :rolleyes:

 

I see that you are in the US (Chicago-ish <grin>), so is your phone number on the national Do Not Call registry?

Hm, I don't think so. I got the call on my cell phone, and I'm fairly certain that I didn't add the number to the registry yet. Usually I don't answer my phone if I don't recognize the number, but this is my work line and I didn't know if it might be work-related.

 

If you believe that the mail you receive regarding renewing your domain is decepting, you can always contact your state attorney general's office. Send them a copy of the letter with your specific complaints. It is illegal for companies to try to trick you into renewing your domain with them by trying to send you a pseudo-invoice. While you can't do much about it as one person, your state attorney general can, and if they get enough complaints, they have more incentive to do somethig. But if we all just ignore them and never complain, these sharks will keep preying on those who aren't informed enough to know that what is happing isn't right.

Thanks for the tip. I think I'm going to start doing that with the letters. I know that one of the registrars that was guilty of this got hit with a lawsuit ...

 

Here are a few places I found to complain also (I believe these are US-only resources):

Federal Trade Comission: h*ttps://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

United States Post Office mail fraud: h*ttp://www.usps.com/websites/depart/inspect/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm

Internet Fraud Complaint Center: h*ttp://www.ic3.gov/complaint/

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I just got another phone call. The woman on the phone stated that the company name is "Domain Registration Support," (I think -- she had a heavy accent that made it hard to understand her) and that they needed to verify and update my contact info so that I may receive some very important information regarding changes that will affect my domain. Again the number was CID blocked.

 

Arg.

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