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Thread: Verisign's sneaky way of stealing domain names from their competitors

  1. #1
    New Wave Visionray's Avatar
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    For all those using a nice cheap domain registrar like GoDaddy, you may have recently gotten a letter in the mail from verisign asking you to renew your domain. I just got a letter today.

    I just got this email from GoDaddy

    ------------------------------------------------

    Please be aware that Verisign, Inc. (formerly Network Solutions) is sending via the US Mail, what we believe to be deceptive and predatory domain expiration notices.

    The purpose behind these notices is to get the unsuspecting customer to transfer to and renew their domain name(s) with Verisign Inc. at significantly higher prices.

    The domain expiration notices are designed so that it is not obvious that the notices are from Verisign, Inc. as opposed to Go Daddy Software. To see a copy of one of these deceptive expiration notices, please go to the following URL: http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/privat...isplay=letter.

    Those customers who fall prey to the Verisign, Inc. scheme will have their domain name(s) renewed at a price more than 3 times higher than would be the case if they renewed with Go Daddy Software.

    For a .com, .net or .org domain name renewal, the victimized customer would pay $29.00 to Verisign, Inc. instead of the $8.95 charged by Go Daddy Software.

    Those customers who fall prey to this scheme, will not receive any better service or value. They will however be tricked out of $20.05 per domain name.

    Renewal notices from Go Daddy Software are sent via email, and always mention the Go Daddy name. You can be sure that any communications you receive concerning your domain name that do not explicitly and obviously display the Go Daddy name are not from Go Daddy Software.

    If you believe, as we do, that this practice of Verisign Inc. is misleading, predatory and improper, we invite you to make your feelings known by writing to ICANN (who is the governing body for all Registrars and Registries) and to Verisign Registry. Email links for both are provided below.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Parsons, President
    Go Daddy Software, Inc.


    ---------------------------------------


    Just a heads up.

  2. #2
    Civilian
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    From the CL.

    Vision, it's been a year since I've seen these, but it was fairly common for a while. Not with Verisign, but I think NSI, in the original form.
    [Edited by jstarkey on 03-24-2002 at 01:55 AM]

  3. #3
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    I got the same email from godaddy, but I haven't gotten any letter from Verisign.

    -scott
    http://www.scottmanning.com/

  4. #4
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    Well, I officialy got my sneaky letter from VeriSign. They are trying to get me to transfer my domain manningworldnews.com to their service. But they do it under the title of "Your Domain is going to Expire". What a bunch of crap.

    I would rate this under extremely unethical business practices.

    -scott
    http://www.scottmanning.com/


  5. #5
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    I got a big warning from DirectNIC about this about a month back. Didn't really think much about it untill now...

    Warning! Be Careful with Sneaky Domain Renewal Notices

    A number of customers have reported to directNIC that their domains
    disappeared from their directNIC account after they responded to renewal
    notices by snail mail. It turns out that they actually transferred the
    domain to another registrar who had sent them a renewal notice by mail and
    urged them to renew the domain immediately. Without knowing that these
    notices were not from directNIC, these unsuspecting users transferred their
    domains away from directNIC, paid a much higher price, lost their virtual
    domains, erased their email forwarding rules and POP3 accounts, and
    consequently took their websites offline.

    To see several of these deceptive expiration notices, visit
    http://notice.reference.directnic.com

    For the record, directNIC relies almost solely on email to contact
    customers and does not solicit business through the U.S. mail. If you
    receive notices in the mail regarding renewing your directNIC-registered
    domain names, be sure to read them carefully and consult with directNIC
    before you make any decisions.

    Several registrars are mining WHOIS data and sending deceptive and
    predatory expiration notices to owners of domains that are not registered
    with them. They have one common purpose: To steal domains from their
    competitors without lowering their price or improving their service and
    products. A few that have participated in this practice include Domain
    Registry of America, Network Solutions and Register.com, among others.

    We believe competition should be fair, legal, and ethical. directNIC has
    attracted many customers by constantly improving its website and user
    interface, adding new services, launching new products, listening and
    responding to customer feedback, and protecting customers against hackers
    and unethical solicitors. In order to better protect your domains and our
    business, we invite you to join our efforts. If you have received the
    mentioned paper-based renewal notices from other registrars, please report
    this activity to ICANN, the governing body of the domain registration
    industry.

    The link to file a complaint is
    http://www.internic.net/cgi/registra...lem-report.cgi

    Sincerely,

    directNIC.com
    If I get a letter, I'm going to file with both ICANN and the BBB.
    [Edited by switchTone on 05-11-2002 at 05:34 PM]

  6. #6
    Griffhiggins 2.2 clifgriffin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nocrapchurch
    Well, I officialy got my sneaky letter from VeriSign. They are trying to get me to transfer my domain manningworldnews.com to their service. But they do it under the title of "Your Domain is going to Expire". What a bunch of crap.

    I would rate this under extremely unethical business practices.

    -scott
    http://www.scottmanning.com/

    Kind of ironic coming form VeriSign the security experts.

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    Well, its finally caught up with them now.

    VeriSign promotion yields lawsuit

    Taken from News.com

    Internet domain-name seller VeriSign was hit with a lawsuit filed Monday by a rival that charged VeriSign with using false advertising to steal customers.

    BulkRegister, a domain-name seller based in Baltimore, said it sued VeriSign in federal court to stop a direct-marketing campaign that sought to trick owners of domain names into switching their accounts to VeriSign. VeriSign's campaign has also drawn protests from other domain-name sellers, which allow Internet users to reserve names such as Example.com on a yearly basis.
    -scott

  8. #8
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    News Update - May 15, 2002

    Judge orders VeriSign to stop ad campaign

    Taken from CNN.com

    A U.S. court on Tuesday ordered Internet naming giant VeriSign Inc. to immediately cease a direct-mail campaign that used what a rival called deceptive advertising to poach its customers.

    Domain-name seller BulkRegister sued VeriSign in Baltimore on Monday, saying the company sent thousands of "renewal notices" to BulkRegister customers that sought to trick them into unwittingly transferring their accounts to VeriSign.


    -----------------------

    I am more than satisfied with this ruling.

    -scott

  9. #9
    Tim (Super Moderator) Northcode's Avatar
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    Careful! VeriSign DOES own Network Soltuions. If you originally registered with Network Solutions then the renewal notice is valid. Ignoring it may leave you domainless on your renewal date!

    The message I got (since I registered with NetSol) was slighly different. It didn't mention anything about transferring my domain, just renewing and all (or most of) the links were to locations at http://www.netsol.com.

    The fact that they event TRIED something this scummy is enough to shake my confidence in VeriSign and given the business they're in, that's not good. I'm seriously considering transferring my domain to a more trustworthy registrar.

  10. #10
    Moderator
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    I registered with godaddy.

    -scott

  11. #11
    Tim (Super Moderator) Northcode's Avatar
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    Hi Scott. I knew that YOU used godaddy, the warning was for other people who registered with NetSol (or another company that VeriSign bought) and might have read this thread and ignored valid renewal notices from VeriSign.


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