Back in June Droa.com sent me another renewal notice. While this has nothing to do with reviews, it has to do with unethical business practices. This is a company that demonstrates that even if there were no affiliate programs, a way will be found to get paid rather they offer a legit product or not. In this case they rely on you not knowing who your domain register is or perhaps not knowing how much a domain costs. They engage in a process called domain slamming. On the wiki page for Droa, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DROA is the following:
“Domain slamming (also known as unauthorized transfers or domain name registration scams) is a scam in which the offending domain name registrar attempts to trick domain owners into switching from their existing registrar to theirs, under the pretense that the customer is simply renewing their subscription to their current registrar. The term derives from telephone slamming.”
This is how they start the letter they sent me through the postal service:
“As a courtesy to domain holders we are sending you this notification of the the domain name registrations that due to expire in the next few months. “
In a not so tell tale way they tell you that they are not your domain register if you read further. They don’t come forward and directly say that you are not their customer. Some how “This notice is not a bill” is supposed let you know that your not a customer. Some of my former customers, friends and family did not bother to read that detail and they hurried and signed the renew notice, as they were more concerned about losing their domain then seeing if the notice was legit. After all it mentioned their name and domain, so it had to be legit right? They may not even had read this part: “Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in a loss of your online identity making it difficult for your customers and friends to locate you on the web.” . Of coarse they are hoping you read that part, panic and send them a check.
Long before my firsts post on Domain Registry of America (http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/scams-to-avoid/domain-registry-of-america.html) and long before I even Hosting-reviews-exposed.com was started, I had my eye on this company. When I got my first notice, I instantly knew something was up. After all I owned my own domain registry company and still do, what it has never done is send out paper notices. Domains being 9.99, and a $2.50 profit I really did not want to pay for .40 notice to be sent out. Regrettable I did what so many other people should do and threw it into the recycling bin. Because today it would be nice to compare a letter from 2002 to present day. I don’t remember them disclosing that they were not your domain register. Now they do, even if they do it in a round about was
A reason to not trust DROA.com
The FTC has this on DROA.com
“According to the FTC, the company told consumers that their domain registrations were expiring, leading many consumers unwittingly to switch their domain name registrar. The company also allegedly did not disclose that it would charge a processing fee to consumers if their transfer request was not competed – for any reason – and failed to provide consumers refunds in a timely manner.”
Yeah I know this was back in 2003, so let us see what the BBB has this to say about DROA.com
“The BBB file contains a pattern of complaints from consumers who report that the company’s mailing is misleading. Consumers state that they have received notices from Domain Registry of America that appear to be invoices for renewal of their internet domain name. The company claims that their marketing materials clearly state that ‘Domain name holders are not obligated to renew their domain name with their current registrar or the Domain Registry of America…. This notice is not a bill.”
Regardless of the statement Domains Registry of America gave to the BBB, they have a F rating.
It takes alot for me to say a company is a scam. The first bad sign was this notice was not from my own personal domain register which does not send out snail mail. The other as you can see from the scans is the billing notice. On the back is print that I don’t think the average person could read. Even I have hard time, keep in mind on my kindle I have the print as small as possible. Is an extra page really too much to pay to make sure some one can read the Registration Agreement? One that in far larger letters lets you know they are not affiliated with the U.S. government. I honestly do not think its so much the cost, but the fact a extra page or two would make people actually check the bill out further.
The snail mail from Droa.com / Domain Registry of America domain slamming.
DROA is a reseller for eNom
Looking through the hard to read fine print one thing sticks out to me
eNom, Inc., BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES INC. (dba “NameJuice.com:), and DROA.
Enom is the company droa is reselling for much like Wild West Domains/ Godaddy.com. Depending on which level of reseller account you pick, which I am assuming they picked the one that lets them buy domains for $8.50 a year.
The alias of DROA
According to icannwikki: http://icannwiki.com/index.php/Brandon_Gray_Internet_Services_Inc.
Brandon Gray Internet Services Inc.
Domain Registry of America
Domain Renewal Group
Domain Registry of Australia
Domain Registry of Canada
Domain Registry of Europe
Internet Registry of Canada
Liberty Names of America
Registration Services Inc.
Internet Corporation Listing Service
Are you unsure if your a customer of DROA?
I recommend going to http://www.internic.net/whois.html
Click on register to see who your register is.
Where to send complaints about DROA
Do you really need to pay $35.00 for a domain, well don’t pick DROA
I don’t recommend paying more then $15 for a .com, ,net, .org. But if you really have to pay $35.00 then atleast go with a reputable company such as Network Soultions. Yes that is an affilate link submitted below, and I get paid a commision if you use that link to order a domain. Generally I would tell people to not pick Network Solutions due to is higher then average price. But I would rather see people go to Network Solutions over DROA any day if they just have to pay $35 a year.
This is not my first post on droa and it will not be my last until they either reform or close up shop. Per my lat post on Domain Registry of America, I found they operate out of Europe and Canada as well. Do you have a letter from other alias of DROA?