Beware of the Domain Slammers! | Webepreneur

Beware of the Domain Slammers! | Webepreneur

Beware of the Domain Slammers!

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Beware of the Domain Slammers!
Posted October 14, 2009 by Brett Miller
 
       By Brett Miller

Remember back in the 80s when there was something called "Telephone Slamming"? Wikipedia describes this as "an illegal telecommunications practice of changing subscribers' telephone service without their consent. Slamming became a more visible issue after the deregulation of the telecommunications industry in the mid-1980s, especially after several brutal price wars between the major telecommunications companies."

Well, in the 2000s, something I like to call "Domain Slamming" started popping up. This was the deceptive practice of sending you a piece of postal mail or fax or email that had the appearance of being a domain renewal notice, but was in fact a solicitation to buy something from their company.

DomainsHere's the scenario: the postal mail comes in to your company’s or to your spouse who calls you and says : "We just got a bill for your domain name. Should I just pay it?" Being busy and wanting this off your plate, often the response is "Just pay it." Then a contract is sent back to the company authorizing them to charge you for their services. I've heard this story over and over again.

There are 3 kinds of Domain Slamming:

1. Changing Domain Registrar:
What looks like a bill for your domain is really an order form for you to switch companies, and usually for more money!

2. Buying Domain Name with Different TLD Suffix Extension:
Your domain is yourdomain.COM but you're getting an invoice for yourdomain.CC, yourdomain.US, yourdomain.BIZ or any infinite number of other Top Level Domain extensions. You probably don't want these domains, but if you did, you should buy them through your regular domain registrar company.

3. Buying Search Engine Registration or Optimization services:
This invoice has your domain on it, but it is some ancillary service related to services for your website. Chances are that this company is not your best option for these services. If you like what they are offering, go online and find a reputable company offering the same thing and not a company that is trying to fool you into paying them.

Most of us now know that a domain name should only cost around $10 - like at http://www.HoopJumperDomains.com - but the fees these companies charge for their domains usually are in the $35 per year price range. This should be an immediate flashing red light. (And if you right now paying $35 per year for YOUR domain, you should really switch companies.)

Another red light is if you receive this notice by postal mail or fax. You should only be receiving this renewal notice via email and only from the company you are doing business with. KNOW WHO YOUR DOMAIN COMPANY IS AND READ THEIR EMAILS!

I get these invoices all the time and recognize them for what they are instantly. Do what I do, open them up, inspect them, have yourself a good laugh, then START SHREDDIN'!

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Brett Miller is founder of HoopJumper Websystems, home of Great Small Business Websites and Great Real Estate Agent Websites and has helped hundreds of small business owners become the Master of Your Own Domain™. Find out more at http://www.HoopJumper.com