Watch Out for Domain "Slamming"

July 18, 2011 by Kevin and Eric

Have you received a letter like the one below?

A Typical Domain 'Slamming' Offer

The letter inside looks like one of the images below. (Click the image to see a larger version.)

domain 'slamming'  letter from 'domain resource group'

domain 'slamming'  letter from 'domain resource group'

domain 'slamming'  letter from 'libertynames of america'

domain 'slamming'  letter from 'domain registry of america'

These letters are representative of, what is in our opinion, an unscrupulous marketing ploy termed "Domain 'Slamming'". 'Slamming' happens when a company or individual tricks you into switching your service to another company. Typically, the other company charges a lot more for the same service. The term derives from the practice of telephone 'slamming' which was common in the late 1980's. In those scams, a person would call and say they were from "The Telephone Company" and that they wanted to get your approval to switch your service to a new, 'better' plan. When you received your next phone bill, it would show the company name as literally, "The Telephone Company" and the per minute rate was ten times or more than normal. The plan was better, just for them, not you!

Domain 'Slamming' typically starts with an offer to renew your domain name. The letters mention how your domain name is expiring and warns of dire consequences if you don't renew.

Like all good scams, there is some truth in the offer. Your domain name may indeed be expiring. And, letting it expire is a serious problem.

The problem with the letter is the offer to 'renew'. If you read the fine print, you will notice the letter is really an offer to switch your service.

Domain 'Slamming' fine print

So, what should you do if you receive one of these letters?

If you receive one of these letters, or in fact, any letter about your domain name or any aspect of your website, email or web presence, contact us immediately! We are always willing to review any such offers and let you know what they are about.

You can also use our domain management service. The main feature of the service is we monitor your domain name(s) to ensure they do not expire. If you choose, we can also update the information about your domains with our address, so any communication, including domain slamming letters, will come to us, not you. Finally, there are legitimate communications about any domain name, and we will reply and handle all of them. Again, contact us if you want more information about this low-cost service.

If you'd like more information about the problem of domain "slamming", refer to Wikipedia, Domain Name Wire, or Firetrust. You can always use Google to check on the trustworthiness of the companies making these offers.

Posted in Alerts!, Help Me Understand

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