Some of our long term readers may remember a few years ago when a couple of dodgy characters sent letters to every domain name owner in Australia. Using the technical equivalent of the White Pages, they took the punt that they'd get enough people paying inflated fees for domain names they either already owned, or didn't need, to cover their postage costs and legal fees.
Whether Chesley Rafferty, the Director of Domain Names Australia (DNA), found guilty of Misleading and Deceptive Conduct last year by the Federal Court, came out in front is hard to tell, but it is clear he has not learned his lesson, and he's giving it another shot.
On the 3rd of March 2005, the Australian regulator for domain names, auDA, issued a consumer notice warning people about letters sent from Domains Australia Pty Ltd, headed "Domain Name Available". These letters and faxes were sent to domain holders, inviting them to renew or register domain names for $225.
We've received a number of phone calls from concerned clients who are not sure if the letters are legitimate. Whereas the last time this happened, all renewals of Australian domain names went through Melbourne IT and it was easy to tell the real from the fake, there are now 22 accredited registrars, making it harder to sort the truth from the deception.
As always, if you've got any questions, just give us a ring, and we'll help set your mind at ease. For the full text of the auDA consumer alert, check out http://www.auda.org.au/news-archive/auda-03032005/