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More Aussie Domain Name Spammers 29 May 2002 Edition
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UPDATED 9:30am
I've spoken to Jason Thompson from InternetRegistry.co.nz who calls himself a "customer services representative" and he informs me that the company has indeed spammed NZ domain name holders to promote their services.

Jason was decidedly unrepentant about the spam.

He said that the business is partnered with the Australian arm but the .co.nz operation is run from right here in NZ.

I'm now waiting for a call from someone called "Mark", whose surname wasn't given to me (for privacy reasons I'm told), who will hopefully be able to offer some of the answers that Jason didn't have.

Original Report
It's only a matter of weeks since the Internet Name Group (ING) tried their scamming ways on Kiwi domain name holders and now it would appear that there's another Aussie bunch having another go at wringing cash out of us.

A number of Aardvark readers have reported receiving spam from a crowd calling itself InternetRegistry.co.nz and offering the same type of deal that ING has had several attempts at flogging here.

The spam starts off warning that your domain name is not registered as a dot-com and warning that "you should register your .com name urgently".

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It then offers a long list of reasons why you need to register the dot-com version of your .co.nz name containing many of the same claims that ING's early mailouts included, things such as: avoiding cybersquatting, protecting your intellectual property rights, projecting a more "professional image", etc.

The email also alleges that ".co.nz was designed solely for New Zealand" and that "registering a .com name is also essential for any business even considering doing business overseas."

I speak from personal experience when I say that having a dot-com name might help a site's international profile in some cases but it's most certainly NOT "essential for any business even considering doing business overseas".

Okay, so maybe after receiving this SPAM (yes, it was an unsolicited commercial email) you might decide to register the dot-com version of your .co.nz domain name -- but if you do, I highly recommend against using InternetRegistry.co.nz.


Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Internet Registry Pty Ltd... - David
  • Have Your Say

    Well, for a start, buying anything from a spammer only encourages them. If they find that you're mug enough to part with your money then experience with spammers would suggest that they'll come back and annoy you some more -- or annoy others with their dross.

    A note at the bottom of the spam they've just sent indicates that recipients are now subscribed to a mailing list and "if you do not wish to receive future email correspondence from Internet Registry, please unsubscribe by clicking here and sending".

    Yes, they're more or less admitting that they're going to spam you again with another great offer -- NOT.

    Secondly, their prices are outrageous!

    They want to charge NZ$99 per year for a dot-com registration -- which is about three times the price you'll pay elsewhere if you shop around a little.

    Further evidence of their price gouging can be seen on their pricing page where they offer .co.nz names for NZ$198 for 2 years -- or $99 a year. Compare this to the price published on the front page of the much improved Domainz site ($44/yr) and you'll see just how much margin they're adding.

    It's also worth noting that, despite offering .co.nz registrations, the company doesn't appear on the list of accredited .nz providers so, like ING, they're probably going through the back door.

    And don't be fooled by the local address given on the InternetRegistry contact page. A check of the Domainz registry shows that the domain is actually registered to Internet Payments, Level 25, 367 Collins St, Melbourne, Australia, 3000. Not too far from our friends at ING who are also Melbourne based -- hmmmmm.

    What's more, the website at InternetRegistry.com.au looks stunningly similar don't you think?

    I'll be trying to contact InternetRegistry.co.nz later this morning for some comment and will update this site accordingly if they're prepared to talk but in the meantime I think we can establish the following facts:

    • They are spammers
    • Their prices are very, very high
    • They are, or have strong links to an Australian operation
    • They are using many of the same tactics as ING
    In my opinion -- avoid, avoid, avoid -- and tell your friends and associates to do the same.

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