Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
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.
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
and offering the same type of deal that ING has had several attempts at flogging
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".
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
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.
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
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
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:
In my opinion -- avoid, avoid, avoid -- and tell your friends and
associates to do the same.
- 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
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