Have you got a letter in the mail from domainregister.com.au or perhaps domainnamegroup.com.au? If you have you’re probably wondering what it’s all about? Well to put it simply they are trying to sell you an available domain name at a hefty price. The going rate they quoted me was $249.00 for two years. Ouch.
Turns out these folks are well known to Australian overseeing bodies. Many have already issued consumer alerts. And that’s not to mention that there are forums abuzz with other souls trying to get the good oil.
Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that the typical market rate for a com.au domain is about $24 for two years. This means that the ‘offer’ that domainregister.com.au is putting forward is $225 over and above the regular retail price. Or for dramatic effect 938% above regular retail price.
Now it’s important to note that I don’t think domainregister.com.au is not doing anything illegal. But I do believe that they are taking advantage of people’s knowledge. Just like I noted in perception vs reality – people can be taken advantage of when they have a knowledge gap between what they think is right and what is actually right. In this case, if you had no knowledge of domain prices, but generally assumed that anything technological comes with a high price tag – you might believe – and be happy to pay $249 for a two year domain name. Domainregister.com.au is relying on this ignorance to convert sales.
Domainregister.com.au Letter is Persuasive
Let’s take a closer look at the other elements used to try and influence you to take up their offer:
- Good business name. Domain Register sounds legit and credible doesn’t it. Like a company that you would trust
- Letter looks like an invoice. If it looks like an invoice, you’re more likely to be persuaded to pay it
- In addition to the domain name, they offer ‘free email and web formatting’ plus a ‘free gift’ (never disclosed)
- The letter quotes the phone number of a support centre, again indicating that the company is large and legitimate
- Visa and MasterCard logos are shown, which again act to legitimise the whole operation
- The company office is noted as Collins Street Melbourne, a prestigious Melbourne address – again offering credibility (although many business seem to be registered at the same address).
So I must hand it to them, they have done quite a good job at including persuasive elements to encourage people to fork out the $249. I could name one or two more that they could use to improve the letter, but I wouldn’t want to assist them.
A final point. If you receive this letter. I recommend that you throw it in the bin. Caveat emptor – buyer beware.
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Glad you’re alerting people to this scam.
There are another couple of scams that has caught a number of people that I know of. The first concerns trademark registration, that appears from quite a long list of companies at the stage the trademark application is first advertised in the government register, and then again when it is accepted for registration and advertised. This scam requests various amounts of money up to $1700 to advertise the trademark. All should be aware there is no advertising fee for trademarks, and the only requests for payment you should heed are those from either your trademark agent or, if you are doing your own registration, from the government office IP Australia.
The second scam concerns “copyright registration” throughout the world (I believe it mentions something like 174 different countries). Copyright is automatic in Australia, and no formal registration – or payment – is required. And having known someone who fell for this one, he never did get a piece of paper saying his copyright was registered anywhere.
Hi Melinda. Yes there are plenty of scams out there – and sometimes it’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. Generally speaking if someone comes out of the blue with an offer to do something you should do some homework on the area before agreeing.
The best thing anyone can do is to do some research before forking out a single dollar. It pays to be extra careful in the long run.
I agree, better check first the company that offering their services. If they have had a good services and
more client trusting them. This is a good share to let everyone aware of those scam.
” Domainregister.com.au is relying on this ignorance to convert sales.” I totally agree with this. It is a shame that in a world bombarded with information, some people can’t do a little research to compare prices.
Received a Tax Invoice by mail from Domain Register Pty Ltd for renewal of my domain name which i don’t own. The domain name is identical to mine which i sourced from another respected domain name registrar except mine is .com.au and theirs is .com . The Tax invoice i was sent had an account number and invoice number which i never authorised. Research i performed indicates that Domain Register Pty Ltd purchased the domain name ending in .com 2 years ago and are now sending me an invoice to pay for it which is fraud and against the law. I have contacted the ACCC and await their findings.
Just got the same one today. They have bought the .com domain, pointed it at our .com.au web site and now want to charge the $249 for it. Going to extreme lengths to get people to pay. We are reporting them to the ACCC as well.