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Have No Dealings With This Company

7 May 2002/048

Internet Naming Group: Commission Urges The Public To Have No Dealings With This Company

The Commerce Commission strongly urges the public to have no dealings with internet domain name reseller, Internet Name Protection Pty Limited, trading as Internet Naming Group (ING).

The Commission has renewed concerns after receiving 35 complaints about the Melbourne based company in the last two weeks. The Commission investigated ING in October and issued a warning to its Director, Mark Spektor, for alleged breaches of the Fair Trading Act.

“From the fresh complaints, it appears ING has resurfaced in New Zealand,” said Commission’s Director of Fair Trading, Deborah Battell.

“The Commission has strong concerns about the activities of ING, and representations it makes regarding the nature of the services it offers. Our advice is not to deal with this company.”

Ms Battell said the Commission is assisting its Australian counterpart, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC has filed legal proceedings against ING for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct and pro forma invoicing in relation to its marketing of internet domain name services. ING will reappear in Melbourne’s Federal Court on 24 May 2002.

The ACCC alleges that ING has made and is continuing to make representations to various businesses to the effect that it:

„X has the authority to register or renew a consumer’s domain name and can provide the services of registration or renewal;

„X can register domain names on the Internet for periods of four, six, eight or 10 years and that registration for periods over two years would involve savings;

„X has sponsorship, approval, affiliation or authority when in fact it does not; and

„X has a pre-existing relationship or prior dealing with them.

“There are definite similarities between representations made in Australia and New Zealand which we are investigating further,” said Ms Battell.

“We advise people who are ING customers to carefully check any invoices they have received, and they may wish to consider getting independent legal advice.

“ING operates from Australia and is not registered in New Zealand, hence we are working closely with the ACCC,” said Ms Battell.

Background

In October 2001, the Commission investigated complaints received from domain name holders concerning the activities of ING. The complaints related to an unsolicited and undated letter sent by ING to approximately 35,000 New Zealand domain name holders, thought to be offering recipients a “pre-registration” service for their domain name under the new top level domains of .biz and .info. The Commission issued a warning letter to ING’s Director, Mark Spektor.

Ends


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