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Public warned about domain registration "invoices"

Media Release

Issued 8 August 2006/018


Commission warns public about domain registration “invoices”

The Commerce Commission is warning New Zealand businesses about a mass mail-out by an Australian-based business trading as NZ Domain Registration Ltd.

A number of businesses have contacted both the Commission and the Domain Name Commissioner after receiving what appear to be invoices for registering the ‘.net.nz’ version of their websites. These businesses already operate ‘.co.nz’ domain names, registered through the Domain Name Commissioner.

“This looks like the same kind of behaviour that we alerted businesses to in 2003,” said Deborah Battell, Director of Fair Trading. “People receive what resembles an invoice for registering a ‘.net.nz’ domain name at a cost of $225 for two years. The Commission is concerned that people may be misled into believing that the invoice is from their authorised registrar and is for re-registering their current domain name.”

“We strongly urge people to carefully look at the detail before sending any money. Any correspondence mentioning your domain name should only come from the registrar you have had previous dealings with.”

Only authorised domain name registrars are allowed to register domain names with the Domain Name Commissioner. NZ Domain Registration Ltd is not an authorised ‘.nz’ registrar. Authorised domain name registrars are not permitted to specify a particular domain name in an offer of registry services.

Background

Domain names in New Zealand are registered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. To guarantee possession of a domain name, authorised registrars will register the name with the Domain Name Commission first and then invoice the business once the domain name has been secured.

The Domain Name Commissioner is monitoring the situation and will investigate any possible breaches of ‘.nz’ policy.

The Commission previously warned Domain Names NZ and its director, Chesley Rafferty, in 2003 that an offer regarding ‘.net.nz’ domain names was at risk of breaching the Fair Trading Act. Blair Rafferty is listed as the director of NZ Domain Registration. For more information follow the attached links:

Commission urges caution when dealing with Domain Names NZ – 7 August 2003
Commission issues warning to Domain Names NZ – 8 October 2003
Commission alerts public to second mail out from Domain Names – 31 October 2003

ENDS

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