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steve-davis-boxing-domain-renewal-group Photo Steve DavisI hereby challenge the owner or managing director of the Domain Renewal Group to step into the boxing ring with me.

This unprecedented move has been sparked by this company rearing its head again and contacting one of our clients to ‘renew’ their domain name with their company.

If you have received, or ever do receive, a letter or email from the Domain Renewal Group (they tend to use letters) inviting you to ‘renew’ your domain name with them, my advice is DON’T.

Here’s why (I know this is WordPress Wednesday but this issue affects all website owners).

A confusing lack of value

I have kept letters from the Domain Renewal Group over the years as they have tried to get me and countless clients to use them as their domain name registrar.

When I got my first one, many, many years ago, I almost fell for the wording which strongly suggested that they were the existing registrar and that this was just a routine renewal.

Of course, they will argue there were wriggle words somewhere on the document outlining that they are just PROSPECTING for your business and, to be fair, they seem to have added even more wriggle words lately.

However, what would be more accurate would be if they called themselves Domain TRANSFER Group because that is what their letters are trying to get you to do; to TRANSFER your domain name registration from whoever you are with now, across to them.

All’s fair in love and business

On one hand, they have every right to try to win your business BUT why would you transfer your registration to a company that charges more than MOST domain registrars in Australia?

That is the pertinent question.

I should point out, it is perfectly fine to transfer your domain name between registrars but you should always do it for SOUND reasons.

Here is the golden rule to keep you safe: NEVER renew your domain name without making sure you are actually RENEWING and not TRANSFERRING

And because all good golden rules should come with handy guides, here’s mine.

How to check who your domain registrar is

Just quickly, it is worth noting that your domain registrar is the company that registers your domain name or web address on the internet so that it points people to your website. Your web hosting provider (which can be the same company but is not always) is the company that holds the space where your web pages sit.

Whenever you get a domain renewal notice, CHECK online to see if it has come from your CURRENT domain registrar.

You do this by going to the Australian WhoIs page (if your web address ends in .au) and typing in your domain name only.

For example, if I were to check our Rite Series website, I would go to the Australian WhoIs page and type theriteseries.com.au into the box, not http://theriteseries.com.au, then I would enter the code they ask you to type and click Submit.

NOTE: If your domain name does NOT contain .au, follow the same steps but use this checking tool: www.allwhois.com.

When the page returns with results, look to see who your Registrar Name is. If that MATCHES the name on your domain renewal, all is well. Take a look at this screen shot, telling us the current registrar for theriteseries.com.au is Enetica.

domain-check

If in doubt, contact us if you are a Baker Marketing client, or contact your webmaster (of course, you are always welcome here as clients too).

To see what the federal government says about domain name scams, read here:

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/domainnamerenewalscams

To see what the Australian Domain Name regulator says about similar scams:

http://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-services/consumer-alerts/unsolicited-letters-from-domain-name-group-pty-ltd-and-domain-register-pty-ltd/

And for more information, Google ‘domain renewal group letter‘ to see what others are saying.

So bring it on, Domain Renewal Group leaders, I want to stand up for the small businesses you are targeting!

Ding, ding.

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