I just got a letter in the mail from “Domain Registry of Canada”. The envelope looks very official. It’s that tan color that the Canadian government uses for its envelopes. There’s a maple leaf in their logo. Their name sounds government-related: Domain Registry of Canada. At first, I think it’s that organization that manages the .ca domain for Canadians, but then I remembered that their name is CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.
I open the letter and it tells me that my domain troymcluhan.com is expiring. They even give the expiration date (which is easy to look up). Then they tell me that if I want to renew it for one year, it will cost $40.00. Forty dolars??!%%@#$$@#!!!!! Then add GST. Bonus: They’ll also register troymcluhan.ca and troymcluhan.net, also for $40.00 each.
I currently register troymcluhan.com through GoDaddy.com and it costs less than $10.00 per year. I’m perfectly happy with GoDaddy.com and since it’s in the USA, I don’t even pay GST.
Domain Registry of Canada seems like a real business, but cripes, talk about overblown prices.
Nevertheless, I bet they get lots of people falling for their scheme. They send out tons of letters that look like official government correspondence. (They get the mailing addresses from the WHOIS database – most people, including me, don’t bother to buy so-called private registration.) Some of their letters land on the desks of people who don’t know better, and those people dutifully send in their $40.00 when they could have paid less than $10.00.
A quick Google search for “Domain Registry of Canada” reveals I’m not the only person getting these spam mailings. The practice even has a name: Domain Slamming. As always, buyer beware!