Home > Business, Technical > Beware the jabberwocky!

Beware the jabberwocky!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Well, at least beware the “Domain Registry of Canada”.  This official sounding name is a “registered business style” of Registration Services Inc.  They send what look like real invoices to domain name holders asking for payment.  If one is careful and reads the text, it becomes clear that they are trying to get you to change your domain host.  But looked at quickly:

  • they look like an official invoice
  • the name Domain Registry of Canada sounds like a government organization (I showed my adult son who’d never seen one, and he asked, “Why is the government sending you these?)
  • they have the domain information on them (which is public) so it looks like they know about your account
  • they state a reply-requested date 4 months in advance of renewal.  Most domain hosts give 3 months notice.  This deceives in two ways: implying a reply is urgent, and ensuring this notice is received before legitimate ones


So if you get one, unless you already have registered a domain with them, let your local consumer protection agency know.  If you have registered with them in the past, re-register with another host: you’ll save a bundle, the rates are outrageous!  $40 per year for a single registration!  I phoned Domain Registry of Canada last year and requested they stop sending me these, but they’ve ignored my request, so this time I’ve filed a complaint with the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority of British Columbia.  Ah, that feels better!

Update: the Consumer Protection folks said that since the document says, “This is not a bill,” in bold, consumers are not being deceived.  They put the onus back on individuals to take responsibility to read what they get in the mail fully before sending money to anyone.

Categories: Business, Technical
  1. Francois
    Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Yes, a scheme they try here to. That and false telephone bills…. I filed a complaint too a few months ago. It was on the news a few days ago, apparently government is starting to take it serious and goes after these guys !

    Good !

  2. Mike (lotus films)
    Friday, March 14th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Yeah, got one of those stupid notices too, exact same one you did. Caught it quickly as I’d paid for my webspace renewal not two days before. Like most letters I get that appear even vaguely in the ‘government du canada’ style at all, I took it out to the driveway and burned it with my lighter. 😉

  3. Doom
    Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I got one of those notices as well, I wasn’t too pleased but I’ve learned basically all name registrars are trying to screw people one way or another. Just wait until you sell one to a third party through a registrar, they will do anything they can to get that domain for themselves.

    By the way, that image you posted of the ‘invoice’ still has your domain listed in the first paragraph although you took the effort to black it out throughout the remainder of the document.

  4. Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    HA! Where do I START?

    I urge the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Protection as well as ANY Domain Registrar that values customer loyalty to get cracking on these guys since they DO IMPLY that they have registered this domain with them in the openning lines of their letters (of which I get about a dozen a year) without saying it directly and is THEREFORE misleading.

    I Actually called them and asked them to remove my mailing address from their list and in my frustration the “Daemon Jacob” who answered the phone told me not to feed him my sob stories. Pretty much the level of customer service quality I’d expect from a company with no integity or shame. If they were hijacking mortgages and what have you there would be a federal case against this by now.


    This is a next generation high tech version of the business directory scam which was finally busted after years of being in business and after making millions if not bllions in fraud related profits.

    I understand it’s a recession and my heart bleeds for them with sympathy but this is total B.S. and No way to make an honest living. If the RCMP doesn’t do something about it then web developpers and anyone else in the industry should get interpol or the international agencies on their asses. Not all domains were canadian companies therefore I don’t believe there would be too many jurisdictional issues.

    I hope these guys like really warm weather because these guys and anyone working for them or with them that still have a conscious are going straight to hell, Atheist or otherwise.

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