Beware the jabberwocky!
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.