What the mailman dragged in

posted by on 2011.11.23, under Awesome Company Stuff
23rd
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So, yesterday my mailman brought me yet another one of those Domain Registry of Amer*** letters. These letters are seriously annoying.  Take a look (click below to see bigger image):

 

DRoA

 

If you didn’t already know, these letters are a notorious marketing ploy.  They try to convince you to renew your domain name with them by sending you an official-looking notice, by postal mail.  If you follow the directions, not only will you pay an arm and a leg for a year of registration, but you’ll also be transferring your domain registration to another company. I often get letters from customers, who ask me, “How did these scumbags get my snail mail address?”  It’s actually really easy.  And sort of scary, too.

 

Your domain name’s ownership information (it’s also called the “WHOIS information”) is available in a public database – which can be accessed by anyone.  See for yourself right here.

 

This is the same reason you usually started getting boatloads of spam to the email address associated with your domain.

 

Obviously this is bad.  Only for specific reasons would you want to share your info (and I’ll tell you about those in a couple of weeks).  But as a general rule, it’s better to hide your contact information from public view.

 

So how can you hide your contact information?

 

Until now, there hasn’t been a lot you can do about it.  But because so many of you have been asking for it, we’ve added a sweet new feature called Domain WHOIS Privacy.  It basically removes your information from the WHOIS database.  You still own your domain, but now you won’t have to deal with all the spam, fake mail, and telemarketing calls.  Of course you always have the option to turn privacy off at any time, but I don’t recommend it.

 

I’ve got all my personal names, and even some of my business names, protected with Domain WHOIS Privacy.  It works wonders and the spam you get decreases considerably.

 

So if you want to add it to your existing domain(s), it’s only $6/year (which is like one or two lattes from Starbucks, depending on how complicated of a person you are). And it’s well worth it.  Here are some instructions on turning privacy on.

 

To make it a no brainer, we’ve bundled domain privacy with new .com domain registrations. For a short time, you can register new .coms for just 4 bucks if you add domain privacy when you order them.

 

I hope you like this new feature, and that it’ll help you as much as it has helped me.

 

Yours,
 
Fathi Said, CEO
Host Excellence

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6 comments

  1. How funny, Faith, does anyone use a real name on those whois thingys anymore?

  2. Hi Fathi,
    I think it’s good that you are communicating with your customers, and are posting your blog!
    Ellen

  3. In a trademark infringement case, a 2009 United States District Court ruling in U.S.A.
    held that, for domains with “private registration”, the privacy service
    is legally the “owner” of the domain. The privacy service acts as the
    “cyber-landlord of the Internet real estate”, and the domain is
    “licensed” to the customer of the privacy service. (Morrow, Margaret M, United States District Judge (2009-05/19). Solid Host vs. NameCheap, Order Denying Motion to Dismiss. United States District Court, Central District of California.)So, looks like someone else ends up owning my domain!

    • @Gchurch

      That is an interesting read. I found a few articles on it but I’m honestly not very good at interpreting law language. I assure you that we do not want to steal away your domain registration as that would of course be bad for business. You may transfer it away at anytime or even cancel the domain privacy if you find that you don’t want or need it anymore.

      Danny Mullins
      HostExcellence

  4. Um, couple questions Faith.
    How come you wrote Amer*** letters? Maybe I should ask what that means? Am I missing something here? Is that, “America Letters?” And if so, what does it mean? Is there something wrong with spelling America? Do you believe “America” is at fault here? Because a very large portion of these spamming idiots reside in a few tiny countries where their govs are incapable of preventing them from spreading their trash?
    Anyway, the other point: as it is now, if someone buys a website through most hosting services, like yourself, when you go to WHOIS, it only shows you or whoever the host is? I had a site through you and several other companies, and checked that it was so.
    So, is this something above and beyond that?

    • Hi,
      Those **’s are part of the name “Domain Registry of Amer***”. It is a trademarked company name with no affiliation to Host Excellence or ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), and this is an example of the snail mailed letters sent to domain owners from them.
      The mailers sent to domain owners have in the past confused domain owners and caused them to transfer their registration and pay significantly more to do so than if they had re-registered the domain name with our services.
      About the whois listing; whois is public information. Depending on what whois look up a viewer is using, the whois query can display domain name, Current Registrar, IP Address, Registrant name, Registrant address, Registrant phone number, Registrant email address, Domain name servers, and Domain expiration date.
      I hope this information is helpful.
      Luna
      Host Excellence
      Customer Relations

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