The FTC says a Toronto-based company called Internet Listing Service scammed thousands of U.S. consumers and small businesses by mailing invoices to them demanding payment for unnecessary domain registration services. The company was given a suspended judgment of over $4 million, based on “the total amount of consumer injury” caused, but in reality the people behind the scam have been ordered to pay $10,000 because that’s all the money they have left.
Brian McCrary in Bluff City, TN received a $90 speeding ticket in the mail earlier this year, thanks to an American Traffic Solutions speed camera the police department turned on in January. McCrary says when he looked up information to call the police department with questions about the ticket, he discovered something else: that their website’s domain registration was about to expire. So he bought it.
The times, they are a changin’: whether it’s for business, a hobby, some drunken money-making scheme at three in the morning, or just to feel like you own something (our girlfriend says it’s “the poor man’s real estate”), there’s a good chance that you have bought or will buy a domain name at some point. One of the cheapest and most popular places to do this is GoDaddy.com, and designer C. Julian Klewes has written a handy illustrated guide to getting through their check-out gauntlet unscathed.
Don’t be this consumer.
The Chinese — weary of America’s control and insistence on Roman characters for domain names — have decided to set-up their own competitor to ICANN for domain names.
Mike Harris provides this epic tale of woe dealing with Yahoo! Domains:
I detest the support staff of Yahoo Domains. I detest them with the passion of a thousand white-hot suns. Not only has the experience entirely soured me on Yahoo! Domains, it has soured me on pretty much any for-pay Yahoo service.