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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Verisign/NSI Verisign, Inc. sending deceptive and predatory domain expiration notices
    posted by michael on Friday March 22 2002, @05:10PM

    Anonymous writes "Received this today from Go Daddy Software. Sounds like a job for ICANN!

    Please be aware that Verisign, Inc. (formerly Network Solutions) is sending via the US Mail, what we believe to be deceptive and predatory domain expiration notices."

    The purpose behind these notices is to get the unsuspecting customer to transfer to and renew their domain name(s) with Verisign Inc. at significantly higher prices.

    The domain expiration notices are designed so that it is not obvious that the notices are from Verisign, Inc. as opposed to Go Daddy Software. To see a copy of one of these deceptive expiration notices, please go to the following URL

    Those customers who fall prey to the Verisign, Inc. scheme will have their domain name(s) renewed at a price more than 3 times higher than would be the case if they renewed with Go Daddy Software.

    For a .com, .net or .org domain name renewal, the victimized customer would pay $29.00 to Verisign, Inc. instead of the $8.95 charged by Go Daddy Software.

    Those customers who fall prey to this scheme, will not receive any better service or value. They will however be tricked out of $20.05 per domain name.

    Renewal notices from Go Daddy Software are sent via email, and always mention the Go Daddy name. You can be sure that any communications you receive concerning your domain name that do not explicitly and obviously display the Go Daddy name are not from Go Daddy Software.

    If you believe, as we do, that this practice of Verisign Inc. is misleading, predatory and improper, we invite you to make your feelings known by writing to ICANN (who is the governing body for all Registrar’s and Registries) and to Verisign Registry. Email links for both are provided below.


    Bob Parsons, President Go Daddy Software, Inc.

    ICANN Registrar Complaint Form (hosted at InterNIC)

    VeriSign Registry Customer Service info@verisign-grs.com Phone: 703-948-3200

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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Verisign, Inc. sending deceptive and predatory domain expiration notices | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 18 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Verisign, Inc. sending deceptive and predator
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Friday March 22 2002, @06:15PM (#5510)
    User #2810 Info
    More or less the same warning is on the Go Daddy website, linked off A Warning to our Customers button at the top of their home page. The latter gives different Verisign contact information:
    VeriSign Inc. Customer Service
    Phone: 888-642-9675
    While it may sound like a job for ICANN, on the internic link given in the email, ICANN washes its hands of responsibility [emphases theirs]:
    If you have a problem with one of the registrars, you should first try to resolve it with that registrar. Contact information for the registrars is posted at http:// www.internic.net/contact.html [where VeriSign is still listed as Network Solutions. The page was last modified on Fri, 10 Aug 2001].

    If you cannot resolve your complaint with the registrar, you should address it to private-sector agencies involved in addressing customer complaints or governmental consumer-protection agencies. (The appropriate agency will vary depending on the jurisdiction of the registrar and the customer.) [Hint: perhaps such agencies could be listed somewhere].

    All registrars with direct access to the .biz, .com, .info, .net, and .org registries are accredited for this purpose by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN does not resolve individual customer complaints. ICANN is a technical-coordination body. Its primary objective is to coordinate the Internet's system of assigned names and numbers to promote stable operation.

    Although ICANN's limited technical mission does not include resolving individual customer-service complaints, ICANN does monitor such complaints to discern trends. If you would like to submit a complaint about a registrar for ICANN's records, please use the form below [not reproduced here] or send an email (including the information below) to registrar-info@icann.org. As a courtesy, ICANN will forward your complaint to the registrar for review and further handling. (Please note that there is no guarantee that the registrar will reply.)

    It will be interesting to see if only Go Daddy registrants receive this. Go Daddy is grabbing more of the market share with new registrations, VeriSign/Network Solutions decidedly isn't. As ICANN appears to have done nothing to stop the shady business practices of its smaller accredited registrars, can they be expected to bring the largest (and one of their larger sources of income) to heel? At best, they will wait to see if they can discern a trend, so I guess the message to crooked ICANN accredited registars (big and small) is to engage in one-time hit and run tactics. There's also a thread regarding this on the DNSO registrars' list. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Is the VeriSign solicitation illegal?
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Monday March 25 2002, @10:00AM (#5549)
    User #2810 Info
    Anyone getting such notices should read this email originally sent to the opensrs list. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Slashdot coverage
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Monday March 25 2002, @10:26AM (#5550)
    User #2810 Info
    here. Some people are reporting getting the letter for names they don't own. Is that the beginning of the WLS?

    Also various reports that this is also being done by Interland, a VeriSign partner, and host to the VeriSign parked pages that were recently hacked.

    Now if other registrars or other parties, EG: Verio, mine the WHOIS, that's a Very Bad Thing. Why is it acceptable to ICANN if VeriSign does it? -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Verisign, Inc. sending deceptive and predator
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Saturday March 23 2002, @05:17AM (#5519)
    User #2810 Info
    In none of the referenced material does Go Daddy make the claim that they are the only target. That was my musing (and I've never had any connection to Go Daddy) based on the fact that I hadn't seen reports from other registrars or their registrants regarding this, and I receive registrant email from four registrars and haven't been notified of it, nor have I received anything from VeriSign. Go Daddy at least has made the issue public. Have you contacted your registrants regarding it? It now seems it is more widespread than just Go Daddy registrants, but we, or at least I, still don't know if all non-VeriSign registrants were targeted. It is equally wrong in any case.

    As for Go Daddy being a significant threat, SnapNames State of the Domain Report says Go Daddy led in net new registrations in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2001, and in January 2002. Of course most all registrars led VeriSign in this metric, and that is a threat to VeriSign.

    Regarding the WLS, as the price has yet to be finalized I don't know where you get the $70M/year figure. It isn't quite a done deal yet. Despite widespread opposition to the WLS (and I've slammed it here a few times, and am probably not done yet) ICANN might still not allow it to go ahead (yes, you read that right). -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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