Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Greed Creates Common Deceptive Practices


By Bill Pytlovany

It continues to amaze me that companies build an entire business plan based on tricking consumers. Companies like the one listed below know they’re being deceptive yet have continued to run a company based on fooling consumers into thinking they’re already doing business with their company.

In this case, the company Domain Registry of America gets a list of domain names that that are due for renewal. They send a letter to the customer “implying” that they currently handle the domain name and include threats their domain name could be lost unless they send in a renewal fee. Instead unless you pay attention they’ll steal business away from your current domain holder. The threats in this letter work well and Domain Registry of America has made an entire business based solely on this deceptive practice. They do acknowledge renewing is a switch but they send their letter so far ahead of time they hope you’ll get theirs before an notice from the company who already serves you,

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This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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2 thoughts on “Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Greed Creates Common Deceptive Practices”

  1. I have been the recipient of such a letter and yes, I agree that the letter was very craftily worded.

    The letter in question came from a company calling themselves the ‘Domain Renewal Group’ and it had a logo that was suspiciously similar to the one published here.

    The letter starts off with:

    “As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending out notification of the domain name registration that is due to expire in the next few months.”

    I think that it is deceptive, in that, it leads the reader to believe, quite possibly, that they are in fact dealing with their own domain name company.

    when I first signed up with my current hosting company, the domain name, although administered by a different company, was done through the hosting company. To be honest, I didn’t give-a-toss who the domain registration was with, just as long as I could get my site up and running, and as a result of reading that letter, I went back and had a look at just who my domain name was registered with as I had kept all of my correspondence with the hosting company, just in case anything went wrong.

    Now lets look at the second sentence of that letter:

    “When you switch today to the Domain Renewal Group, you can take advantage of our best savings. Your registration for will expire on April 11 2010. Act today!”

    That ‘when you switch’ statement almost gets lost in the previous sentence. I say almost, because it didn’t dupe me, but the point is that it could have, if I had been having a bad day, got up late or was just not on-the-ball for whatever reason.

    While it is not an outright scam, and I don’t think that even the author of this article is calling it as such, I do think it is very dubious business practice.

  2. Bill,

    I, like you try to keep a hawkeye out for scams however, I really don’t see the deception you say Domain Registry of America uses. All they are doing is capitalizing on an early notice to like you say to get ahead of the users present domain affiliate notice. Nothing is deceptive about that practice as that is the competitive edge. They clearly state in the second sentence that it is a switch with them and then very clearly define that in the rest of the letter. There is no way one can read that letter and feel that they have been duped. Where you have to be afraid of being duped is in Dupe Age County Illinois when you go to the courthouse and see the judges ignore exonerating evidence and pass out convictions!!! Scams in the “courthouse” in our “Justice” System is where we really need to focus our attentions even more!

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