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Consumer Alert

Watch out when receiving domain renewal alerts.

The .au domain authority recenlty put out an alert for owners of .au domains;

"auDA has become aware that Domains Australia Pty Ltd is sending letters and/or faxes to some domain name registrants offering  to arrange registration of the net.au equivalent of the registrants com.au domain name for $225.

The letter is headed .DOMAIN NAME AVAILABLE. and some versions of it offer a free MP3 player with each registration.

auDA has received numerous complaints which indicate that; 1.  despite the net.au name being paid for, it is NOT being registered and 2.  registrants are NOT receiving the .free. MP3 player.

Based on the complaints received auDA is concerned that the letters may  mislead people into believing that they are renewing their existing com.au domain name when in fact they are purchasing a new net.au name.

Further, consumers should be aware that $225 for a net.au domain name is significantly higher than prices charged by auDA accredited registrars and their resellers.  

Domains Australia Pty Ltd is a company controlled by Blair Rafferty, the brother of Chesley Rafferty. It is NOT an auDA accredited registrar nor is it a reseller of an auDA accredited registrar.

auDA has previously successfully taken legal action against Chesley Rafferty and companies controlled by him under the Trade Practices Act.

If you have paid Domains Australia Pty Ltd and the domain name has not been registered or you have not received the .free. MP3 player and you wish to lodge a formal complaint, auDA advises that you immediately contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) either by lodging an electronic complaint at http://www.accc.gov.au/ or by faxing it to their Canberra office on
(02) 6243 1199. Alternatively you may wish to contact your State based fair trading or consumer affairs office.

A similar mass mail out has also occurred in New Zealand.  New Zealand Domain Registration Ltd, owned by Blair Rafferty, was recently exposed on a New Zealand television program Fair Go.  To view this video please http://tvnz.co.nz/view/video_popup_windows_skin/816241. "

For domain renewals through Netvantage click here.