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Verisign Sending Deceptive Domain Renewal Mail?

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the no-kind-words-for-verisign dept.

The Internet 374

General_Corto writes: "Declan McCullagh's PoliTech list just forwarded a message detailing how Verisign is sending letters to people who own domains through other registrars, attempting to make them change registrar on renewal. Looking at the letter it is very unclear that you are signing up with a different registrar. Sneaky games are being played."

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pfist poast (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221604)


This pfist poast is dedicated to halle berry. Thanks to you, "women of color" (TM) everywhere are now emancipated.

Re:pfist poast (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221689)

And blubbering moron she is!

Waaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221828)

Waaaah!

-- Hallie

Thats pretty bad. (2, Flamebait)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221613)

I'll fire off an email to verisign to chastize them. You should all do the same.

Don't send email! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221682)

They ignore email! You have to send paper (preferably hand-written or typed on an old typewriter), flood their fax machine, or travel to Washington to meet personally ... what, this is Verisign? Never mind.

Nothing new (3, Insightful)

cre8tor (265494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221616)

Registrars have been doing this for a while, not just Verisign.

Re:Nothing new (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221825)

It's hard to beleive that the revenue from domain owners they manage to trick is worth more than the damage to their brand. First of all, people will make that mistake only once. Secondly, as the number of people who associate Verisign's name with skullduggery increases, the trust that underlies their certificate authority business will evaporate. Granted, this trust is more by default than anything else -- people don't know enough not to trust. But this is all the more reason not to blow it. There was never a monopoly built on such a flimsy foundation.

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221898)

I've been getting notices like this from Register.com for years. Register.com is NOT my domain registrar.

This is old news (1, Troll)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221949)

This is at least two weeks old. I'm fairly certain I came across it earleir than that. So, varasign is enguaging in sleezy business practices. Who here is suprised? As a customer of GoDaddy Software, I recieved the email Declan mentioned and I'm happier than ever to be using them rather than Verasign as a registrar. In fact, I tried over a year ago, so get a domain name report from Varasign (a listing of all the domains I have registered with them) since I have domains that were registered going way back before they migrated away fro mtheir email based registration interface. They still have not provided the requested listing. My service request is still open with them. Talking to their custoemr service is like talking to a brick wall (again, who's suprised?).

--CTH

Lather, rinse, repeat (0, Troll)

Skuto (171945) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221620)

We've had this one before. Where's the 'new' in news?

--
GCP

Re:Lather, rinse, repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221668)

Slashdot: They're the ew in news.

Oscars (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221630)

Verisign also desserves an Oscar for being so overhyped...

I got two of these... (1)

neilb78 (557698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221634)

I got two of these emails from Verisign a week or two ago...Good thing I knew what I was doing or I might have renewed a domain that's already been paid until 2004.

Re:I got two of these... (2)

El_Nofx (514455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221920)

Exact same thing with me. Cept they were a little more persistant in trying to rip me off.

My domain name was up in early March, I renewed it to 04 when they sent me a renewal letter in November. They have since sent me no less than 10 other letters, 3 or 4 emails and twice have actually called me, I told the two idiots on the phone that I already renewed it. They didn't know what to say so I hung up.

I have also recieved letters from Register.com and another place looking like I had my domain through them and It was time to renew.

Alas now I work for an ISP and register my names through them. If I need to renew I do it my self. End of story. Verisign has some serious problems in their renewal system though.

Haven't we heard this sob story before? (1, Flamebait)

cscx (541332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221643)

"Switch to MCI/Sprint from AT&T, it's better!"

"Switch to Linux, it's better!"

You people need to get your head out of your asses when you think about "deceptive business practices." It's all a game... whoever is the most persistent and has the best business schemes, wins. Sounds kinda like Bill Gates's life story.

Way to not read the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221713)

Did you actually read the story? It's not a "Switch to us, we r0ckzors" thing.

The problem is that the notices look like invoices: Take a look here [godaddy.com]

Re:Haven't we heard this sob story before? (3, Informative)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221726)

"Switch to MCI/Sprint from AT&T, it's better!"

"Switch to Linux, it's better!"


This is *totally* different. The difference is that Verisign isn't really telling you that you're switching, other than in the teeny tiny fine print. By your logic, this is akin to MCI sending you a bill for your AT&T service, indicating underneath your signature line that you'll be authorizing them to take over your service. There are laws against this now that specifically require you to say something along the phrase of "I agree to have *** as my long distance provider" on the phone where they can record it, as well as citing some personally identifiable information, so that the telco can prove that you authorized the change in proper sound mind and body.

Re:Haven't we heard this sob story before? (-1)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221766)

First off, if you don't know who you've signed up a domain with, you're a fucking moron, and I have no pity if someone dupes you into signing up with them. The Verisign logo on the notice is a dead giveaway. If I didn't sign up with Verisign in the first place, then I'm sure as hell not going to renew with them.
Secondly, always read the fine print!

Re:Haven't we heard this sob story before? (2, Insightful)

martinmcc (214402) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221761)

I think you are missing the point. There is nothing wrong with saying 'I think Windows is Bad because of x, y, z and Linux is good because of a, b and c, therefore I think you should change'. This is not what they did.

I wouldn't have been so bad if verisign had sent a letter saying 'Change from your current provider to us becuase we can offer x better deal' (forgetting the unsolicited mail issue), but instead they attempt to decieve the customer into signing up with them, when they would probably be thinking they are simply renewing the service they have.

It is a sad state when orginisations so blatently falls in with the 'why not if we can get away with it and make a quick buck' attitude. Just becuase you can and you are not breaking any laws does not make it right. In a society you should show respect for the people around you, whether you are in the work place, in business or down the pub, and verisign has shown a complete lack of respect to its competiors, and its potential customers, by pulling this stunt. It just creates an atmosphere of distrust and dirty tricks, which ends up being bad for all involved.

I received both... (1)

O2n (325189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221650)

I received both the letter and the warning email, in this order. I wasn't stupid enough to fall for the Verisign's scheme, though.

Also I don't wanna spend time writing obscenities to them - I'm sure a lot of other people will oblige.

So basicly it's "move on, nothing to see here".

Re:Your sig (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221733)

So you decided *not* to join the blackout?

Re:Your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221907)

Welcome to March, dumbass.

Sneaky letter (3, Interesting)

herko_cl (533936) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221652)

This thing doesn't even have the company name on its return address, it's just called Expiration Department.
This is just an attempt to snare unsuspecting customers aware from other registrars, apparently earning a tidy profit for Verisign (Go Daddy software complains that that Verisign charges $29.95 instead of their $8.95)

Question (2, Insightful)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221653)

All this letter is, is a request to transfer and renew under Veisign without actually saying so. It's almost like receiving spam indicating you requested it without ever doing so.

It's wrong and deceptive. Just make sure you respond to the communication from the registrar you originally registered with. Being observant can save you money and hassle.

At least they've gotta ask... (2, Interesting)

mjfgates (150958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221659)

Y'all remember "slamming?" That fun practice where Phone Company X would just go in and magically switch you to use their long-distance service without even mentioning it to you, and you wouldn't find out until the bill showed up?

So, this isn't all that bad... not that they wouldn't LIKE to be, but they don't get to.

Re:At least they've gotta ask... (3, Interesting)

xigxag (167441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221877)

Y'all remember "slamming?"


That's a very apt comparison. Verisign has gone from being a monopoly (as Network Solutions) to having a lot of cheaper competition, just like Ma Bell. And similarly, it finds that it can't hack it in the real world, and is resorting to underhanded techniques like this.

"Trust is the foundation ..." (5, Funny)

wardbekker (219295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221665)

Yep, taken from the Verisign homepage:

" Trust is the foundation of every human relationship "

They probably forgot the *: Only applies when you owe us money ;-)

Re:"Trust is the foundation ..." (1)

Dick Click (166230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221745)

I would not strongly disagree that "Trust is the foundation of every human relationship." (partly because I have no other candidates to replace Trust).
But, it seems I can't trust Verisign not to try to pull the wool over my eyes. I suppose I am going to have to remove the Verisign Root CA certs from my browsers now.

Hmm (2, Insightful)

zapfie (560589) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221666)

Same game, different industry, huh. I used to see contest ballots for free cars and whatnot around.. in the fine print, though, it stated if you entered that contest that they could switch your carrier over to some unknown company. Although this isn't the same means, it seems that slamming techniques are definately not an uncommon thing in service industries.. It was probably only a matter of time until we saw stunts like this.

Interland (1)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221669)

Just got a "renewal notice - do not discard" this morning from Interland trying to get me to add one of those useless ".biz" extensions to my main domain.

news? (0, Troll)

aozilla (133143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221673)

Declan McCullagh's PoliTech list just forwarded a message detailing how Verisign is sending letters to people who own domains through other registrars, attempting to make them change registrar on renewal.

In other news, Microsoft is bundling IE with Windows in order to get people to stop using Netscape.

Re:news? (2)

Tuzanor (125152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221793)

This is differnent and you know it, dork. Whilst Microsoft made it obvious that they were bundling IE into windows (and never tried to hide it), Verisign in making it look like they are in fact the origional registrar that the person signed up with. This is deception, whilst the IE thing was nothing more than leveraging ones products by (ab)using a Monopoly. Two whole different ballparks.

Re:news? (2)

igjeff (15314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221813)

I think the original comment was more about how long this has been going on, and that many of this would have thought this activity (by Verisign and others) would be common knowledge at this point.

At least, that's what *I* thought when I read the story. (and saw the posting on nanog).

*shrug*

Jeff

Farming For Clients (2, Interesting)

TwistedTR (443315) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221674)

All they are doing is using information from WHOIS to farm for new clients. It's spam, I didnt register with them, yet they are telling me all about how my domain is about to expire and all the wonderful options available to me to prevent this from happening. It's sad to see a someone as large as Verisign fall to such low tactics to farm new clients.

Re:Farming For Clients (3, Interesting)

IIOIOOIOO (517375) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221937)

More importantly, using the WHOIS database for marketing purposes is against ICANN rules and against the AUP on most WHOIS servers.

Reminds me of "slamming" (5, Insightful)

Mnemia (218659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221676)

This strikes me as a similar, albeit different, tactic to what is known as "slamming" in the phone industry. It was once a common scam for the shadier long distance providers to change your carrier without your permission or consent; the practice was (I believe) outlawed in the 1996 Telcommunications Act (correct me if I'm wrong). This is slightly different because they are just being deceptive about gaining consent, but it does seem similar. Wonder if Congress will step in on this type of practice as well?

Not sure that's the best idea, but it will probably take Washington 10 years to notice this anyway and by then there won't be any players but Verisign left anyway.

Could It Now Do This? (3, Interesting)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221939)

I wonder if the Telco Act as it stands now already cover this? IANAL nor do I keep the law text lying around to study. :-)

it's a (2)

oo7tushar (311912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221677)

scam ('skam) noun 1. a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation .

I think that Verisign is spamming, but physically, damn Post Office, it's an relay server ain't it?

That is pretty dirty... (2)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221690)

They only have their name in one place on the mailing, and it's not on the mailing service. Given how Verisign advertises their business as if they're *the* Internet company, it's not surprising that people might actually see the Verisign logo and think that it's either a safety/security measure, or that they're partnered with Go Daddy to conduct the renewals processing.

Woe betide he who does not read the fine print.

On a separate note, where do you legally draw the line between deceptively stealing customers and "slamming"?

Very deceptive, but.... (3)

the_radix (454343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221691)

The letter is very deceptive. Verisign seems to only be prominently mentioned once, and the address the letter gets mailed to doesn't mention Verisign at all. This is about as shady as switching your long-distance plan by cashing a check they give you (anyone else get those?).

But, I would hope that any sane person would refuse to put down their credit card number on a piece of mail as flimsy as a business reply card. Ignorance only extends so far, right? ...right?

Re:Very deceptive, but.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221851)

Hey! I got one of those checks from AT&T, to switch a phone number I had had disconnected at least 6 months previously!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank AT&T for a *free* $100!

"Interland" does this as well (5, Interesting)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221692)

My girlfriend got a "DOMAIN NAME EXPIRATION" notice from Interland. It said something to the effect of "if you don't renew now, you may lose your domain!" The problem is, she registered it through Network Solutions. NetSol must have taken notice of this and thought it was just a fantastic marketing technique.

I registered several through GoDaddy [godaddy.com] , by far the best one I have ever used, and Godaddy sent me a "warning" notice that Verisign is sending out these deceptive messages, and suggesting we write to icann about them...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 22 Mar 2002 20:52:05 -0000
From: service@godaddy.com
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: A WARNING TO OUR CUSTOMERS

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: http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/private_vsrn.asp?dis play=letter [godaddy.com] .

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.

Sincerely,

Bob Parsons, President
Go Daddy Software, Inc.

ICANN Registrar Complaint Form (hosted at InterNIC)
http://www.internic.net/cgi/registrars/ problem-rep ort.cgi

VeriSign Registry Customer Service
info@verisign-grs.com

Re:"Interland" does this as well (3, Informative)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221787)

Yeah, I was at godaddy.com this morning.. there's a big yellow "A WARNING TO OUR CUSTOMERS" button on their homepage.
Links here [godaddy.com] .

Re:"Interland" does this as well (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221837)

They (godaddy.com) also sent e-mails to their customers warning them about the Verisign ploy. I got mine on Friday.

Re:"Interland" does this as well (1)

psycht (233176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221892)

ICANN won't do anything if they are not sure if they'll be around. Just send the forms back to verisign... empty.. they get charged for the postage.

Re:"Interland" does this as well (3, Informative)

zangdesign (462534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221895)

Instead of ICANN, I would suggest contacting your State Attorney General's office for deceptive trade practices, or the Postmaster General for mail fraud. ICANN can't prosecute these scumbags the way they should be.

Re:"Interland" does this as well (1)

Delphis (11548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221927)

Bah.. and ICANN's stupid form comes back with 'the following fields are blank: sessionid' .. stupid lot.

I guess you can email the address registrar-info@icann.org and complain about verisign. It's crap they're sending out those mailings, I've had some of them too.

Interland is doing a similar thing. (3, Interesting)

Binky The Oracle (567747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221694)

For the last 2 months I've been receiving similar mail from Interland (a Verisign partner) for a domain that doesn't expire until late May. I have two sites hosted on Interland and they're sending me renewal notices for a Verisign-registered domain that I parked on Interland servers (no live site).

Initially I was keeping all of my registrations with Verisign/Internic because I felt they provided me with the best service. That's still true as long as I don't need them to do anything like send me a registration report or help me change a contact because the record got munged.

I also felt a bit more secure with Verisign because they don't seem to be going anywhere and domain registrations are long-term investments for me.

These new tactics may be the final straw. The trouble is, I don't know how reliable any of the other companies are. Any recommendations?

OpenSRS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221824)

I think OpenSRS [opensrs.com] is attempting to address the "going away" issue.

Re:Interland is doing a similar thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221854)

Try Verio. They are similarly stable (they are the biggest ISP, they're not going anywhere) and the Virtual Private Server products are great if you want to park all of your domains on one server (you can configure sendmail and apache to handle them all).

Register.com does this as well (2, Informative)

Bloodwine (223097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221695)

My PHB often comes in with letters from register.com and always says, "I didn't think we had domains with them? How did they get our domains?!" and I have to tell him that those renewal letters are just gimmicks to trick you into changing registrars.

I'm not one who is satisfied with the incompetence of Verisign, but I can't let them take the blame for coming up with this scam.

Received one - was confused (1)

euphline (308359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221706)

I received one of these recently. Was quite confused. The domain was with register.com... I *knew* it wasn't with netsol. Took me doing a whois, etc., to determine that netsol was just misleading me.

-jbn

Oh please (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221707)

As much as I hate verisign, mostly because it took 3 phone calls and 4 tries to get my domain switched to TheNIC.com.. I've seen register.com and other people do the same thing with mailing and emails. Plus, I would think that big verisign logo might be a tip off, as well as the confirmations you need to switch registers.

Good reason for whois server changes (5, Interesting)

Leme (303299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221711)

I really can't think of a good technical reason that I need to see the expiration date and other information off of the whois servers. Only information I really care about is the DNS servers and the admin/technical contact.

They should make the whois servers not give this information so other companies can use it as their own personal sales list.

Re:Good reason for whois server changes (2, Interesting)

Bloodwine (223097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221779)

We have 200+ domains hosted at work, and I don't want to wade through all the letters and emails that Verisign sends me (since they send multiple mailings per domain... and even mail you warning notices AFTER you've registered the domain).

I wrote a Perl script that goes through the entire /etc/namedb directory, does a whois, and writes the expiration dates to a file, ordered by expiration date from soon to far-far-away.

Having a nicely formatted list of all the expiration dates is much nicer than wading through individual (and possibly duplicate) peices of mail.

Also, I have used the contact (email and phone) information to get ahold of current Technical and Administrative contacts to request domain transfers by request of the domain owner/holder (most customers don't want to deal with stuff themselves... they want the world handled by everybody else)

So, in conclusion, the WHOIS information is invaluable. It is unfortunate that it's misused and abused, though.

Re:Good reason for whois server changes (1)

jasonkohles (546421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221902)

That wouldn't stop them, I get these things all the time for domains that won't expire for 5-10 years.

Same thing but not even my domain (2, Interesting)

handle (156615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221712)

I got the same letter from VeriSign, but it was for renewal of a domain that I do not and never have owned. The domain turned out to be registered to some company in Turkey who used register.com. I'm somewhat concerned that other people are getting the same letter for *my* domains.

Uhh, no, it IS obvious. (2, Flamebait)

buss_error (142273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221715)

The letter clearly shows the Verisign trade mark. If I got one of these, I'd know right off what was going on. If I didn't know what was up, then I shouldn't be the domain contact because I'm too clueless.

People that have domain names should be somewhat cluefull, or have a consultant that is. I do think that Verisign is gonna get it's little fingies wacked over this. I hope that it's a very firm, costly wack for them.

bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221717)

he is the president of the company that verisign is competing with. of course his is going to be upset. then again i work for verisign so i can't really make unbiased comments either.

I just recieved one. (4, Funny)

mesach (191869) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221722)

But since my domain isnt registered with NSI, im going to send it back to them no postage necessary, and im going to write on it in magic marker "NO WAY IN HELL"

maybe ill add a few washers, since they pay by weight of the letter, thats what i suggest, hit em where the investors feel it.

Re:I just recieved one. (1)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221789)

maybe ill add a few washers
Tape it to a brick.

Re:I just recieved one. (2, Informative)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221880)

A brick won't work -- check out the Straight Dope [straightdope.com]

Ads? (2, Interesting)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221727)

This looks suspiciously like a bit of corporate maneuvering. The linked article practically screams advertisement (giving the price of their own domain service, while defaming Verisign?)

I'm not one to normally be conspiratorial, but I think that it's not Verisign that's sending these letters, it's their competitor, GoDaddy, making it look like Verisign is to blame.

If it weren't for Verisign's bad maneuvers in the past, I would jump on that bandwagon immediately. Just a thought...

comparison of dns provider agreements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221728)

A while back, there was a slashdot article about a web site that offered a side-by-side comparison of all the various DNS registrars, so you could see which ones had the best and worst user agreements.

Does anyone have a pointer to that website?

simply (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221734)

marketing genius. I'm so proud.
deceiving morons is what makes this country great.

I love bill gates and i want to feel his man breasts

And phone companies are any different? (1)

BCGlorfindel (256775) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221736)

Not sure about everyone else but I get a phone call from ATT and Sprint bi-annually to switch my long distance over to their service. Most phone calls I've received NEVER ask if you want to switch over. The simply quote the benefits of their service and then ask for your name and address. Giving your address is taken as you acceptance to switch over to their service, very underhanded. This kind of marketing is simply becoming more wide spread.

are they really fooling people? (3)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221737)

don't most domain name holders know who they registered with, when their time expires, and who their options are for renewal? isn't it normally a tekkie who handles the domain name administration for a company? if they really wanted to be sneaky, they'd send it to the administrative assistant to the VP of operations. this isn't any more sneaky than the 5-50$ check that AT$T sends in the mail where they switch your long dial phone service if you cash it.

Having used Verisign services... (2)

gillbates (106458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221749)

I must say that they are the sleaziest company I have ever dealt with. I don't think I'd have any problem finding a used car salesman with higher ethical standards than Verisign.

Not just Verisign (1)

..... (133478) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221751)

I administer several domains through Verio, and we recently got similarly deceptive mail from Interland.

The problem is, this is not just registration that Interland is fighting for. They want to parlay controlling the registration into stealing the customers. If they control the registration (and by default, the DNS, from their scamming form) you have a "legitimate" business relationship with them and they can spam you to their hearts content with deals and "upgrade incentives."

Interland sucks.

I got that letter. (2)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221752)

It was suspicious because it didn't list all of my domains. It listed two of my three domains. Those two pointed to sites, the third does not.

So their selection/identification has some basis on actual use.

Re:I got that letter. (1, Redundant)

Tiroth (95112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221786)

I recieved the letter as well.

I avoid VeriSign... (3, Interesting)

stevel (64802) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221759)

I'd say that VeriSign is the Microsoft of registrars, but that would be an insult to Microsoft. VeriSign has screwed up billing and renewal of various domains of mine four times in the past - after the last fiasco, in which they triple-charged me for a single two-year renewal their web site told me was not processed, and which they had already told me they couldn't do because my domain had (afterwards) been transferred to eNom [enom.com] , it took me three months and a letter to my bank disputing the charges to get my money back. I now use eNom for all my registrations. (Yes, I know there are cheaper choices...)

However, I get the last laugh.. When the domain involved in that triple-renewal came up for renewal this year, eNom told me that VeriSign's database had the domain as having been extended for six years - it didn't a year ago when I had the mess with them - so I was all set through 2008! I wrote them to explain what happened - they thanked me for being honest and said that it was more trouble than it was worth to "correct" the situation...

Others do it as well (4, Interesting)

iammichael (90526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221774)

I've gotten numerous letters from various registrars trying to get me to renew with them. None of them were very straightforward about the fact that they weren't my current registrar. Luckily, I know better (what's weird is that my domain is registered for the next 10 years, and some registrars still think it was expiring this year).

On a slightly related issue, I got a phone call a month or so ago from "The Domain Support Group". They tried telling me that since I owned a .com domain, I had early access to a .info or something like that. They repeatedly implied that they were just a support group calling, and not a company named "The Domain Support Group".

Paraphrasing a bit...

Who would be the registrar for the domain?
"We would be"

And who are you?
"We're your friendly Domain Support Group"

So you're not my current registrar?
"We're the domain support group".

Are you the same company as my existing registrar?
"Uh, no."

Yeah... so, I filed a complaint with the FTC.

my letter to verisign... (1)

alta (1263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221775)

TO:verisales@verisign.com; websitesales@verisign.com; internetsales@verisign.com; paymentsales@verisign.com; partnerprogram@netsol.com

Re: Truth is the foundation of every human relationship.

It seems rather ironic that I find this on the front page of your website, after receiving your newest campaign letter. A nicely formed, official looking document asking me to renew my domain registration. No matter that I'm currently a register.com customer.

I am a web developer and knew entirely that I was not a verisign customer and with the email/fax crap that NSol puts people through, I never would be. But unfortunately not all of my customers are so knowledgeable. Your letter was deliberately deceptive and was done in extremely poor taste. Remember that in the business world a negative action will be relayed much more often than a positive one, and you have just started a lot of bashing through word of mouth.

_______________
Benny Butler
Nexus ITG
251-340-8345
www.nexusitg.com
chmod a+x /bin/ladin

Seen this before from other registrars (1)

casmithva (3765) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221792)

I had a domain up for renewal last July, and within two weeks of the actual expiration I received spam from numerous lesser-known registrars, reminding me of the upcoming renewal date and encouraging me to switch to them. While most made it clear where the message originated from, one was what I'd call actual spam. It mentioned a registrar by name, but the email headers showed the message being routed through a third-party open relay, and it wasn't clear that the message actually originated with that registrar.

The weeks prior to my renewal date were...disturbing...because of the increased level of spam and snail-mail junk mail.

Deception is the Cornerstone of Capitalism (1, Troll)

Zen Mastuh (456254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221798)

Except the concept of Deception is always called by deceptive expressions such as "thinking outside of the box", "pushing boundaries", etc... I bet someone at Verisign got a bonus for this, because surely hundreds of people have fallen for the ruse.

I'm not preaching any alternative economic system here; I'm just asking you to not be so shocked that a company is deceiving people to become customers. It comes with the territory.

Absolutely (5, Insightful)

clark625 (308380) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221911)

I own a house. For those of you not fortunate enough to understand what that means, consider your average junkmail that you receive now in your rental house, apartment, whatever. Multiply that by roughly 15.

This letter may be somewhat deceptive. So is every other friggin' piece of mail in my mailbox right now. Most people do the same thing with all such letters--they throw them out. But, like always, there is a sucker born every minute who will just plop down the credit card number and send the thing in. That's the ropes, folks.

When I looked at the letter, I saw Verisign's name immediately. I also noticed that you are signing for "renewal and transfer authorization", not just renewal. Sure, this might not say explicitly that you're going to change registrars... but there's a heck of a lot of fine print near the bottom that I can't read. My guess is that everything is spelled out there very clearly--to the person who cares to read it anyways.

Sorry folks, that's life. There's enough stupid people in the world who fall for things like this to make it economically worthwhile. Maybe next time get mad at the people dumb enough to sign things without reading--cause it's really their fault in the end.

Re:Deception is the Cornerstone of Capitalism (2)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221913)

I think you're a troll. I'll bite anyway.

"Thinking outside the box" could allude to deception. It could (and usually does) also allude to something that's different. That's all. Good or bad, it's different.

Sure, this happens in capitalism. But it's not necessary to or specificly limited to Capitalism. It happens with greed and "we're adhering to the letter of the law" style practices. This can happen in any economic system.

People lie, cheat, and steal. It's a fact of life. But it's silly to blame an economic system because some people exploit others in order to benefit through said economic system.

Big Deal... (2)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221804)

They have access to Whois, they know which accounts are ready to expire, so they send out a renewal notice attempting to get you to switch. I know I registered via godaddy, I can see the Verisign logo, andyone who is "fooled" by this deserves what they get.

Now if they sent this out under the premise that they (verisign) were godaddy THEN this would be a valid complaint.

Worse still - Verisign denies outbound transfers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221805)

I have a client who is trying to transfer a few domains away from Verisign/NetSol, but the transfers fail and no one at Verisign can tell us why. The domains are in good standing, more than 30 days from expiration, and yet they keep denying the transfer requests.

It seems that there's something weird about the domains in their records which is causing this failure, but getting someone to actually figure it out is basically impossible.

If you have your domain with Verisign, transfer it elsewhere if you can!

Kinda funny? (2)

nakhla (68363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221806)

Okay, is it just me or does anyone else find this just a little funny (in a sick, unethical way)? I mean, sure it's wrong of Verisign to try and trick people into doing business with them. On the other hand, if people/companies have such poor records management that they don't even notice it then they've got bigger problems than Verisign

I got one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221811)

Do what I do...

Send them some crap back in the business reply mail. They have to pay for it. I sent them a credit card app from Capital One.

I do this for all mail with businness reply envelopes.

I get these letters, and I don't use NetSol (2)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221838)

These things can never be said often enough:
  • Verisign is an awful company

  • Network "Solutions" is an awful company



These letters from Verisign/Netsol border on fraud.

Fuck this (2)

EricKrout.com (559698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221842)

This is total bullshit. I just got one of these in the mail today, and if GoDaddy (my registrar) hadn't warned me about it a few days ago, I may have filled it out and sent Verisign $30.

This is an incredibly sketchy practice on the part of Verisign and it pissed me off (as I'm sure it does many of you). Imagine if the U.S. government or IRS sent notices like this that said "Warning: If you don't send us X amount of dollars by March 31st, you will be in danger of facing criminal prosecution".

I mean, this is essentially what Verisign is doing, but the fact that they're a bunch of uber-capitalist business pigs^H^H^H^Hmen, it is somehow legal.

m o n o l i n u x :: Have You Had Your Linux News Today? [monolinux.com]

Re:Fuck this (1, Flamebait)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221941)

"This is total bullshit. I just got one of these in the mail today, and if GoDaddy (my registrar) hadn't warned me about it a few days ago, I may have filled it out and sent Verisign $30."


Then you're a moron.. Why would you fill out a flimsy postcard with your CC#? Why would you renew a domain with somebody that doesn't even mention your current register? Why would you even REMOTELY thing that this is from GoDaddy and not VeriSign. There's no reference to GoDaddy, but there's a big VeriSign logo on it. If you need GoDaddy to send you an email warning you about this, then there's this bridge I'll sell ya..

IRS doesn't need to send out the notices. (1)

clion999 (565741) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221948)

Imagine if the U.S. government or IRS sent notices like this that said "Warning: If you don't send us X amount of dollars by March 31st, you will be in danger of facing criminal prosecution".

The IRS doesn't need to send out the notices. They've already taken the money from your paycheck. You have to file a form to get the money back. It's only a matter of time before Network Solutions cuts themselves this kind of break.

Non-Expired Domains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3221853)

My domain was originally created at Verisign and would have expired 2/2002. But last December I moved it to Gandi.net and renewed it until 2/2003. Nevertheless I still got an 'expiration' notice from Verisign stating that I would lose my domain in 2/2002 if I didn't renew it immediately. I think I have checked whois 10 times just on the off chance that I somehow screwed up my registration. I thought consumer fraud was a crime?

Deceptive renewal notices (2, Informative)

Visualocity (68770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221860)


We've received numerous calls from customers of ours regarding this issue as well. We've posted a sample of one of these Verisign notices at:

<a href="http://domainscams.com">http://domainscam s.com</a>.

There's also a good thread on the OpenSRS discuss-list mailing list. <a href="http://www.opensrs.org/archives/discuss-list /0203/">OpenSRS discuss-list archive.</a>

What is disturbing to me with this is that while similar renewal scams have been running for some time, these have usually been run from small time registration service providers like Domain Registry of America/Canada. This one is from Verisign, and they've the money behind them to hit a lot of domain holders with this.

Their notice also includes a reply date which is timed 40 days following the expiry date of the domain, the day that most other registrars will drop the domain if not renewed.,

The notice itself is entitled Domain Name Expiration Notice, and looks as close to a renewal form as possible.

If you have received one of these & paid it, you should contact your bank/credit card company about reversing the charge. Verisign won't be able to complete the transfer without you authorising it by an email that is sent to the existing admin email contact for your domain.

You may also want to visit http://www.usps.com and in the search box type in "false billing". You will find the first result link is for: "False Billing Schemes Against Business".

"Notify your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector if you receive a questionable invoice or have been taken in a false billing scheme. This will help postal inspectors protect other companies with weak controls."

So it wasn't just imcompetence after all (1)

Saeger (456549) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221868)

Over the course of the past two years I have moved all of my domains from NSOL over to Gandi [gandi.net] (much cheaper & better terms), but Verisign continues to send me snailmail and spam renewal notices. Since I knew the domains no longer lived with them I just chalked it up to incompetence.

I never really figured that Verisign would stoop to being so slimy as to "slam" people with phony renewals... and anyway, most registrars require you to (A)cknowledge the transfer... just in case you forgot where your domains lived. :)

--

Double renewal? (1)

entrager (567758) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221869)

I received one of these letters in the mail the other day. I read most of the letter, and I'm pretty sure that it made no mention of the original registrar. Seems like a blatent attempt to make people switch over without even realizing it. Of course, I already renewed my domain through register.com (I wouldn't recommend them) three weeks ago. Do they really think someone would be stupid enough to renew twice?

Not the only way Verisign plays dirty... (5, Informative)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221873)

Things like this are exactly why I no longer use Verisign/NetSol as my registrar. However, unfortunately this not their only dirty trick.

Aside from this, which is very similar to long-distance carrier slamming, Verisign also has a nasty habit of holding onto domains/not allowing customers to transfer their own domains. I know several people who were forced to wait for MONTHS for Verisign to finally go ahead and transfer their domains to another registrar, and that was only after repeated calls to them. Verisign's own transfer process was completely ignored, in the hopes of squeezing another $35 out of the billing contact.

Verisign also uses deceptive overbilling; if you register a domain with them for a year, come renewal time, they will send you a renewal bill for $70 or more! Of course, only in the very fine print do they tell you that it's $35 a year, so they are trying to make you renew for 2+ years. Yes, you can select 1 year, but they should not default to 2 years unless you previously paid for 2 years. It is very carefully worded to make it look like you actually owe them $70+.

Lastly, they make it ridiculously tough to modify your own contact information for a domain. I had a domain which was registered in my name, and with an email address that was now expired. So, you have to fax them a paper requesting a change of email address. Fine, no problem there. However, I had to send them nine faxes before it got changed. I would call to followup the fax, and they would repeatedly claim that it was never received. It took over 3 1/2 months for me to get an email address changed on a domain contact!! Of course, if you sign up for their expensive premium services, it only takes a day; glad to know where regular customers stand with Verisign.

I recommend that anyone who does use them to switch elsewhere. A company like Verisign/NetSol does not deserve our business.

Mail fraud (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221876)

Anybody who gets one of these in the mail should take it to their local post office and file a complaint for mail fraud.

Renewal, too... (2)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221888)

Verisign routinely sends renewal requests for domains that have been transferred from them to another registrar. At best, it's terrible business practice. At worst, it's highly deceptive.

very very common, and very very illegal (2, Interesting)

augros (513862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221889)

ever since network solutions turned into verisign they've begun to suck like everyone else. i'm assuming these guys, just like every other registrar, is using 'whois' in order to get their information. interesting that they expect other people to abide by their own server's "information clause" and while disregard everyone else's:

By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree to use this Data only for lawful purposes and that under no circumstances will you use this Data to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail, telephone, or facsimile;

i know people who work for <a href=alldomains.com>alldomains</a> and they say they use the same technique, knowledgably and with complete disregard for the law. i get a courtesy calls often concerning my domains from other registrars. can we crack down on these guys? or should we just find them and physically hurt them?

by the way, why is crsnic's whois server still screwed up? do a lookup on any major site with it, like microsoft.com, and you get all these BS listings obviously made by someone who hacked them. i don't get it. it's been like that for months!

not the only one (1)

roogles (462723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221891)

I've been getting these same type of notices from register.com about domains that I have registered through five or six different registrars.

Go figure...

Verisign and their policies / fine print (2)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221900)

My office mate got a similar letter from another registrar and sent them a check. He's still trying to get the money back. He just assumed cause it said he needed to renew he did.

I'm trying to read the fine print at the bottom.
It looks like it says "by signing the reverse side of this form, you hereby authorize to transfer the registration of your domain name(s) from your current registrar to Verisign, renew your domain name registration for a period of one year from the current record expires date, and charge your credit card for this order."

So, it clearly states what you are doing. But why is it so easy to transfer to Verisign?

I just let my domain lapse (not that it was doing much anyway) because I watned to get away from Verisign and it was a nightmare the hurdles you had to jump through.

Good think we have ICANN looking out for us...er...well for something.

Not my domain...erph. (1)

tickle_me_perl (538703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221918)

Well, I got a renewal such as this. But the domain wasn't even one that I owned. I figured it was just a scam to sell popular domains that know one had used yet. It was actually registered by someone else. I guess their looking for runners up if the owner doesn't renew. Sheesh!

already discussed on k5 (2)

MattW (97290) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221923)

This issue was already discussed [kuro5hin.org] on K5 [kuro5hin.org] , a while ago, for anyone interested in seeing the discussion there.

I got this too (1)

morpheus0987 (141464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221936)

Actually, I have received about 4 or 5 of these messages from VeriSign since I registered my domain name 2 years ago. Every 3 months or so, they tell me that my site is going to run out, and if I don't sign up with them, I will lose the name.

Last I checked, my registrar notified me about 1 to 2 months in advance of my name being dropped so that I can renew without issues. Guess I will just keep ignoring them like I have before. Glad I don't use any of their services.

Fishing for +1 Funny? (2)

nagora (177841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3221947)

At least I assume that's what the writer at Go Daddy was doing when he suggested protesting to ICANN about it. Like they care!

TWW

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