It's Not A Legitimate Domain Name Renewal Process
So you get what looks like an invoice in the mail that your domain name renewal is due. You know you have one and send in the payment not thinking twice about it. A few months later you get another notice saying that - again - your domain name renewal is due from a different looking invoice. The second invoice is probably the one that is legitimate. So what's going on?
It kind of amazes me that Domain Registry of America (DROA) and Liberty Domains have gotten away with how they market themselves for as long as they have. At the same time, I gotta hand it to them for how they do it. I suspect their primary revenue stream isn't from registering and renewing website addresses.
DROA and Liberty Domains send their solicitations in a format that actually "looks" like an invoice to "renew" your domain name - implying you have already registered through them.
However, if you read the fine print, it is not an invoice but a solicitation for them to "become" the new registrar for your domain.
Graphic Memory manages many of our client's domain registrations through our partnership with one of the major domain registries - Enom. Just from Graphic Memory's client base, over the years both entities have duped many of them into sending in a payment. I can't tell you how many times we have had one of our clients or their bookkeeper call us saying they thought they already sent in their domain name renewal and why were we sending an invoice for the same. We've also had numerous calls from confused clients who know we manage their domain and wondered if we still managed it.
This SCREAMS of fraud - or is it? Domain registries have made it tough to transfer a domain due to the implications it can cause. If you send the payment, there is no way they can transfer your domain from where it currently is as they are generally locked from transferring without a fairly complex authorization process. I don't think either is having anyone take the time to call you to initiate the transfer process as well.
So, if this is the case, and both claim to be and operate as legitimate domain registry companies who know this, why send these forms of solicitations if they know it does not follow transfer protocol?
The kicker is, when asked, I found that many of our clients who sent in a payment never bothered to try and get their money back. With the bill typically being about $35.00, I guess many figured it wasn't worth the time to try.
WOW! Multiply that by probably at least a few hundred thousand other entities who thought the same way each year and SOMEONE IS MAKING SOME MON-EYYYY!!! This has gone on for at least 10 years that I know of and they still continue to do it. I have to figure the only way they get away with it is they ARE legitimate domain registrars and DO refund your money right away... provided you bother to do so.
Absolutely brilliant concept for making a lot of money - although a suspect means to do so. PLEASE! Throw these domain name renewal solicitations in the trash when you receive them.