Letter in the Mail
If you are a business owner who has a web presence you’ve surely at some point purchased a domain name. And if your website has been online for any length of time you’ve probably at some point received a letter in the mail warning you that you are about to lose your domain listing. Many take the letter at face value and figure that they must pay to keep their domain name. However, one should be careful of who they are sending their money to.
Purchasing and Keeping Your Domain
Domains are purchased through companies that are called registrars. You might have purchased your domain name through Ionos.com or perhaps another company like Godaddy. These companies do most if not all of their billing and acceptance of payment online. Most domains cost anywhere from $15 to $60 a year to maintain. A best practice for a domain name you want to keep is to have a current credit or debit card on file with your registrar and set your domain to auto-renew. If you do this, you are almost guaranteed not to lose your domain name. One thing to know is that your registrar will rarely if ever send you correspondence or a bill through snail mail.
Domain Listing Scams
If you do get a letter in the mail asking for payment for your domain listing, chances are they are trying to pull one over on you. They make it sound like they have official governance over all domains. Their name will usually suggest some sort of authority. Some keywords you might find in the company name are: domain, listings, authority, U.S., etc. You get the picture.
What the letter suggests is that if you don’t pay, then you will lose your domain. If you read the fine print (which few do) they clearly state that all you stand to lose is the listing of your domain on their website. In other words you’re overpaying to be listed on their directory. I might add, it’s a useless directory that ads no value to your website or your business or organization.
What You Shouldn’t Do
We get calls all the time asking us if our clients should pay this. Most of the time the conversation goes something like this, “I got this bill in the mail for our domain, but I thought you guys took care of that.” Well, we do for many of our clients and I tell them exactly what I now tell you. Don’t worry about paying it. I can’t overstate this enough. Don’t pay them.
What You Should Do
So what should you do with these letters? Throw them away and rest easy knowing that your domain is secure as long as you pay your registrar.