Read the “fine print” before sending money to Domain Authority

I’ve discussed this issue before but a lot of my clients get this “Renewal Notice” from a company called Domain Authority. Looks like they’ve updated their stationery but they’ve been sending these things out for years.

Screen shot of Domain Authority "invoice" calling out the fine print.
Note: They don’t disclose that Domain Authority is not a domain registrar till the second page

Almost everything about the letter implies it’s an invoice to renew your domain name until you get to the “fine print” on the second page where they admit it’s just a solicitation to have your site listed in their “yellow pages” style directory.

As I mentioned in that previous post what they’re doing seems to be technically legal so I probably can’t legally say it’s a “scam.” But I can say without qualification that everyone should think twice ten times 100 times before you send 289 hard-earned dollars to some random directory listing in Hendersonville, North Carolina (the address on their solicitations) or possibly Sante Fe, New Mexico (the address on their website.)

If you go to their website you’ll see an even more clear disclaimer at the bottom of their home page:

Domain Networks is an online directory listings top websites from local businesses from around the world. We do not provide domain registration or domain renewal services.

https://domainnetworks.com/

Disclaimers in their FAQ are even more direct

Q: I received a mailer that looks like a bill.
A: What you received in the mail is not a bill. This is an advertisement for our domain listing services.

https://domainnetworks.com/faq

I’ll repeat: paying these guys will not renew your domain! You do that through your actual domain registrar.

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David Innes, RealBasics.com

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981. And no, I still haven't seen it all but by now I usually know where to look. More about David Innes...