Paying $289 to “US Domain Authority” won’t renew your domain name
I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from clients asking “do I need to pay this bill?” This morning in a business meeting four members said they’d received one of these notifications from a company called “US Domain Authority” in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
In a nutshell:
- You don’t have to pay “Domain Authority” a penny
- Paying them nearly $300 won’t renew your domain (and $300 is easily 10 or even 20 times more than you’d pay a real domain registrar!)
- If you think you actually do need to renew your registration just log into your real domain registrar and check your account.
Based on what my clients are asking this notice can easily be mistaken as a bill to renew your domain registration. In reality, as “US Domain Authority” makes clear on a second page, they’re not domain registrars at all. Instead they’re a directory service, sort of like 20th Century phone books were directories for phone numbers. All you get for your $289.00 is your domain name added to their directory.
They’ve evidently been mailing these things to website owners since at least 2011! Not everyone is as, um, generous in their characterizations of this… interesting service as I am.
To save time I’m going to highlight a clarification, here’s the text from the disclaimer on the back page of what many people seem to, um, mistake for a bill or invoice:
“We are not a domain registrar and we do not Register or Renew Domain Names. … THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE.”Copy of solicitation received from a client who mistook the solicitation for a domain-renewal notice.
So the good news is that unless you want to pay $289 dollars to add your website address to a directory you may not have heard of then you can discard it.