There is a company called Domain Registry of Canada that I believe is doing some sneaky marketing!
Pretty basic – you need a domain name for your website, so you go to a site like zeddomains, godaddy, namespro, etc – and purchase a domain. You can buy it for a year, 2 years, or longer. Basic .com domains cost you about $10, .ca can cost about $14 or so, very few domains extensions cost more than $20/year.
When your domain is getting close to renewing, the company that sold you the domain will send you an email that your domain is close to expiring and ask if you want to renew it. Actually most companies let you auto-renew if you trust them with your payment information. But they will still send you a notice either way via email.
All in all, a pretty basic process, not much can go wrong.
There are a few companies out there that OVERCHARGE for domain registration. Some add extra services to make you think their price is justified – other just overcharge because they can.
Domain Registry of Canada is one of those companies that overcharge – their price for a 1 year domain registration is $40 (4 times what it should be).
Any business has the right to charge what it wants – so I am not picking on them for that.
What I do not like is the way they market their services.
Domain information is fairly public – it is an option when you register to keep your registration info (your name and address) private. But most companies that want their business to be found have no problem in letting people know they own the domain, in fact it shows legitimacy of the website that it is owned by an actual business or person doing business.
So what Domain Registry of Canada does is search the records (contained in what is called the whois database – at whois.net) for domains that are coming due for renewal. Then they send a very official ‘Domain Name Expiration Notice’ in a brown envelope to make it look official.
Inside that envelope is a form for you to fill out to renew your domain at the high price of $40 per year. This will transfer your domain over to them from now on, rather than the registrar that you originally purchased your domain.
So beware – this is a marketing ploy – you do not have to transfer your domain over to Domain Registry of Canada for their higher prices. You can stay with your original registrar and renew your domain online.