[DNS] Consumer Alert

[DNS] Consumer Alert

From: Chris Disspain <ceo§auda.org.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 11:39:05 +1000
It has been pointed out to me that the second bullet point paragraph of
yesterdays consumer alert is open to misinterpretation and accordingly I
have amended that paragraph. The re-worded Consumer Alert is set out below.

Chris Disspain
CEO - auDA

2 April 2001


WARNING - .com.au Domain Name Licences are for 2 years
and must be renewed for each 2 year period.
Be WARY of offers of longer Licence periods

It has come to auDA's attention that some .com.au domain name suppliers are
consumers that, through that supplier, they can license, or renew the
licence, for a
.com.au domain name for periods ranging from 2 to 10 years.

.com.au Licences are for a FIXED PERIOD of 2 years and must be renewed at
end of the period. The service that consumers are being offered is NOT a
licence for
a longer period. It is a service to renew your licence for you at the end of
each 2 year
period. So, if you pay for, say, a 6 year renewal the supplier will then pay
Registrar every two years for the renewal until the 6 years is up, with no
need for
action by you, the customer. This amounts to a renewal of 2 years and
of two further 2 year renewals after that.
It is auDA's view that such a service is fraught with difficulty and
consumers should be
wary and act only after careful consideration of the following points;

	If the supplier goes out of business during the period, they will not be
able to
process your renewal for you even though you have paid for it in advance.
you will have to renew yourself or through another supplier and pay the cost
of renewal AGAIN. You will have lost the money you have pre-paid.

	A domain name licence may be revoked if the licence holder no longer meets
the eligibility rules.  In future, it is possible that a renewal might be
because the applicant no longer complies with the rules. If that occurs,
is no guarantee that you will be able to recover the pre-paid sums from the

	auDA believes there is every likelihood that .com.au domain names (and
others) will be significantly cheaper in 2 or 4 years time than they are
Accordingly you may be paying more for your domain name renewal than you
need to.

It is critical that consumers carefully read the terms and conditions of any
offer prior
to agreeing. These terms and conditions may include such clauses as;

'The customer acknowledges that domain name registration and
renewals are undertaken by the Registrar for a period of two years
and that the Supplier acts only to apply to renew or register those
domain names each time that a renewal is required and will not be
responsible in the event that the Registrar fails to renew the domain

'The customer irrevocably waives any claim that it may have against the
supplier with respect to any decision by the Registrar to refuse to register
domain name and agrees that the fee paid shall be non-refundable in any

You can contact auDA, the self regulatory body that governs the .au domain
space and
sets policy in respect to domain names, for further information, by emailing
info&#167;auda.org.au .

If you believe you have been misled or deceived in respect to purchasing or
your domain name licence to your disadvantage, then you may contact the
Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).  The ACCC is responsible for
the Trade Practices Act 1974, which contains prohibitions against certain
types of
misleading or deceptive conduct.  Contact details are at
http://www.accc.gov.au .

Chris Disspain
CEO - auDA

.au Domain Administration Limited
A.C.N. 079 009 340
Level 7, 50 Queen Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Received on Tue Apr 03 2001 - 09:36:29 UTC

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