If you get a regular snail mail letter that looks like the below, please understand it isn’t coming from KartHost.
Let me tell you a story that happened to one of our clients whose domain name is registered with KartHost. We received a call one day asking why we were sending an invoice for the renewal of their domain name when they had already paid for the renewal.
What happened is this client actually purchased a domain name from KartHost for two years. They received a letter in the mail during the first year of purchase stating that their domain name was about to expire and they needed to renew immediately. They were even so kind as to provide a nice return envelope for client to send in their payment. The client sent them the payment thinking they were renewing their domain name for another year. The facts were their domain was not due for renew for another year and the payment was sent to a company that could not (because they were not the register) and did not use the money to renew the domain.
When their domain, thinking it was an Invoice from KartHost the client sent in payment to renew. The only problem was this company keeps their money and didn’t renew their domain name and didn’t communicate with the client as what to do next.
Now moving forward to the next year, and the client received the same letter and sent in payment again to this same company about 6 months before their domain name was really coming up for renewal. When KartHost sent out an email notification for the legitimate renewal, the client called us asking why they were being billed twice. We informed our client that they were not billed by KartHost since the original registration from two years back and we did not show any payment being made to KartHost for the renewal. That is when the client discovered the check they had written had been sent to a company that sends out these type letters.
While the letter itself I would not consider a scam, per say, I would consider it very misleading, and at the least extremely poor customer service, as the company should of contacted the client on instructions on how to transfer their domain name to them. The company made no such contact.
So make sure you know who you are paying and make sure your team knows if someone else is paying on your behalf who you are doing business with, and something that is as critical as your internet identity you should take extra steps to make sure you are protected.
One of the reasons company’s like this can send you a letter like this is they “harvest” the public information that is listed on your “domain name record.” Anyone can pull up a “WhoIs” record and view who owns a particular domain name.
An option you have is to set your domain name information as ‘privacy protection’. Most domain name registers have this available, at KartHost we call it Domain Name ID Protection. This privacy protection will shield your contact information from the public and from harvesters. You should strongly consider adding this protection to your domain name. However, if you sell products online make sure you have a very informative Contact Us or About US page, do not use just a contact form. Information items you should provide are your regular mailing address, phone number and any other information to build confidence in your business for those that have not done business with you in the past. You could even state on the page that you have added privacy protection to you domain to protect your information from harvesters for those that may think you are trying to hide that information from customers.