Domain Slamming

Over the years we have witnessed an underhand sales tactic known as Domain Slamming, this article explains what it is and what to look out for. We are a UK based Domain Registrar and web hosting service and have been active in the market since 2003.

What is Domain Slamming

The practice typically involves a reminder letter or email being sent to the registrant of a domain claiming that it is due to expire and that action needs to be taken, the format of the letter is usually created to look like a standard renewal reminder, but cleverly it doesn't mention your current Domain registrars details in clear terms. It looks official and is easy to mistake as a reminder from your own registrar.

The trick is that it is in fact a competitor trying to entice you to transfer your domain over to a new Domain Registrar in the guise of a renewal notice. It's easy to fall for it, and on a regular basis customer do just that.

They use the real expiry date of your domain as a sales pitch as you will likely be expecting some form of renewal reminder. If you have already renewed then you might still receive this sort of contact as Domain Slamming companies are not normally able to keep their databases fully up to date.

How do they get my information

International domain name information is publicly available and it is possible for a small fee to purchase and download the entire domain database from registries such as the .com one run by Verisign. Domain Slammers collect the domain data from this source or by scraping websites domain names, such as directories. Then use the name and address or email contact information to send an unsolicited request to transfer your domain name away.

How to avoid being a victim

If you receive a reminder in the post or email that looks different from those your Domain Registrar normally send out, then be on your guard. Call or contact your domain registrar and double check it's from them. They will be aware of the sort of tactic used by Domain Slamming companies and should quickly be able to clarify the situation, and in any event should be able to take a real renewal for you correctly.

Isn't this illegal?

Unfortunately the companies who use this sort of sales tactic have themselves taken legal advice and the reminders are constructed so as not to be seen to misrepresent your real registrar, often they contain very small print explaining that they are a third party, which is of course easy to overlook.

Don't let them win

If you discover you have been caught out like this, then either try to get a refund or transfer back your domain names as soon as you can. It's a sharp trading practice and they should not be allowed to get away with it. Also companies like this can make changes to your domain name, which can result in your loss of ownership. So be careful.

At Discount Domains we Transfer Lock domains and only remove this lock once we have contacted our customers to ensure the transfer is for genuine reasons.

If you want to discuss this topic, then please feel free to call our customer services centre on 01952 288383 we are always happy to give free advice and to share our experiences.

Written by Adrian Lawrence a webmaster with Discount Domains.

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