The dreaded DROA

The Domain Registry of America, also known as NameJuice or Brandon Gray Internet Services have tricked many customers over the years into handing over the registration of their domains.

They operate by sending renewal forms to people or businesses who have domains which are due to expire within 6 months. The pre-printed forms are created in such a way that they appear to be the only way in which you can renew your domain.

The language of their letters is strong enough to convince you that they are your only hope of keeping that web address which you or your business have become known by.

And they have your address. So it must be legit, right? Wrong. Well, sort of.

They are a legitimate company, but the practice which they engage in simply should never have been legal. What the DROA are actually asking of you is not only that you renew your domain, but that you transfer it to them, rather than renewing with the company which you chose to register with in the first place. Your completed form is basically your consent for them to take control of your domain.

But how do they know your domain is appraching its renewal date? They know because registration dates are public. Your address too, in many cases.

So why do so many people fall for it? Well, a few reasons. What the DROA are actually doing is specified in the vast quantity of smallprint written on the back of their forms. Most people don’t read the small print. And those that do may not understand all of the technical terminology anyway and therefore won’t be fully aware of the repercussions.

To anyone who may recieve a letter from this company, you would be advised to ignore it. The company you registered your domain with in the first place would have been chosen for a reason. If you wish to change it, research other domain registrars and find reviews.

If you have already fallen into the trap and paid your money, you will be in the same boat as a client whose website I recently took over the management of. Five years ago they were dishonestly convinced to renew with the DROA, and subsequently handed over payment. And their domain.

Getting it back has been something of a battle, and in the next post I’ll explain just what you need to do if you wish to transfer your domain back into the more trusty hands of your original registrar.

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