FryUp: Stupid versus stupid

Top Stories: - Do they think we're stupid or what? - It's the service, stupid

Top Stories:

- Do they think we're stupid or what?

- It's the service, stupid

- Do they think we're stupid or what?

It's the usual story. Some offshore entity sets up a "website" and offers people the "opportunity" to "renew" their "domain names" with a "company" they've never dealt with before at a "reasonable price".

It's all "nonsense" of course (carefully chosen word so as not to upset the nanny email filters many of us have - feel free to insert your own fully-caffeinated term here instead).

We've seen them before with their mass mail outs and their promises of long-term domain name registrations and their confusing use of the word "renew", which to my way of thinking implies that I already have a relationship with the company which will be continued, rather than created anew should I sign on the dotted line.

This latest lot, DomainNamesNZ, not only has a name that's very similar to Domainz, formerly the only registrar in the land able to access the .nz register, but has a letter that it's sent out to anyone with a name but who doesn't also own the equivalent.

That's two strikes against them for a start - cheap naming style hoping to cash in on misunderstandings and a mass mail out campaign that breaches the terms and conditions of doing business in the .nz space.

Strike three is the cost - $198 for two years - which is excessive and also against the rules (you can only register for one year at the moment).

The Domain Name commissioner has contacted the company's marketing manager to alert them to the breaches in trading terms and has a release up on the DNC website describing the letter as "misleading".

As the new force in the New Zealand domain name world the DNC has the power to suspend registrars from trading - a power which extends to those that breach the T&C by aiding miscreants, should it come to that. As DomainNamesNZ doesn't have a contract with the DNC yet, and has talked about dealing with a third-party registrar instead, that means any registrar that does deal with them must tread very carefully as it's their reputation and continued operation that's at risk.

DomainNamesNZ is good for one thing, though. If you ring its 0800 number (0800 15 88 33) you get to listen to a Seinfeld Live concert while you're on hold. As the number puts you through to the Australian head office it's costing DomainNamesNZ a bomb, as well, being free for you. Give it a go, see what you think.

Domainz advises against latest domain name company - IDGNet

DomainNamesNZ doesn't understand fuss - IDGNet

Commissioner wades in over DomainNamesNZ - IDGNet

Aussie Domain name scammers still at it - Aardvark

Terms and conditions - DomainNamesNZ

By signing the form you agree to these terms and conditions. As Bruce Simpson pointed out, I'd agree to those terms any time.

Domain Name Commissioner website

Steve Heath, former treasurer at InternetNZ, keeps a blog that focuses on the world of .nz in particular and domains in general. Pointed suggestions about my writing style aside, it's well worth a look. Tell him I sent you. Feel free to comment on his comments as well.

.nz news & views

- It's the service, stupid

ICONZ, formerly Asia On Line, formerly ICONZ, is one of the country's largest ISPs and has become only the second (behind Xtra) to offer a free server-based anti-virus solution for all its mail service users.

On top of that, users also get a free spam-filtering service that they can play with to better block those all important Nigerian scam emails. The techs at ICONZ built this themselves and more power to them I say.

This is a good thing (TM) in so many ways. The more email users that have virus blocking automatically thrust upon them the better. I know there are some out there in email land that think it's somehow Big Brotherish to force an AV solution on all email but I'm not one of them. Too many times I have received a virus from the same person over and over again (you're in PR - you know who you are) proving to me once and for all that some things (like public health or, in this case, e-public health) are too precious to be left to the individual.

Anti-spam stuff I can take or leave but only because I'm constantly bombarded with press releases that I can't ignore. I have to read them first and then ignore them - spam filtering removes them altogether and there is a place for press releases: we call it the recycling bin but you might know it as the waste paper basket.

Actually that's a bit harsh - things like "Telstra buys Clear" only arrive as press releases so for that level of news (and it only happens once or twice a year) you have to allow all the rest through.

But for the rest of you, you lucky sorts that don't want such email, spam filtering is but the beginning. Get in there, sort them out and demand this kind of service from all ISPs

I've said it before (and had it quoted back to me on more than one occasion) but the S in ISP stands for service. Bandwidth is the same the world over - it's a commodity and nobody stays loyal to a certain ISP because of its bandwidth. They stay because the ISP can offer them more for the right price. Free certainly is the right price for me.

ICONZ has indicated that it will introduce more new features in the coming months and to me that says this is the start of something big. It might just take the lid off the whole service industry side of things. TelstraClear has said it will introduce an anti-virus service in the new year (although no word on pricing yet) and Ihug has a service, albeit one it charges for.

ICONZ offers free anti_virus/anti_spam service - IDGNet

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