ING's use of another provider not illegal, but Domainz upset

A domain name registration provider, Pdom.com, says the Internet Name Group (ING) is getting around the fact it is suspended from operating in New Zealand by using Pdom.com.

A domain name registration provider, Pdom.com, says the Internet Name Group (ING) is getting around the fact it is suspended from operating in New Zealand by using Pdom.com.

ING - operating as Internet Name Protection - hit New Zealand organisations on Wednesday with a campaign offering to register their domain name for them for $125 (see ING strikes again).

Pdom chief executive Robert Wiles says Pdom offers registration services over the web for $US14 ($NZ33). ING is soliciting business from New Zealand companies, paying $33 to register the client's name with Pdom, charging the client $125, and pocketing the difference.

"They're using us to effect their registration," Wiles says.

Wiles says Pdom's legal counsel says there is nothing illegal in what ING is doing.

ING was suspended by Domainz from providing .nz domain names in September last year, following a "spam" attack on thousands of local domain name holders.

Domainz chief executive Derek Locke also says there appears, at first sight, to be nothing legally wrong with what ING is doing, "but we're exploring every legal avenue we can."

ING's tactics "go against everything Domainz is working towards in terms of making internet use as cheap as possible."

He and Wiles recommend that people ignore any communication they receive from Internet Name Protection about registration services.

Wiles says ING may be using other registration providers as well as Pdom.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started court proceedings against ING in Australia, where the company is based.

The ACCC is seeking injunctions alleging misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to ING's marketing of domain name services.

Last year's suspension in New Zealand occured after ING sent letters and emails headed "Protect Your Domain Name" that gave recipients the impression they were in danger of losing their registered domain names unless they paid ING a $250 "pre-registration fee."

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