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InternetNZ Refers Internet Names Group to Commerce Commission

InternetNZ is today asking the Commerce Commission to investigate the letters sent to many .nz domain name holders by the Australian based Internet Name Group (ING).

The letters tell .nz name holders that they have only until September to protect their domain names in the new top level domains of .biz and .info.
"We have had reports of hundreds of confused name holders who due to this letter think they need to pay $250 to this company in order to protect their existing names"said InternetNZ Chair Keith Davidson.
"They do not need to"
"We wish to reassure existing name holders that their current names are safe and they do not need to respond to this letter. Some holders may wish to secure their existing name under .biz and .info. However they should be aware that replying to ING's non refundable offer of $250 a name will not secure them a name - it will only enter them into a 'lottery' with other people seeking that name."
"Official .biz and .info registrars are offering pre-registrations bids for as low as NZ$10 and if successful then registration fees of well under NZ$75. ING does not appear to be an official registrar but presumably are acting as a reseller for an official registrar."
"The letter quotes a NZ PO Box and a NZ 0800 number and quotes a price of $250 per domain name. However only by going to their website do you find out that this is A$250 a name. This is misleading in the extreme."
"The public should also be aware that the registrations in .biz are only open to 'bona fide businesses or commercial use'." said Mr Davidson.
"The letter from INg is misleading about who can register names, that the fees are non refundable even if you do not get the domain name you apply for, that the currency is Australian dollars and the deadline to apply by. The letter has been compared to pro forma invoicing which is illegal so for this reason we are asking the Commerce Commission to investigate."
It appears the data used in ING's letter may have come from the registration information held by DOMAINZ, the NZ Internet Registry Limited, which is owned by InternetNZ. We understand DOMAINZ is investigating this, as using this information for mass marketing purposes is contrary to the rules governing access to it. The data seems to be from some months ago, prior to access to such information having been tightened up by DOMAINZ.
For further comment please contact Keith Davidson, Chairperson of InternetNZ on 025 303 317 or
© 2001 The Internet Society of New Zealand Last updated 20 September 2001

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