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Consumer Alerts


Commission urges caution when dealing with Domain Names NZ

Media Release 2003/14

Issued 7 August 2003

The Commerce Commission is aware of a mass mail out by a business trading as Domain Names NZ, and strongly urges caution when dealing with the organisation.

The Commission has received in excess of 100 contacts this week from members of the public who have received correspondence from Domain Names NZ, which gives the impression of an invoice or a renewal notice.

“Domain Names NZ appears to be sending pro-forma letters to registrants of domain names. The letters seek fees for the registration of the version of the same name,” said Deborah Battell, Director of Fair Trading at the Commission.

“The Commission is concerned that current registrants of may be being misled into thinking they are in fact paying to re-register their current domain name.

“People are urged to look carefully at all details before paying any sum requested,” Ms Battell said.

“In the meantime, the Commission will continue to look into this issue.”


The Domain Name Commissioner is not aware of any authorised .nz domain name registrar using the trade name ‘Domain Names NZ’.

The letters to registrants specify a domain name to be registered. Bona fide .nz domain name registrars are not permitted to specify a particular domain name in an offer of registry services.

The Domain Names Commissioner is also monitoring the situation and will investigate any possible breaches of .nz policy.

Media contact:
Deborah Battell, Director of Fair Trading Act
Phone work (04) 924 3760, mobile 029 924 3760

Jackie Maitland, Communications Manager
Phone work (04) 924 3708, mobile 029 924 3708

Latest "" mail out by Domain Names Australia Pty Ltd

Melbourne, 17 July 2003 – auDA has become aware that Domain Names Australia Pty Ltd (DNA) is sending letters and/or faxes to some domain name registrants regarding the version of their .au domain name being available or unregistered.

The communication is headed “Domain Name Registration” and could, in auDA’s opinion, be easily mistaken for an invoice. To this extent, auDA considers that the communication could be misleading or deceptive.

DNA is a company controlled by Mr Chesley Rafferty, who is also a Director of Internet Registry Pty Ltd.

auDA took legal action against Mr Rafferty and Internet Registry in 2002, as a result of which Mr Rafferty gave several undertakings in the Federal Court.

auDA believes that this latest mail out by DNA is in breach of some of Mr Rafferty's undertakings, and we are pursuing the matter vigourously.

If you have received a letter from DNA and you wish to lodge a formal complaint, please send an email to


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