If you own domain names or have your information visible in the WHOIS records of a domain you may get unsolicited letters from Liberty Names of America. These letters are titled “Domain Name Expiration Notice” and solicit the reader to renew the domain name with Liberty Names. Do not do business with them.
This document from the United States Federal Trade Commission should clarify things: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/12/domainreg.shtm.
The letter is not a bill, although it has the look of one. Complete with return envelope and detachable stub to enter credit card information on. Only small print, in the third paragraph indicates This notice is not a bill.
Also notice the rates that Liberty Names charges – $29.00 for one year of registration? GoDaddy, eNom and others charge less than $15/yr. Liberty Names is a 50% increase in cost with no discernible benefit
Liberty Names – What Really Happens
One of our clients, a few years ago, had their domain with GoDaddy a perfectly reputable service. The client received this letter from LNOA and due to two factors ( a) lack of experience with domain registry and b) fear of losing their domain ) they provided the requested information to LNOA which then transfered the name to their services. The signed letter to LNOA is the only authorization they need to charge the merchant card provided and to transfer the domain name into their system.
It took a few weeks to process but LNOA then assumed control. During this process the Authoritative DNS information was changed. Records were not properly transfered. Of course after that other services for the domain stopped. The web-site was not resolvable, email’s could not go through, etc. DNS is critical to the operation of any domain, changes have far reaching impact to the domain.
After this debacle the LNOA team would not communicate with us because we could not accept email at the domain (because LNOA had destroyed MX records). They would only communicate with the address in the WHOIS record – which we also could not adjust because LNOA had control of this information too. We had to fax proof of ownership to them and wait six days for processing!
At this point LNOA has control of the domain name, the DNS records and the WHOIS records. The ability to communicate with the domain in question was lost due to the steps LNOA had taken with our DNS and WHOIS information. The client’s web-site is down (well, not resolvable) and email communications do not exist. For all intents and purposes their business is not on-line.
Finally, after many frustrating days of working with LNOA we were then able to transfer the domain name back out of their incredibly low quality services to Edoceo’s preferred registrant: eNom. This transfer took roughly six days to complete – eNom sent the transfer request the day we submitted it – we had to wait five additional days for LNOA to actually process and release the domain.
To add to all that, our Client had opted for a five year renewal and paid Liberty Names roughly $100. This amount was not refundable.
In short, doing business with Liberty Names of America is a bad idea and their methods border on fraud.
- Client responds to Liberty Names solicitation of Domain Name renewal
- Liberty Names takes Client’s money and assumes control of Domain Name
- LIberty Names completely fuck’s Client by destroying DNS and WHOIS records
- Client looses all presence and ability to communicate on the Internet
Edoceo works with Client and Liberty Names to un-fuck the situation and transfer name to eNom.
Client resumes operation on the Internet after 16 days of down time.