Forewarned is forearmed

COMAre you considering expanding your trade area and do you also wish to register a .COM or .NL domain for your company? Then, do not let shrewd salesmen hoodwink you; reach out to someone you trust: Combell!

For most companies, a domain name has long since transcended the mere function of virtual business card. It’s a valuable asset, a virtual establishment, which is just as important as the brick and mortar building in which your office or store is located. If your business is a success, you can scope out the neighbouring buildings to expand your business. But this is also possible in the virtual world. Besides a .BE domain name, you can e.g. also consider registering a .NL or .COM domain name with future expansion in mind.

But what thought would cross your mind if a slick real estate broker called to tell you that a competitor is planning to buy the building next to yours, and that he wants to give you the opportunity to buy it, providing – of course – you would agree to top your competitor’s bid? You would be appalled, wouldn’t you? And right you would be, because such practices are not exactly clean.

It seems however that this unorthodox working routine is now applied in the field of domain sales, domains being the most important virtual manifestation for a company. Several owners of .BE domain names told us that they have been contacted with the message that a certain company owns or wants to register a .COM or .NL variation of their domain name. The wily salesmen offer them the opportunity to prevent this by registering this domain name themselves or by buying it from them, for a massively overpriced fee of course.

Besides the fact that customers are being lured, there is nothing wrong with the transaction: if you accept the offer, you will become the owner of the domain in question. Except the price you will pay will be much higher than normal. It is also the way in which you are almost compelled to register the domain name that is a problem.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the practices of salespeople working for business directories, where companies unknowingly undertake to purchase an insert in the directory. Indeed, they receive a form that allows them to update their information in the directory for what would appear to be for free. The small print at the bottom of the form however binds them to a paid insert, sometimes even for several years in a row. If they send back the form unsuspectingly, they soon receive an invoice...

Fortunately, companies have learned to separate the wheat from the chaff in the area of domain names, and they will not so easily set sail with partners they do not know. Some Combell customers that have been contacted by the .COM and .NL pushers immediately set out to investigate with our assistance what is going on and how they can protect their domain interests. Should you be confronted with such practices too, do not hesitate to reach out to our collaborators; they will investigate for you if you can indeed register these domain variations and what determine a fair price for them. You can put all your trust in Combell!