CHOICE membership

Domain Registrars

I purchased a domain from https://www.netregistry.com.au/ and didnt bother to switch off the auto renewal. I am pedantic about dates and renewals particularly domains of my main business web site so I was aware of the renewal date to 6/11/2019.
On the 6/10/2019 i was checking my bank account and I notice a charge of $46.95 from Netregistry on my credit card. I contacted them and they had taken the liberty to charging me 30 days prior to renewal for a 2 year period at a rate that was excessive. I contacted them and queried this action. I was told that I had been informed of the pending renewal (I never received their email) and it was there policy to renew 30 days in advance in their words “to make sure any hiccups could be overcome prior to renewal”. I asked them to reverse the charge as I only wanted a one year renewal and their price was excessive in fact double what other companies were offering. and I would seek alternative.
I was told that it was their company policy to renew 30 days in advance and that it was also their policy not to provide credits for domain payments.
despite frequent phone calls and chats over 3 days the final word they gave me was as follows in their latest email.

“Thank you for sending us your email. Upon checking your account I did see that you were sent a notification on 06/09/19 saying " ethicalrealty.com.au will be automatically renewed on 07/10/2019 . We do this to avoid any hiccups and to keep your domain running smoothly.” For automatic renewals this happens a month ahead of the expiry date, which is non refundable and irreversible. If you have more questions or clarifications please click the link provided https://www.netregistry.com.au/legals/. Thank you for your understanding."

I am transferring my domain names so that I am dealing with a more customer oriented company and on the date of renewal Netregistry wont be the registrar for the domain they have charged me to renew.
How does that work.

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Seek a charge back from your Bank on your CC. Don’t let them get away with it.

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This is a problem with any autorenewal and not necessarily limited to NetRegistry.

I personally don’t subscribe to autorenewals as there are many reports (including by Choice) of challenges one faces when one wishes to unsubscribe from an auto-renewal. Even in the latest Choice Computer, there was mention of the hoops one needs to go through to try and unsubscribe from a VPN auto-renewal.

I suppose that if one agrees to a auto-renewal, one needs to ensure that they understand when the payment is made and what hoops must be jumped through to unsubscribe from the auto-renewal.

Many businesses also use 30 day billing cycles and they will processes payment before the current subscription expires…which could be up to 30 days prior to the actual expiry date. On the flip side, if they didn’t do this, their systems may cancel a service if the expiry date is just before a scheduled payment date.

Also, it appears that you may have had many months of opportunity to cancel the NetRegistery auto-renewal, but decided to wait until the last month to take any action. I would possibly have done it earlier if one knew that the service would not have been renewed.

I agree with @grahroll about seeing if you can get a charge back from your bank is a credit card was used for the payment. If the payment was a direct debit, I would be lodging a formal complaint with NetRegister requesting reimbursement of the debited amount.

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Have advised my bank to reverse the charge and filed a Consumer Affairs complaint.
I cant believe Netregistry think its OK to charge you 30 days prior to actual renewal date and when queried tell you their no refund policy. Outrageous.

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@Drop_Bear’s take on Netregistry from on this site can be found below. The link also has a personal site link about their dealings with Netregistry.

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I actually intended to renew the domain but not for 2 years and not at a price twice that of other companies. I have 4 domains with them the other three renewals are switched off.
Anyway I am transferring them to another registrar.
Thanks for your input.

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This is the refunds section of their website:

https://support.netregistry.com.au/articles/nr/Refunds-policy-FAQ/?q=terms+and+conditions&fs=Search&pn=1

Use this information if you find the bank can’t chargeback for some reason.

Do you have an invoice and corresponding date?

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Yes I have invoices the lot, thanks heaps.

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Presumably you informed NetRegistry of your intent to cancel your subscription before the twelve months ended? If that is the case, then they are billing you for a service you have not sought or received, and there is plenty of scope to argue that - whether with the company or with your bank. Here is what the ACCC says on the subject.

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Thanks heaps. You wont believe the tricky shit that Netregistry got up to to stop the domain transfer from happening on the one disputed domain. Unbelievable.

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Welcome to the Choice Community.

In my experience, that price is not so ridiculous - and, from what I’ve read about some other companies, if you go with a company that is twice as cheap, you may be back here in a couple of years with different complaints about the other company. The bargain basement is built on high volume and no service. So make sure you research well the other company.

In the interests of disclosure, I have no association of any kind with any registry company (other than as a customer of a couple).

You may want to look into that. Eaten as spam at your end or by your mail service provider?

Regardless, you should ask them to send you an identical copy of the original email. (Of course it can be faked but …)

Most places will give you a grace period. Don’t rely on it though.

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Thanks understood.

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I use dynadot.com a lot for most of my non .au domains. They have a huge array of Top Level Domains https://www.dynadot.com/domain/tlds.html, reasonably priced and reliable service if you need support, and they often have extremely good domain specials for first years rego.

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Received this yesterday from VentraIP…

Yesterday it was announced that Webcentral Group (ASX:WCG), which includes brands such as Netregistry and Melbourne IT, recommended a scheme of arrangement to its shareholders to be wholly acquired by multi-billion dollar US company Web.com Group Inc.

This is the same company who recently acquired Dreamscape Networks, which included brands such as Crazy Domains and Vodien.

If this acquisition is approved by their shareholders it will see VentraIP Australia become the largest Australian owned and operated web hosting and domain name company, and whilst that is a personally humbling achievement as a business owner, it means that more than 80% of the local market share will then be foreign owned.

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It is as I often write. Ask a young American what his goal is, and it is to make a company that owns the world. Ask an Aussie and the answer is make a company and sell it to a multinational…

Another in a long line where dollars are the only decision making criterion.

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Surely Domain Registration and it’s oversight should be matters of National Security and not about just money, where oh where is the FIRB, Border Security et al (Dutton) etc etc etc. Please note some of this is cynical and even sarcastic and should be read with that in mind.

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I had a domain with Netrregistry back in 2000… they were indeed a tricky bunch but not nearly as bad as they seem to be now. I have also had registrations with a number of other companies, but the most agreeable I have found to be VentraIP and its less expensive subsidiary, Zuver. You do your own domain management and at no time does Ventra or Zuver try to gyp you in any way.

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Noting that your post has a complex tone :slight_smile: …

  • For better or worse, the Australian government has acted to take control of domain registration oversight.
  • The oversight is quite separate from the actual domain registration (which in turn may be quite separate from the provision of DNS services). Only the provision of DNS services really has national security implications. That’s where the rubber hits the road. Unfortunately DNS services are covered by the Australian government’s “defective by design” legislation.
  • As a domain name owner, none of this affects you at all unless you choose to register in .au and the choice to do that depends on the value that it has to you. If you are an Australian business with a primary focus in Australia, it may make sense. If you are a random then it is cheaper and potentially more convenient to forget about .au but in that case you already gave up your sovereignty - but none of the previous discussion is relevant.

For example, in respect of the last bullet point, you will note that Choice has not chosen to register the domain for this forum in .au. Multiply that by tens of millions and you can see that the true situation in respect of us or a foreign country weaponising the domain system is complicated, expansive and difficult for anyone to manage.

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