Domain name watchdog warns of dodgy offers

An alert has been issued to Australian companies to be wary of false claims when renewing licenses for com.au domain names.

The Australian industry body overseeing domain names, auDA, said some domain name suppliers are offering to renew licenses for up to ten years, an offer fraught with danger.auDA CEO Chris Disspain said com.au licenses are for a fixed period of two years and must be renewed at the end of that period.

"Some businesses may receive an unsolicited note to renew a domain name for 10 years and firms may be tempted to save time and effort but it cannot be done, all they will get is a reminder service every two years," Disspain told Computerworld.

"auDA believes com.au domain names will be significantly cheaper in two to four years time so companies may be paying more than they need to; also if a company signs up for 10 years the supplier may go out of business during this time and not be able to process the renewal even though its paid for in advance."

Each time a license is renewed at the end of two years Disspain said the application is checked to comply with eligibility rules.

"It is possible that a renewal is rejected and if that occurs there is no guarantee a company will be able to recover the pre-paid sums from the supplier," he said.

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