I have been registering domain names since the early 1990’s, I’ve had domains swiped out from under me, I’ve forgotten to renew domains, and I’ve bought more domains than I’ve ever used.

I recently got an urgent text from Peter at All New Comics. He had a letter from a company called “IDNS” who told him that he needed to renew his domain immediately, or he would risk using it. All he needed to do was provide his credit card number and mail the form back for him. Domain renewal would be done for $40.00USD per year (with a 2 year $10 discount, and a whopping $40 discount if he renewed for 5 years).

At NorthIQ we manage all of our domains through Hover (affiliate link), they are a good, Canadian company that can be trusted. They don’t try to upsell you on a bunch of things you don’t need, and they have excellent domain management tools, as well as amazing customer support.

A .com domain is $14.99(USD)/year through Hover. Significantly cheaper than the IDNS pricing. More important, is that anything that I have set up with Hover would be lost through this change to IDNS.

I did some research, and I found that IDNS has an absolutely terrible reputation on the Better Business Bureau, with 37 negative complaints against them and a 1 star rating.

There have been other problems like this in the past.  The Domain Registry of Canada was well known for an almost identical scam, and there have been numerous alerts against them.  In July of 2001, the Competition Bureau of Canada issued a warning about the Domain Registry of Canada.

The “Internet Registry of Canada aka “Domain Registry of Canada” is not certified by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the body officially sanctioned to administer the registration of the “.ca” domain name in Canada. Only CIRA CIRA Certified Registrars can apply to CIRA for registration of “.ca” domain names. For a list of CIRA certified registrars please visit their web site at www.cira.ca. Also the Competition Bureau Issues Warning and later charged the Internet Registry of Canada (aka Domain Registry of Canada).

The Takeaway:

If you get a notice in the mail from a company that you don’t recognize claiming you owe money to have your domain renewed, throw it in the garbage. Talk to the person who maintains your domain, and make sure that they’re using a reputable Domain Registrar to maintain your domain.

If you see a notice like the one below, throw it in the trash.

IDNS Letter

IDNS Letter