This domain, and some others of mine, are registered through Domain Central in Australia (no link, for reasons the title may make apparent). Yesterday I received an email from them informing me that one of those names had been automatically renewed at a price of AUD49.50 + GST (10%).
This story is all well and good so far, until we consider that their advertised price for these domains is AUD24.50 including GST, and that as a non-Australian resident I exempt from their GST anyway by Commonwealth law (§38-190, A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999). As well, I wasn’t notified even once in advance rather than the half-dozen times promised.
So after being charged almost 250% as much as I should have been I was a little concerned, but I figured it was a mistake and contacted them to get it resolved. Here’s their response in full:
Thank you for writing in.
The domain zzzzzzz.nz has been successfully renewed.
Please let me know if you have any further questions. Simply reply to this email to reopen your support request.
The brush-off. Just in case there was a misunderstanding of what I was asking, or just laziness in reading it, I replied again explaining explicitly what I was enquiring about and requesting the UDAIs for my other domains, but over a day later – nothing. At this point it’s either deliberate fraud, or supreme incompetence and terrible customer service. Either way, I don’t intend to give them my business in the future, and I don’t encourage anybody else to do so either.
If there’s still no response in the morning, I’m going to contact them one last time before I call the bank, the Australian Tax Office, and the Domain Name Commission and pot them for breaking the rules of every one of those.