Here’s what I dealt with on Friday.
The moment you register a domain name you need to be prepared for a barrage of phone calls, emails and texts from companies trying to sell web design services.
For this reason, I now register domain names using a Google Voice number and a special email address. This covers most of the domains I hand register, and it always seemed like the perpetrators were only picking up on new domain registrations.
But last week I won a domain on NameJet that was deposited in my Network Solutions account. Despite being a transfer instead of a new registration, the spam began.
Here’s how one of the more interesting communications occurred. First, I got an email from “Leanna” at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Your domain registration is finished. Would you like someone to help with web design?
Our offices are based in California and we’re delivering elegant websites made in house.
We’re in association with Godaddy thats how we got your info.
Have a wonderful day.
This notion of being in cahoots with GoDaddy is something a lot of companies use when sending these solicitations. Of course, it’s not true.
I decided to see where this would go. I emailed Leanna back and said I was interested.
Instead of hearing back from Leanna, I got a message from “Sam” at DEHMedia email@example.com.
His email indicated that his firm had “launched more than 1000 dynamic websites, responsive and mobile friendly” and directed me to DEHMedia.com to learn more.
The email included links to 8 sites that DEHMedia has apparently designed. One led to a Plesk default server page, but the other sites looked pretty good. The first two led to sites with a footer message saying they were designed by BlueZoo Labs. That was odd.
So I called the two phone numbers in Sam’s email signature. Neither of them picked up, and the second one said it was a MagicJack line.
I emailed Sam back saying that I tried calling and no one picked up. He responded “I am in a meeting. Please call my boss Deborah at…”
I called Deborah.
Deborah explained that her company has 6 web developers/designers. I brought up the initial email that mentioned GoDaddy being associated with them.
Deborah explained that GoDaddy will “shoot out to media companies that we work with” some websites that are brand new.
Hmm. I tried to clarify: you mean GoDaddy will tell you there’s a new website and you should contact them?
Deborah said that GoDaddy is going to capture a small part of the business and wants to have web developers work with their customers to build websites.
This is, of course, quite misleading. They got my information from a Whois record.
Deborah then cleared up the confusion about BlueZoo. She explained that DEH Media was the media part of the company and that BlueZoo, her company, does the development. (So Sam’s Boss works for a different company? That’s Odd.)
At this point, I asked about why a Google search for DEH Media pulls up a company in Switzerland. The domainer in Deborah came out: she explained that they bought the domain name from a prior company. The domain helped because it has longevity and credibility.
It’s unclear to me what relationship DEH Media and BlueZoo have. Both claim to have offices in San Ramon, California. The address points to a Regus space. It’s possible that certain companies work to get warm leads from domain registrations and then pass them on to the actual web design shops once they are qualified.
Shortly after I got off the phone with Deborah I got a call from another web development company, GoWebby. The first time you hear this name in a thick Indian accent, you’ll swear it sounds like GoDaddy.