Yahoo! charging $35 renewals for domains even after you leave (Update: Happy Ending)

Did you flee Yahoo! domains after it upped its .com renewal fee to $35? Even though it's no longer your registrar, it will attempt to run the renewal transaction and invoice you if it cannot. This shady practice is not unknown among domain registrars, but I never expected Yahoo! to sink to it.

When it upped the tab to more than three times the standard rate, I transferred my domains to, cancelled the domains at Yahoo! and moved on.

A couple of days ago, I received a "Past-Due Payment Notice" from Yahoo! Customer Care which says it attempted to bill for renewal of a domain, even though it is no longer the registrar. Moreover, it invoiced for the payment and claimed that the DNS would be interrupted if I didn't cough up.

Worse, I discover upon logging in to my old Yahoo! account that it successfully charged for another domain, transferred to GoDaddy months ago.

Soliciting and processing renewal payments for domains in this manner is a well-known fix. I receive similar invoices by mail, now and again, from no-name scammers: the idea is to trick you into transferring registration to their own company.

$35 for a dot com is bad enough as it is, but using invoices to trick leaving customers into returning–or simply running the transfer automatically using old billing info–is unacceptable.

(Especially cute is how it usually sends all correspondence to your account's primary email address, but renewal receipts only go to the Yahoo! email address that you never check.)

Update: Yahoo refunded my dough without any trouble, and my phone agent was helpful and cheery. This is nice, even if the fact remains that they shouldn't have taken it in the first place.

About Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.
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