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This isn’t what the WHOIS is for…

Just got a marketing call that irked me. I run a hosting company, so I register plenty of domain names. What happened was basically a design firm is going through the WHOIS records of recently registered domain names and phoning people and offering to design them a new website to go with their new domain name. They do it in a chummy way which is really annoying, like being asked how your day’s been in the supermarket at the checkout by the till assistant when you just want to take your shopping home. The main problem with this though is I thought it was against the rules or even illegal* to use the WHOIS records in this way. I get enough spam as it is without this phone spam becoming a normal thing. It was a London-based design firm by the way. They called me, spoke for a moment, hung up and then called me again. I think they hung up the first time because they realised they hadn’t used a blocked number as the second call was from a blocked number. They hung up on me again when I told them they shouldn’t use the WHOIS records for marketing. End of story.

If you want hosting or a domain name from me visit Gimur Hosting. I keep data protection close to heart and your privacy is very important to me. Plus I handle all support requests, so you always know who you’re dealing with.

*Update: Apparently it’s legal to use it for marketing and there’s nothing to be done about it. Although these are the terms you agree to when making a WHOIS query…

The Data in this WHOIS database is provided for information purposes only, and is designed to assist persons in obtaining information related to domain name registration records. It’s accuracy is not guaranteed. By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this Data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this Data to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail(spam); or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that apply to this WHOIS or any of its related systems.The provider of this WHOIS reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

I’m guessing no one is enforcing the terms of the search and I’m not sure if making a sales call counts as commercial advertising as it only lists solicitation as being via email.