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European Domain Buyers Face Strain

April 22, 2003 

If recent events are any indication, it promises to be a frustrating year for domain buyers throughout Europe. 

Customers across the continent have recently been faced with shady service, archaic laws, controversies and even uncertainty surrounding the future of their domains. 

Business and consumers throughout the United Kingdom have been hit particularly hard this year. First, many were duped in January and February by several organizations operating scams that tried to convince domain owners to switch registrars. Some companies went as far as falsely claiming to be acting on behalf of major domain registrars, using scare tactics and sending "renewal invoices" for services not actually related to domains they had purchased. 

Many UK business and consumers were then hurt further in February when it was announced that the domain, which many UK businesses had been encouraged to register as an alternative to the domain, had suddenly been removed from availability. The University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia, which is responsible for the operation of the .co domain, said that Net Registrar, the registrar for the domains, had failed to agree to the terms of a proposed arrangement. Net Registrar was therefore "no longer entitled to operate sub-domains," according to a posting on the Web site. 

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