I was reading through the "Terms and Conditions" page of a web site that I was considering promoting.
Line 15 of the terms read:
15. 1. It is mutually understood and agreed that this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the place where the Company holds its principal place of business,
The web site itself does not say where the company is located.
Their contact page just has a web form. They use a 1-800 number and they bought the domain privacy feature from Godaddy which masks the information used to register the business.
The fact that this company does not report its location makes the whole idea of doing business with this company absurd.
If you are considering doing business with a company you should always check the company's contact page and find out where they are. Any contracts you make with a company will be governed by the state (or country) where the company resides.
If the company does not report their location on the contact page; you can often discover it with a whois tool like whois.domaintools.com or whois.icann.com or even whois.godaddy.com.
If a company does not report its location on a contact page and is using domain privacy; you should not do business with that company.
I decided not to do business with the company in question. Quite frankly, I suspect that others have decided not to do business with the company for the same reason.
Businesses Should Never Use Domain Privacy
I believe that we need to protect the privacy of individuals. If you are blogging about a political opinion; buying domain privacy is smart.
If your goal is to engage in business, you should never use domain privacy.
Domain Registration and SEO
Millions of people look up whois information. There are robots that troll the whois database as well. These people compile lists and make reports. Many of these reports end up online.
These people end up creating free links and traffic to your business. When you buy domain privacy, you lose out on a bunch of free traffic.
The robots that troll the whois database send a lot of spam. The answer to this spam is simply to create a throwaway mailbox for your domain registration. See, if you have a domain name, you have an infinite number of mail box addresses. I used the mailbox spam for my registrations: eg firstname.lastname@example.org. I only use this address for domains.
You do not need to buy domain privacy to protect you from spam because you get an infinite number of email addresses with your domain name!
If you have money (I don't have money); you should get a box at a local mail center. The starting price is usually $8 per month. (Postnet, UPS Store, post office. The address should have the correct city and state of your business. Some local office buildings will offer mail boxes.
ADVERTISEMENT: If you had a lot of money (starting $50/month); you might consider getting a virtual office with DaVinci Office. This option gives you meeting space at prime locations around the globe. You can add a virtual reception and other cool features.
Conclusion: Business contracts tend to be regulated at the location of the business. You should never do business with a company that uses Domain Privacy services. Conversely, if you are a company and you want to do business; you should avoid using domain privacy.
The best way to protect your privacy is to get a mail box or virtual office. You can protect your email address simply by using a dedicated email address for domain registrations.