I read Jamie’s post about the folks behind the “Free Credit Report .com” commercials and agree that it will be interesting to see what happens with their direct marketing campaign, which includes television and interactive media. If you didn’t read Jamie’s post – or are too lazy to click over, basically the Free Credit Report people can’t say that their product is free, as a result of the new credit card legislation. They also must link to AnnualCreditReport.com, which does provide the free annual credit reports.
One thing I did notice is that the company behind AnnualCreditReport.com seems to understand domain names and consumer behavior, as they have also registered typos, including AnnualCreditReports.com, AnualCreditReport.com, and AnnualCreditReort.com. I can’t definitively confirm this because the registrations are private, but all were registered around the same date, and all are hosted on the same name servers.
However, as smart as this company is, they are also pretty dumb. They bought the typo domain names, presumably for defensive purposes, but none of them resolve! Instead of forwarding the traffic from the typos, they go to an error page. This is a stupid mistake!
If you are going to buy defensive domain names, especially if they are typos and the visitor intended to visit the site, you should make sure they resolve to the right place! I suppose it might not be necessary if your defensive registration is something like AnnualCreditReportSucks.com or something like that where you just don’t want someone else owning it, but at least lead the way for the fat fingered potential customers/visitors who mistype your correct domain name!