The website has finally blocked private rental listings in order to stamp out fraudulent listings that have fleeced its unsuspecting customers for thousands over several months. It's something, but it's way too late. This is what the company should have done in May when it first got wind of the problem.
Instead, it tried to spin its way out of trouble, enlisting the help of PR company Red Agency to handle this Website's enquiries.
Domain.com.au refused interviews. Domain.com.au knew its customers were losing money to criminals. Domain.com.au chose to do virtually nothing to stop it.
In response to these Risky.Biz articles that first exposed the fraudulent activity in May and June (1 and 2), Risky.Biz received an oh-so-chirpy e-mail from Red Agency on June 19. It informed Risky HQ that a "new security policy, accessible through various links on the site," had been written and published!
What a relief! Problem solved!
Not only that, but the company had used the most advanced "hyperlinking technology" through some new-fangled thing called HTML to link users to the fraud-defeating, magic security policy. I mean, wouldn't YOU click on a link to a security policy that was presented to you in eight-point font on a contact form?
Domain also wrote a blog post warning its users about fraud and ran it on the Domain.com.au blog. Here's a fun game: see if you can find it.
One thing we could certainly find were the graphics on the front pages of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald online that screamed words to the effect of "Apply for rental properties online now on Domain.com.au!". These were running the day the blog post went up. How deliciously ironic.
The Age and SMH are owned by Fairfax, which also owns Domain.
The thing that really cracks us up here at Risky.Biz is this excerpt from the SMH article we linked to in the first paragraph:
The general manager of key categories, Tony Blamey, said the company received reports of the scam in the past two weeks.
Sorry Tony, but we're calling bullshit on that one. Domain has known about this since mid May at the latest.