Guilty by Association?

While we usually make it our business to stay out of other people’s business, a company which used us in the past has come under the spotlight in the media.

This has caused me to do some of my own investigating about their business of Domain Privacy Protection. The Australian would have readers believe that PrivacyProtect and HotSnail are linked to Russian Spies and Terrorism, because when they registered their internet domain, they checked the box that protects their identity from their public WHOIS record.

The privacy protection feature is offered by most domain registrars and is used by about 20% of registered domains (from a random sample of 1600 domains in a study in 2013 by ICANN), largely to protect their personal details from spammers, identity theft and other unwanted use of their personal information.

When the media uses words like terrorist, or Russian spy’s it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion and overlook the details, such as the so called link here.

PrivacyProtect’s privacy protection service subscribed to HotSnail’s mail service and some of the millions of domain registrants who subscribed to privacy protection happened to be for websites associated with criminal or terrorist activity, and according to The Australian, this qualifies as a notable link.

Is this not akin by being linked by your sisters, aunties, and father-in law’s neighbour who went to the same school on a different year? Or the link between a terrorist using gmail, and an owner of a datacentre hosting a gmail server?


I would like to know what you think. Should HotSnail screen its customers more carefully or is this just a case of sensational journalism?


Thanks for your feedback.

That is great being able to hitch a ride on your GPO box. I'll start changing my company postal address from today onward. You're now solving a heap of annoying issues for me. If you're looking to grow HotSnail just let small companies like mine know how easy it is for them to:

* Save a couple of hundred dollars on PO Box rental each year.
* Save a couple of hundred dollars on mail redirection.
* Save time and expense having to clear mailbox each day (often half full of junk mail).
* Be able provide a major city GPO address (no matter where you're actually based).
* Receive a digital copy of any important mail, ready for paperless storage.
* Receive mail no matter where you're located worldwide.

Fantastic, you've just locked me in as a long-term customer, and word-of-mouth advertiser...


A great testimonial!


Hi Karl and team,
We just wanted to say that we have been using your service for twelve months now and are very happy. We have been receiving everything that we expected to and promptly receive mail if it needs forwarding on to one of the many addresses that we may use.

We couldn't be happier and so glad we signed up with Hotsnail. Please feel free to use these comments any way you wish and happy to recommend you.

Alys and Majella


Thank you very much Alys and Majella, it is an absolute delight for us to receive praise from our customers as we all strive to exceed your expectations.

- Karl

Blog // News

You can apply for Australia Post mail redirections online.

Australia Post has recently upgraded their website to allow customers to redirect their mail online. This is great news for international customers however you cannot currently specify your mail ID during an online redirection application.

This means that customers who do apply for their mail redirection online, will have to add their mail ID to the redirection when they receive the redirection confirmation from Australia Post. They will have to complete that form and return it to Australia Post.

The easiest way to redirect your mail to us using Australia Posts redirection services continues to be by visiting your local Australia Post store. Australia Post is aware of their shortfall in the online addressing system and is working on a solution that will be released soon.

For more information about redirecting your mail via Australia Post, please review our redirection guide.


Australia Post reminds you to correctly address your mail this Christmas

Australia post has thousands of unclaimed mail items to Auction including a bowling ball, hair straighteners, bludstone boots and an expresso machine. The proceeds of the auction will go to charities including The Cancer Council, The World Wildlife Fund and the RSPCA.

Australia Post Spokesperson, Sarah Gordon says "In Victoria, more than 4,000 items a day make their way to our Mail Redistribution Centre because the sender has used the incorrect address and forgotten to include a return address on the back of the envelope or parcel".

"That number increases significantly at Christmas time, especially as more Australians are going online to do their gift shopping, with Australia Post delivering an extra 100,000 parcels every day in December."

Ms Gordon says it is a shame some people might never receive the Christmas presents they are sent because of simple addressing mistakes.

It's important to include a postcode because many suburb names are duplicated around the country. For example, Victorians know we have a Richmond, but there is also one in Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Without the postcode and state in the address, it's difficult to know which one you mean."

Ms Gordon said that the golden rule for posting letters or parcels is to always put your own name and address on the back. "That way, if for some reason we can't locate the recipient or the address is incorrect, we can get the item back to you."

When mail arrives incorrectly addressed at Australia Posts mail redistribution centre,  approximately 50 per cent of the mail is reunited with the sender or intended recipient.

"Staff at the Mail Redistribution Centre have special authority to open mail that arrives there. If they find a name or address inside the item, they attempt to reunite the item with the sender or recipient," said Ms Gordon.

"If a return address cannot be found after this investigation, items are catalogued and kept for up to 12 months. They are only auctioned for charity if not claimed during this time, so it really is a last resort."



Sunshine Coast Home Show and Caravan and Camping Expo

Michael and Karl from HotSnail will be running an exhibit at the upcoming Sunshine Coast Home Show and Caravan and Camping Expo this coming weekend. (14th, 15th and 16th of October 2011).


It would be a great oppitunity to meet customers on the Sunshine Coast face to face so please come and visit our exhibit if your in the area!

Look out for the White Delica campervan in the caravanning and camping area.

Caravaners and tourers have being great customers for HotSnail and we enjoy assisting them whenever we can on their adventures, we also hope our presence at the show will give us the oppitunity to make some new touring friends.



Caution: "Underlivered Package" phishing email.

HotSnail would like to warn customers of a unoffical email advising that the delivery of a package has failed due to an addressing problem. This email includes references to Australia Post and instruct the recipient to open the attached file which contains malicious software which can infect the recipients computer.

Australia Post advises that they do not send emails claiming that the delivery of a package has failed. HotSnail recommends that users be alert of any unsolicited email requesting personal information.

If you are concerned about an email relating to delivery of an item, or wish to track your item, Australia Post recommends that you track your item on Australia Posts website at


Why use Mail ID's?

We are aware that some other mail redirection companies operate without the use of Mail ID's in the address. At HotSnail we have spend much time considering the use of Mail ID's and and pros and cons of using them. For a smaller mail redirectors with fewer customers, managing duplicate names might not be an issue however at HotSnail we have many customers including some with duplicate names, and have invested considerable resources towards future growth. The challenge for a growing postal service like HotSnails then becomes maintaining the strict privacy and service levels our customers expect. We allow our customers to elect as many names on their accounts as required and we also alow all our customers to use any of HotSnails addresses without any additional charges, and the only way we can offer this service and maintain absolute privacy is by alocating a mail ID to our customers.

In the case that HotSnail's customer might wish to redirect their mail, they can simply list the Mail ID on the redireciton.

HotSnails systems are flexible enough to allow the Mail ID to be used in many different formats. Some of our customers find it easier, or more asthetic to list the ID as a suit number prefix to the address, in which case the HotSnail operator will identify the Mail ID from the address and handle accordingly.

In the case that we receive a mail item without a mail ID, and the persons name isn't on our ID-Free shortlist, then an investigation must commence to ensure that the mail item is processed to the correct mail account. In the event that this occurs, a $4 search fee is charged to compensate for time taken to perform this action.

HotSnail understands that a Mail ID might not suit all customers in which case there is a limmited shortlist of customers who can reserve all their potential addressable names in a short list for an ID-Free address. HotSnail can only responsibly offer this to a limmited number of customers and does incur additional fees, in some cases of if this option isn't available these customers may wish to simply get their own PO box and then setup the Mail ID on the redirection to HotSnails PO Box.




Registered Post or International Deliveries Requiring Signature for Collection

In some instances Australia Post requires a signature for collection from the recipient of the mail item. This might occur if the item is sent via registered or international post.

In this situation HotSnail cannot collect the item on your behalf without the following documentation:-

* Copy of the recipients Drivers License or Passport

* Signed copy of the collection card supplied by Australia Post

* A signed declaration from the recipient providing authority to collect the mail to a HotSnail employee on behalf of the recipent.


HotSnail recommends that this documentation be provided to HotSnail in advance, if you believe you may require HotSnail to receive these types of mail for your account. This will help prevent delays in delivery if HotSnail is unable to contact you to request this information at the time of receipt. Also it may not be convenient to prepare this information if you are away on holiday.


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