Exclusive: Community outrage as Tripping.com acquires BeWelcome.com to thwart competition

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BeWelcome.org is a popular non-profit hospitality exchange web site.

BeWelcome.org is a popular non-profit hospitality exchange web site.

Tripping.com, a hospitality exchange start-up with information on 175 countries, has acquired the domain name BeWelcome.com and is forwarding it to Tripping.com.

This acquisition was made in an apparent attempt to divert natural type-in traffic, away from competitor site, BeWelcome.org.

BeWelcome (.org)  is a hospitality exchange service that is operated by a non-profit organization, registered in France; when searching for “BeWelcome” in Google, the .org dominates the results.

According to their web site:

“Founded in February 2007, BeWelcome has accumulated 33,000 members in more than 150 countries all around the world who offer free accommodation and help during travels. Joining is free and the software behind the site, the BW-rox platform, is free and open-source software.”

The news of the acquisition of the .com by Tripping.com was met with upset commentary by those that use or contribute to BeWelcome.org. A comment left on the Tripping.com Facebook page said:

“So nice of you to get bewelcome.com, when are you planning to transferring the domain name to BeWelcome?”

Another comment on the Tripping.com Facebook page said:

” i think it’s part of the marketing campaign to use the name of another popular website. like this the tripping management is misleading the users. it’s not fair at all. the real bewelcome is only availible at www.bewelcome.org”

The news have not yet reached the BeWelcome.org Facebook page, that recently celebrated passing the 30,000 member milestone. However, the news is being discussed at the BeWelcome forum:

“I thought I’d already seen enough low-ball scum activity in the world of hospitality exchange but now I just read this on Facebook: Tripping.com acquired bewelcome.com and is redirecting it to tripping.com.”

Another user responded:

“[…] they want to profit from the popularity of bewelcome.  […] i already saw a person writing in facebook that bewelcome and tripping are the same. so probably she went to the .com website and got re-directed to tripping. so she thought it’s the same. […] somehow it’s also our mistake, why we didn’t reserve the most important domains like bewelcome.com and bewelcome.net?”

It’s unfortunate that a popular non-profit is being targeted by a commercial web site, with the intention to reap its traffic. However, when registering the .org in 2006, the .com and .net were both available, according to DomainTools.

Moral of the story: if you must have the .org, get the matching .com as well.

This post is 100% true!

This post is 100% true!

 

 

 


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Comments

3 Responses to “Exclusive: Community outrage as Tripping.com acquires BeWelcome.com to thwart competition”
  1. @Domains says:

    Great example of the importance of .com

  2. DomainGang says:

    Domains – It also shows how devious some companies can become. This is a definite business decision to take on the competition.

  3. RaTHeaD says:

    hehehe… you said tool… sometimes i think you are just being satirical…(is that even a word?)

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