I was hating GoDaddy before it was cool...

By ayates

I see a lot of posts recently about how pathetic GoDaddy are, and why you should leave them. There was their fickle SOPA support, their general marketing attitude - you know, how they try and sell you 50 other products between you selecting a domain and paying for it, even their support emails have marketing in them... you're trying to get some help and they're just trying to sell you more stuff. They are without a doubt a marketing monster, and to them this is far more important than customer support.

My story - Part 1

So my first run in with GoDaddy's lack of support was about maybe 5 years ago now, this was when RegisterFly vanished and was consumed by GoDaddy - at the time I was running an Xbox related site that had over 950,000 registered users after just 6 months in operation.

I was required to provide certain paper work for GoDaddy to verify me as the domain owner, so ok - paper work sent. Some back and forth later we reached a point where everything should have been well and I was waiting for them to complete the transfer... but everything wasn't well, they needed an additional document and didn't bother to tell me about it. I only found this out because I got worried as the expiry date closed in and decided I better push on them a little to see whats going on.

I was told about the additional document only after the domain had expired, no problem they say - you can still renew it but the fee is now an additional $90 for expired domain recovery. At which point I'm peeved, their lack of diligence just increased the renewal cost 10 times and they refused to accept any responsibility, but ok - I need the domain and I'm getting no where arguing with them so I paid the money.

The next day, domain paid for - I had received the "Renewal/recovery complete" confirmation and while it cost me more than it should have, I was happy to at least have secured the domain. A few hours later, it's gone again... and where? Well GoDaddy sold it to someone else, who happened to have a backorder on the domain - and just happened to be my site's largest competitor - after I had paid it, within the allowed recovery period... so that's my site shut down for good, thanks GoDaddy. Their support team of course would accept no responsibility and refused to do anything about it, I didn't even get an apology.

My story - Part 2

More recently I had another issue. I had a domain with GoDaddy that to be fair I didn't care about at all, but I just hate to let the little buggers go. 

The domain had a month left on the clock, oddly due to the .vg TLD they set it to "expiring" 30 days before it had actually expired which blocked me from renewing it - so I mailed support, got a useful answer but only after I'd already worked it out for myself... you have to go into your control panel and select "Recover domains" - of course, that makes perfect sense given my domain hadn't expired yet!

So, domain "recovered" 10 days before expiry - paid for along with one other .vg domain. Once again all is well.

10 days later... where did that domain go? I received an email telling me my domain had expired and it had vanished from my control panel. I mailed support and got the response:

"You didn't renew the domain"

...this was particularly funny because I had a receipt that said otherwise, I quoted the receipt reference insisting I had renewed the domain and useless support guy #2 comes back to me with pretty much the exact same response as the first guy.

At this point I decided to check the online receipt. Looking it over - it certainly did not include the particular domain and yet it included the charge for 2x .VG domains but only listed the one they had renewed... obviously a sign of tampering, I took a number of screenshots and replied once again highlighting the mistake and having a little moan about them attempting to defraud me.

Now having evidence I actually got someone to look into the matter, after further review - they confirmed the domain was paid for but not renewed, and with no apology at all they refunded my money... erm? So what about my domain, that I paid for - why are you giving me my money back? I want the domain, not the money!

Some more back and forth and not once did a single one of them offer an apology for their mistake, or even own up to it being their mistake - they were quick to accuse me of not renewing the domain and instantly dismiss my support query but they refuse any responsibility even when you have evidence against them.

In the end, the offered me the opportunity to buy back to domain at three times it's renewal cost... so they screwed up, and I have to give them more money? Yea, seriously...

Conclusion

Ignoring everything I see about GoDaddy on the web, and the various campaigns aimed at getting people to boycott the company - my own experiences bring me to the same conclusions, GoDaddy are not to be trusted.

Since the second incident I have been looking around for a new registrar, seeing a lot of variety and in most cases I'd have to signup to several to get the support for all the various international TLDs I have.

Then, I happened across Gandi - they first grabbed my attention with the logo that read "Gandi.net - No bullshit"... thats exactly what I was looking for! I now have a handful of domains with them, they only email me with they need to, they don't try and sell me stuff between every click of their site, they have a large number of supported TLDs and the zone management is the best I have seen. So far they are nothing but a pleasure to deal with, I look forward to having all my 50+ domains transfered over and I would recommend them as an excellent GoDaddy alternative.