What the F*CK is wrong with GoDaddy?

I am so angry with GoDaddy. I am mostly angry with myself because I thought Godaddy had changed and become a serious and trustworthy company. I thought (by talking to a few hard working people from GoDaddy at various conferences) that the corporate beast called GoDaddy had changed. But no matter what you do you can’t push an elephant.

Anyone dealing with GoDaddy as a registrar or auction place must be either crazy, masochists or they have already renewed their 2 domains for 10 years.

It seems that GoDaddy only has a few people doing any real work in there. Joe Styler and a few other people. Other than that nothing is being fixed and no issue is being resolved.

It seems like time has stopped in development. I will not even start with how difficult it is to sell domains at GoDaddy. Their system truly sucks.

I will only deal with buying expired domains which is of course designed ONLY for masochists. People that like to win domains in auction, pay for them, only to find that the domain names are renewed and their money is stuck in limbo. It is designed to give you a high and then a sudden low. It is like a bad drug…

My mistake

So I made the mistake to win a domain for $6,700 on a Wednesday last month. I can’t pay by credit card that amount so I asked my account rep what the wire transfer details were and if the domain would be available when the wire arrived on Tuesday. Last time I did this the transaction defaulted after 3 days, I lost the domain, my wire arrived on the 4th day and my money got stuck in GoDaddy for months.

I immediately got an automated email that my rep is on paternity leave for a few weeks. Fine. But why don’t I have a new account rep? What am I supposed to do “for a few weeks”? The support options given in the email were simply ridiculous. (I have still not heard anything from my rep or any other rep after several weeks.)

I messaged Joe Styler and he told me to contact Jason. I emailed Jason and never got a reply. NEVER! On Thursday and while I was already frustrated I got the usual email: “*******.com is no longer available” and “Your auction has been cancelled“.

godaddy-auction

I wouldn’t have been able to buy the domain name anyway!

Even if the domain was not renewed, I am absolutely sure that the domain would have defaulted on Saturday. Last time I was PROMISED that the domain will be waiting for my wire transfer and of course I was lied to. My funds turned into account credit and it was stuck at Godaddy for many months. This simply can’t happen when buying a domain with a partner and for that kind of money. Actually it can’t happen in general!

The whole GoDaddy expired domains issue

Their suggestion that I keep $10,000+ in credit at GoDaddy at any time in case I want to make a big purchase in the next 2 or 3 years is simply ridiculous.

I was personally promised in NamesCon 2015 that GoDdaddy would move the auction dates after day 42 so that the owner wouldn’t be able to renew or transfer away a domain AFTER an auction has ended. This is what happens in all other expired domain name auction houses. 2 years later and nothing has changed. I guess this will not happen in our life span at Godaddy.

I first wrote about this problem 4 year ago in an article called “Your Auction Has Ended”: Will GoDaddy give me back my time and money?“. Of course me and several others have been ignored this whole time.

Several domain owners take advantage of this stupidity to get a live market domain appraisals. There are people that let hundreds of domains go to auction, get a sense of what they are worth and then transfer all domains away to a different registrar.

After this issue I was told that GoDaddy CAN move the dates but not easily. So why doesn’t GoDaddy try doing something that requires a bit of hard work? It is not EASY for the thousands of GoDaddy customers, as it is.

The only thing that GoDaddy did was to put all expired domains behind privacy so that people can’t see the email address and contact the owner. But anyone with a domaintools, whoisology or domainiq subscription can find the email address. That fixed nothing. And from what I see most domains are NOT put behind privacy. (because of another GoDaddy bug?)

No more big purchases

So I will NEVER make another large purchase of an expired domain at Godaddy unless a customer forces me to. And I will certainly never send a wire transfer to them.

And it is clear for sellers that if they want to have a domain name auction of significant value then GoDaddy is not the auction house to use.

I made a small $150 purchase last week and I was sure that the domain was going to be renewed. And it was. But I paid by Paypal and after 3-4 days I had my money back.

Nothing really works in Godaddy as it should be working. Nothing of value is getting fixed. I wonder who is in charge. Seriously GoDaddy, what the F*CK?

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

38 comments

  1. Off course Godaddy sucks! Move on to other platforms
    Customercare is another disaster

  2. 1 improvement GoDaddy could make would be this:

    For purchases above (let’s say) $500, don’t charge the buyer until the domain has definitely been secured on the buyer’s behalf. Simply wait another week before billing.

    Smaller auctions would need to be billed right away. Otherwise non-paying buyers could mess up all the low-level auctions and closeouts. But higher-value auctions are different. Only qualified buyers – i.e. people who follow through with payment – should be allowed to bid. And if bidding gets that high, GoDaddy can safely renew the domain in advance of payment, knowing that multiple buyers are interested in it.

    @Konstantinos,

    I always get same-day service with GoDaddy. When my assigned rep is out of the office, someone else usually helps out. Of course, it’s easier to pick up the phone from inside the USA; and you’re facing time-zone issues from Greece too. So I realize it’s different. Still, their account reps pass along messages and fill in for one another all the time. You might need to have a 2nd guy’s email address handy for when your rep is out on paternity leave.

    Truthfully, GoDaddy has been THE best company in this industry for customer support in my experience. Nobody else holds a candle to them. Really, I’m not even sure what company I could point to at #2; GoDaddy’s just that far ahead of the pack.

    The way their auctions work has some built-in risks and frustrations, of course. Personally, I like to renew domains after expiry to flush out end users. Occasionally, that frustrates domainers. I know. As a buyer, I’m in the same boat when my purchases are canceled and refunded.

    • Their system as it is can’t do that. They can’t wait a minute after day 3 of the auction close. Their system automatically checks if payment has been made from the winner and proceeds with alternative options. (I don’t want to go into what the alternative options are here.)

      Joseph, I did email a 2nd guy. He just didn’t bother to reply. Or claimed he didn’t got the email but did not email me either…

    • @Joseph What did you mean by this comment?: “Personally, I like to renew domains after expiry to flush out end users.” Huh?

      • @Bill Sweetman,

        I find my inbound offers spike shortly after I renew a domain – provided I renew it during the expiry cycle.

        My hunch about why … Some motivated end users place backorders and mark their calendar for the expiration date. Buyer’s brokers definitely do that, don’t we ; )

        In other cases, front-runners pretend to own my domains, and they contact end users without my permission. Either way, end users seem to pay extra attention around expiry time. An unexpected renewal is like a hare darting out of the bush in front of a vigilant hound.

        In many ways the aftermarket functions more efficiently for expired domains than for non-expired inventory. That’s certainly true where domainers are concerned. People watch expired auctions more closely than other “for sale” listings because it’s a simple negotiation-free sales channel. So I often let domains expire to jolt the system into wakefulness.

        That’s what I meant.

      • So you have front runners working for you? 🙂
        That could be bad because they could be offering your domain for sale for $69 or $129.

      • @Konstantinos Zournas,

        Can’t get rid of those guys. They grow like mold on cheese. But in some cases, moldy cheese tastes pretty good.

        When those front runners alert me to a good buy or alert a buyer to some domain of mine, I’ll accept the silver lining.

        I have no problem explaining to a buyer that the guy who contacted them was a fraudster who didn’t represent me. That has never yet derailed any negotiation for me. Most buyers start off with low offers, whether they come up with those low numbers on their own or were duped by some fraudulent front runner. In either case, the negotiation goes about as well / badly. But at least a conversation is started.

  3. You need a designated account rep assigned to you K. I can tell you from experience that my account rep has went beyond the call of duty multiple times. Very responsive and educated, quick on the draw. A personal account rep will cut through the corporate bureaucracy for you, on your behalf…. Sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.

    • I have one. He is just away on paternity leave and no one bothered to assign a new one for the months he would be gone.

      But last time my account rep promised that the domain would be waiting for me but it wasn’t. They just don’t know that the godaddy system can’t be stopped.

  4. I used Godaddy for the .99 cent registrations only.

    Is Godaddy competing with Moniker to be like them, lol? I think Mr. Parsons should be informed about these issues.

  5. the easiest thing to do would be to get a credit card with a 10-20k limit. Then you never have to worry about wires getting stuck.

    • I know but there is no such thing in Greece these days! We still have capital controls from summer of 2015.
      It was extremely difficult to get a card with such limit even before that. Now it is simply impossible by law.
      My wife had one with a $10,000 limit for several years and the bank reduced the limit last year even though she didn’t owe a dollar.

      I am lucky they let me wire funds outside the country. And that is ONLY because I got the funds from abroad!
      Other people can’t wire more than $1000 per month outside Greece.

      • You do well for yourself, perhaps you should consider moving to a country that doesn’t try to control your money so much. Not sure how you deal with that on a regular basis. They hand them out like candy here.

      • I have considered it. Believe me… But our home is here, family and friends, etc.
        And my wife won’t hear any of it.

        The whole capital controls issue has costed me a lot of money in the past 1.5 year: increased expenses, lost deals, etc.

  6. Auctions are always buyer beware, there are alot of weird bidders there that will keep upping the bid by $5,$10 to reset the counter, until they let you reach your max bid, then they stop bidding.

    Not reassigning reps is just poor management, and that falls on the Manager of the VIP department.

    The platform is all over the place, I can’t even review my invoices some days, when I do direct searches via TDNAM get error messages.

    • “Not reassigning reps is just poor management, and that falls on the Manager of the VIP department.”
      Very true!

      “The platform is all over the place, I can’t even review my invoices some days, when I do direct searches via TDNAM get error messages.”
      Sometimes I enter the exact domain I know that is on auction and it doesn’t appear in the search results! And if (doing a search) I hit enter on the keyboard instead of the “Search” button then I get an error message.

  7. Konstantinos- I am so sorry to hear this. I am always happy to help in any way I can for you or anyone else who needs help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out as much as you want to. I will take this article as a call to action for us to get together and work on ways to improve some obvious short comings here. We do try hard to make sure we help people and it looks like that broke down here and I apologize to you for that. For your money to be gone for this long is completely unacceptable. I will see what can be done to improve things.

    Joseph – That is a good idea, taking a deposit. I will look into that and bring it up with our product manager.

    • Even a quicker turnaround on refunds for wire transfers would be an improvement.

    • Joe, I know you do try to help and I mentioned you in the article. Unfortunately what you and 2-3 other people do can’t support a whole company like GoDaddy no matter how hard you try.
      You simply can’t do everything.

      There seems to be some top management problems that resonate all the way down to development and support. It seems that the simplest improvement gets stuck in layers of managers and only 1% of what is truly needed is ever being done.

    • Just auction domains that have actually expired. There is so much wasted time and effort when 90% of the good auctions are renewed.

  8. These are ongoing issues that we all have been seeing for many months.

    I just end up spending more at namejet.

    Godaddy is trying so hard to pad the bottomline with new sources, they forget to see that patching such things like this is one of the easiest ways to boost their bottom dollar.

  9. There are SO many things that GD should improve….

  10. Overall it’s a decent company, but far from perfect as your article points out. Lots of bugs and errors on Godaddy website. and it has been this way for a long time. Many never get fixed or are fixed and fail again. Basic stuff, like problems with search, checkout, and receipt history. You have a blog so you can voice your frustrations but most don’t and the true extent of the problems at GD may be more than realized. Not to mention after GD’s purchase of Afternic, they stopped releasing the weekly sales reports. Now there is little sales and pricing information for everyone to use; less public information is not a good thing for the industry as a whole. Healthy competition is the best answer. That is why go-getters like Dropcatch are cleaning their clock in backorders and Uniregistry has carved out its place too. But once the big company gets entrenched, like Godaddy, people gravitate toward it as part of the network effect. Takes a lot to change it.

  11. Hello,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience with GoDaddy but it seems to be a constant thing lately. I encourage you to take a look at the registrar I work for, Epik.com. We have earned the reputation of Legendary Customer Support and will do everything we can to resolve any issue, whether it’s with us or another registrar.

    I’d be happy to talk with you or connect you directly to our CEO, Rob Monster. You can contact me at 425-366-8810 (ask for me if another rep picks up and they’ll transfer) or sarah@epik.com.

    Again, sorry to hear of your hassles but I look forward to hearing back from you. Have a great day!

  12. I can understand your frustration and that’s one of the reason I don’t buy high priced domains from expired names at GoDaddy. Another reason is they allow only 48 hours to make payment no matter it’s through card/PayPal or wire. They have to understand and give extra time for making big payments and wire don’t arrive in just couple of days. Also it doesn’t make any sense to deposit huge amount of money for future buying.

    GoDaddy needs to make not only few but many changes like you mentioned. But they don’t seems to fixing it any time soon…

  13. ” Joe Styler” is a great rep? You’re kidding right? Mr Styler promised to take care of the terrible situation for those of us that own most of the premium names in the Swiss .ch extension and he did ZERO. Don’t tell your readers that this guy is a helpful rep of GoDaddy. I’d tell you what I really think but I’d like to continue on your blog.

    • Joe is not a rep. He is the ‎Aftermarket Product Manager at GoDaddy. He doesn’t have to give support to me or to the many others that helps daily.
      Nevertheless everybody makes mistakes.

      Please explain what happened with .ch domains. I would like to know what happened.
      (BTW I wouldn’t register any ccTLDs at GoDaddy except some of the most common ones like .co, .tv, .me and .uk.)

      • Of course Styler is a representative of GoDaddy regardless of title. re His promise to look into and try to fix the issues with the Swiss .ch extension for which he ZERO as ive stated above are well documented on Name Pros.

      • Few month ago I have asked Joe to help and he did help me a lot with acquisition of .com domain that was not handled properly and corrected situation. Therefore, he is a great guy and sorry that he couldn’t help you, but is assure you he does goes out of his way to help. Your situation might have been unique, but he has been great. Thanks Joe!

  14. French translations at GoDaddy are sometimes rather strange. The main problem to me is the impossibility to contact support…but by phone 🙁

  15. Joe is a busy guy. He works at Godaddy and is also Chief Tech Officer at a theater tickets company, according to his LinkedIn page and Domain Gang article from December 2015. It’s got to be hard to fix everything when you’ve got so much on your plate.

  16. It’s going to be hard to fix everything if you have so much on your plate? Dude its a multi billion dollar company. WTF is this shit where people are okay with shitty service and programs because every once in a while a rep is able to handle simple requests that can be fixed on the spot because its usually a few clicks away for them on their computer screen. And if he is a “Aftermarket Product Manager” that seems very relevant and authoritative for the issues we are reporting.

    It sounds like Godaddy continues this shit system to take advantage of users and to throw the market and keep it active and bidding and buying at higher rates. No giant company likes this lets these many mistakes prevail for this long unless the benefits still out way the losses for them.

    I have been looking today all over the net for these kinds of issues because I just encountered one myself that is BULL! I have been following an expired domain for a few days now and it didn’t receive any bidders or any activity and went into closeout… every time I would add it into the cart without being logged in, it would add successfully, whenever I would login to buy it, it disappears from cart and when I go back to tdnam and search for it, it is no longer there. 12 hours later after being real upset but figured to search anyway, it popped up again. I got excited to buy it as it is a two word domain that flows and I liked it and once again! added to cart successfully and disappears from cart and tdnam after logging in! And I am actively monitoring domain registration updates and activity on the backend and no changes have been made to ownership; still registered to Godaddy Redemption Services.

    There is a lot of human emotional value and human time being wasted on Godaddy’s auction system that is not being accounted for in their auction prices. We loose so much, for them to gain around the hype of buying and bidding on domains that may or may not be in our hands at the end of the day.

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