Godaddy Holding Customer Sites to Ransom?

62 comments
Source Title:
Iink requests as spam
Story Text:

So we sent a request for a link trade to the wrong guy and he reported it as spam. Now Godaddy suspended 24 domains and is asking $199 each to get them back, a total of $4776 USD.

The dns is redirected to godaddy abusednsblah so we get a 404 page and our domains are down and losing money. The abuse people work 9-5 and not on the weekend. Nothing short of blackmail. You have no recourse. You can contest the decision and have your domains offline for another week. Registrars should register domains not use it is as a source of revenues. The abuse department as usual can only be reached by mail and do not give a shit about your business. We spent the weekend transferring domains away from these people.

Comments

Yet another good reason NOT to solicit link exchanges

So many Webmasters now routinely request link reciprocation that the practice DOES appear to be very spammy to many of us. I have long advocated that people stop seeking reciprocal links. I'm sorry you had to face such dire consequences, but this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. The SEO community has burned through this idea and needs to move on.

more about Godaddy than link requests

I am in travel selling hotels etc and am a link leper. No one is going to link to me :)

This is more about the methods Godaddy use. 1 complaint is enough for then to suspend your domain.

They lie and say they have sent you multiple requests
they suspend the domain.
they act after complaint from one person,they provide no evidence it was a competitor.
They deliberatley drag their feet whilst googlebot is coming to your bread and butter and seeing a dead site.
They must be on bonus as you will never get your domain back without paying their ranson fees. The tone is like judge dread and they are the law.
Basically I could send some bullshit now

http://www.whois.sc/threadwatch.org is registered at godaddy. I lie and get the site taken down and Nick pays $200. Heh very nice and there is not a thing you can do about it. These people are trigger happy and will suspend a domain without batting an eyelid.

horrible!

I have my promotional products & blinky pins website under GoDaddy service. not too bad so far. but I'm not able to change the IP. usually we don't need the ability to choose IP, but it's a disaster for a man in the country who blocks IPs.

[Link drop removed - Brian]

not really

Yet another good reason NOT to solicit link exchanges

I would agree if you had said

Yet another reason NOT to solicit link exchanges

Whatever their reasons, I don't think that godaddy should be suspending domains in this manner *and* requiring a fee that is disproportionate to the original fee. I had heard about this before, but of course it never sticks in my mind because it is not exactly prominently displayed.

Disregarding the merits of what maxd may or may not have done, I think it was kind of him to remind us of this business practice.

I think the issue here is

I think the issue here is Godaddy's definition of an unsolicited e-mail. They claim that contact pages do not constitute a solicitation. I am sure that I could prove otherwise in a court of law.

The main problem with this policy is that Godaddy does not wait for a law enforcement agency to complain. It's unilateral and with no appeal process.

Basically, if you write to any email address and mention your domain name you are toast if they pass it on to abuse. That is not fair or legal in my opinion. How exactly do you contact the person to ask for permission?

Judge and Jury...

So it appears at first glance that Godaddy have acted as judge and jury in this unfortunate incident. Nobody likes spam but this should not be a reason for a domain registrar to remove domain(s) without looking at proof and conulting with the other party. We have a couple of U.S. accounts over there and if one of these accounts should request a link from someone else and get reported then the possibility of them closing down the site is a possibility... then I'll re-think our position at Godaddy.

As well ...

I've never been comfortable with the idea of registering domains and hosting sites with the same provider. If anything happens, then you have two problems to solve -- fast.

Godaddy Bowling?

I have seen this before, i think about 1 1/2 ago there was much hand wringing on wmw about it.

Amazing

So who is a recommended registar ?

This is just yet another

This is just yet another example of why you should always seperate registar, DNS and hosting - DO NOT place it all with the same people. YOU need to be in control!

Mikkel

Who do you use for registrar and DNS? PM if you wish.

Bulk Register is good

Hi this is my first post, I have been using Bulk Register (bulkregister.com) for a number of years and have several hundred domains there. I pay $75 a year membership and pay $8.25 per domain. They also sell Geotrust certificates. They were recently purchased by ENOM. Their support is good, they have not tried to screw me. I would recommend them (and no I am not on commision!).

Doug Noble

This is just the registration

Mikkel. This is just the domain registration. We have our own dns and own servers for hosting. If I could register my own domains I would even do that too :)

I heard these GoDaddy horror

I heard these GoDaddy horror stories around a year ago, and immediately moved all my domains.

I personally moved them to NameCheap and have been happy to date. I've also heard very good things about Moniker and how they fight for domain holders rights, but their prices have put me off to date.

I understand the benefits of having separate name servers, but aren't sure who to choose. Are there service providers that come recommended?

Playing Devil's Advocate

maxd

Sory to hear of your troubles but... you wrote:

They lie and say they have sent you multiple requests

I've worked for two companies that registered domains and more often than not, multiple requests are sent and the domain owner never bothers to respond... until the dns is redirected.

They deliberatley drag their feet

You mean, they get on with the work of managing hundreds of thousands of domain names...

Registrars should register domains not use it is as a source of revenues.

I'm certain that business model exists... in Nirvanna.

OK, OK I'm a little cranky because I haven't had my coffee yet. But, having been the person who had to deal with the angry "Where is my domain name! My Site is Gone!" calls and emails, I don't blame them one bit for the "mail only" policy.

That Girl From Marketing

Moniker is great

I move many of my domains to Moniker last year and am in the process of transfering *all* of my Godaddy domains to them.

If you have enough domains you can get discount rates that are cheaper than Godaddy.

Natasha, cranky is not good

Natasha, cranky is not good when you work in an abuse department for sure :)

In this case I can guarantee it was one email from Gdiddy and we were wiped. Just been arguing with the guy in the abuse department. So we settled for $29 per domain to transfer them away. This is course is illegal to charge for transferring your domain away but they list it as "fees" for their trouble in dealing with you.

As for suspending your domain and then dragging their feet. If they suspend your domain they should be on call 24/7 to get it back up. Think of lost revenues there, that for sure would be a case for a law suit.

Coffee in Hand and a Smile on my Face

MaxD,

Thank you for the laughter (GDiddy - lol). Now that I've had my coffee I'm in a much better mood...

Domain Reg prices are so low because the process can be fully automated...

but they list it as "fees" for their trouble in dealing with you

Calculate the amount of time you spent with their staff and then figure out how much they had to pay their staff just to deal with what should have been a simple automated process. I'm certain it was more than the fee you paid to register your domain. So from a business perspective those fees are necessary. Otherwise they would be losing money.

If they suspend your domain they should be on call 24/7 to get it back up.

Hmm for $30.00 a year or less per domain are you expecting too much?

However, I can agree with this to some extent. If a client's site goes down, yes, someone should be there to help... BUT are you willing to pay for that service?

Too often people seek cheap domain name prices over quality of service (which costs more)... and then expect way too much for the price they paid.

I am glad that you did get it worked out... I do know how long this process can sometimes take. Like it did for Bill Cosby.

That Girl From Marketing

Moniker

Yeah, all our domains are in moniker now too! Hope they are better.

Another vote

for Moniker

I think the point is -

Godaddy should keep their hands off the domains. Just register them and then kiss off.

>>Too often people seek

>>Too often people seek cheap domain name prices over quality of service (which costs more)... and then expect way too much for the price they paid.

Godaddy should reflect the abuse department costs in domain registration fees. Not invent fees to cover their costs which are not in the contract and blackmail you into paying them by switching off your domain. Actually, where is my gun?

telephone room negotiations

So we settled for $29 per domain to transfer them away.

So, the cost moved from $200 per to $29 per when the customer started arguing. Sounds a lot like the old boiler room tactics. The price is whatever the rep can get out of the customer.

I'm certain that business model exists... in Nirvanna.

No, it's called truth in advertising or full disclosure.

But, having been the person who had to deal with the angry "Where is my domain name! My Site is Gone!" calls and emails, I don't blame them one bit for the "mail only" policy.

And why wouldn't they be distressed? Which of course leads to being angry if one is faced with an indifferent response.

Not nice...

Looks like the advise sisters had the same problem. There post is over on the social software weblog in the commments.
http://socialsoftware.weblogsinc.com/entry/5844175640773729/

Is it ...

I'm not clear on this. Is it Godaddy domain registration or web hosting that's the problem?

Before you ever buy anything..

..its as well to check to see whether

anyone else has had problems with what you are about to buy.

And GoDaddy appears to have a lot of disgruntled users

Every company has disgruntled customers...

Every company has disgruntled customers and I have had a number of issues with Godaddy over the years that I have not been happy with the way they have been resolved.

But to suspend 24 domains because some one send out a reciprocal link request using a free email address and when the person that responded asking for the domains received them from the same free email address and reported them as spam, is unacceptable.

I contacted Max and discussed (chat) this with him as it interested me. Then when I saw just about the same thing with the advice sisters it doesn't sound like a cooked story to me.

For sure I will be considering moving some of my main domains. From time to time I find a relevant site that I email and ask if I can purchase a link rental on their home page. It seems to me if just one of those people reports me to Godaddy they could suspend my site and demand $199 for an abuse fee.

That is scary!

DianeV:
>>>I'm not clear on this. Is it Godaddy domain registration or web hosting that's the problem?
Godaddy is the domain registrar, Max is handling here own hosting and DNS.

It's cheaper to move now

It's cheaper to move now folks :)

GoDaddy sites devalued rumor

about 1.5 years ago or so I heard about Google devaluing sites that were hosted by GoDaddy, because GoDaddy was hosting a lot of Spam sites. There supposedly was a mass exodus to other registrars.

Did anyone else remember this? It would explain why they are so trigger-happy with spam reports.

Also, a couple of months after this happened they had a commercial run during the superbowl and supposedly started getting more legit businesses registering with them again.

If my memory servers

the collective braintrust at godaddy blocked googlebot to save on bandwidth with sites being hosted there, and that caused an exodus.

This was followed by the ransoming domains situation. Now, as everything seems to be bowling, we can call it godaddybowling.

Perhaps Godaddy revenues are

Perhaps Godaddy revenues are poor because of the Google sandbox and they need another source of cash?

Or maybe someone at the top said the abuse department needs to pay for itself?

Or maybe Godaddy cares about spam? Nah....

Did anyone else remember

about 1.5 years ago or so I heard about Google devaluing sites that were hosted by GoDaddy, because GoDaddy was hosting a lot of Spam sites. There supposedly was a mass exodus to other registrars.

Did anyone else remember this? It would explain why they are so trigger-happy with spam reports.

The issue was GoDaddy allegedly blocking Googlebot, to help reduce the loads on GoDaddy servers.

The way I heard it that was not the case

I remember the issue being that google was assigned a new ip space that was previously a bogon. Their firewalls were not up to date and saw the traffic as spoofed.

I am just going off memeory, Am I confusing hosts ?

ok, godaddy sucks

because that is the search phrase i use for checking up on vendors.

GoDaddySucks.com

Funnily enough, GoDaddy appears to own GoDaddySucks.com:

http://www.whois.sc/godaddysucks.com

godaddy-sucks.com

http://whois.sc/godaddy-sucks.com

wide open for .com, .net, .org

How about GODADDY199.COM...

I thought of grabbing GODADDY199.COM but I have to many things to be doing to mess with this kind of stuff. I do think it would be good to put up a simple form and document these kinds of things. If GD has really done with Max state I think it is completely unacceptable.

godaddy nightmare ... #37

QUOTE FROM GODADDY.COM
"It's tough to beat GoDaddy.com for low pricing on domain registration, Web hosting and SSL secure certificates."
- Small Business Computing

I saw this interesting little quote on the gocrappy.com website.Whoever wrote it must of gotten paid off.

Has this person actually used the cheap service, cheap quality, cheap web applications, completely crappy cheap tech support.... etc.

Let's spend a little less on super bowl commercials and a little more on your CHEAP services/support.

Just an example, they farm out certificate services to this company STARFIELD TECHNOLOGIES INC... have fun bouncing from one half/hour wait time to the next -from godaddy to starfield because there cheap webapps don't communicate.... (oh yea, kiss anything you ever knew about customer service GOODBYE ) you finally get to argue with joey justgotoutofhighschool about your problem ON YOUR DIME ( and oh yes there is going to be a problem ) because you know for a fact just "deleting cookies" doesn't solve the problem.

The best thing about their resolution to my particular problem was to UPGRADE my certificate. That way, I could avoid the investigation process of the SSL validation and the domain certificate I renewed 3 weeks prior would work immediately. Apparently the certificate I used with them for a year was not validated correctly( the one they validated, investigated, approved and issued for a year ). I didn't supply the company name or some jibberish to get me off the phone.... unbelievable.

The FAX service has major probs.. I dropped that awhile ago. Oh and have fun with there DNS manager...

ENJOY godaddy.com IT'S CHEAP ! should be your quote. I doubt it would sit well with anyone at godaddy. The truth usually hurts to much to even admit your wrong.

Old wize man say....
YOU GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU PAY FOR. ( buy a domain name, sure... worth it. Any other services and your rollin the dice my friend. Trust me )

Godaddy sucks period.
The thing is , I've been with them from the beginning. Godaddy.com used to be a good company. That's why I did so much business with them through the years and recommended the service. Over the last 2 years the company has gone down the tubes ...

I never thought I'd live to say I miss the Network Solutions monopoly on domain names....

1. They are selling web services like your ordering a big mac at mcdonalds. Running a web site and providing the services you say you can is a little more complicated Mr. Parsons. `Time to invest in your bunk software and stop blogging so much...
2. They count on your "web ignorance" to make excuses for poorly written windows applications that are so buggy and unsupported it's rediculous.
3. One of various tech support kids I talked to today.... "didn't know what a cookie was really" - "but that's what we usually say and it seems to fix any problems" .... huh?
4. The only industry that ... you can buy a product, do everything to apply this product strictly by the directions provided(by the KILLER web app)... PAY FOR THE PRODUCT ... and when it does not work as advertised or instructed they BLAME YOU ... and this seems to be an okay business practice. The web is so new, people are so uneducated about how to use it and there is so much bull^&* involved... I think these mega-morons are getting away with too much ....

Bob Parsons at this point in time strikes me as that sad individual ( "Napoleon" comes to mind )...

That sits on his laurels and success with a blind eye to what's really going on while his business goes down the shitter.

Take a look at his blog ... his radio show ... etc.

cmon.. I want a DOMAIN REGISTRAR. NOT SOME MEGA MORON THAT PROMOTES HIS FAT FACE - IDIOTIC BLOGS - CRAPPY BUSINESS PRACTICES with radio shows ....

While his CORE, loyal customers are ripped off.. screwed...

Good job

We need to meantion that

We need to meantion that there are _many_ happy Godaddy customers. I have been with Godaddy for 5 or more years and I don't share the same experience as wiley does. I have found for the most part there techs know what there stuff.

I do how ever feel that their domain jacking for a spam fine makes them useless as a registrar unless you are just going to park domains there. If you have a domain that is making you money you need to run as quick as you can and move to another registrar if you currently have it at Godaddy.

I agree, GDiddy are a

I agree, GDiddy are a terrible company - fancy offering to return rights to a spammer for money - they should, of course, have closed him down with no right of appeal.

Just proves what a money-grabbing bunch of capitalists they are.

Oh wait .. Capitalism is GOOD ... Go! Go! Daddy!

>>>>they should, of course,

>>>>they should, of course, have closed him down with no right of appeal.

Surely you jest. Shutting down a domain that was in an email request for a recip link when the email addy was not even the same domain? Thats lame even to suggest.

customer satifaction

I got an unauthorised godaddy customer satisfaction survey after a phone call. By their TOS I could be charged 200$. Hypercrites

Read the fine print maxd

Read the fine print. Customers agree to let Godaddy email surveys when they sign up.

Surely you jest. Shutting

Surely you jest. Shutting down a domain that was in an email request for a recip link when the email addy was not even the same domain? Thats lame even to suggest.

Lame to do the spamming.

All decent (and most indecent) web companies have a "no spam" clause - Yes, even those "get rich quick" affiliate companies.

Spam or no spam, it's a choice. But if you choose unprotected sex, you take the consequences. Or something.

You're missing the point ...

... there are a lot of disturbing reports in circulation that GoDaddy doesn't seem to do enough checking to make sure something really IS spam before they use it as an excuse to shut a site down.

That's a justice issue, not just business, and it needs to be cleared up, lest phony complaints to GoDaddy become all the rage for sabotaging competitors.

Conceivable, But Highly Unlikely ...

... There was never a gulty man on Death Row, was there?

And no-one ever fiddled their tax return?

There's no honour among spammers, and most security systems have to depend on volunteer reports (usually rivals), as investigations are wildly expensive in human-being-time.

In this case, we don't know that it was just "the wrong guy" who complained - there could have been 5,000 "wrong guys": Gdiddy would not have said.

Many

Many people on Death Row are indeed guilty, but NOT ALL OF THEM.

Same with spam reports.

It is not hard to spoof

It is not hard to spoof emails or blog spam for a competitor...anyone who thinks that those are highly out of reach probably has not played too much in seriously competitive markets.

Whatever.

It may not be not hard to spoof emails or blog spam for a competitor (I'm happy to confess I wouldn't have a clue) but anyone who thinks that those are a seriously likely excuse is missing the plot.

It is much, much more likely that the spam is what it looks like - plain old-fashioned spam.

Anyone who thinks that a rival's actions are more likely, probably has played too much in seriously paranoid activities.

Understandable that 99% of spammers claim innocence; worrying that so many choose to believe this and are ready to believe a rival framed them.

Truly NO honour among spammers!

.

Many people forget that they sign up for mail-lists, and think they are getting spam.

Many people forget that they have put their email address on their site for the purpose of communication, and think they are getting spam.

Many people don't recognize genuine business communications, and think they are getting spam.

And so on ...

All the reports I have seen of GoDaddy mistakenly suspending domains based on spam reports, and then demanding huge payments for the release said domains, fall into one of the above categories.

I know I don't sell or rent

I know I don't sell or rent email lists, and I distinctly remember one person calling me a piece of shit for selling their email address that they were *100% certain* they gave to nobody other than me.

And as far as the much more likely bit goes, that is a really cool theory until a few of your own sites come up as anomalies.

Many people forget that they

Many people forget that they sign up for mail-lists, and think they are getting spam.

Many people forget that they have put their email address on their site for the purpose of communication, and think they are getting spam.

Many people don't recognize genuine business communications, and think they are getting spam.

And so on ...

Absolutely correct, and a curse to honest "opt in" folk.

But as it is so prevalent, does it not occur that sophisticated modern systems can tell the diffrence between those problems and complaints about real 100% spam, especially when the spam mails can be traced, and counted?

I'm sure the occasional error gets made - but anyone who knows anything about bulk email can almost always see the difference between a spam email and an opt-in email *before* they turn to technology; usually the address line is more than enough.

Defending the indefensible may give you a warm feeling inside - but it's a little sad. Really.

Nobody

Nobody is defending the indefensible and it's dishonest of you to say that.

Our concern is about the possibility of domains being shut down without adequate or fair investigation by a self-appointed police force.

THAT is indefensible.

They make money by doing it!

They make money by doing it!

It's not just spam

accusations where they are quick to pull the trigger, but privacy as well. While they say Domains By Proxy is a seperate entity, they still own it. Complain about a private domain, mention a lawsuit or trademark issue, and GD cant move fast enough to remove the privacy and send you a bill for doing it.

this one came in my mail

this one came in my mail this morning. Bob Parsons I guess :

http://godaddysucks.amray.com/forum/Blah.pl?,b=1ID1,m=1140134934,s=0

Go daddy sucks sometimes

I had been pretty happy with my Go Daddy accounts.
My websites are very fast---always up--rated faster than 76% of my competitors. That's good. My service seemed ok until I had some real issues!

I think they have gotten too big for their bridges.

GO DADDY EMAIL SUCKS ROYALLY! I just switched to their hosting (big mistake) It's impossible to set up---particlarly in your computer--you have to access it thru their email program--even their customer service people can't help! If you have mac forget it! I had 2 m host at half the price and the mail was great...and they have a chat support to go to if there are issues.

GO DADDY BLOGS are hard to use---NOT CUSTOMER FREINDLY.

Had an issue with domains---first of all--if you search a domain on Go Daddy buy it then or they will. Once they see a good name has been searched --they will scoop it up from under you. Yes, if your domain is about to expire they scoop that up, too!

Lastly--I made a customer service call and was told "OHOH" "you are really in trouble" then the fear of god put into me about how I should register my domains and my hosting for 5 years or google and yahoo would not list my sites anymore. Yes seems they are cleaning up their links and will only take domains with 5 year commitments seriously (Yeah, right Google cleaning up dead links!)

OH and--It does no good to write to Go daddy about anything either---your email just gets a blanket response half the time with nothing to do with your request or issue!

I guess I would think twice about them again.

Well DUH

It's a DOMAIN registrar, who hosts with a DOMAIN registar?

Stop whining.

Domain name transfers??

I have heard nightmares about Godaddy and their loose polices for domain names. They will transfer domain names from one account to another even if they are in a locked status and with very little documentation. The story I saw posted makes me wonder if there are any real guidelines or rules that these registrars follow. This user had two domain names for this I will use example names (domainname.com and domainnames.com). The user received an email one day saying someone requested the domains to be transferred from one account to another and if they disagree with this they can login to their account and cancel it. But when they did they could not cancel the transfers, they called in and no one would do anything to stop the fraud on the transfer. The statement they gave was you are not the owner of the domain contact the owner for further questions. The scariest part was the domains were moved because someone faxed in a fictitious business license with the same name of this website to Godaddy and their drivers license. The address did not match to what was in the registrant at all. They did not understand why Godaddy would do this so easy, as anyone can get a fictitious business license for a few dollars and say they are the owners. This to me opens up Pandora’s Box big-time. If this is how easy it is to get a domain then why would someone pay hundreds to millions for a domain name? Just register a fictitious business and fax it in and they will move it for you even if it is in a register lock status. They even tried ICANN and they said they are useless and a waste of money and time. If they say they have rules and regulations in place but never enforce them, what is the point? It seems to me after reading this post in a form, someone needs to make some serious changes and fast or the only safe domains are copyrighted or federally trademarked ones. I looked and it seems now in the path for greedy by Godaddy, they now offer a platinum lock for $25 a year, so it seems the old way of giving you great service and security for free when you register a domain has past and Bob Parson wants to charge for the same service with some minor changes to justify his greedy.

Talkin' 'bout...

I got an email from GoDaddy/Domainsbyproxy yesterday. About two years ago I registered 2 domains through them, exclusively because they offered protected identity for .co.uk. Now they tell me I have 7 days to cancel the domains or have my ID made public.

Hm. Is this a link

Hm. Is this a link drop?

Could we not have understood what you meant without your linking to your website using your keywords?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.