GoDaddy should lose its accreditation as a Registrar, in my opinion

As a web developer I have had many dealings with GoDaddy over the years on behalf of my clients.  Mostly I have been trying to transfer domain registrations from GoDaddy to a better registrar.  Under ICANN rules, registrars are not allowed to impede domain transfers, but I know from experience that GoDaddy’s policy is to do everything in their power to prevent a customer from leaving.  It’s not too bad if you have the login info, but god help you if you no longer have access to the email address.  And you’re really SOL if the domain expires.

Yesterday I finally succeeded in transferring a particular domain… but it took over 8 months of wrangling with Domains By Proxy, a GoDaddy company. I was logged into the GoDaddy account but the domain privacy has a different account number and GoDaddy told me they didn’t have it.  Here is the ticket I wrote to GoDaddy…

I unfortunately paid Domains by Proxy for privacy and instead they have seized control of my domains.  They refuse to give me access to my domains.  I committed the unforgivable sin of forgetting my account number.  I jumped through all their hoops to update my email address so I could gain access – I sent them a scan of my driver’s license as they requested.  I had to do this twice.  Then I sent them a signed declaration that the company name I included (not realizing they would consider that the owner rather than my personal name) was just a pet name I use to amuse myself and is fictitious.  Twice I had to send a digital version of their declaration form, but that turned out not to be good enough. They made me print it on paper and fill it in by hand.  There’s always something else they want.  I know a woman who was denied access when her mother died because she didn’t know her mother’s password (do you?!).  All of this has taken hours and hours of my time, and for what?  To get access to my own property. I have actually been trying since last January to cancel Domains by Proxy and still haven’t been able to do it. But who has time for this BS? That is what GoDaddy counts on… people just giving up.  Well you have really pissed me off this time and I am not going to let you get away with it.

I have had previous experience with GoDaddy refusing to restore access to accounts even when the required information was provided.  In fact GoDaddy has a
reputation for being unethical in this way. GoDaddy is the registrar and GoDaddy owns Domains By Proxy.  It is against ICANN rules for a registrar to impede domain transfers and we both know that is what this is really about.  I am simply trying to transfer one of my domains so I need the privacy turned off.  But Domains by Proxy is making that impossible.  After the treatment I have received from GoDaddy, I can’t wait to get out of your clutches. As soon as I send this email, I’m going to send one to ICANN to let them know what you are doing to your customers. I hope you lose your accreditation as a registrar. You have grossly abused the privilege.

I can’t be the only one they are treating like this. Has anyone else had bad experiences with GoDaddy? I have heard Leo Laporte on his radio show state that he is no fan of GoDaddy. In fact he seems to despise them almost as much as I do. The worst thing is the colossal waste of time. I simply cannot afford to be jerked around like that; I am too busy. I’m hoping there are enough people out there who feel the same who will file ICANN complaints so that we can get GoDaddy’s accreditation as a registrar rescinded to spare anyone else having to go through this.

Please note that my complaints are against the GoDaddy policies, not the individuals who work there who seem very nice and helpful. I realize they are just doing what they are told by the policy makers.

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2 thoughts on “GoDaddy should lose its accreditation as a Registrar, in my opinion

  1. Wow. Just wow. I wish I could say reading your story was an utter shock but unfortunately this reads like a very dark comic strip that’s mass produced and inserted into newspapers worldwide.

    I’m only chiming in here because I feel such drive to tell you that there’s a way out and a way to having your domain management be just an absolute carefree experience. But before I get into that, there is a backstory I feel compelled to admit.

    I first met a guy named Chris when I was working in radio and so was he (don’t ask me what station or even what city, suffice to say we both worked in one of the top radio stations in one of the top U.S. cities). Being web nerds at heart we both got to talking about our side businesses. He ran a web hosting company and I a web design firm. He told me that his hosting business had been operational since he was in high school and while he was in radio the hosting co. was going to be more of a weekend job that ran itself. A friendship arose because I confided that I was doing a lot of my web design work on my lunch breaks there, otherwise all on the weekend and late nights.

    Anyway a few months later he told me he was launching a domain name service platform because he was sick of dealing with the likes of Network Solutions, Register.com and [gah!] Go Daddy, and occasionally Gandi and Enom. He also saw a real business opportunity in moderately priced domain name sales, renewals and transfers with a strong focus on a customer oriented experience. What he said he meant by that is that the customer would and should always feel like they were the reason the business existed. Chris set up sort of a beta platform before going public with this and I put my faith in him to manage my about 150 domains. Now the management thing is where it gets interesting. He said one of the things he wanted to do with his new business is put a simple point and click web self-management interface up, but he also wanted to do the equivalent of managed hosting only with domains. And since I was his beta test dummy I got treated to the first definition of that.

    The first thing Chris asked for was a complete list of all of my domains which I admit was daunting because I had been price shopping when purchasing new domains and then many of my older domains were still at what used to be InterNIC now Network Solutions. After I provided my list, he then needed my account usernames and passwords for the various companies. He said I could reset my password so I wasn’t giving him my default password or passwords. With my authorization to do this and with a payment method agreed upon, Chris took over from there. I literally did nothing. Within 4 total days all of my domains were centralized in an account with Chris’s service and I had full access to them in a really intuitive and what I describe as clean web panel.

    Many years later, Chris is passionately working with both self-managed clients and those customers that just plain don’t want anything to do with domain names though they recognize the importance of owning them. The business has since been called FYNE.com and he positions FYNE as “Relax, your domains are FYNE”.

    Sorry for the diatribe but I hope this brings about some thoughtful consideration, as I think my friend Chris is the solution to your qualms. You’ll work with a stand-up normal guy who’s just like me or you, who understands the frustration and anger you feel when dealing with the major players in the multi-billion dollar domain industry. If nothing else I hope you find solice in the fact that there is someone out there like Chris and a business out there like FYNE. Even if you don’t choose to move domains there or buy new ones there.

    Anyway please feel free to email me any follow-up questions or let me know if you’d like me to put you in direct contact with Chris. My email address is cted@jeah.net [since first meeting Chris then being his guinea pig at FYNE for domains, I have also moved my web sites and email to his original web hosting business which explains my public @email address.]

  2. Hi Ted, thanks for your input and your concern. I checked out the Fyne site but couldn’t find any prices anywhere, and there wasn’t really much information about the services. But I’ll take your word for it that it is a good place to register domains.

    To simplify the story with GoDaddy, I wrote as if it were my domain, but I was actually moving the domain for one of my clients. I know better than to use GoDaddy and I am constantly rescuing people from the clutches of GoDaddy, Register, Network Solutions, Wild West, Domain People and other not-so-great to downright unethical registrars. Thankfully, a few years ago I found an excellent host that owns its own Registrar company. It is so much easier when all your domains and hosting are under the same account and password. So I move everyone there. I am a web developer and database management system programmer. I won’t even work on someone’s site unless I can move them to this host because, as a techie, they have all the tools I need and they use cPanel which IMO is the best control panel out there. They are hands down the best host I’ve ever run across. So I’m not really in the market for a new one, but most others reading this probably are. So your recommendation of Fyne will no doubt help a lot of people. Thank you.

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