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Frak GoDaddy: How to Win Enemies and Irritate People

If you think choosing commodity services such as domain names, webhosting, email service providers is a matter of choosing the best prices and features, you could not be more wrong. A recent experiences has shown just how much the support factor matters when it comes to your online business.

I have a fairly extensive portfolio of domain names, some of which I use for my websites, with the majority of domains kept in storage till I’ve time to develop them.

This past week, I got a message from one of my domain registrars GoDaddy that one of my domains had expired. Since it’s a pretty high value (though unused) domain related to the dietary supplements niche, I decided to renew it.

At the domain renewal screen, I see:

godaddy nonsense

So in addition to the $10.89 renewal fee for a year, GoDaddy wants to charge a “Registry Redemption Fee”.

This “redemption fee” is going to cost me $90.

What?

I have to pay the equivalent of 9 year’s registration to get my domain back?

And it’s not likely that GoDaddy will budge on their policy.

I like GoDaddy’s support of female race driver Danica Patrick. I sometimes even like their irreverent (and in my opinion irrelevant) Superbowl TV spots.

What I don’t like is their attitude towards customers. A pretty much unending stream of upsells after you’ve bought your domain, including trying to hock SSL security certificates for your domain (even though 90% of webmasters probably don’t need them).

I’m still pretty upset about some “Website Tonight” website building software GoDaddy sold me a couple of years ago, which generated run-of-the-mill generic HTML websites using some pretty ugly looking templates. The best thing about this software was that you had to pay an annual renewal/license fee, failing which you would not be able to update your website. (Thank goodness I discovered WordPress a short while later).

Much as I would have liked to regain that domain, I decided to cut my losses and move on.

So imagine my blood pressure increase a day later, when I got notice from another domain registrar NameCheap that one of my domains had expired.

“Oh no, not the same routine again” I thought.

With a sense of dread of I logged into NameCheap’s interface, expecting to pay another crazy “registry redemption fee”.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that my lapsed domain had been given a 27 day grace period, and I could renew it at regular renewal prices (together with a renewal discount code!). This policy is also mentioned clearly in it’s support database.

In addition, I got an email from a NameCheap rep about an hour after filing a support ticket.

NameCheap: Way to go!

Tony Hsieh, CEO of shoe retailer Zappos, talks about “customer love”, where Zappos customer support reps will go out of their way, including calling a competitor to find out about footwear availability if Zappos does not stock a particular model, and giving this information to the customer.

In a highly competitive niche, it’s measures like these create lifetime customers.

So back to the domain registration experience: In both cases, I admit it’s my fault that I chose to let the domain expire, rather than check registration lifetimes at the start of each month.

In the case of NameCheap, it truly is my fault, as they proactively send you periodic reminders at the 30-day, 14-day, 7-day, 3-day and 1-day intervals before domain expiry to see if you’d like to renew the domain registration.

Aside from gentle notifications about web hosting and SSL certs, NameCheap doesn’t force you to go through numerous pages of “upgrade” options like GoDaddy does.

In short, NameCheap has created a great customer experience and is one of the reasons why I continue to promote them, even in the absence of an affiliate program.

In the case of GoDaddy, even though they have an affiliate program listed on CJ, I’m hesitant to recommend them to anyone else, even as I’m transferring all my remaining domains out of there as fast as is humanly possible.

So GoDaddy, you’ve certainly succeeded in winning enemies and irritating people. You might want to instead want to take a page out of Dale Carnegie’s book on “How to Win Friends and Influence People” instead.

Want a domain? Go direct to Namecheap with my highest recommendations.

12 comments on Frak GoDaddy: How to Win Enemies and Irritate People

  1. The Net Fool
    August 28, 2009 at 9:02 am (8 years ago)

    Haha, man this is exactly why I never grab an old domain back… that has to be one of the top 5 most annoying things about the internet in general. Registrar regulations really make no sense to me 🙁

  2. Albert
    August 28, 2009 at 10:25 am (8 years ago)

    Check both expiry time. What is the period of time that godaddy domain expired? and what is the expiry time of namecheap domain? I believe Godaddy domain had already expired longer time than the namecheap domain.

    Check online what it means by Registry Redemption Fee? Godaddy is a registrar and verisign is a registry so guess who get the money?

    Just set your domain to auto renewal and you will get away with all these hassle.

  3. Jerrel Pickens
    August 28, 2009 at 7:52 pm (8 years ago)

    Yeah, that sounds like godaddy alright..haha Their commercials make no sense..every single one ends up with a girl about to take her shirt off, lol. After watching them I wasn’t sure what type of company go daddy even was until shortly before I got into making websites.

    I’m still with godaddy as my primary hosting and will probably check out namecheap, cause yeah those never ending super cluttered upsell pages are pretty annoying. Thanks for the heads up dog.

    -jerrel pickens

  4. Doc Terror
    August 29, 2009 at 12:53 am (8 years ago)

    I hate Godaddy and their stupid upsells, but every registrar I know has a “Registry Redemption Fee” you need to pay if you let a domain lapse and need to reactivate it during the 30-day grace period. It’s better having that choice that letting a high-frequency trader grab a domain that pulls real traffic.

    Although the “typical” domain name is probably owned by a domainer or other multiple-domain owner, I think the “typical” domain owner is somebody who owns just one domain. I’ve done some SEO work for would-be internet marketers, mostly to build my skills, and I’ve always found they’re starting with a B*A*D domain name and they’re shocked at the idea that they could spend like $10 and get a better domain name, or even ten good names.

    I’ve gotten upsell calls from registrars who seem to think buying a domain is a life-changing event. Maybe it is for some people, but for me it’s just part of a day’s work… I’d like to see a registrar that respects that.

  5. Go Daddy Guy
    August 29, 2009 at 2:04 am (8 years ago)

    Andrew,

    I wanted to reach out on behalf of GoDaddy.com and say that I’m sorry your experience was frustrating. GoDaddy.com values each of its customers, and you are no exception. For that reason, I’d like to clarify some points with the hope that you and your readers understand that we have your best interests in mind.

    We understand that domain names are unique and can therefore be highly valuable to our customers. To prevent customers from unintentionally losing a domain name, we reach out by email several times, starting 90 days before and continuing past expiration. We also encourage customers to set their domain names to automatically renew. We even have the option to place a backup payment method on file in case the original payment method fails during the automatic renewal.

    Beyond sending email notifications, expired domain names are parked.This means they no longer resolve to the expected website. This is a last resort, used as a method of notifying the registrant that there is a problem and that GoDaddy.com should be contacted to ensure the continued use of the domain name. Finally, we provide the registrant some time to take care of his or her account by allowing a 19 day grace period to renew without penalty.

    Please feel free to email me if you need any assistance with your GoDaddy.com account, and hopefully we will continue to service your domains in the future.

  6. Chris Peterson
    September 25, 2009 at 6:45 pm (8 years ago)

    Hey Lee,
    I completely agree that some of these service websites don’t value their customers as NameCheap did. It indeed has become a rare phenomenon. I understand & relate to your situation. However, in my opinion, you really took the best of decisions. It’s nice read some personal stuff.

  7. Anonymous
    January 14, 2012 at 11:51 am (6 years ago)

    I am really pissed with the whole notion and principle behind these redemption fees. I have several domains adn hosting with GoDaddy and am shopping for a new service. They haevn’t nailed me with fees yet, I just don;t want to work with any company that operates on that level. And yes, I am sick of all the damn upsells as well.

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  10. Finch
    May 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm (3 years ago)

    These topics are so connfsiug but this helped me get the job done.

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