Thursday, January 12, 2012

WTF Daddy?

This was an email I got from a customer who manages and creates websites. He had a real frisky time with GoDaddy, a domain and web host device, but resolved it after some real bronc riding. He tried to transfer a domain and pay for one year, and they (oops!) accidentally signed him up for two years and then initially refused to correct their own mistake.

As you can see, BUYER BEWARE!!

My client's email to me, posted with his permission.

A friend of mine passed away. Since I managed her website and the domain name was set to expire in February, 2012 with Godaddy, I called Godaddy to move her account into mine and renew it for one year at my expense. I stated specifically that I needed to:

1) Move the account into mine
2) Renew the domain for one year
2) Consolidate it with my other domain names, which means that they would all then be set to renew March 2013

The representative at Godaddy asked for my credit card number, and confirmed that it was valid and matched the one on file, then said the charge would be ca. $24. I asked why it was double the normal yearly fee of $12.17. The representative informed me that he had entered a period of two years. I immediately said, no, I only wanted one year.

It was too late. The rep at Godaddy told us me I would have to either:

1) Cancel the domain name and start over, causing the website to be disabled for several days, or
2) Accept the two year registration, in spite of the mistake made by Godaddy

It was difficult to convince Godaddy that I should not be penalized for an unauthorized credit card charge from their side, as this is, in fact what it was.

Following hours of phone calls and rejections I threatened to call the Better Business Bureau, and only then was issued a refund for the extraneous year. To Godaddy's credit, I received the refund for one year, while the registration of the domain name will remain intact for two years. In fact, I didn't want the domain name to run for longer than year, but considered it an acceptable solution. Godaddy's reasoning as to why they couldn't change the length of the domain name term was that they are not the owners of the .com and .net domains, but rather only the registrar of it and an independent company owns these, and therefore Godaddy cannot change registrations once they are completed. I didn't research why this was so or whether it was actually correct.

Moral of story:

1) Charges made by phone must be reviewed before being finalized
2) Charges made without authorization must be refunded in full with no penalty
3) It IS possible to refund charges without a lapse in service if the billing department uses its resources to the full
4) Although the technical support at Godaddy is usually first rate, their billing department is behind the times in terms of customer service.

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