SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA -- I am writing this letter in reference to a situation that has disrupted my professional life and has given me much personal stress. I feel it is my civil duty to warn everyone just how easy it was for someone to take control of my GoDaddy account and how painstaking hard it has been for me to regain rightful access to this account. Everyone knows about identity theft and cyber fraud. It would surprise me to meet anyone who has not read news stories about hackers infiltrating security networks and gaining personal information that can destroy someone's credit history or even their reputation.
I have always been wary of identity theft and trusted the companies I have conducted business with to be just as careful and secure with their investments. This was until my trust with GoDaddy.com was destroyed on a Friday when I received notification on my Blackberry that my account status had changed over to a former business partner. I immediately called GoDaddy and discussed the account situation with customer service rep. ** and then technical service rep ** and they rectified the situation by giving me control over the account again. I logged in and realized that my former business partner deleted the majority of my businesses.
Luckily, I had everything backed up on my hard drive and was able to change everything back to normal within a few minutes. After I was done with this process, I logged out. Unbeknown to me and the customer service technician who initially gave me back control of my account, my former business partner was still logged in when I fixed everything he messed up. He waited for me to log off before destroying everything I fixed, including changing my user information to ensure that I could not log back on. The next day, I attempted to log on and, to my dismay, I realized that my profile had been hijacked yet again.
I immediately called GoDaddy and explained the entire situation to the customer service department, hoping that they could easily resolve the situation just as they had the previous evening, but instead, they treated me with suspicion. They asked for various forms of identification to prove that I was the true owner of the account, which I completely understand and had no problem giving them. However, it became obvious that the specific information I gave them would not be enough to regain access to my account. In fact, they are now requiring me to fax copies of my driver's license and social security card to a random fax number.
I am utterly frustrated because I gave them information that no one else on the account can give, yet it is still not enough to regain access to my businesses. The information they want is starting to get very personal and I am beginning to feel uncomfortable handing personal information over to a company whose security is obviously very lax. I would like to know how my former business partner obtained my information and has access to my account when it is so difficult for me to prove my identity to GoDaddy's customer service department.
As of right now, I still have yet to gain access to my account. My business websites are no longer operating and I do not have domain access of my email accounts. I feel as if I was pick pocketed on the street and neither the police nor do my credit card companies believe that my wallet was stolen. I feel helpless and I do not want any one else to ever feel this way.
You never truly know how good your business relationships are until you have a problem. GoDaddy is not giving me certain guarantees about regaining full access to my account. I really feel that the situation could have been resolved quickly if I had had the full attention and support of GoDaddy from the beginning.
Godaddy runs a side business that is in effect a third party marketplace. They partner with vendors who actually have products to sell, and they list these products on a separate Godaddy website. When a customer purchases a product, Godaddy collects the money, sends a receipt to the customer, and sends an order to the vendor. They are in the middle on the purchase, but not on the delivery of the product. I learned the hard way that this model presents increased opportunities for communication issues.
The items listed on the Godaddy Marketplace for the businesses with which they partner are not necessarily in sync. I ordered a product for Christmas that was displayed on the Godaddy Marketplace and I received a receipt. 8 days later, I had not heard a word about shipping, so I contacted the vendor via contact information included in that Godaddy receipt. They told me the product was out of stock and they had reported that to Godaddy. I told them Godaddy had not contacted me, and the vendor said that in his experience it normally took several days for the message to be passed on by Godaddy.
I asked him why he had not contacted me, the buyer, to let me know the item was out of stock, and he said that his instructions were to communicate only with Godaddy. So... I contacted Godaddy. Well, first I tried an email, and I got the quick robot reply, but nothing else, so I finally called. It turns out they had returned my money by crediting my card, but they had not informed me of that via email. There's one little flaw in the system: They send a receipt when they take your money, but they send nothing when they refund it. It was then too late to order the item anywhere else, so I had to shop locally.
I checked the vendor web site against the items for the same vendor listed by Godaddy, and it appears Godaddy has not been removing items when sold or when reported as being out of stock. Bottom line here is that these third party marketing sites increase the risk of having a bad experience because they are in the middle. Godaddy's implementation appears to be particularly poor.
I was trying to get my money refund because I can't figure out how to create my web design on Godaddy.com. Why did I have to get my money refund as I found it so difficult to create my own web sign then I called their customer service so that I would know more about how to do with my web design, but when I was trying to discuss with them about how to work it out with create a web sign on their site, they were so unfriendly and annoying. It just likes I was disturbing them. I've never got what I wanted every time I called. I called them like 4-5 times then I stopped calling them anymore. So I called and made a cancellation and got back some of my money.
I asked them if I could get all my money back, they said "yes, you have two weeks to think about if you really wanted to get your money refund". He was so clearly about what I bought, the rest of the product still on Godaddy.com account is my domain name and the security protection item. Today I called them and made a requirement for the refund for the domain name and security protection but he said it's just expired, it has only 5 days for refund for that item! I was so angry because I was told to have 2 weeks to think about that but I today I called them again and they told me the different things!
I Said to them I would give you a remark online if you don't give me the money refund, he said he didn't care about that! I felt that I was treated on by the guy who talked with me about the refund issue around 6 am in the morning! I was treated around 20 something dollars. It just like a huge fish eat a tiny fish. Their customer service is so... bad that I had never had an experience like that before. I am a very patient and calm person but it's really made me so angry this time! I am so regretted to paid for my hard earn money on godaddy.com.
Service, good. Price excellent. Service horrendous. If you ask a question,(such as how to change your info when you don't know your pin/credit card number) be prepared to get an e-mail saying your question will be answered in 24 hours. Then you will get a canned response to your question that will clearly be sent by some robot who didn't read your question. After you kick that back to them you will get another e-mail from someone who hasn't read your question. And tells you to input your pin/credit card number. Eventually you will give up and call them. At which point they will tell you to copy your drivers license, company info and fax it to a number.
You will then wait 24 hours to be told that your drivers license is not readable by fax (duh). So you scan and send it to their address and they tell you to scan it to them. You wait another 24 hours to be told that you need to send it to another address. By that time you are ready to strangle. Oh and by the way, if you have several accounts you will have to go through this process for each one. The WHOLE process. They can't change more than one at a time.
It is clear that their drones are adept at playing ping pong and getting the request off their desk rather than actually providing support.
On January 21, 2006, I had a terrible time trying to renew my website's domain name, DIYparts.org. To summarize, I encountered a maze of complication and bureaucracy in trying to renew my domain name, which I registered through GoDaddy.com. I lost three hours in having to go back to my office from home as a result of this complexity. GoDaddy really needs to make its security process more easy to navigate by allowing access to the site through the user's personal information, things that the user will easily remember in the event that he or she needs to access his or her account.
I called GoDaddy at their 24/7 tech support line. I appreciated that they were staffed on Saturday afternoon from 1 pm to 6 pm US Pacific time, because I had to call back several times. There was no toll-free number, but instead I had to call their local tech support number, which is 480-505-8877. On each occasion, I had to wait about 15 minutes before speaking with a representative. Since I had to call back four times, that meant that an hour of my time was spent on hold.
So when you call GoDaddy for support, be sure to have a headset and Internet access, because you are going to be on hold for a while, and you will probably need information from their website to give to the tech support person. The cause for my problems is that GoDaddy creates different accounts if you order domain names at different times. In other words, on Day 1, I created domain names Widget.com. On Day 2, I created Gidget.com. Widget and Midget will now be on two separate accounts.
You would think that GoDaddy would use a combination of birthdate info, social security info, mother's maiden name, email address, plus a password to access the user's account info. But no. They require a login ID and the last four numbers of the credit card you used to purchase products through their site or a four digit PIN to access your account information. My problem with using these security screens is that this info is easily changed over the course of a year, which is the minimum length of time for which you can reserve a domain name through GoDaddy.
Most of GoDaddy's customers probably don't access their accounts very much during that year, which means that unless you have at least two of those arcane bits of information with you at all times, you will not be able to access that information readily. Not having quick access to this info can result in lost time if a site experiences problems, as my site did. I was partially at fault for this particular incident, in that I allowed my domain name, DIYparts.org, to lapse because that I was in trial (I'm a lawyer) at the time that my domain came up for renewal. Some of my users noticed that the site was down, and so they emailed me on a Saturday morning.
I was away from my office, and so I didn't have access to the information that I needed to renew the site. This caused me to have to completely re-arrange my schedule that day, which created a huge amount of inconvenience to me. The real kicker in this case was that the GoDaddy customer service reps knew that I was the right person to be accessing the accounts. I proved my identity with regard to account number one. I just wanted to access account number two, and both accounts were under my name and my address.
GoDaddy should provide a smarter interface that will more easily allow users to link accounts for easily merging accounts into one account. But they don't. It took another hour on the phone to get the two accounts merged successfully, and in the end, I had to drop one of my preferred login names, since the system couldn't successfully merge the two accounts and bring over both login names. The first three customer service reps to whom I spoke sounded like younger men. They were curt and didn't really try to be helpful, so much as they tried to move the call to conclusion.
Finally, I spoke with a more mature-sounding woman by the name of **, who did try to solve my problems, and she actually did a bit of research to experiment and try to solve the problems. But even she ultimately was stymied by the GoDaddy user interface when it came to using one of my preferred login names. The system simply wouldn't allow that change. Ironically, ** will probably not be promoted because she spends too much time on calls, whereas the indifferent younger men will probably have better numbers in terms of churning calls, and therefore will get promoted. I hope that is not the case.
In sum, GoDaddy is a market leader in domain name registration in North America, and so they are becoming lax and indifferent to their users' needs. Sure, they have 24/7 tech support, which is a plus, but in the future, I am going to shift more of my business to one of their competitors, like DomainsNext, because DomainsNext has a more user-friendly interface, and is not so bureaucratic as GoDaddy, which has a Soviet-style feel to its tech support and user interface.