GoDaddy's user interface is bureucratic, not user-friendly
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 diffferent 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 Theresa, 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, Theresa will probably not be promoted because she âspends too much time on calls,â whereas the indifferent younger men will probably have âbetter numbersâ 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.