Nobody likes charge backs, especially Godaddy. I am going to preface this story by saying Godaddy has been very good to me. I have 90% of my domains there because the service and backend of the site is a perfect fit for me. They personally called me a few weeks ago and extended me services and rates normally reserved for people with more domains and spend more money. Having the privilege of being in the “Executive Club” means an almost 0 % chance of having your domain being stolen, the lowest rates on renewals and registers, and a personal account rep to answer all your questions. The only thing it can’t do save you from making the mistake of a credit card charge back and losing your domain.
The story goes like this. I bought my brother a domain for his birthday a few years back, his name. He set up an account with the domain at Godaddy and set up a site. As we all know, the default at Godaddy is auto renew. A few weeks ago his domain auto renewed. His wife, like all wives, calls him and asked what the charges on the credit card bills were for. My brother is not a domainer, he only has a few personal domains in his account. He tells her that he hasn’t purchased anything at Godaddy lately not realizing he had just had a renewal. You may say why didn’t he get an email saying he had been charged? Again, he’s not like you and I, he doesn’t check email every day and his ears don’t perk up when he sees emails from Godaddy and the words renewal in an email. He didn’t see it.
I don’t think the name would have actually expired because he said he had it on his calendar to remind him but as we know, Godaddy renews early. So the chargeback happens and Godaddy retaliates. Businesses hate chargebacks. I know why. It screws up accounting. There’s paperwork. It’s just a pain in the ass. So how does Godaddy make up for the problem? They take away the domain. Not when it expires but right then. When it comes time to renew, my brother checks his account and noticed the domain is gone. When he puts all the pieces of the puzzle together he makes the call to Godaddy and asks what he needs to do. They tell them that they now own it unless….he pays them $50 for the chargeback. He admits it’s his problem and is willing to pay some fee but thinks it’s way too high and just says forget it “I’ll wait for it to drop, nobody wants to own my name” That’s when the rep lets him know that Godaddy has renewed it for TWO YEARS and will just hold it. A little bit of a FU to the chargeback guy.
My brother is furious. He calls me to respond to my previous phone calls of saying how good Godaddy has been to me with a “Well they sure hate me”. I told him I would give a call to my rep and see if I can do anything. My rep wasn’t in so I talked to another rep that pretty much said there was absolutely nothing he could do. When it comes to chargebacks, Godaddy doesn’t make any exceptions. Not in these exact words he generally tells me they are are a pain in the butt to deal with and charge accordingly, no exceptions.
So here I am, a businessman in the middle. I understand Bob Parsons financial side and I understand my brother’s, but I am going to say this. IT IS CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR A REGISTRAR TO OWN A DOMAIN PORTFOLIO. It puts them in a place of competition with it’s customers and takes away trust. It give the feeling that they are competing against you in acquiring domains. I even understand renewing the domains and auctioning then off. Why let some fast triggered company get them and resell them? But why two years. If a domain doesn’t sell at auction it needs to be dropped. Holding them after no interest is shown in a domain puts them into domain investor mode. It is plain wrong. I will speak to Bob Parsons (if he give me the chance) about this matter, but this needs to be addressed.