GoDaddy is the largest registrar of domains according to WebHosting.info with over 18m domains registered and nearly 21% market share (Disclaimer: I couldn’t find another source to back up this data or when it was valid from so take it with a pinch of salt).
Given that they have such a massive market share and are the dominant force in domain names, why can’t they provide a half decent service? The website interface is the worst I’ve ever used, the domain managing platform doesn’t work in Opera browser, the usability of their software falls woefully short and that’s all topped off with the worst online shopping cart experience in the world.
If you have any experience with domains and hosting in the past 6 months, you can’t have failed to hear about the astonishing story about RegisterFly.com – at one time claiming to be the 3rd largest domain registrar on the internet. If you haven’t had the misfortune to read about the RegisterFly fiasco, then take 30 minutes to read through some articles on RegisterFlies.com – an unofficial customer complaints site.
To cut a long story short, I had over 160 domains registered with RegisterFly and when the sh!t hit the fan it looked like everyone had lost their domains. Domains were expiring and ICANN (or more commonly known as ICANN’T due to their perceived inability to take any positive action – or any action at all!) were seen to be twidling their thumbs and ENOM taking the perverbial piss by attempting to charge customers up to $180 to get a domain name back.
Throughout this time, as domains were expiring, the registrars were directing all the traffic to holding (domain parking) pages which had various PPC ads on them meaning that they were making good money with domains owned by other people who couldn’t get them back because they couldn’t afford to pay ENOM the $180 re-activation fee or they couldn’t renew through RegisterFly.
Fortunately, in May there were some rumours that a large domain company was in negotiations to buy out the RegisterFly customer database and transfer all the domains to their ownership. I was hoping that the company was going to be Namecheap.com because I have had an excellent experience with them in the 4 or 5 years that I’ve used them. I also knew that their website interface was good, and they weren’t a rip off. I believe that they are a reseller of ENOM domanis as they are not an ICANN accredited registrar.
My heart sank when it was annouced that GoDaddy were the company behind the rumours and sure enough the transfer process started. Now considering my customer details were the same on both my GoDaddy and RegisterFly accounts I had assumed (or hoped) that they would perform a simple check on the registration details for the domains and add them to the account. Not so.
Instead we start a long drawn out process whereby you have to confirm every detail about yourself right up to sending a faxed (I thought only dinosaurs still use faxes) copy of some Government issued photo ID just to get your new customer account number. In my case I had inadvertantly put a company trading name in the registration details of my RegisterFly domains so my first submission was rejected because I had failed to mention my company name (even though it’s not a real company!).
Resubmitting the details with the ficitonal company name and I successfully recieved my new account number. But I still couldn’t login, I had to reset my passwords. Too much hassle, too much fannying around for my liking. As GoDaddy obviously likes to make things as complex and archaic as possible (just look at their mess of a front page GoDaddy.com) the domains are located in two places. One website (DomainsByProxy.com) for all the domains that have whois protection and another website (GoDaddy) for all those domains that don’t have whois protection. To make the process even more messy and confused, if you want to change any details on the domains with whois protection, then you have to do it through your GoDaddy account.
This brings me nicely on to everything that is wrong about GoDaddy 🙂
I will post the next part of this story tomorrow