I have to write this down. For those who don’t know me, it has a lot to do with my career of, and interest in, customer satisfaction.
First, I’ll recap the good. Since it is private (wholly owned by Bob Parsons) verified information is hard to come by. Go Daddy has approximately $750 million in revenue and manages some 41 million domain names. It was founded in 1997. It is brilliant, and remarkable, to achieve such success in a new category.
It was a great idea and a tremendous accomplishment, but it is currently not what it portends or pretends to be. The facts do not support Go Daddy’s/Parsons’ claims: they are not low-priced and they do not provided “top-notch” service. Worst of all, they have a history of nickel-and-diming customers. Being a Go Daddy customer is not a pleasant experience.
Here are some of my Go Daddy complaints based on being a customer for seven years:
- Constantly trying to sell customers a bunch of add-on crap (e.g., web templates, e-mail, security software, privacy items, etc.).
- Terrible phone representatives (e.g., not experienced or knowledgeable, frequent referrals/requests to go to their website, failure to access customer accounts overall lack of empowerment).
- Long telephone hold times.
- No toll-free telephone service.
- Constantly changing/increasing domain prices.
- Nit-picking on domain fees (e.g., ICANN fee).
- Frequent phone solicitations.
- Non-competitive hosting (e.g., tiny storage or transfer levels, no CGI bin or my SQL; again, additional charges for add-ons).
- Bob Parsons’ name on communications but no reference to how to contact him.
- “Free” services are a joke: e.g., a tiny webpage with Go Daddy ads?
Of these by far the worst are:
- – Nit-picky, increasing prices;
- – Constantly trying to up-sell;
- – Poor, non-toll-free customer service.
So I am in the process of transferring my domain names… As mentioned, it is not a pleasant experience–being a Go Daddy customer. I called the other day to try and obtain some answers, see what they would have to say, and make sure I am doing the right thing. I called with two simple questions: 1) Why, on my latest domain renewal, did I receive an e-mail quoting a price of $10.69 (plus ICANN fee; no other registrar I could find does this) and then two weeks later another with a price of $7.50 and why are these prices constantly increasing? And, 2) With a domain transfer, is it an ICANN rule to add a year to the existing registration? The representative (Austin), a supervisor (Rob S.), and a kid (no name)—sorry, he sounded about 12 years old—from the “President’s office” refused/could not answer. None were concerned enough to say ‘I’ll get answers and get back to you’; instead I was told “I really don’t have an explanation for that” and “Our prices fluctuate.” I finally had to repeat to the person who this was escalate to that if Go Daddy wants to retain my business they must provide a more stable pricing offer. I was so disgusted—I have never done this in my life—that I finally hung up. I cannot believe that the person from the president’s office would call me at 10 PM and offer/provide me with nothing. (Throughout my phone conversations no one accessed my account; I was told to go to GoDaddy.com and obtain a PIN number; sorry, please don’t instruct me to do this or that…).
I am also stunned that “Robert S.,” the supervisor, would inexplicably put me on hold. I had to explain to all three Go Daddy representatives that, particularly if your company does not provide toll-free service, you should never put a customer on hold.
Prior to making the call I went to the Go Daddy website to see what renewing one of my domains would cost. I couldn’t find it. So I clicked on renew and went through five pages of nonsense add-ons… still no price. At the end, I had to stop clicking for fear that I would set in motion an undesired renewal. That’s the problem: I just don’t trust this company.
From the e-mail I just received from Go Daddy, over Bob Parsons’ name:
“GUARANTEED RENEWAL PRICE, FREE VALUE-ADDED SERVICES, INDUSTRY-BEST LIVE 24/7 SUPPORT AND MUCH MORE.”
Curiosity gets the best of me… so one last call to see what this means. I’ll do it another time.
IN SUMMARY, this is from the Bob Parsons Go Daddy web page:
“Our mission is simple-to deliver products at very competitive prices and to provide first-class service in the process.
I take pride in the fact that we’re straight shooters. There are no tricks in what we do, just good old-fashioned business principles.”
Sorry, Bob, the facts as described here do not support that.
P.S. I am a marketing research director by trade and training. My gut tells me Bob Parsons and Go Daddy do not understand it nor do they believe in it. On Bob’s list—which he sells—of 16 Rules/business principles “Listen to Customers.” is very noticeably missing. If Go Daddy knew its customers they would know everything included here.