Godaddy demanding $199 for one spam complaint!

94 replies
Yesterday I received a strange email from Godaddy's "abuse" department stating they had received a single complaint regarding spam email promoting our web site. The email gave me 48 hours to respond or risk having our domain cancelled.

I responded within minutes advising we do not spam but suggested that we had over 400 active Affiliates whom promoted the site. I asked Godaddy to provide a copy of the complaint.

Sure enough, it seems one of our Affiliates was the culprit.

What happened next has left me feeling horrified and victimized by a very public company with little or no morals.

I received the following email from Godaddy.

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Please keep in mind that it is not our intention to cause anyone's business to suffer and we do appreciate you cooperating with us on this matter. Because of your cooperation and willingness to resolve this issue thus far, your services have not been interrupted, but this situation remains unresolved.

We present to you the following solution to resolve this issue:

First, reply to abuse@godaddy.com with a statement that you (or your employees, affiliates, 3rd party marketers, etc.) will no longer send messages to individuals that did not ask to receive information specifically from your domain name.

Second, include in this statement authorization for GoDaddy.com to charge a $199 non-refundable administration fee to the credit card on file for your account (you may want to log into your Go Daddy account and confirm that the card on file is valid and has not expired).

Go Daddy believes this solution to be a fair one that will ensure that you will correct the problem on your end, and prevent any future violations of Go Daddy's Anti-Spam policy. Additionally your services are not interrupted and your customers and affiliates are not inconvenienced. If you reply with this statement and agree to pay this fee, Go Daddy will accept this, in good faith, as proof of your commitment to correct this problem. If not, your domain name may be immediately redirected and your service suspended.
Regards,
Domain Name Abuse
GoDaddy.com
========

I have been a customer of Godaddy for ten very long years, have only ever used Godaddy to register my domains during this entire period and currently own some 280 domains with Godaddy. My conduct during these ten years has been impeccable and this is the first and only time I have received a warning from Godaddy.

Clearly, I responded by advising of my impeccable long term history, the fact that this was my first warning ever and that the spam was perpetrated by a rogue Affiliate....and that there was no way I would pay $199.

I was gob smacked to receive this response from Godaddy....

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If the options outlined in our previous message are not agreeable to you, or you are unable to comply to these terms, you will need to transfer your domain name to another registrar.

If you choose to transfer the domain name to another registrar, we first require that you pay a $75 administration fee before your domain name can be transferred. This fee is used to cover the costs of responding to or "cleaning up" the outstanding spam complaints Go Daddy has received regarding your domain name.

You will need to provide the following in your reply:

1. A statement that you will initiate the transfer of your domain name to a new registrar within the next 24 hours.

2. Authorization for GoDaddy.com to charge a $75 administration fee to the credit card on file for your account (you may want to log into your Go Daddy account and confirm that the card on file is valid and has not expired).

Sincerely,
Network Abuse Department
GoDaddy.com
=========

Because I refused to pay the $199 I now have 24 hours to transfer my domain and pay a fee of $75 (before they allow the transfer) or have my domain cancelled!!!

This is simply criminal and abusive extortion by Godaddy for what is a first warning for one single complaint for spam activity for which we had absolutely no control.

Does this mean that if a competitor spams my site maliciously I will receive multiple fines of $199 ever time? On every domain?

I will NEVER use Godaddy again...EVER!! Ten years of loyalty and hundreds of domain purchases means squat to these over rated and bloated buffoons with no moral standing except that of extorting exaggerated fees from innocent and loyal customers, to supplement their bottom line.
#$199 #complaint #demanding #godaddy #spam
  • Profile picture of the author arranrice
    I use godaddy to, after reading this, and all that SOPA stuff that went on last year, I might transfer my very few domains I have to namecheap, I know it will cost you alot, but it could be worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketinguk
    I'm really confused here, I was on the forum earlier today and i'm sure you posted the same thread unless i'm imagining it?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    How did your affiliate send mail from your domain?

    Jeffery 100% :-)
    Signature

    Entrepreneurs starting out and small businesses without giant staffs and budgets.

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    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      Go Daddy issues like this have been known for many many years.. I quit using them at least 5 years ago after hearing numerous stories just like yours.

      If I remember correctly, they did this Mike Filsaime during one of his launches.

      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      How did your affiliate send mail from your domain?

      Jeffery 100% :-)
      they don't have to.. all it takes is someone complaining directly to the host of the site and/or domain being promoted. And Go Daddy is well known to take draconian measures when this happens.
      Signature

      -Jason

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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
        Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

        Go Daddy issues like this have been known for many many years.. I quit using them at least 5 years ago after hearing numerous stories just like yours.

        If I remember correctly, they did this Mike Filsaime during one of his launches.

        they don't have to.. all it takes is someone complaining directly to the host of the site and/or domain being promoted. And Go Daddy is well known to take draconian measures when this happens.
        I just saw this!

        So they even took 'action' without any evidence whatsoever?

        Un******* believable!
        Signature
        Now where did I put that pencil?

        Time for a cuppa.
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        • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
          Originally Posted by Alan Ashwood View Post

          I just saw this!

          So they even took 'action' without any evidence whatsoever?

          Un******* believable!
          here's what probably happened:
          1) person get's email, they consider it spam
          2) person does whois lookup to find the registrar of the site promoted, or does a trace route to find the web host.
          3) person forwards email in question to the registrar's/host's abuse email address

          And if it's godaddy for either one, your are toast.
          Signature

          -Jason

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      • Profile picture of the author JST3P
        Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

        Go Daddy issues like this have been known for many many years.. I quit using them at least 5 years ago after hearing numerous stories just like yours.

        If I remember correctly, they did this Mike Filsaime during one of his launches.



        they don't have to.. all it takes is someone complaining directly to the host of the site and/or domain being promoted. And Go Daddy is well known to take draconian measures when this happens.
        I have no choice but to take you at your word on this so.. Let it be known; all you have to do to get a competitor shut down is send a complaint to their hosting company and the company will fall all over itself siding with the anonymous complainer over their own paying customer.

        At least on godaddy.
        Signature

        Direct to consumer Social Media Marketing and Management services. Building networks, one fan at a time.

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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      How did your affiliate send mail from your domain?

      Jeffery 100% :-)
      They didn't. This is what is so bizarre ....my domain was promoted in the spam email...it did not send anything!
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      • Profile picture of the author anandshaw
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        They didn't. This is what is so bizarre ....my domain was promoted in the spam email...it did not send anything!
        Thanks Gregory for sharing. I have just moved my hosting away from godaddy because of poor service , but unfortunately I still use them as registrar.

        I just wanted to confirm that you were fined by go daddy because one of your affiliate was sending spam emails & the email contained your domain name.

        Also do you use godaddy smtp servers to relay the emails?
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    Wow, that's pretty crazy. Why do they want that extra money? It doesn't make any sense. This is one of the reasons why I much prefer paid traffic over affiliates because it sounds like you did absolutely nothing wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Lee Jr
    Outrageous!!! No wonder people don't like using them
    Signature
    How Can I help...
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  • Profile picture of the author lastreporter
    I feel your pain, but the anti-spam act is really tough and being enforced. Go Daddy has little choice but to crack down hard, or jeopardize their business by being put on a spam blacklist and/ or be prosecuted and heavily fined.

    Every affiliate contract I have signed specifically forbids spam. It's the law.

    So, you might want to really screen your affiliates before you sign them up and make it really clear that no spamming is allowed -- ever.

    Although your affiliate didn't sent it directly from your domain, he or she was promoting your domain, which is probably why Go Daddy is blaming you. I don't agree with Go Daddy, but it might be their way of forcing you out without creating any legal issues. Apparently they have been badly burned in the past.

    I stay totally clear of spam and have done so for years. I hear horror stories everyday of Internet Marketers getting nailed with stiff fines and being threatened with prosecution. It's no joke!
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by lastreporter View Post

      I feel your pain, but the anti-spam act is really tough and being enforced. Go Daddy has little choice but to crack down hard, or jeopardize their business by being put on a spam blacklist and/ or be prosecuted and heavily fined.

      Every affiliate contract I have signed specifically forbids spam. It's the law.

      So, you might want to really screen your affiliates before you sign them up and make it really clear that no spamming is allowed -- ever.
      I would think that everyone who signs an affiliate has anti spam laws as do I. Just because its "law" and in writing is hardly going to stop that small percentage of rogue affiliates doing what they want.

      It doesn't even need to be an affiliate... with Godaddy's tactics, anyone can spam your domain in a promotion and you will be held accountable and have to pay. Do you really think that is also, "law"?

      I wonder if Godaddy send the same demands to the top 100 most trafficked domains on the net or are they simply discriminated on small domain holders whom they know they can bully and abuse.
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      • Profile picture of the author lastreporter
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        I would think that everyone who signs an affiliate has anti spam laws as do I. Just because its "law" and in writing is hardly going to stop that small percentage of rogue affiliates doing what they want.

        It doesn't even need to be an affiliate... with Godaddy's tactics, anyone can spam your domain in a promotion and you will be held accountable and have to pay. Do you really think that is also, "law"?

        I wonder if Godaddy send the same demands to the top 100 most trafficked domains on the net or are they simply discriminated on small domain holders whom they know they can bully and abuse.
        You've got a point. Could be a way to nix smaller players, or squeeze them for more cash.

        I dealt with Godaddy a few years back and didn't like their tactics then and pulled out. I use Bluehost, no problems.
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        • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
          Originally Posted by lastreporter View Post

          You've got a point. Could be a way to nix smaller players, or squeeze them for more cash.

          I dealt with Godaddy a few years back and didn't like their tactics then and pulled out. I use Bluehost, no problems.
          Could be a way to start taking out people's competitors
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by lastreporter View Post

      I feel your pain, but the anti-spam act is really tough and being enforced. Go Daddy has little choice but to crack down hard, or jeopardize their business by being put on a spam blacklist and/ or be prosecuted and heavily fined.

      Every affiliate contract I have signed specifically forbids spam. It's the law.

      So, you might want to really screen your affiliates before you sign them up and make it really clear that no spamming is allowed -- ever.

      Although your affiliate didn't sent it directly from your domain, he or she was promoting your domain, which is probably why Go Daddy is blaming you. I don't agree with Go Daddy, but it might be their way of forcing you out without creating any legal issues. Apparently they have been badly burned in the past.

      I stay totally clear of spam and have done so for years. I hear horror stories everyday of Internet Marketers getting nailed with stiff fines and being threatened with prosecution.
      Really? The enforcement of the act is so tough that domain registrars have no choice but to crack down hard on everyone that ever gets a single spam complaint?

      I find that very hard to believe. How many venders that have opt-in lists in the 5 figures or above can claim to never have received a single spam complaint? Are you saying the crackdowns are so bad that all you need is one accusation, and not only you, but the company who registered your domain, are automatically guilty?

      Even someone that has not a single affiliate is bound to get a few spam complaints. Even in this relatively savvy forum, people misunderstand and misuse the term "spam" every day.

      I see people in here on a regular basis talk about not liking to be "spammed" by those whose lists they admit opting in to. "Spam" in popular usage has come to be synonymous with "email promoting something". In other words, people opt in to a list, remember opting in, but resent that they not only got the bribe; they also got a couple of promotions the same week (horrors!).

      Anyway, I'd like to see the case studies that would back up the concept that Godaddy has a legitimate reason to fear for their business on the basis of a single spam complaint. In other words, examples of people that have been convicted of spamming, on the basis of that one complaint.

      I think Goddady is just milking a good excuse to extort people.

      Also, your theory that they are just trying to "force out" the suspect to protect themselves doesn't make sense in light of the fact that they are demanding a fat ransom for releasing the domain.

      I am no lawyer, but it seems to me that the policy you're claiming is in effect would make for an enforcement nightmare, not to mention, be flagrantly unconstitutional. How are the principles of Amazon not in jail? With their bazillion affiates; some of them have to be spamming on occasion.

      Also, as huge as Goddady is, they have to have plenty of real spammers (that might attract hundreds of legitimate spam complaints). Have they been hit with penalties for that?
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

        How are the principles of Amazon not in jail? With their bazillion affiates; some of them have to be spamming on occasion.

        Technically, it is against Amazon's TOS to promote your affiliate link using email.
        Signature
        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by lastreporter View Post

      the anti-spam act is really tough and being enforced. Go Daddy has little choice but to crack down hard, or jeopardize their business by being put on a spam blacklist and/ or be prosecuted and heavily fined.
      Respectfully, none of this is true.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Jason,
        If I remember correctly, they did this Mike Filsaime during one of his launches.
        I don't recall if it was during a launch, but they hit Mike with the same thing, yes. And a bunch of other people over the years.

        Even most of the spamfighters I know won't use them for domain registration. Too easy to lose a domain to a joe-job, for one thing. And they accept complaints they have absolutely no way to verify. Plus, there's the "You can buy your way out of it" thing, which shouldn't be an option if you really want to stop spam.

        The biggest thing is that they'll reportedly put you into this process based on a single complaint. Even the most overzealous anti-spammer knows better than that.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
    This is disgraceful!

    Surely they should be taking action against the spammer? Even if the culprit uses a different host, there should be some way for the major players (Jushost, Hostgator etc.), to liase and take action. If necessary they could effectively blacklist repeat offenders.

    There's no way they should be able to penalise a long standing customer; especially threatening a financial penalty, and then a catch 22 clause.

    Guess what Godaddy? You're off my list of recommended hosts . . . and yes, I will be posting on this matter.
    Signature
    Now where did I put that pencil?

    Time for a cuppa.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    lastreporter -
    unfortunately, a lot people cry "spam" when it isn't. As any email marketer will tell you, it doesn't matter if you have a squeaky clean 'double opt in' list, you will still get spam complaints. People hit the spam button on their email client, or move the email to their spam folder, as if it's just deleting it - not realizing that this usually generates a spam complaint.
    Signature

    -Jason

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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      lastreporter -
      unfortunately, a lot people cry "spam" when it isn't. As any email marketer will tell you, it doesn't matter if you have a squeaky clean 'double opt in' list, you will still get spam complaints. People hit the spam button on their email client, or move the email to their spam folder, as if it's just deleting it - not realizing that this usually generates a spam complaint.
      We have the occasional Aweber optins which claim spam or "complain" with Aweber claiming they never opted-in and screaming spam. Anyone that uses Aweber knows that is just not possible. However it happens. Any email marketer knows that.

      Also keep in mind this is the first ever warning I received in 10 years of being with Godaddy... No reward for loyalty whatsoever! So why bother!
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    • Profile picture of the author lastreporter
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      lastreporter -
      unfortunately, a lot people cry "spam" when it isn't. As any email marketer will tell you, it doesn't matter if you have a squeaky clean 'double opt in' list, you will still get spam complaints. People hit the spam button on their email client, or move the email to their spam folder, as if it's just deleting it - not realizing that this usually generates a spam complaint.
      Good point.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Kapo
    Banned
    I could make spam complains for every domain I don't like....
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Goddaddy is NOT an IM-friendly web hosting company. I learned this lesson the hard way. You're far better off with Bluehost, HostGator, etc.

    RoD
    Signature
    "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
    - Jim Rohn
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

      Goddaddy is NOT an IM-friendly web hosting company. I learned this lesson the hard way. You're far better off with Bluehost, HostGator, etc.

      RoD
      I don't use them for hosting, but neither did the op; they took this action simply because the domain they registered was promoted with spam (according to a single complaint).

      I must admit, I thought I was doing Warriors a favor when I posted a thread about a $1 domain special they were having. It seems I may have unwittingly set them (and myself) up for a nightmare of cheap registration followed by possibly extortion down the road a little.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
        Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

        I don't use them for hosting, but neither did the op; they took this action simply because the domain they registered was promoted with spam (according to a single complaint).
        I only use Godaddy as a registrar...never used them for hosting. This is only about domain registration, not hosting. I have never received a complaint from my hosting provider.
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        • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
          Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

          I only use Godaddy as a registrar...never used them for hosting. This is only about domain registration, not hosting. I have never received a complaint from my hosting provider.
          That pretty much sums up what I was saying.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

      Goddaddy is NOT an IM-friendly web hosting company. I learned this lesson the hard way. You're far better off with Bluehost, HostGator, etc.

      RoD
      I don't think they are a web hosting company. After seeing their commercials my friend thought their business was selling prostitutes
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      • Profile picture of the author Niko A Berezkin
        Originally Posted by Ben Gordon View Post

        I don't think they are a web hosting company. After seeing their commercials my friend thought their business was selling prostitutes


        But on a serious note, Never have used them for hosting.... and Now I NEVER will. And same goes for domain registration. Also it seems absurd that after 1 complaint, they are demanding MONEY.... really. How about a fair warning, do it again and we might ban your account, but only once we hear your side of the story.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
          Originally Posted by Nikita A Beriozkin View Post



          But on a serious note, Never have used them for hosting.... and Now I NEVER will. And same goes for domain registration. Also it seems absurd that after 1 complaint, they are demanding MONEY.... really. How about a fair warning, do it again and we might ban your account, but only once we hear your side of the story.
          Well, that's the thing... my friend was actually serious (he's never seen the company before this commercial)

          GoDaddy is generally attracting the wrong crowd. They think they're kings. Honestly, somebody should file a lawsuit for this kind of behavior, it's unacceptable. I have never used them after hearing about their president (or CEO, forget) killing elephants for fun and their numerous upsells they try to sell you on which are completely worthless.

          As an experiment I was talking with one of their salesman and I asked, "sir, I need to host video, will this $5/mo "unlimited" package fit?" He said, "Yeah, it'd be fine". I clarified, "sir, the video is around 25MB and around 100 people will be watching it everyday. Does it still work?" He responded, "Yeah, sure go ahead". Just to see what would happen, I bought the package (went through a ton of crappy upsells), then uploaded the video and sent some traffic to it. Next day, I got a notice about overusing bandwidth and going against their fair use... etc... I called them and showed them the recorded conversation about the guy telling me it'd be fine. They told me "I'm not sure who told you that but he shouldn't of done that, that's not right". That got me wondering about who the hell is working for their company. After I yelled at their manager and explained the situation I got a refund (and no apology!). I wrote up a blog post about this... but honestly, this just proves GoDaddy sucks! Stick to Namecheap and Hostgator!
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          • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
            This issue comes up every couple years on the forum. I'm still surprised GD hasn't been hit with a class action lawsuit. They already have lawsuits over other issues.

            Almost all of the domains where I have autoresponders, or promote via email, have been migrated the last couple years to DomainMonster. Still have hundreds of old domains with GD, but this is definitely an issue to look out for.

            Sometimes people forget they signed up for a list and complain to everyone in the world. Why risk using GD for domains associated with email?

            .
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Their fines for this have been in place for years.

    I don't know if you know this or not, but you are legally responsible for the actions of your affiliates. Ten years ago affiliate programs could look the other way as affiliates did the dirty work of spamming, but authorities and network providers have cracked down on that.

    Does your product smell like snake oil or look like a billing scam? That greatly increases your chances of receiving the fine. I'm talking about things like **** berry, Viagra, get rich quick materials and so on. GoDaddy is taking one look at that stuff and thinking "not worth dealing with!" Unless something has changed, if you are on the up and up they'll notify you of the complaint and sometimes ask for the opt-in log entry for that recipient.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      Their fines for this have been in place for years.

      Does your product smell like snake oil or look like a billing scam? That greatly increases your chances of receiving the fine. I'm talking about things like **** berry, Viagra, get rich quick materials and so on. GoDaddy is taking one look at that stuff and thinking "not worth dealing with!" Unless something has changed, if you are on the up and up they'll notify you of the complaint and sometimes ask for the opt-in log entry for that recipient.
      Not at all, we are in the medical device industry.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        Not at all, we are in the medical device industry.
        With all the lawsuits I see on TV regarding medical devices, I'm not sure that really means anything in this conversation.

        RoD
        Signature
        "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
        - Jim Rohn
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      • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        Not at all, we are in the medical device industry.
        Are we talking wheelchairs or a device maximizing a body part to its fullest potential?

        If this isn't a product that the average doctor would recommend I can see how the product and sales pitch could fall into a gray area in the eyes of the GoDaddy employee who put the hammer down.

        And I'm guessing there is indeed a bit more to this story than you are posting. I'm not sure any spammer in history has spammed catheters, crutches or knee braces.
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        • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
          Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

          Are we talking wheelchairs or a device maximizing a body part to its fullest potential?

          If this isn't a product that the average doctor would recommend I can see how the product and sales pitch could fall into a gray area in the eyes of the GoDaddy employee who put the hammer down.

          And I'm guessing there is indeed a bit more to this story than you are posting. I'm not sure any spammer in history has spammed catheters, crutches or knee braces.
          LOL ..hardly! Its a respected medical device. This has absolutely nothing to do with the issue as we have many long standing sites in the medical field.
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        • Profile picture of the author emini_guy
          Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post


          And I'm guessing there is indeed a bit more to this story than you are posting. I'm not sure any spammer in history has spammed catheters, crutches or knee braces.
          That's a good point. I am NOT taking any sides here, with or against GoDaddy, but one thing I have learned in my life is that there is practically always more than one side to any story (usually at least two) and until you know them all, you should not be jumping to conclusions.
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          • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
            Originally Posted by emini_guy View Post

            That's a good point. I am NOT taking any sides here, with or against GoDaddy, but one thing I have learned in my life is that there is practically always more than one side to any story (usually at least two) and until you know them all, you should not be jumping to conclusions.
            Read the thread and do some search on the issue...seems it has been happening for years now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      Their fines for this have been in place for years.

      I don't know if you know this or not, but you are legally responsible for the actions of your affiliates. Ten years ago affiliate programs could look the other way as affiliates did the dirty work of spamming, but authorities and network providers have cracked down on that.
      Is this for real? Nobody can possibly control the actions of their affiliates. With many of the world's largest corporations using affiliate programs, how do they deal with it? Are Amazon executives going to jail because they have affiliate spam or scam complaints?
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      • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
        Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

        Is this for real? Nobody can possibly control the actions of their affiliates. With many of the world's largest corporations using affiliate programs, how do they deal with it? Are Amazon executives going to jail because they have affiliate scam complaints?
        I agree with you in spirit, but it's always going to come down to reputation. Certain benefits go along with having a trusted brand. Everyone knows Amazon is going to ban the spam affiliates. Whereas spam connected to a little affiliate program is going to be taken at face value.

        But ultimately what it comes down to is that profit margins on domain names are very small. Under 70 cents at GoDaddy if you are using a renewal coupon, and they never turn a profit on the first year 99 cent domains if you renew those using coupons. So to have to pay employees in the legal department to deal with domains that make them under $1 a year, they're going to look for the quickest route to wash their hands of the situation. And who you are or what you are doing plays a key role in how they go about that.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

        Their fines for this have been in place for years.

        I don't know if you know this or not, but you are legally responsible for the actions of your affiliates. Ten years ago affiliate programs could look the other way as affiliates did the dirty work of spamming, but authorities and network providers have cracked down on that.
        Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

        Is this for real? Nobody can possibly control the actions of their affiliates. With many of the world's largest corporations using affiliate programs, how do they deal with it? Are Amazon executives going to jail because they have affiliate spam or scam complaints?

        Unfortunately, this is true.

        According to the FTC, the product vendor is responsible for the actions of any affiliate representing the vendor's product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Guys I appreciate your answers to my question.

    This just does not make logical sense to me.

    Sure enough, it seems one of our Affiliates was the culprit.
    That means out of 400 affiliates that promoted the site there was only one affiliate that was the culprit.

    Were there multiple SPAM complaints or just one complaint? I ask because if there was one single complaint pertaining to a single affiliate then that is one small scenario, but if there were multiple complaints pertaining to multiple affiliates then that is a much larger scenario.

    Jeffery 100% :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      This just does not make logical sense to me.
      well, the actual number does not signify much - it really needs to be considered in the context of how many emails were sent. Did .0001% of the people complain, or 10%?? And even then, if the person opted in, it isn't spam.

      Unfortunately, as far as godaddy is concerned, they do not care. They are famous for this.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kotkov
        yeah... that's what it is. I brought tens of thousands of dollars to this company over last couple years signing up my customers.

        It's been three month now, I am not working with them, and even more, when my clients have domains or whatever with them, I insist them to be transferred...giving them only several facts about them

        They made me - from the money maker for them to a money taker :-)

        It's Been years since I knew where it's going with this company, but was always lazy to get rid of their business completely.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      Guys I appreciate your answers to my question.

      This just does not make logical sense to me.
      That means out of 400 affiliates that promoted the site there was only one affiliate that was the culprit.

      Were there multiple SPAM complaints or just one complaint? I ask because if there was one single complaint pertaining to a single affiliate then that is one small scenario, but if there were multiple complaints pertaining to multiple affiliates then that is a much larger scenario.
      Jeffery 100% :-)
      One single solitary complaint which is what they stated in writing!! Which Godaddy provided in full detail including the details of the person making the complaint. I asked them if there were any other complaints and to provide those details also.

      Godaddy refuse to answer that question but instead demand the $199 to continue as a registrar for the domain or $75 if I want to transfer it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
    Here's what their TOS states as "SPAM"

    HOW WE DEFINE SPAM

    We define spam as the sending of Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE), Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) or Unsolicited Facsimiles (Fax), which is email or facsimile sent to recipients as an advertisement or otherwise, without first obtaining prior confirmed consent to receive these communications from the sender. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Email Messages
    • Newsgroup postings
    • Windows system messages
    • Pop-up messages (aka "adware" or "spyware" messages)
    • Instant messages (using AOL, MSN, Yahoo or other instant messenger programs)
    • Online chat room advertisements
    • Guestbook or Website Forum postings
    • Facsimile Solicitations
    Legal Agreement

    Go Daddy Legal Agreements | Our TOS Agreement - Go Daddy

    Basically the bullet points above, they can deem anything in those categories how they seem fit. If you have a forum & they think it's sending too much email, it can be classified as spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    This thread concerned me enough to call Godaddy, as I was thinking I might transfer my domains on the basis of the horror story.

    I was told the op was scammed by someone impersonating Godaddy. They don't ever charge to transfer a domain, nor do they charge $199 to settle a spam complaint. They do have to settle spam complaints, but they don't do it in this manner.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

      This thread concerned me enough to call Godaddy, as I was thinking I might transfer my domains on the basis of the horror story.

      I was told the op was scammed by someone impersonating Godaddy. They don't ever charge to transfer a domain, nor do they charge $199 to settle a spam complaint. They do have to settle spam complaints, but they don't do it in this manner.
      Well, at first I thought I was being scammed also.

      However, I have just spent an hour on the phone with several senior supervisors at Godaddy. The first two seemed really concerned and helpful until they both got higher authority directives to advise me to call the abuse department.

      The abuse department staff are very different and clearly highly trained to handle calls asking logical and clear questions which make their demands look frivolous and dishonest.

      It was confirmed that only one complaint was received. However, no matter what I said, I was met with, "you have two options, pay the $199 or transfer the domain after paying the $75". That's it. No amount of logical legal arguing will sway their position which is that of collecting either $199 or $75.

      Its revenue stream collection...nothing more.
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

      This thread concerned me enough to call Godaddy, as I was thinking I might transfer my domains on the basis of the horror story.

      I was told the op was scammed by someone impersonating Godaddy. They don't ever charge to transfer a domain, nor do they charge $199 to settle a spam complaint. They do have to settle spam complaints, but they don't do it in this manner.
      This is the first time I've seen a GoDaddy denial come up in a spam fine discussion. And I know I've read some in the past where the person called in.

      Legal Agreement

      "Go Daddy will require a non-refundable reactivation fee to be paid before the site, email boxes and/or services are reactivated."

      It doesn't give the dollar amount, but it's right there in GoDaddy's TOS.

      Perhaps the OP really was scammed, but GoDaddy does do fines of some amount.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

      This thread concerned me enough to call Godaddy, as I was thinking I might transfer my domains on the basis of the horror story.

      I was told the op was scammed by someone impersonating Godaddy. They don't ever charge to transfer a domain, nor do they charge $199 to settle a spam complaint. They do have to settle spam complaints, but they don't do it in this manner.
      I don't know if they do NOW that they have new owners, but they certainly did before. NoDaddy was full of complaints and that one complaint was on there numerous times. This isn't the first I've heard of them doing that.

      As I said, I have no idea if they still do. Godaddy bought NoDaddy, so the site doesn't exist anymore but there are probably still complaints around on the Net about them doing that.

      I personally wouldn't be very empathetic towards someone who had spammed numerous times, but one spam complaint is too easy to get, especially if you have affiliates (or just an evil competitor).
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      • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        I don't know if they do NOW that they have new owners, but they certainly did before. NoDaddy was full of complaints and that one complaint was on there numerous times. This isn't the first I've heard of them doing that.

        As I said, I have no idea if they still do.
        Of course they are still doing it... to me, and hence this post!
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

          Of course they are still doing it... to me, and hence this post!
          You're right. Maybe someone should start a business building NoDaddy sites and selling them to them.
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        • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
          Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

          Of course they are still doing it... to me, and hence this post!
          Why don't you call GoDaddy and record the phone call asking the same questions? Tell them you're a customer but not interested in telling them your account information. Let them know you saw a thread about how GoDaddy was charging someone that money for a spam complaint or transfer to another registrar. When they respond to it, post the recording publicly here, email it to GoDaddy's abuse team, and then link them to this thread so they know others are watching how they handle it.

          Regardless, your on their radar now so it would be better to get to a company like NameCheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Wow this is pretty crazy! I've never heard of them doing something like this...

    It doesn't make sense. I have heard of people going to search for a domain and going to the order page but then deciding not to purchase, then the next day they go back to buy it and it has been bought but is available for auction for 10x the price...
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  • Profile picture of the author SandraLarkin
    Banned
    Godaddy steals domains from people, does this type of thing...


    I really can't fathom why people keep doing business with them.
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    • Profile picture of the author cooler1
      Originally Posted by SandraLarkin View Post

      Godaddy steals domains from people, does this type of thing...


      I really can't fathom why people keep doing business with them.
      Because they get suduced by the Godaddy girls and cheap coupons.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronorr
    I was hearing about people losing domains 12 years ago from godaddy due to spamming so I never registered domains with go daddy because of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      I'm not sure any spammer in history has spammed catheters, crutches or knee braces.
      Do autoclaves count? I've gotten spam pitching those, and they're a lot more expensive and specialized than catheters, crutches or knee braces.


      Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Makes me think I'd need to have affiliates check off an agreement that if they cause a spam complaint, fees will be removed from their pay and they'd be removed from the program.

      Still, as others have mentioned, it'd be quite easy for me to sign up to a competitors list, and then get only one email from them and report it in as spam.

      Doodie.

      They don't ever charge to transfer a domain, nor do they charge $199 to settle a spam complaint. They do have to settle spam complaints, but they don't do it in this manner.
      Someone forgot to study for the latest test.
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  • Profile picture of the author SShip
    This is absolutely crazy stuff.

    This reminds me of the Better Business Bureau and allowing people to change their bad grades upon "paying a fine". To me this is like BM, you decide what that stands for. Pay up and we take care of the mess for you, don't pay up and you're sunk. That's a crappy business model in my opinion.

    This is just another reminder on why I will never do business with Go Daddy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trent Brownrigg
    Don't use GoDaddy! I still have domains with them from years ago but I haven't registered a new domain with them in a very long time. Furthermore, I tell all my clients and anyone else that asks me website advice to stay away from them. This is just one of MANY horrible things about them.
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  • Profile picture of the author s1d
    So, technically, I could send out an email blast advertising godaddy's services through their own affiliate program (which uses their domain) and they'd risk losing their domain.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by s1d View Post

      So, technically, I could send out an email blast advertising godaddy's services through their own affiliate program (which uses their domain) and they'd risk losing their domain.
      LOL... Like I said earlier, I would bet anything that Godaddy would never make these sort of demands or threats against any of the top 100 trafficked domains.

      They instead prey on smaller more vulnerable victims knowing its easier to extort the payment of $199 with the threat of cancelling the domain.
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    • Profile picture of the author azmanar
      Originally Posted by s1d View Post

      So, technically, I could send out an email blast advertising godaddy's services through their own affiliate program (which uses their domain) and they'd risk losing their domain.
      hahahahaha ...

      Good one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    That is why I rather pay $10 for domains at Namecheap, than 99 cents at Godaddy. I registered my first domain at Godaddy, and right away I knew this is not the registrar I want to use. I currently have ZERO domains at Godaddy, and when I buy a domain from their auction, they get transferred straight to Namecheap...



    Alex, avoiding Godaddy since 2006
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  • Profile picture of the author sunray
    Whether you want to pay the fee of not, you should move away from Godaddy fast (I wouldn't bother paying it, and used the money to pay the new host) Change both hosting and registration. Because this may not be the end of it. It may be that it's one of your competitors behind it, and spam complaints continue to arrive.
    Here is the instruction how to transfer a domain to Namecheap.
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    • Profile picture of the author copystud
      The minute I realized I couldn't sign up for an account unless I put a credit card on file with them, I went elsewhere. Something about being expected to give that out when there are other options to pay turned me off.

      Here they've gone and tried to blackmail money out of you. Glad I made the decision I did.
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    • Profile picture of the author SteveSRS
      Originally Posted by arranrice View Post

      I use godaddy to, after reading this, and all that SOPA stuff that went on last year, I might transfer my very few domains I have to namecheap, I know it will cost you alot, but it could be worth it.
      I would recommend doing so.. GoDaddy sucks that is a fact.. they lure people in with heavy discount codes then ask very high renew prices and come up with shit like this.. not the mention how incredible unmoral they are (sopa / killing elephants for fun) .. go do it now! I have 30+ domains with them and moved them ALL last year to various others such as namecheap and internetbs.net

      Originally Posted by Martin Lee Jr View Post

      Outrageous!!! No wonder people don't like using them
      Amongst other..


      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      lastreporter -
      unfortunately, a lot people cry "spam" when it isn't. As any email marketer will tell you, it doesn't matter if you have a squeaky clean 'double opt in' list, you will still get spam complaints. People hit the spam button on their email client, or move the email to their spam folder, as if it's just deleting it - not realizing that this usually generates a spam complaint.
      Originally Posted by George Kapo View Post

      I could make spam complains for every domain I don't like....
      So true.. I've had people click 'spam button' on product delivery email how is that.. then later emailing me because they were to dumb to read the product instructions.. .I helped them out and then they say aah great product thank you. Then I emailed back asking.. so can you please explain to me why you reported our product delivery email (before even trying the product) as spam?

      And no reply... doesn't happen regularly but it does happen.. in general people are stupid and they like clicking where-ever and do not read at all..

      Also happens enough times that people open Paypal disputes just for normal support questions. My site has a button direct to support site in the software a huge 'Get Support' item in the menu and various other places on the site.. still people 'can't find it'...

      ok enough rant
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffreys
    After reading this, I have goose bump. I hope no one complain to godaddy about my websites. This is immoral extortion to say the least.
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    • Profile picture of the author robestrong
      Originally Posted by jeffreys View Post

      After reading this, I have goose bump. I hope no one complain to godaddy about my websites. This is immoral extortion to say the least.
      I agree -- extortion.
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  • Profile picture of the author igl0w
    even tho this story is said to be a Nodaddy not Godaddy still GD does similar things...


    godaddy lkikes to take money for free. for example if you make 1 digit typo in phone number or your email is down [i mean down as server down, not wrong email] and 1 of their emails gets forwarded back to them they auto charge you $10 and lock your domain till you fix issues.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by igl0w View Post

      even tho this story is said to be a Nodaddy not Godaddy still GD does similar things...
      No, this is a Godaddy story.... Nodaddy was closed down years ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    Had this happen to me years ago, I was shocked. Actually, I forgot all about it until this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author dlundy1
    wow, that must have been the MONA LISA of complaints

    lol
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  • That sounds like an abuse of power. I use to be a loyal godaddy customer, but they jacked up their fees, so I fled. They have you by the balls & they know it. I'd pay the $199 and then transfer it elsewhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author taskemann
    Had the same problem with HostGator last year and that's why I don't use open affiliate programs anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mailbox 25
    Sorry to hear that, mate.

    This happens with GoDaddy - a lot.

    Friend of mine had domains on there and someone sent spam emails, with an unsubscribe link pointing to one of her domains.

    GoDaddy suspended all her domains saying it was HER fault.

    Turns out that though she didn't send the emails, she could benefit from the traffic that WAS coming to her site through those unsub link (wth?).

    After a lot of back and forth, we had to make sure that any unsub links go to a 404 Page instead. First time I ever saw that with any domain registrar, and hopefully the last time because we moved out all her domains.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Campbell
    Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

    Yesterday I received a strange email from Godaddy's "abuse" department stating they had received a single complaint regarding spam email promoting our web site. The email gave me 48 hours to respond or risk having our domain cancelled.

    I responded within minutes advising we do not spam but suggested that we had over 400 active Affiliates whom promoted the site. I asked Godaddy to provide a copy of the complaint. .
    Report them to ICANN as they are violating the rules if you have a .com, .net or .org

    They've been found in violation in multiple ways in multiple incidents. You can demand your domain be unlocked and you get the unlock code/transfer authorization code. They are not allowed to hold your domain hostage.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by James Campbell View Post

      Report them to ICANN as they are violating the rules if you have a .com, .net or .org

      They've been found in violation in multiple ways in multiple incidents. You can demand your domain be unlocked and you get the unlock code/transfer authorization code. They are not allowed to hold your domain hostage.
      Hmm, not sure about that. They claim they will not allow the transfer unless I pay a $75 "clean up" fee ...for one complaint!!
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      • Profile picture of the author glennshep
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        Hmm, not sure about that. They claim they will not allow the transfer unless I pay a $75 "clean up" fee ...for one complaint!!
        What they claim they 'allow' and what they actually have to do legally are two entirely different things. Lots of companies make statements about what 'has' to happen and what their 'company policies' are. But it means absolutely zilch if such claims attempt to circumvent the law. I don't know what the legalities of this specific case would be but I would definitely get ICANN involved as they will know for sure and will have the power to act if necessary.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by copystud View Post

          The minute I realized I couldn't sign up for an account unless I put a credit card on file with them, I went elsewhere. Something about being expected to give that out when there are other options to pay turned me off.

          Here they've gone and tried to blackmail money out of you. Glad I made the decision I did.
          My credit card on file changed and I didn't give them the new one. I had 300 domains with them at the time. They hounded me by phone and email "reminders" to update my credit card. I just ignored them and never did. I knew there were too many ways and reasons they could send a charge to my card without me actually buying something.

          Since SOPA thing, I moved all my domains out of Godaddy and am Godaddy free now. Glad I did it.

          Originally Posted by glennshep View Post

          What they claim they 'allow' and what they actually have to do legally are two entirely different things. Lots of companies make statements about what 'has' to happen and what their 'company policies' are. But it means absolutely zilch if such claims attempt to circumvent the law. I don't know what the legalities of this specific case would be but I would definitely get ICANN involved as they will know for sure and will have the power to act if necessary.
          It's in their TOS that they can do this. If he plays around with ICANN or a lawyer, he risks losing the domain altogether while it's being sorted out by ICANN. I'd pay the $75 and consider it a $75 Godaddy lesson and keep my domain safe somewhere else.
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      • Profile picture of the author James Campbell
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        Hmm, not sure about that. They claim they will not allow the transfer unless I pay a $75 "clean up" fee ...for one complaint!!
        Just because they claim it doesn't mean they can enforce it. They aren't cleaning up anything.

        Their own internal policy DOES NOT trump their registrar agreement they have with ICANN which they MUST abide by in order to remain an authorized registrar of .com/.net/.org TLDs.

        Report them here: Complaint Form

        If your domain is over 60 days old then you are within your rights to transfer it to any registrar you like from your current registrar and there is NOTHING that GoDaddy can do about it. If they are preventing you, then they are violating their agreement with ICANN and can be fined or worse.
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        Originally Posted by Gregory Campbell View Post

        Hmm, not sure about that. They claim they will not allow the transfer unless I pay a $75 "clean up" fee ...for one complaint!!
        I would fight it - I've used GD for years for domain registration only - I've always advised all my clients to never ever host with them - now you know why
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    Just another reason to not use GoDaddy.

    I use Namecheap, and have since 2010. Best in the business. Now that I got my shameless (linkless) plug out of the way. Did you have hosting through them, or are they simply saying that because you own a domain name that received a SPAM complaint you have to pay the fee?

    BP
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregory Campbell
      Originally Posted by BloggingPro View Post

      Did you have hosting through them, or are they simply saying that because you own a domain name that received a SPAM complaint you have to pay the fee?
      BP
      No hosting...I only have domains registered with Godaddy. One domain received one single complaint...that's what started all this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Elliott
    Godaddy always offers cheap front end offers, then hits you will 1000 upsells and more expensive and poor customer service in the long run. Slash Godaddy go namecheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Guys if you ever have this problem then remember the "offline" world.

    Trading standards/business standards - just put in an offline complaint to one of these and they'll bend some ears.

    It doesn't even matter if you're overseas. I had evidence of Flippa acting out of line last year, and I complained to the local government where their physical office is based. Internet companies hate this kind of thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamBringIt
    I took every domain, I had with them out asap. They are not trustworthy and leaving domains with them can be a huge risk...
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  • Profile picture of the author drbrucehoag
    I use BlueHost and am very happy with them.

    I switched from GoDaddy several years ago. I couldn't really put my finger on it, but they just felt . . . salacious.
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  • Profile picture of the author clintmyers
    Are you sure this is not a scam? Maybe a hacker is trying to charge you and it is not GoDaddy?
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  • Profile picture of the author karlmay1980
    Are you sure this is not a scam?

    I mean did you just press reply or did you actually contact GoDaddy through their normal support channels?

    I am sure they in the fine print do put sanctions on account holders that are breaking terms and conditions so are within their right to do this but I would firstly check it out to be for real.

    If it is real and you have over 200 domains then pay the price and vet your affiliates more, promote best practises and ensure you have sufficient training for them to succeed this will all only help you in future.

    I am sincerely sorry to hear the implications of your affiliates actions but it is all part of business, if you employed staff and they committed some sort of crime through your business the implications could well fall upon your lap.

    Keep up your previous good work and reputation and try to make sure your affiliates do the same, just hope they brought you a few sales to re-compensate you for their actions.

    Also thank you for highlighting this in the forum, it could help others avoid being in the same situation maybe in a little less fortunate state than yourself, having maybe put all they had to just getting one domain online.
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  • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
    You might also want to check your address and phone number is valid if using GoDaddy, or else that is an additional charge you may face.

    See e.g.
    Invalid Whois? GoDaddy Charges $9.95 - Domain Name Wire
    Godaddy - Incorrect whois charge?! - Web Hosting Talk
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=328696
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    email them the link to this thread so they can see all the goodwill they've cultivated.
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