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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Domain Name Abuse
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....
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).
Network Abuse Department
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.