Can Go Daddy steal domain names from under your nose?

by fin
46 replies
I know Go Daddy are known for stealing domain names when someone searches their site for a particular name, but this story is a little different.

I was helping someone come up with names for a new site they're building.

He gave me a few different names then I went away and looked for a few myself using 123-reg.

I came back to him with 3 available names and he liked one of them.

The same day I told him about it someone on Go Daddy registered it.

I thought it was him, but he came back and asked me if it was available when I searched for it (which it was).

Could Go Daddy somehow look at what other people are searching for on other registrars then snap names up, or is it purely a coincidence that someone snapped it up within hours of my telling him about it?
#daddy #domain #names #nose #steal
  • Profile picture of the author Syssolution
    Originally Posted by fin View Post

    I know Go Daddy are known for stealing domain names when someone searches their site for a particular name, but this story is a little different.

    I was helping someone come up with names for a new site they're building.

    He gave me a few different names then I went away and looked for a few myself using 123-reg.

    I came back to him with 3 available names and he liked one of them.

    The same day I told him about it someone on Go Daddy registered it.

    I thought it was him, but he came back and asked me if it was available when I searched for it (which it was).

    Could Go Daddy somehow look at what other people are searching for on other registrars then snap names up, or is it purely a coincidence that someone snapped it up within hours of my telling him about it?
    Most probably it's an coincident.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Hey Jamie,

    Long time, no see.

    or is it purely a coincidence
    The law of large numbers and all...who knows.

    There are things afoot in these woods that us mere mortals are un-aware of, I fear.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    This has been prevalent for a number of years. Who can say in your case: either Godaddy taking a nice name or someone else getting the same idea; both are equally likely.

    Never search with the registrar. Use Verisign - Internet Security and Web Domain Names., for instance.
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  • Profile picture of the author NBAY
    I did a search and found some interesting accusations regarding godaddy stealing domains. Check this out: www.LetMeGoogleForYou.com

    Then again is it possible that on your first search you did not spell the domain in question correctly?
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      Originally Posted by NBAY View Post


      Then again is it possible that on your first search you did not spell the domain in question correctly?
      It was registered on the day I found it according to Who Is.

      If it's a coincidence it's a huge one and probably better odds of me winning the lottery, but I guess I'll never know.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by fin View Post

        It was registered on the day I found it according to Who Is.

        If it's a coincidence it's a huge one and probably better odds of me winning the lottery, but I guess I'll never know.
        It's not stealing unless you have purchased it. Until it's purchased, it's anybodys'
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        • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
          Frankly, I think the notion that GoDaddy is stealing names is just plain silly.
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    If that's how you treat your customers...
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by fin View Post

      If that's how you treat your customers...
      #1 He researched it on 123 ...not Godaddy
      #2 Does whois say it is owned by Godaddy? Probably not
      #3 Thousands upon thousands of domains are registered daily. If I find one I like, I register it immediately ... that makes it mine.
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        #1 He researched it on 123 ...not Godaddy
        #2 Does whois say it is owned by Godaddy? Probably not
        #3 Thousands upon thousands of domains are registered daily. If I find one I like, I register it immediately ... that makes it mine.
        I don't know what 123 has to do with anything, you're just saying Go Daddy taking domain names from their customers before they have the chance to buy them isn't stealing.

        Anyway, the question was about whether or not Go Daddy can find out about the domain names you look for through other companies, not my choice of words.

        And Go Daddy does steal from customers btw. I've thought of random names that might come in useful in the future and tried to buy them using a Go Daddy coupon because they're so cheap.

        One registrar says the name is available. Go on Go Daddy and it's not unless you pay something like $60-100 (can't really remember). Go back to first registrar and it's still available at the usual $10. That is stealing money from customers.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by fin View Post

          I don't know what 123 has to do with anything, you're just saying Go Daddy taking domain names from their customers before they have the chance to buy them isn't stealing.
          Read the OP. He searched on 123reg, not Godaddy, so why is he blaming Godaddy for the domain not being available?

          Originally Posted by fin View Post

          And Go Daddy does steal from customers btw. I've thought of random names that might come in useful in the future and tried to buy them using a Go Daddy coupon because they're so cheap.

          One registrar says the name is available. Go on Go Daddy and it's not unless you pay something like $60-100 (can't really remember). Go back to first registrar and it's still available at the usual $10. That is stealing money from customers.
          Well, I've never seen a domain listed somewhere for $10 and $100 on Godaddy in all the years I've been registering domains. I've seen plenty listed on any number of registrars that were being called "premium" and had a high price on them, but that is the domain owner, selling through Godaddy or another registrar and calling it a premium domain. Charging whatever they want to charge still isn't stealing. Does anyone tell you what price to charge for your products?
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          • Profile picture of the author fin
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Read the OP. He searched on 123reg, not Godaddy, so why is he blaming Godaddy for the domain not being available?
            Not another one.

            It was me that searched on 123 and the domain name was registered at Go Daddy a few hours later.

            I was asking if they can skim information from other registrars.

            It was a simple question.

            As Kay pointed out, Go Daddy must register domains temporarily if you don't register them straight away. If you don't like me using the word 'stealing' just get over it.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by fin View Post

              Not another one.

              It was me that searched on 123 and the domain name was registered at Go Daddy a few hours later.

              I was asking if they can skim information from other registrars.

              It was a simple question.
              I understood the OP perfectly well. You searched on 123 and the domain was registered at Godaddy. Boy, I bet that only happens 50,000 times per day. What are the chances? lol.

              Godaddy gets blamed for just about everything, but I would say there's zero chance that Godaddy is registering domains BASED on 123 searches.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
      Originally Posted by fin View Post

      If that's how you treat your customers...
      It's no way to treat a customer, but they aim at the people who they know won't be there in a year. So it doesn't make much of a difference, for them, anyway.
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

        It's no way to treat a customer, but they aim at the people who they know won't be there in a year. So it doesn't make much of a difference, for them, anyway.
        I agree with that 100%.

        If someone gets into the hang of online business they will probably leave eventually.

        I guess when you have a huge marketing budget and target newbies you can get away with all sorts.

        I'm going to stop the Go Daddy bashing now because what they do is none of my business. I just wanted to know if they had magic skills to grab data from other companies.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

        they aim at the people who they know won't be there in a year. So it doesn't make much of a difference, for them, anyway.
        This. Very much this: their huge marketing budget is targeted almost exclusively and specifically at newbies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by fin View Post

    Can Go Daddy steal domain names from under your nose?
    Yes, they can. After searches on their site or on others.

    As Suzanne rightly says, it isn't technically stealing. It's certainly "scumbag tactics", of the type for which they're understandably famous ... and using the information from other registrars' sites to do so may be illegal (even lawyers don't always seem to agree about that point - and there are places online where they discuss it).

    Originally Posted by fin View Post

    I know Go Daddy are known for stealing domain names when someone searches their site for a particular name, but this story is a little different.
    Different, yes - but by no means unknown.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scaramanga
    It surprises me if Godaddy are actually doing this. If an employee of theirs confirmed this behaviour it would be very damaging for there business.
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  • Profile picture of the author ClickMonkey
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Godaddy is not the only registrar on the planet.

      If they are doing what you allege, and I'm not convinced of it yet although there seems to be some evidence, what is to stop other registrars from doing the same thing? How can Godaddy do this profitably and not any other registrar? What advantage do they have that the other big registrars don't?

      Godaddy bashing seems to be a crusade on this forum. I know some people have legitimate concerns. I also know others have jumped on the bandwagon who have never been wronged by Godaddy but seem to love participating in the feeding frenzy.

      I have registered many hundreds of domains at Godaddy over the past fifteen plus years. I have spoken with their customer service many times. I don't like their sales funnel with all their add-ons, but it's easy to bypass all that stuff. I have never personally had a bad experience with GoDaddy.

      I'm just saying . . . everyone is stoning Godaddy and I personally have a very hard time believing that if they are stepping in front to register domains for themselves, that there aren't other registrars doing the same thing.

      There are ways to keep this from happening as Suzanne has said. I personally don't believe in this monopoly conspiracy.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        No one is "stealing domain names" - you had a chance to register the domain and you didn't do it right away. You have no ownership in that domain so it can't be "stolen" from you.

        If you find a domain and leave the site WITHOUT REGISTERING THE DOMAIN....there is third party software that puts a temporary registration on that domain.

        It's been discussed here many times. The "temporary" means they can resell that domain if someone goes back to get it and is willing to pay more. But the "temporary" also means if you stop checking the availability of that domain....it will be available again (almost always) in 10-14 days.

        You need to use a site like nameboy or similar to look for available domains WITHOUT specifying exact names you have an interest in.

        If you register a domain WHEN you find it - you will never have this problem.
        If you use a site like nameboy and then choose a domain and go to the registrar site and register it BEFORE you leave the site....you won't have a problem.

        kay
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    • Profile picture of the author ClickMonkey
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by ClickMonkey View Post

        I can't figure out how to reproduce the results that have been described by others in this thread, and it's somewhat frustrating. I truly WANT to believe that what's being described is happening, but I've yet to successfully reproduce the results.
        I suggest as a possibility that maybe you can't reproduce the results described by others because what is being described is not actually occurring?


        Over the years, I have registered--ahem--way too many domains. I have used GoDaddy as well as other well-known registrars.

        Sometimes, I register a name right away. Other times, I check availability and come back later. Sometimes, it is due to checking on names for a client. I have to wait for them to get back to me. Other times, it is because I want to think about the domain more.

        I once registered lifefeathers.com (as well as lifeathers.com for catching the typo traffic). Why? Because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It really wasn't. So, sometimes it is best not to grab a domain name as soon as you see it is available. It can be a good idea to wait a day or two...

        At any rate, I cannot think of many instances where a domain name I searched for wasn't still available a day or two later. And, some were really good domains, not lifefeathers.com. So, I suspect it is more coincidence than anything.

        It may also be a good idea to consider why you are registering a certain domain name. For example, if someone releases a WSO on how to make thousands of dollars a month in the shoelace niche, you can pretty much guarantee a bunch of shoelace-related domain names are going to be getting registered that week. So, when you bought your Shoelace Riches WSO and found an awesome domain name on Thursday, but waited until you got your paycheck on Friday to buy it, another buyer of the same WSO may have snatched it up in the meantime.

        It is perhaps not coincidence that you see complaints of this nature, i.e. "they stole the domain name I searched for yesterday!", on marketing forums where marketers tend to have a herd mindset when looking for niches. One person says "The t-shirt niche is HOT!" and suddenly there's a whole herd of people registering t-shirt domains.

        So, yeah, most likely coincidence. The registrars would probably rather have your ten bucks for domain registration than register a domain name themselves and hope someone will pay $60 for it at some point. They make a bundle of money on registrations and renewals. They don't need to be "stealing" domains. Register a domain sometime. Then register another one a few minutes later. Compare the order numbers and see how many orders were placed in the few minutes between your two registrations. Then explain why the registrars would even need to bother with trying to register domains people have searched for. LOL.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by ClickMonkey View Post

        Kay, the aforementioned experiment was unable to reproduce the results you're describing. Can you undertake a quick experiment that reproduces the results you've described, and share the results in this thread so we can all see what you're referring to?
        She might have been referring to Domain Tasting, which was a practice that is less prevalent or not at all prevalent now. There are anti-tasting measures in place now.

        Domain tasting is the practice of temporarily registering a domain under the five-day Add Grace Period at the beginning of the registration of an ICANN-regulated second-level domain.[1] During this period, a registration must be fully refunded by the domain name registry if cancelled. This was designed to address accidental registrations, but domain tasters use the Add Grace Period for other purposes.

        Overview

        In April 2006, out of 35 million registrations, about 2 million were permanent or actually purchased. By February 2007, the CEO of Go Daddy reported that of 55.1 million domain names registered, 51.5 million were canceled and refunded just before the 5 day grace period expired and only 3.6 million domain names were actually kept.[2]

        Domain tasting is lucrative in a number of ways:

        The registrant conducts a cost-benefit analysis on the viability of deriving income from potential advertising on the domain's website. Domain names that are deemed potentially lucrative and retained in a registrant's portfolio often represent domains that were previously used and have since expired, misspellings of other popular sites, or generic terms that may receive type-in traffic.
        Domains are usually still active in search engines and other hyperlinks and therefore receive enough traffic such that advertising revenue exceeds the cost of the registration.
        The registrant may also derive revenue from eventual sale of the domain, at a premium, to a third party or the previous owner.
        Tasted domains may sometimes be used for spamming and then discarded.

        Anti-Domain Tasting Measures

        In January 2008, ICANN proposed several possible solutions, including the elimination of the exemption on transaction costs (US$ 0.20) during the five-day grace period, which would effectively make the practice of domain tasting not viable.[3] The ICANN operating plan and budget for Fiscal Year 2009 included a section intended to deal with the problem of Domain tasting. Now the transaction fee of $0.20 is applied to domains deleted in the Add Grace Period where the number of such domains exceeds 10% of the net new registrations or 50 domains, whichever is greater. The "net new registrations" here is defined as the number of new registrations minus the number of domains deleted in the Add Grace Period.[4]

        Google said in 2008 that their AdSense program would now look for domain names that are repeatedly registered and dropped. These domains will automatically be dropped from the AdSense program.[5]

        Starting in April 2009, many top level domains (TLDs) began transitioning from the $0.20 fee for excess domains deleted to implementing a policy resulting in a fee equal to registering the domain.[6][7]

        In August 2009, ICANN reported that prior to implementing excess domain deletion charges, the peak month for domain tastings was over 15 million domain names. After the $0.20 fee was implemented, tastings dropped to around 2 million domain names per month. As a result of the further increase in charges for excess domain deletions, implemented starting April 2009, the number of domain tastings dropped to below 60 thousand per month.[6] However, these statistics only represent reports from the generic TLDs; ICANN does not set policy for the country code TLDs (ccTLD).
        Related Practices

        Reverse domain tasting

        A number of registrars routinely change a domain's name servers to those of their own, or a parking service, when a domain has gone past its expiration or renewal date.[8] Domains continue to resolve for up to 30 days or more after their registration and redemption grace period have expired. The advantage of this "reverse tasting" is that the registrars or parking services can determine which domains have traffic before they are deleted, and hence maintain a list of domains that they might re-register (or even transfer) after the deletion date, as part of drop catch services.[9]

        Domain kiting

        Domain tasting should not be confused with domain kiting, which is the process of deleting a domain name during the five-day grace period and immediately re-registering it for another five-day period. This process is repeated any number of times with the end result of having the domain registered without having to pay for it.

        *****Domain name front running******

        In January 2008, Network Solutions was accused of this practice when the company began reserving all domain names searched on their website for five days,[10] a practice known as domain name front running.

        Domain tasting used for spam

        Domain Tasting has been used for the purposes of spam.[11] The limited lifetime of the tasted domain allows the spammer to effectively send spam using a disposable domain name.

        Domain tasting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  • Profile picture of the author Steeleton
    I've had it happen to me. I searched for a domain name on Godaddy, found one I liked, wrote it down but didn't buy it right away. I came back to get it a couple of hours later and it was registered, but available for sale as a premium domain.

    The chance of it randomly being grabbed were slim to none because it was something that was VERY specific and local as well. And then it's available as a premium domain for sale?? Clearly it's not another individual who just happened to have the same idea I did at almost the exact same time for a website.

    Try it out for yourself.

    Go to Godaddy and find a decent domain name. Write it down, but don't buy it. Chances are pretty good that it will be a premium domain when you come back to check it. But, it has to be a good domain. Don't put in some junk like dfneifhiehgur dot com. Try something like reallyawesomedomainsforsale dot com.

    Test it out...would love to hear your results.
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  • Godaddy is the worst registrar out there, I would stay away from them, there is a big marketer they shut him down without explanation during a launch. They also support all the evil laws against freedom on the net. I would not be surprised if they can steal domains. Use enom or (enoms' private label name cheap) or anyone but godaddy.
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  • Profile picture of the author TraderAgency
    I register all my domains with 1and1 and get everyone for .99 . I have never ran into this problem. I did think this happened once but when I checked whois.com it was registered for like 10 years. So looks like I just misspelled the domain in my original search
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  • Profile picture of the author TraderAgency
    I think Kay King nailed it right on the head
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    I hope not. Sounds kinda shady I suppose. I like godaddy and have been using them since I started a few years ago. Great customer service and never any complaints.

    It doesn't make sense for them to invest in that kind of business ethic and practice. Something a scammer would do....
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  • Profile picture of the author BizMath
    Try to contact the domain owner and tell him that you're interesting with the domain. Perhaps, you'll be able to get an idea that what's going on........ However, this isn't the first time I heard kind of story with Godaddy, but like .........so and so said, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      You should go to a third party site to look for available domains if you think Go daddy's integrity is being compromised by someone or somebody.


      -Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        You should go to a third party site to look for available domains if you think Go daddy's integrity is being compromised by someone or somebody.


        -Robert Andrew
        Am I the only one who searches for available domains by entering them in my browser?
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          I think Kay King nailed it right on the head
          Glad someone is READING!

          That is the answer - it's been going on for years. I've had people come back and say "it's not temporary - every time I check the domain is taken".

          THAT'S THE POINT - Once you check for availability and then LEAVE the site without registering the third party software registers it. If you leave it alone 99.9% of the time that domain is available again in 10-14 days.....because the "temp registration" is dropped when the bill comes due.

          If you keep checking back over and over (which is what people seem to do) - the temp registration keeps showing up as "taken".

          It's frustrating if you know what's happening - and even if you do. It doesn't have to happen - learn to avoid it.
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          • Profile picture of the author fin
            Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

            Glad someone is READING!
            That is pretty cheeky considering you didn't even read my OP.

            I didn't try to register any domain names.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              And you are right - I did read but misunderstood the point after reading a few of the replies....

              The info I posted is correct but sounds like not at all related to what happened to you.. sorry 'bout that.
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              • Profile picture of the author fin
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                And you are right - I did read but misunderstood the point after reading a few of the replies....

                The info I posted is correct but sounds like not at all related to what happened to you.. sorry 'bout that.
                I really regret using the word 'stealing' now.

                This thread would have disappeared after a few replies if I didn't

                Anyway it's interesting what you say about the 2 week period, so I'll definitely check back and see what it's looking like in a few weeks.

                Thanks for the tip.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Eddie
    Is there actually any hard evidence of Godaddy doing this?

    Other than people looking up domain names and then finding that someone else has taken it when they try and register it.
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  • Profile picture of the author NeedBucksNow
    What's that saying "You snooze, you lose".
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  • Profile picture of the author deekay
    Fortunately, I've never been into this kind of problem. Some of my domains are registered in GoDaddy. I'd better ask some domainers I know now.
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  • Profile picture of the author MentorTodd
    You snooze you loose.....well I can't really comment on others, but I know that I have taken some extra time in the past to "Think it over" only to come back and see the domain is gone!
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      Originally Posted by MentorTodd View Post

      You snooze you loose.....well I can't really comment on others, but I know that I have taken some extra time in the past to "Think it over" only to come back and see the domain is gone!
      I feel sorry for your loss.

      Please send my regards to your feelings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alice12345
    I not sure what happen here. But I think the solution to the problem is....

    When you find domain that you LOVE, try to buy it NOW. Then it wont exist any problem anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author LuckyIMer
    Surely someone has registered it, but it is not stealing. I am sure you are disappointed and angry, but try to be accurate.
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    There really are some idiots on this forum.

    I'm not going to reply to everyone, so I'll just focus on the last comment.

    Why would I be angry or disappointed when I didn't want to register a domain in the first place?
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  • Profile picture of the author davezan
    Originally Posted by fin View Post

    Could Go Daddy somehow look at what other people are searching for on other registrars then snap names up, or is it purely a coincidence that someone snapped it up within hours of my telling him about it?
    A bit late, but no because every registrar uses a "port" only between them and the Registry to
    check a name. Go Daddy needs direct "permitted" access through that port, if ever, which I'm
    doubtful any registrar will give just like that. Likely coincidence what happened to your friend.

    Originally Posted by ChrisEllgood View Post

    What's with people using the word "steal"?
    Oh, some people use (inaccurately) certain words to describe what they feel. Some even use
    "scam" to describe what they feel about such circumstances even if they aren't necessarily. If
    anything, goes to show that people feel whatever they want.
    Signature

    David

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  • Profile picture of the author BoostSales
    I prefer using other domain registrars like name.com

    Although I have some domains on godaddy because of others transferring them to me, I rather use name.com or namecheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
    Let's have some fun we'll make a list of 10 ridiculous domain names and all search Godaddy for them and then check back. I'll take the first 15 participants who pm me a really stupid long name.
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