Not that you will ever read this blog entry and not that you care, but hopefully someone out there will read it and it will spare them some heartbreak. Fourteen years ago on a warm March night, I became a customer of yours. I was tired of my current hosting company, there were problems and you had great prices on domains. Plus you were still a small company and you cared about how you treated you customers. I’m not the kind of customer that needs hand holding or a lot of cheering. At one point, we had such a great relationship that you asked me to try new products and gave me things to try them.
And then things started changing. Prices started going up and up and up. In the beginning, you would email me codes to get a little something off. And then I needed hosting again, my brother-in-law was getting out of the business and I had to pay for hosting again. Most of the time I keep hosting just to keep my skills up to date, not for anyone to really see the websites, not that I even care if they do. And my domains, I have them because they are special to me, you know, like the ones with my name. That’s helpful since I’m an author. But princessgeek.com, I’ve had that since 1999. PrincessGeek is my nickname. So yes it’s special to me. So I get that I’m not an important customer. I get that I’m not a high dollar customer. But that doesn’t mean you can treat me like crap.
Last year (2014) I made a mistake and cancelled a domain. It cost me dearly to get it back. And then there was the issue of Moodle. I needed a new hosting plan because the one I was on couldn’t handle the latest version of Moodle which I needed for my client, a teacher. Or at least that’s what I was told on the phone. Twitter support told me something different. The end result of that mess? All my websites were lost and I was charged twice for hosting. It was a lot of complaining before I managed to get a refund. And then it was even more of a fight before they agreed to refund it back to my card instead of store credit.
And then you didn’t hear from me until this year. A whole year went by and you never heard from me. I didn’t complain on Twitter, I didn’t call, I didn’t email. We were good. I did what I needed to do online and I was okay. And then I knew that my hosting was coming due again. I kept waiting to see if I would get a “renew and safe” code. Nothing came. And then on the 6th, I got the email that my hosting was due that day. Still no “save money” code, so I called. I got some guy on the phone and he said he could save me 15% but I had to renew for 10 years. There was no way I was ready, willing or able to do that. And even if I did have that kind of money laying around, I don’t know what the next 10 years is going to hold so why would I want to lock in hosting for 10 years? That’s just insane. We went back and forth for a while and he said that he could save me 44% but ONLY if I changed hosting plans. Well come to find out it wasn’t really changing hosting plans because it was the same plan, it was just moving everything to a new server. So $150 later, I had 2 years of hosting, renewed 2 domains and renewed the current hosting for 1 month to give me time to get all my files off the server and moved. I was okay with that, I wasn’t thrilled. But I didn’t have to deal with anything for 2 years so I could deal.
The next morning, I get up and I have an email from GoDaddy, “Save 50%”. Not 44%, but 50%. Now we aren’t talking a large amount of money, we are only talking about $9. But it was the principal of the matter. I qualified for the 50% because I got new hosting, that’s how he was able to give me the 44% off. So I called. I got some female on the phone and I was explaining that I was a long-term customer, that I stuck around during the elephant disaster and all the feminist issues. Well before I could finish the sentence about how the negative attention affects their clients too, she cut me off with “Yeah, I get that you’re upset but what’s your problem?” I was FLOORED. So I told her that I was angry that yesterday the best customer service could do is give me 44% off but today I got an email offering me 50% off. Things went from bad to worse. While she didn’t say I was a liar, she implied it. She said “He didn’t give you 44% off, I’ve never heard of that.” and then she started looking at my account. She also wanted me to read her the “fine print” of the email. I did. And of course, she was bitchy enough to explain to me (since I had no clue, I’m just a lying stupid customer who’s angry) that the longer you renew something for the bigger the discount that’s why he was mentioning the 10 years.
Then she realized that he indeed give me 44% off and told me that she was going to make me “very happy”. She told me to log into my account, I already was. Then she told me to cancel the hosting, she said “the first one”. And this is where ALL THE PROBLEMS COME IN. If you were looking at the list of items that I could cancel the first thing was “GoDaddy Auction” from where I messed up and canceled the wrong domain the previous year, the second item I could cancel was my domains that I had renewed the day before, the third item was the first one that said hosting, so I clicked it and hit cancel. Oh wait, that was the wrong one. All my websites were GONE. She put me on hold, came back asked me if I had backed them up, couldn’t even get to the part where I had tried the night before and couldn’t get it to download before she hit me with the “Oh you can have a back up for $150 but otherwise, they are gone because you canceled the wrong one.” I was LIVID. We argued back and forth and finally I told her that was it, I was done, I was moving all my stuff.
She realized I was serious, asked to call me back later that day and see how I felt. Knowing I would not change my mind, I said sure and we hung up. I vented on Twitter, got a lead on a new host, started moving domains to Google Domains. She called back and I told her there was nothing she could do.
But over on Twitter I found out that I was not the only one that had the problem of lost files. There was a lot of bitching, moaning and arguing back and forth on Twitter between @GoDaddyHelp and I but the outcome was summed up in two tweet conversations:
And this one:
As you can see, GoDaddy is done with me and I am done with them. I was with GoDaddy longer than I was with either set of my parents but now we have parted ways. All my domains have been moved. I have nothing left there but a customer number.
The moral of this post, if you need a domain or hosting and want decent customer service, pretend that you are a race car driver and race away from GoDaddy. You may get a decent price to begin with but in the end, you’ll just get screwed and you won’t even get a kiss, candies or an “I love you”.