There’s something digitally fishy about it.....But what can you do about it?
So, apparently Godaddy has been in the business of allowing consumers to search, cart and purchase domains that aren’t totally theirs the moment the transaction is finalized. After the most recent purchase of a .contact domain, an email was received a day later (12/18/2020) stating the domain couldn’t be registered and that a refund would be initiated. Uniquely enough, the email seemed similar to one that was received in relation to an unsuccessful registration of two domains following a pre-registration period for the .contact extension. However, the most recent purchase was the extension of an already released extension; and a fair and square purchase.
For some consumers, the only course of action on the surface would be to call Godaddy, settle for accepting the refund and purchase another domain in hopes it won’t mysteriously be snatched away from them again. A call was placed to Godaddy by this consumer in hopes they could rectify a matter that was out of the consumers’ control. A matter that is poised to cost the consumer’s business transaction with a value client. A matter that points to looming issues with a domain registrar who’s well aware they have the power to disrupt anything they choose and mask it with a few modifications to server record details if they so choose.
Now, the goal isn’t to imply Godaddy has carried out unethical acts. But the goal also isn’t to imply they haven’t either. The goal is to use this forum (established by their company) to get a reason. Not a reason for self. A reason for all. Not a politically correct answer or one that hinges on leveraging tech language against the vague understanding many consumers have about how domain registrars work. Furthermore, a pacifying answer to the tune of ‘we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused’. The Godaddy representative who was spoken to provided the typical screen-read responses (as trained) to valid questions regarding what to expect moving forward.
There were no explanations, time lines, person of contact, no verification that we spoke to pass on to my client, extended hold times and ultimately a forthright declaration ‘the representative knew very little about the situation, how it would be handled and let alone why it occurred’. They were reassured they were apart of the growing front lines that many (not all) digital corporate entities will leverage the human elements of to meet the people who buy into services that aren’t totally what they’re advertised as on the surface. I’d hope the domain issue was a simple mix-up and that my clients business doesn’t suffer.
However, I’m more concerned about the consumers who’ve experienced this type of situation or worse and don’t have the resources, know-how or energy to move forward in a pursuit to gain ownership of their intangible domain seed. So much so I’ve spoken with some like-minded legal professionals regarding a broad range of digital consumer advocacy services that can be established to at least, on the ground level, aid in more transparency. Domains are digital land. Like most things, land can be stolen. The only barrier to this is ethics and awareness. In no way am I implying theft. The jury is still out on whether the paid domain will be returned. This all seems fishy nonetheless.
But hey, what can anyone outside of the consumer truly do about it?
-The Digital Consumer Advocate
Hi @DigitalAdvocate. Thanks for taking the time to share your issue. I apologize it took so long to get a response. I will do my best to address the concern you've raised.
Upon looking into this issue, this is the result of a bug that was affecting registrations for domains listed in the trademark clearinghouse. For such domains, the registry requires that the registrant (the customer) acknowledge the possibility that there could be a trademark issue with the domain before the registration can be finalized. This was not happening. So, the registration would ultimately fail and a refund would be issued. We identified and corrected the issue earlier this week.
I know you've heard this already, but we do apologize that you had difficulty in registering the domain you wanted. It's always our intent to help our customers succeed in whatever venture they're pursuing with us. Thanks again for sharing and for being a GoDaddy customer.
Please pardon the passing of time before this reply. I’d like to first express both my genuine personal and professional appreciation for your written acknowledgement of the matter. However, I believe it’s both ethically and ideally sound the context of your response be formally acknowledged; along with the fact the thread depicts your message as an ‘accepted solution’ without my initiated or expressed acceptance of said solution in any fashion.
Though your message acknowledged a “bug” as being the basis for the continued unsuccessful registration of the domain, you also cited “the registry requires that the registrant (the customer) acknowledge the possibility that there could be a trademark issue with the domain before the registration can be finalized. This was not happening. So, the registration would ultimately fail and a refund would be issued. We identified and corrected the issue earlier this week”.
The aforementioned excerpt from your message, when objectively considered, ‘subtlety’ implies the matter was an extension of the ‘customer’ not acknowledging there could be a trademark issue. This was accented by “this was not happening” and “we identified and corrected the issue”. For the sake of this thread accurately conveying the dynamics of the matter, it’s imperative it be noted ‘the customer thoroughly reviewed and screen-grabbed their successful digital acknowledgement of all Trademark Clearinghouse related disclaimers and disclosures PRIOR to submitting payment for the .contact domain EACH time’.
Your thread also detailed the “fixing” of an issue; which was in no way due to the customer not acknowledging the trademark disclaimer as contextually suggested. The issue was clearly the result of a failed processing on Godaddy’s part that was specifically related to the .contact domain for which registration was being sought. The matter seemed to be compounded by a phone representative’s expressed lack of knowledge about registering .contact extensions in particular. Ultimately, ‘the matter was resolved by way of the customer acquiring the domain, without issue, via an alternative source’.
Therefore, it’s only ‘ethically appropriate’ this thread be reflective of the fact the aforementioned domain was secured via alternative channels due to the matter NOT being resolved to an extent that allowed for it to be successfully registered with Godaddy in particular.
-Digital Consumer Advocate
Hi @DigitalAdvocate. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify a few things.
You mentioned above that you "...thoroughly reviewed and screen-grabbed their successful digital acknowledgement of all Trademark Clearinghouse related disclaimers and disclosures PRIOR to submitting payment...". Does this mean you performed those actions on the Trademark Clearinghouse website or were you able to do this in the GoDaddy Domain Control Center?
Hello again @JesseW ,
I hope all is well. Thank you for providing the clarification you feel was most appropriate regarding the matter being labeled as ‘solved’. I’m confident you understand why there’d be an expectation on the consumers’ end that ‘solved’ would ideally mean the consumer’s goal (in this case successfully completing the acquisition process for the .contact domain and it remaining in their Godaddy account) would constitute the matter being ‘solved’.
Your clarification has aided myself, and a select few others, in understanding that Godaddy’s definition of ‘solved’ in this regard points more toward the customer receiving an answer in the forum; and not necessarily the forum being a gateway for the rectification of the matter being initiated. The consumer expectation was to ‘present the issue’, ‘be provided accurate reasoning regarding why an offered service was unsuccessful in being rendered’ and ‘receive written assurance the issue would be looked into and corrected for the sake of quality business practices and unspoken duty’.
With no sarcasm intended, your most recent response suggest’s the customer needed to ‘specifically’ request the aforementioned chain of events occur in order to achieve the goal of customer satisfaction with regard to successfully maintaining the GoDaddy-expressed ownership of the .contact domain. Now that I’ve been made aware of the implied protocol, I’ll be sure to factor this accordingly into any future expectations when conducting business with Godaddy respectively. As both a professional and consumer, I wholeheartedly respect a company’s established right to conduct business within the bounds of what it deems suitable for remaining profitable.
I simply believe profitability can be achieved, sometimes more effectively, when the utmost transparency is provided with regard to what expectations a consumer should have for how transaction, communication and resolution practices work.
In terms of the screen-grabs corroborating my digital acknowledgment of the Trademark Clearinghouse disclaimer/disclosure ‘through’ the Godaddy website each time I carted and purchased the .contact domain (before it was re-listed for sale and a refund was issued twice), I’d be more than willing to provide them to your company. My desire was to email them to a representative; or upload them to this forum if either option was available. I was told by a representative via phone (for whom I was provided the name of) that Godaddy representatives basically didn’t have email addresses for communicating with customer’s; and that this forum was the primary way to have any issues addressed. So that’s somewhat of how we’ve gotten here.
I do have the ‘time and date stamped’ screen-grabs available to forward; because it reads that you’ve been provided information by someone within the Godaddy product team that runs contrary to what actually occurred with the transactions related to the .contact domain being referenced. Please provide me with the manner in which I can forward them to you directly; as ‘I’d like to ensure a clear chain of both specimen custody and communicative integrity are maintained’. Consumers and businesses have a responsibility to help one another improve; and this is my intent here. Though the .contact domain had to be secured via other channels outside of Godaddy’s services, I have confidence this matter can be used as a tool to improve both service and communication between the Godaddy company and the consumers it services.
I’d simply like to request my submission be acknowledged via this thread and via email once received. There’s often an impenetrable belief within some industries that consumers aren’t thourough in their detailing and understanding of occurrences. I’d simply like to avoid this being an instance where the dialogue we’ve established via this forum remains proverbially classified and goes un-acknowledged and undisclosed by your company. It’s my desire for this situation to serve as an example of how consumer perspective, clarification and accurate detailing make for better resolutions, and ultimately, better business.
Please forward me an email address or chat message that supports reply attachments (if available); and I’ll get those screen-grabs over to you promptly.
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