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  1. #1

    GoDaddy: Pants on Fire?

    I was going to transfer a domain name to goDaddy, and after looking at their website with what they offer, thought I'd ask them a question on a point about which I was unclear. What follows (please indulge me) is a series of exchanges with their support specialists spanning a few days. As the "conversation" seems to have become circular in nature, I have abandoned it for the time being, but perhaps some of the knowledgeable people on this forum can offer insight. I have edited out the boilerplate text from their replies for brevity. You'll have to refer to their webpage ("FREE with your domain name..") at the URL I mention just below.

    Customer 07/04/2005 05:30 PM

    Question:
    I'm confused. You advertise your website tools as free, but when I click on the link I see monthly prices listed.

    from https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/domai...se=%2B&ci=183:
    "Enjoy a professionally designed home on the Web in seconds! Customize with your own text, graphics and links - even choose color combinations.
    FREE at GoDaddy.com
    Comprehensive Web site-building tools available. Click Here"

    Then, clicking brings up the Website Tonight/Complete listings with prices. So what is the "free" offer?
    ___________________________-

    Response from BRANDON P.
    07/04/2005 09:18 PM

    The free website is the starter parked page that comes with every domain registration.
    _____________________________

    Customer 07/04/2005 10:10 PM
    No, the starter parked page is what's referred to in the item below the one to which I'm referring.
    You advertise being able to customize with my own graphics and text, as well as providing comprehensive web site-building tools.
    How do I do this (for "free")?
    ________________

    Response from JIM P
    07/05/2005 12:11 AM

    I apologize for the confusion. A Starter Web Page is part of the package for a domain registered with Go Daddy.
    ______________________________

    Customer 07/05/2005 11:39 AM
    ..and I can customize this starter web page with my own text, links and graphics?
    What about the free "Comprehensive Web site-building tools", how do I access those as well?
    ______________________________

    Response from BRANDON P.
    07/05/2005 05:01 PM

    These are not free. If you click the CLICK HERE link in that part you will see the Website Tonight page. These are the tools you can use, but they cost money. I apologize for the confusion.
    _________________________________________

    Customer 07/05/2005 05:45 PM
    So all you're talking about is a static parked web page (or re-direction page)?

    If that's the case, then might I suggest that you are indulging in a little misrepresentation of your services? Why don't you
    re-do that page to accurately reflect your offerings.
    I, for one, am hesitant to do business with you on this account.
    ______________________________

    Response from CHRISTOPHER P.
    07/05/2005 11:51 PM

    With our Website Tonight services, you will receive a hosting account, and tools that will allow you to create a site.
    These tools are used through an online interface. Also, this is the same configuration of our Starter Website services that come with all domain names registered in our system. We apologize for the confusion in this matter.
    ______________________________
    Customer 07/06/2005 09:47 AM
    Website Tonight is not FREE! I'm asking about what you
    are advertising as FREE! You advertise a FREE "Starter Web Page", described as customizable, (and listed separately from the "Parked Page") but all you reply to me about is the Parked / For Sale Page! What is the "Starter Web Page" and how does it differ from your "Parked Page"?!

    A free, customizable (even if limited) web page as part
    of a domain registration is a pretty sexy offer, while a static "coming
    soon" or "for sale" page is quite vanilla and pretty standard with most DN registrars, I believe. If the static page is all you're offering, then I really think you should re-do your "Free" page to not mislead potential customers (of which I WAS one)! Stop pussy-footing around with me and insulting my intelligence!

    You might want to know, since you are all dragging this
    out so long instead of rectifying it, that I intend to publicize this
    exchange on some of the web hosting forums, unless I receive a more thoroughly explanatory response and clarification OR an adjustment to your advertising!

    Sorry to sound like a jerk, but I think misleading
    advertising is really sleazy and deserves to be exposed, if that is indeed what we have here. You guys are a big enough operation not to need to indulge in such behavior, no?

    Is it possible to escalate my concern to somebody more
    senior, instead of the three separate junior (presumably)-level reps I have been dealing with so far?
    ____________________________________
    Response from ROBERT P. (this, presumably, is the CEO - SamG )
    07/06/2005 04:45 PM

    We offer a Free Starter page you can either use to create an under construction page, a coming soon page or a custom page of your liking, which is basically a re-direction page. However please note that any of those pages will have an advertisement banner for Go Daddy. The link that you are clicking on is taking you to our website building tools that are available for you to use at a cost.
    _________________________________________

    Customer 07/06/2005 08:46 PM
    Robert P.:

    I do appreciate your directly attempting to address my concerns.

    However, have you read the entire exchange I've had with your colleagues/employees? Have you had even a cursory look at the page to which I refer?

    You advertise ("Free at Godaddy.com"):

    "Customize with your own text, graphics and links even choose color combinations."

    So now you say that this is really only intended for a re-direction page? A "customized...home on the web" that is merely a
    re-direction page? I mean, really, what exactly is the point/purpose of that?
    Perhaps you can refer me to some examples of your customers'
    "customized" (text, graphics, links, colors) re-direction pages that would display its utility?

    The "link that I am clicking on" is also in the section stating "Free at Godaddy.com"! Just look at the page (again,
    https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/domai...?se=%2B&ci=183)!

    Please explain exactly where and how I can perform the above customization for "free". Alternatively (I'm being generous, not using the word "additionally") explain how I can access the "comprehensive web-site building tools" for free. If you can't do either, then you are deliberately misleading potential customers (practicing false advertising, in other words)!

    Your incorporating advertising banners, by the way, is not at issue here.

    Please explain to me where my impression is mistaken.
    _________________________________
    Response from GARRETT S
    07/07/2005 03:02 AM

    You only receive the free starter pages if your domain name is registered with us. The Starter Web Page allows you to place your own image and text on the page, and to choose a color scheme.
    _________________________________________

    Customer 07/07/2005 07:57 AM
    Yes, but this "starter" page is just a re-direction page, yes? Why would I want to bother customizing a re-direction page, which
    only stays up for a few seconds, and whose only purpose is to (yes) re-direct a user to my (presumably fully "customized") permanent page?

    I... wouldn't consider registering a domain name with you until you can adequately address my concerns. You are, what, the fifth
    person (including, apparently, the CEO) who has communicated with me with out succeeding in doing so.

    I will be very curious to see what others on some of the webhosting-related forums have to say about this.
    ___________________________________

    Response from TRENTON P.
    07/07/2005 12:29 PM
    The starter page is not a redirection page. It is a single page that is displayed indefinitly.
    ________________________

    (and, if I may quote Kilgore Trout, on it goes...)

    Please elucidate matters for me somebody! Am I being too harsh on Godaddy?

  2. #2
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    Re: GoDaddy: Pants on Fire?

    Originally posted by samuelG
    . . . Am I being too harsh on Godaddy?
    I believe you are.

    That is; if you're referring to:
    STARTER WEB PAGE
    Enjoy a professionally designed home on the Web in seconds! Customize with your own text, graphics and links even choose color combinations.

    FREE at GoDaddy.com


    Comprehensive Web site-building tools available. Click Here
    I would see the "Comprehensive Web site-building tools available. Click Here" part as, to see some more web site building tools that are available, click here.

    To me, it states you get a starter web page that you can, of course, customize.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  3. #3
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    I'm certainly NO GoDaddy fan... and it pains me dearly to have to say that I think you are, probably, being a little harsh on GoDaddy. (<-- Ouch, that hurt saying that! )

    In my recollection, with GoDaddy, you can customize the starter page to "some" extent...but I mean, what do you want? It wasn't so long ago that having ANY kind of a parking page would have cost you extra...

    You could always get some free webhosting service and forward the domain to that URL if your have a lot to say.

    Oh my gawd... I've stooped to defending GoDaddy - Saint's Preserve Us!
    You may delay, but time will not. --- Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    softwarerevue:
    I would see the "Comprehensive Web site-building tools available. Click Here" part as, to see some more web site building tools that are available, click here.
    Yes, looking at the page again, and some of the other sections on it, I think that I could agree with that, in other words, that is NOT intended to fall within the "FREE.." clause. That might have been laid out a little more clearly, though.

    4solutions:
    In my recollection, with GoDaddy, you can customize the starter page to "some" extent...but I mean, what do you want?
    As you saw above, according to the CEO, this customizable starter page is in fact a re-direction page. Does this description:
    Enjoy a professionally designed home on the Web in seconds! Customize with your own text, graphics and links even choose color combinations.
    sound to you like it's describing a starter page?
    What I "want", then, is what I feel anybody reading that description would most reasonably conclude, that with a domain name you are provided with the ability to put up a (possibly single) page that is (possibly rudimentarily) "customizable" as described , and that would be in situ as long as the domain name is held with them. If they are just talking about a re-direction page, this, in my experience (admittedly as a web user, not a hosting maven, etc.) is a page that just displays for a few seconds, and following which you are taken to the "actual" site.
    Now, perhaps it IS possible to create a "re-direction" page that DOESN'T do this, that just remains steady with text, graphics, links, etc. (but then it wouldn't BE a re-direction page, would it?).
    Part of my hope in starting this thread is that somebody who had domains c/o GoDaddy would know exactly how this feature works, and might describe it. Otherwise I would have to sign up for their service to find out (perhaps that's their strategy with their frustatingly laconic replies...). As I've said, I'm (presently) reluctant to do business with them.
    I've been using Namecheap, which seems fine, but a friend was recommending GoDaddy so I thought I'd try them out mostly out of curiosity, and this stumbling block occurred.

    This may merely be a case of inept, or inattentive, tech support, but to me, frankly, it smacks of intentional obfuscation!

    SO...
    IS there somebody WITH a GoDaddy account who can TELL me exactly WHAT the "customizable" (starter, parked, re-direction, whatever!) page is and does?! Again, it's HERE!,
    the first item on the page.

  5. #5
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    It does not say "a professionally custom-designed page", so I don't think Godaddy's statement is inaccurate. The professionals designed a basic-basic holding page that the user can tinker with on a few simple things. That is the "professionally designed" page available for free. To get a fancier page than that you need other stuff to create it. Godaddy offers to provide fancier webpage creation tools for a price. I think it is clear enough that Godaddy is not offering professional custom design for free, and it is not reasonable to expect them to provide it at the price they charge for registration. If you find someone who does provide what you were expecting for free, please let us know.

  6. #6
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    Re: GoDaddy: Pants on Fire?

    Originally posted by samuelG
    What follows (please indulge me) is a series of exchanges with their support specialists spanning a few days.
    To be honest, I wouldn't waste my time on that with ANYBODY (GoDaddy or else). Go do some homework (research) and find a decent host instead. Just some quick thoughts.
    Co-Founder @HostHideout. Profoundly influenced by #Bauhaus, @Nameslave unrepentantly embraces #Minimalism with a bias for functionality, color theory and pixel precision: a #multimedia messenger in the McLuhan sense. His totally irrelevant M.Ed. dissertation examines Organizational Culture and Change Management. He also likes Patrik Ervell, Wong Kar-wai and IKEA.

  7. #7
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    a free starter page? Even a cheesy free 25MB site from regfly is better than that
    Domain Maven

  8. #8
    Disgruntled:
    I think it is clear enough that Godaddy is not offering professional custom design for free
    And exactly where did I say I expected that?

    nameslave:
    find a decent host instead.
    Well, yes I agree it would be better to find a decent host if a proper website is desired. My concern is more with what I perceive to be misleading advertising than with actually starting a website. I was going to just use them for name registration, but became intrigued with all the "extras" they appear to be offering. When I saw that at least one of these extras was bogus, I tried to call them on it, and received a lot of double-talk (as I see it) instead.

    Again, I would REALLY like to hear from somebody who has actually used this free "starter page" of theirs and can describe just what it is (since they seem to be contradicting themselves!). Can anybody please give me an actual URL of such a page (that has indeed been user-customized)? I would honestly very much appreciate that!

    Perhaps misleading advertising is so rampant on the 'net that none of you think it's significant. In this case, however, I am dealing with (I believe) one of the very largest name registrars. Professional behavior on their part is not too much to expect.

  9. #9
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    Maybe it should not be too much to expect that when paying customers are queued who have real customer support questions, their time should not be wasted waiting for the caller harassing customer support with self indulgent nonsense.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by dmaven
    a free starter page? Even a cheesy free 25MB site from regfly is better than that
    Should that be interpreted as a recommendation that SamuelG should call Registerfly?

  11. #11
    Hey Disgruntled, I have in fact been a technical support specialist in the past myself and know something about the dynamics involved.

    Unless you have something helpful, insightful, or even intelligent to contribute, I suggest you absent yourself from this thread.

  12. #12
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    SamuelG, when you've seen as many summers as I have, you realize that we only have so much time on the planet and therefore we have to choose our battles.

    Maybe you are 100% correct with your interpretation of this situation - maybe not.

    But, if this is that important to you... then more power to you. Sue them. Report them to the FTC and all the applicable governmental agencies. Start a class action suit on behalf of all GoDaddy customers (ever notice how the lawyers always win those class action suits instead of the customers. )

    Personally, I think it's better to send Bob Parsons a detailed email and tell him that you are not happy with this policy and that you are moving on to a different registrar because of it.

    I vote with my dollars... it's quicker and easier on the nerves. But I do tell the management why they are losing my business.
    You may delay, but time will not. --- Benjamin Franklin

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by samuelG
    Hey Disgruntled, I have in fact been a technical support specialist in the past myself and know something about the dynamics involved.

    Unless you have something helpful, insightful, or even intelligent to contribute, I suggest you absent yourself from this thread.
    What exactly was your insightful point, SamuelG? That you succeeded in misreading Godaddy's webpage, and are willing to hammer away at them until they stop admitting to being correct?
    You mention experience. As a medical technologist I too have experience in giving people correct information that differs from the desired answer, and being tested on whether a caller's persistence can make reality change. I'm also familiar with being aware that other people are waiting for service while a caller is playing that. I suspect the dynamic you have learned very well is how much pressure is on the tech support specialist to abstain from expressing some of his thoughts when he is stuck fielding a call like this.

  14. #14
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    As it turns out, as seen at
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...hreadid=422699
    JohnnyMartins is having a problem of the Godaddy parking page being displayed longer than it should be at http://www.joaomartins.ws
    So until that problem gets corrected, this could be an opportunity to find out what it looks like.

  15. #15
    Well, thanks, actually, Disgruntled, that's about as close as I've gotten to an answer to what sort of page they're offering looks like!
    Pretty awful, too, I must say! As for how user-customizable this page might be, I guess I'll never know, and by now I must admit I've grown bored with the whole thing. I was at my friend's looking at her Godaddy account, and from what I saw, their layout is a mess, and I FAR prefer namecheaps anyway, so it's all a moot point as far as I'm concerned now. I'm still puzzled at your assumption that I'm wrong in my criticism, however, since neither of us can really tell, no?
    I still think they are sleazy, or they would have quickly and succinctly answered my simple question.

  16. #16
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    Glad, to help SamuelG. I disagree about them not answering your question. It looked to me like they were answering, but fishing for an admission of wrong-doing was a fruitless diversion. I don't think they were doing wrong, but I must admit that I have had some practice in scavenging through their labyrinthine site. So maybe I'm seeing some patterns as "normal" by now, that another would not see that way. In the page about "all this FREE with your domain name" stuff, they have a pattern of describing some basic feature provided in the basic registry price, followed by "FREE at GoDaddy.com". This may be followed by a link to more advanced availble features that cost extra. The "FREE at GoDaddy.com" refers to the thing above it. Of course their description of the basic included feature is perhaps too glowing, but I think it is still close enough to being technically accuate to be considered puffery rather than deception. When asked, they did admit that the "professionally designed" page was professionally designed to have their own advertising. I still don't see this as unreasonable for just domain registration. I never used this feature or paid attention to it before, as I assume that to have pages that do what I want requires paying for hosting.
    I don't automatically side with Godaddy, and I can be critical of them if it looks like they're not doing what they should. However, sometimes a commitment to being the winner of an argument can divert from making good use of the answers that were provided, or it can divert from asking the relevant question. For example, "Is there a way I can see a sample of this professionally designed home on the Web?" could have been a good one to ask.

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