Go Daddy: King of Cyber Squatting?

Last month, Go Daddy decided to try and hit us for $180 to reregister two domains that we had let lapse for several weeks. Cybersquatting at its best if you ask me, considering the usual price for registering a dot com domain at Go Daddy is $9.99.

According to the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, cybersquatting, on a basic level, is using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit.

From the ACPA report to congress (PDF):

Registration by another person as a domain name for the purposes of profiting from the sale or transfer of the domain name

The moral of this story; pay on time and don’t let them squat your name.

Here’s what happened.

We’ve got two kids, so we thought we’d get a domain name for each. The plan was not to do anything with them until our little people are old enough to choose whether they wanted to use them.

Originally we paid Go Daddy their standard domain name registration fee (about 8 bucks a pop) and let the domains just sit.

In all fairness, when the renewal came up this year, Go Daddy sent us a reminder. Life got in the way, we forgot, no big drama.

They give you a 30 day grace period.

After the grace period had expired (by a few days), we logged into Go Daddy and tried to renew the domains – but it wasn’t an available option. We could not repurchase them, because the domain names were already in use.

According to Whois, we were listed as the domain owners.

So we contacted Go Daddy support with the ‘what gives’ question.

Their reply was that the domain names were in a 30 day redemption period and “your [credit] card will be charged 90.19(USD) per domain” to renew.

A 941% premium.

Click here if you want to read the entire e-mail.

While we admit we were remiss in not registering on time, it just doesn’t seem right.

Who would want the domain names of our children except those wanting to make a buck on it?

We ended up forgoing the original domain names and purchased new domains (that the kids chose) at $10 a year.

It just seems that the fair thing would be to put the names back into the pool of available domain names. It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the ‘redemption period.’

Does that make Go Daddy the king of cybersquatters? It ain’t valuable until someone wants it.

Lesson: Don’t let your domain name expire.

PS. Go Daddy hosts this blog; wish us luck. ;)

Recent and Related posts on the Web about Go Daddy:

From Tom Espiner, ZD Net: Caught in the Go Daddy Red Tape

From Prof. Marc Randazza: Is Godaddy a Mass Cybersqatter?

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  9. Jay says:

    I had the same issue with GoDaddy. I filed a Rip-Off Report and reported them to the Better Business Bureau. This is straight up extortion. Nothing else.

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