Aftermath: GoDaddy says sorry, now go buy something

Aftermath: GoDaddy says sorry, now go buy something

Summary: Millions of GoDaddy websites went down this week, crippling many businesses. Trying to sell its customers more services in its apology email isn't going down well, either.


On September 10, a massive outage took a noticeable chunk of the internet's websites offline when host and registrar GoDaddy went down and took millions of businesses with it for a few hours.


Apology emails to customers went out yesterday - with a bittersweet offer of a 30% discount and pitch for customers to give more of their money to the lumbering, domain-gobbling behemoth.

It's not like GoDaddy doesn't already offer 30% discounts every month on its products and services - oh wait, they do.

We had an outage, let us sell you something

Apparently different classes of customers received different apology emails and offers of compensation or goodwill.

Some customers were credited for a month of service on their active website. Many others got a sales pitch to buy more domains at a reduced rate, and told they could access a 30% discount on GoDaddy products and services.

According to the fine print, the 'apology sale' expires in seven days, does not apply to GoDaddy's premium domains, and is only valid on new products or renewals.

In emails written to customers yesterday, GoDaddy CEO Scott Wagner wrote,

We let you down and we know it. We take our responsibilities — and the trust you place in us — very seriously. (...)

As a result of this disruption, you will receive 30% off any new product or renewal.* This offer will be available to you for the next 7 days.

Services that GoDaddy's paying customers lost for several hours on Monday included their websites, emails and other services.

Bad Daddy, or the worst Daddy?

Upon receiving the email, SEO Whistleblower's Stephen Chapman remarked,

NOTHING would have been better than this attempt to make a sale.


Offering to sell customers new products after causing customers to lose money isn't exactly going over very well now that people are realizing that GoDaddy seems to be turning customer harm into a sales opportunity.

GoDaddy is the largest ICANN registrar, with over 30 million domains (32% of the market share). 

While having the lion's share of registered domains on the internet, GoDaddy has arguably the darkest reputation.

When GoDaddy's DNS began to fail on Monday, forum talk on sites such as Reddit were quick to mention the company's more problematic reputation highlights which include once supporting SOPA/PIPA, its CEO shooting an elephant (an endangered animal) for sport, and inducting Danica Patrick (the most successful woman in American open-wheel racing) into its notorious "GoDaddy Girls" legacy of cheesecake T&A-heavy advertising.

But whether or not you agree with the reasons GoDaddy has cultural critics, it remains to be seen how effective a sales pitch apology is for customer relations.

Topics: Servers, Data Centers

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  • Transferred my domains to Hover, and I've never felt so clean.

    I always felt a little dirty after every encounter with GoDaddy. Once I found a registrar with some class I jumped, and every time I deal with Hover I wonder why I waited so long to Go [from] Daddy!
  • why would anyone want to pay double?

    are you trying to advertise your site? how is hover better than, say, 1&1? the later offers great, proven service at half the price of hover
    • I have no connection to Hove in any way other than as a client.

      I chose them for several reasons. First, they sponsor several of my favorite podcasts. If they're going to support work I enjoy and appreciate, I'll support them. Second, their site is well-designed and effective. They had specific instructions for unlocking domains for all the major registrars, so I knew exactly what I had to do at GD. Third, if I'd have asked, they'd have moved my domains for me, but I preferred to do it myself. Finally, when I did have a small problem, getting it resolved was about as easy as possible. I've done technical support long enough to recognize quality when I experience it, and the Hover guy was very good.

      I'm not saying anyone else is bad, other than Go Daddy, I'm simply saying that Hover are superb-at least by my standards. Your mileage may very.
  • No such thing as bad publicity

    The move by GoDaddy is kind of crass, but what would we expect? They've not only demonstrated that they'll stoop to anything to make a buck, they've also demonstrated that it works.

    My favorite was the outfit that sent me an email after I cancelled saying, "We want you back!" and offering me 50% off on the service I had just cancelled. Hell, if I had known that, I would have cancelled five minutes after signing up.
    Robert Hahn
  • come on...

    come on... they offer a 30% discount *if* you want to buy something to say sorry... and you act like that is the end of the world...

    I have 2 websites run through them and they gave me a free month on each.
  • GoDaddy, the king of upsell.

    Ah yes - GoDaddy, the king of upsell. Not surprised.
  • E*Trade

    I just remembered this: I attended a conference about ten years ago in which the CTO of e*Trade admitted that a day-long outage was the best thing that had ever happened to them. She showed a short video of clips from all the major news networks, every single one of them covering the horrible happenings at e*Trade.

    Well, that was back in the days when hardly anyone had ever heard of e*Trade. But starting the next day, the new accounts just started rolling in. And they never stopped.
    Robert Hahn
  • My experience with GoDaddy

    has been much less than pleasant to say the least. In my experience, they're conniving crooks. Their business model even has a con artist feel to it. I'd never give them another penny out of my pocket again. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this fiasco was actually planned to promote themselves or monetize on others' losses. Screw GoDaddy.