Five reasons I'm sticking with GoDaddy

Summary:You may find that you want to move off GoDaddy as a knee-jerk reaction, but in the long term, you probably won't be buying yourself a whole lot more than extra hassle.

"Look, if you don't connect me to your supervisor, I'm going to tweet about you." I couldn't believe that came out of my mouth.

It got worse. "I...," and I strung out the "I" like it was a war cry. "I have more than 12 thousand followers. The more you make me wait, the more I'm going to tweet." Yes, I played the follower card. My shame has no bounds.

And yet, I embarrassed myself one step further. "Do you know I have a 78 Klout? Now, please connect me to a supervisor."

I will take to my grave the shame of threatening to tweet and klout a poor, defenseless customer support rep. But I was annoyed. The guy didn't seem to understand how domain name servers worked, and I (this time, the war cry was in my mind) was a Premium DNS customer. Not just a DNS customer. A premium DNS customer!

Not only was I willing to threaten Klout, I was a big spender. After all, I spent three bucks a month to have hosted DNS service and feel all "premium".

It's bad enough I threatened to open a can of tweet-ass on someone, just a few hours later, GoDaddy took a serious dive -- and it was their DNS infrastructure at fault.

I kicked them when they were down, and I didn't even know it.

Everyone who's ever dealt with, used, or heard of GoDaddy knows the company is something of a character. From their over-the-top commercials to their occasionally underwhelming customer support, GoDaddy is often the subject of derision in the tech world.

Worse -- after yesterday's almost complete meltdown -- GoDaddy has become the subject of even more harsh words.

Obviously, each GoDaddy customer has to make up his or her own mind about whether to stay with the company, or use this failure as a reason to bail.

Speaking personally, I've been a GoDaddy customer for years. I've got hundreds of domains registered with the company, and for the past eight or nine months, I've also been a customer of their Premium DNS service. I don't have any Web sites hosted with them.

As a domain customer, I had very few complaints. All my customer support calls were answered quickly, and to my satisfaction. But ever since I started hosting my domain name server with them (instead of running my own BIND server), GoDaddy has consistently annoyed me, even to the point where, on Monday, I posted the following Twitter monologue while bored on the phone.

Yes, I whined on Twitter while, at the very same time, threatening to tweet a-more. I'm not proud of that. Not proud at all.

tweet1
tweet2
tweet3

My support issue was one that was relatively simple (and, really, never should have occurred). I've been moving servers and when I went into the Premium DNS to change a server IP, the system wouldn't properly make the change. Rather than changing the IP, it would add the new one to the old one, and inconsistently return one or the other to the other domain name servers.

Since May, I've probably called into GoDaddy about 20 times, each time having to convince someone in their support organization to fix the problem -- a problem that, at first, they didn't think existed.

I won't lie to you. My frustration with GoDaddy was pretty high. But even with that level of frustration, I'm sticking with the company.

No, it's not because I feel I need to atone for bullying them with tweety-klouty bravado (although I do feel some chagrin). Instead, there are actual, good reasons to stick with the company.

Here are five of them:

1. 24/7 tech support: The company offers 24/7 technical support. No matter when you have a problem, you can call and talk with someone. And, with the exception of this last Monday morning when I called, there's always been someone on the phone within five minutes or so.

2. Free tech support: The company's technical support is free. There's never been an upcharge for technical support. Now, sure, every time you call and speak to a tech support person, there's always an attempt at a cross-sell, but that's usually after they've solved whatever problem you're dealing with.

3. American tech support: I can't emphasis this enough. As much as I respect support people who work in Asia and have to deal with entitled, nasty Americans all day, it's a pleasure -- as an American customer -- to talk to another American.

These are jobs we're keeping here in America and every company who doesn't offshore work -- especially when all their competitors do -- deserves our support.

4. General willingness to help: Oh, sure. Whenever you deal with Americans, especially younger ones, you have to deal with that particularly unique attitude they give off. It's the "I'm barely putting up with you and want you to know it" eye-roll, practiced with particular skill by teenagers, but over the phone.

Even so, I've always found everyone at GoDaddy willing to help...eventually. They may start off clueless sometimes, and you may need to push, prod, and persuade (but, please, whatever you do, don't threaten to tweet!) to get your way, but they generally are willing to do what's necessary to get you to the point where you're satisfied with the result.

5. Moving is a pain: Finally, don't discount the hassle of moving to another service. In most cases, the substitute solutions will have a smaller infrastructure than GoDaddy, and the potential of failure is always on the horizon.

Plus, the move itself could introduce all sorts of failures and challenges. Trust me on this. I've been moving a series of servers that get more than half a million visitors a year, and getting every last detail right is often difficult.

You may find that you want to move off GoDaddy as a knee-jerk reaction, but in the long term, you probably won't be buying yourself a whole lot more than extra hassle.

So, let's hope GoDaddy gets its groove back on. In the meantime, don't jump with haste. And if you ever find yourself about to threaten to tweet someone, know my shame. It's not a good feeling.

Topics: Networking

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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