Frank's Random Wanderings

GoDaddy sucks, and a new web host

I’d been with godaddy.com for a number of years, and back in their day they were decent. But it seems that Bob Parsons became more interested in chasing women and fast cars than running his business, and his company has slipped. A lot.

Recently I’d had a number of different folks complain they could no longer send me emails – their emails were being bounced back.  I noticed this started happening at around the same time godaddy did a minor upgrade on their webmail program. I also noticed that I stopped receiving spam in my spam folder. That’s strange – if the spam’s not making it to the spam folder, then what magical thing is stopping it? I figured that godaddy must have an email pre-filter of some sort that’s blocking spam, and this pre-filter is also blocking some legitimate emails. So I spoke to godaddy tech support, and they confirmed the existence of this prefilter. Over a period of several days, here’s the comedy that followed.

I asked them to turn off that filter for my account:

Please turn off this filtering. I can’t handle it. I cannot afford to have good customer emails rejected. I am happy enough to sift through spam, but I absolutely cannot afford to have emails rejected.

Their response:

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to turn off the server side email filters.

That’s a bad sign! They can’t turn off something they themselves turned on??  They went on to suggest they might be able to allow emails through on a per-IP basis. This sucks because it means emails can still be rejected until they’re explicitly added to the whitelist, and any new customer emailing for the first time won’t be on the whitelist. But still….  They suggested I forward them the bounced-back emails. In a fit of optimism I did so, telling them:

I’ve managed to get a couple of people to forward me, to a gmail account I set up for this purpose, the bounce emails they receive when they email me. I had one of them send me nothing more than an email that said “test”. Even that bounced back. I will forward those bounce emails to you from my gmail account, so please look for them; they’ll be from <deleted>@gmail.com

Godaddy’s informed response:

This ticket does not appear to have any attachments included with it.

Do they even read the emails I send them? Apparently the difference between an attachment, and a complete forwarded email, is too subtle for the super-geniuses at godaddy. But they haven’t succeeded at blowing me off yet. With persistence I managed to get one of those bounced-back emails to godaddy.  Here’s what that bounce looked like:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at cl-t019-030cl.privatedns.com.
I’m afraid I wasn’t able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I’ve given up. Sorry it didn’t work out.

64.202.166.12 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 553 Attack detected. <
http://unblock.secureserver.net/?ip=72.55.133.70>
Giving up on 64.202.166.12.

As you can see, privatedns.com (72.55.133.70) is trying to forward the email to godaddy (secureserver.net, 64.202.166.12). Godaddy is responding saying it’s under attack and rejecting the email (remember: it’s just a one-word email: “test” ). Privatedns.com is forced to give up, but kindly sends us this email to tell us what happened.

What was godaddy’s highly skilled tech support response to this?

The message you have provided us with is not being bounced from Go Daddy’s email servers. The message is being bounced by privatedns.com email servers. You will need to contact this email provider for further assistance to your issue.

Aaargh! At this point I’m ready to open the book of 4-letter words. These people are absolutely clueless. I can just imagine the job interview process at Godaddy these days.

“Please spell your name.”

“J – O – H – N”

“Congratulations! You’re hired. You start in our tech support group on Monday. Please remember to wear shoes.”

It’s time to concede defeat. I’ve had flies buzzing around my house with more intelligence than that. GoDaddy will not receive any more money from me, and I need to find a new hosting provider.

Now the trick with finding a good host is to avoid all of those “top 10 hosts” websites. There are lots of those sites, and they’re paysites – you get to be #1 just by writing a cheque. Finding independent reviews is tricky. This is a decent reviews site:

www.webhostingreviews.com

It seems a bit slow to update though. Next, this is a great forum where people discuss their experiences with different hosts (and other related topics):

www.webhostingtalk.com

After some research I chose:

www.hawkhost.com

I’ve been pretty happy with hawkhost so far. Much faster than godaddy, much more flexible, much easier to use admin tools, and similar pricing (actually, it’s better pricing, because I’m getting more for the same price). Changing a web host takes a bit of time and effort, but sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Adios Bob.

21 thoughts on “GoDaddy sucks, and a new web host

  1. frank Post author

    That’s pretty funny. You’d think they’d have advanced past the 1990’s by now. Maybe they’re too distracted getting ready for their IPO to care.

  2. pat100

    GoDaddy are still bouncing emails using serverside filter in 2014. As my emails go to Gmail and are then forwarded to Godaddy I can see the bounces and the bounced email.
    This means that for every false positive, two new messages are created (the bounce notification and the auto-forward of that) which makes GoDaddy a spammer!
    They just bounced one from PayPal!

    I found this old thread by googling and added to it as I thought others might do likewise.

  3. Boody

    Don’t necessarily go for the alstuobe cheapest. You’ll have a lot of trouble with the companies as they offer terrible support. I’d recommend getting a domain at NameCheap.com ($ 7.98 a year with the coupon YAFFASPECIAL) They’re cheap, but still offer great support.For hosting, just visit WebHostingTalk.com and look for a cheap host. (Read some reviews on them, first!) If you don’t need a lot of space (less than 50, or even 100 MB) you could probably get hosting for $ 0.99/month.

  4. Sorin

    I use hawkhost too, and they are GREAT!
    The people I asked said that GoDaddy is good only for domain names.

  5. frank Post author

    GoDaddy is in the news again this week. Bob Parsons went on vacation in Zimbabwe, and shot (and killed) an elephant. He proudly posted a video of himself with a big grin standing beside this dead elephant. From reports I’ve seen from other web hosting companies, they’re seeing a real uptick due to people leaving GoDaddy in outrage.

  6. Dominic Grieg

    “Sorry to hear about your godaddy pain. I guess about the only (cold) comfort is, you’re certainly not alone.” – Frank

    And the two of you were not alone. And I think we have the case which were worse than the others. How much have you spent for hosting that you haven’t seen the results? Ouch!

  7. Kirk

    Seriously advice against anyone signing up for a godday account!!!!!!! Hard to imagine that any web hosting service could be worse. Poor, slow and confusing admin interface! Absolutely useless customer support! Problematic emails! These are just a few of problems I have encountered in my relatively short time using this service. Luckily for me my site is still in the setup and testing phase so changing to a different provider will not cause too much of a problem.

  8. david

    Wow this really suck I really havent run into any problems yet I guess I’ve been lucky. Atleaset now I have the heads up so when things do start happening thanks..

  9. Domain Host

    I like having full controle over my domain and the hosting I can definatly feel your payne. I chose one that offered me as much controle as i could find.

  10. Endless Racing

    I wish i found this review before!

    I changed hosting with a company as they were absolutely useless. I was recommended GoDaddy by my new computer guy. All done with GoDaddy now and emails keep bouncing (sometimes they do, sometimes they dont).

    I had a customer this morning email me and I replied. He then couldnt reply to my email and it bounced (even though this customer could originally email me!).

    Been on to godaddy but they are slow and at the moment its not fixed and possibly losing me business!

    Looking to transfer over and will look at the posts above and go and look at those sites!

    Very frustrating

  11. frank Post author

    Good for you for trying. I couldn’t close my godaddy account either. All I could do was turn off the payment info, so that it cannot renew, and with a bit of luck will automatically close one day due to non-payment.

  12. Jesse

    I transfered my one domain name to Pairnic (which I really like – clean but powerful user interface, free URL/email forwarding, free WHOIS Privacy, etc) and now I’m trying to close my account with Godaddy – but they absolutely refuse so far (after 5 emails each way). I’ll probably try sending them written demands to close my account next. For some odd reason they just won’t close out the account. And as long as the account is open, (and maybe even after its closed) not only I but my children and their children forever (“Heirs”) are bound not only by the current GoDaddy User Agreement — but by any future User Agreement that godaddy may come up with in the future!

    I strongly advise against signing up with GoDaddy – if you ever want to close your account you will wish you’d never signed up.

    The reason I wish to close my account is severalfold – one is to make sure I don’t get more notices from them. Another is so there’s no chance of somebody in the next 20 years hacking into my account and signing up for stuff in my name. (Yes, I removed all payment methods. But still.) Another reason is this: Let’s say GoDaddy decided to change their User Agreement so that accounts with no services activated would be charged $5 a year (or even a month) — and let’s say I had a different email address then, I’d still be bound by the user agreement, and they could start charging up this debt against me and I’d never know it!

    When I asked for my account to be closed, they say that they can’t delete my information for legal reasons – but (and I’ve told them this over and over to no avail) I’m not asking them to delete all my information – just close/disable/deactivate my account, but they still refuse!

    And besides, any reputable company is willing to close an account. It happens all the time.

    But with GoDaddy, it’s a lifetime-multigenerational bondage with evil, I guess.

  13. detoxtech

    i have several websites hosted at Godaddy and i am pretty much satisfied with this domain name registrar. it is also very easy to get coupon codes for Godaddy.

  14. brustvergrößerung

    You got the point in the first sentence “But it seems that Bob Parsons became more interested in chasing women and fast cars than running his business” he has enough money to waste his time, the business is the last for him, no matter who suffer.

  15. MMtJoe

    Goddady is great for domains crappy for hosting. Try Server Intellect great support with real techs. You can ready all the bad rap on nodaddy.com if you want a funny read.

  16. frank Post author

    Sorry to hear about your godaddy pain. I guess about the only (cold) comfort is, you’re certainly not alone.

  17. Julie

    I have spent 8 weeks trying to straighten out godaddy hosting issues. I have been a webmaster since 1993 and nothing has been more confusing than this. Now, they have lost 5 blog posts representing 20 hours worth of work and they refuse to do anything about it. Thanks for the recommendation on Hawkhost. Will check them out now. I am done with godaddy.

  18. frank

    I must confess hawkhost has really been quite good. Their webadmin tools are vastly easier to use than the godaddy stuff. Their servers are quite noticeably faster. My site loads a lot quicker now. And their support is great; if you have any questions, they get back to you fast. I’m really enjoying it.

  19. Jas

    Ouch, glad you are using Hawkhost now, I just signed up on them last night and they’re great, hopefully more godaddy clients will see this and switch over 🙂

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