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.
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.
18.104.22.168 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 553 Attack detected. <
Giving up on 22.214.171.124.
As you can see, privatedns.com (126.96.36.199) is trying to forward the email to godaddy (secureserver.net, 188.8.131.52). 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:
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):
After some research I chose:
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.