Customer Service – GoDaddy Style

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed recently, but my blog (and a few other websites I have on the same server) has been running slowly…so I decided to change from a virtual dedicated server (VDS) to my own dedicated server with the same hosting company. The company,, prides itself on providing ‘excellent customer service‘ but I think they are confused as to what the word ‘excellent’ means.

I’ve been using Godaddy as a domain registrar for more then 3 years and as the host to my VDS for a little over a year without any real problems…other than some speed issues. After seeing my blog running slowly, I took a look at the statistics and decided that it made sense to upgrade to my very own dedicated server. The cost of the dedicated server is roughly twice the VDS, but I figured it would be worth the money since I’d have my own server with only my websites loading it…plus I’d have some bragging rights with some of my friends 🙂

I placed the order for the dedicated server and expected the migration from the VDS to the dedicated machine to be painless both were using Plesk 8.x and I could take advantage of the Migration Manager to move all of my websites over to the new server. If everything had been painless I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.

After the new server had been setup (12 hours later) and I was able to login, I started the Plesk Migration Manager only to find that I didn’t have the necessary permissions on my old virtual server to run the migration. I decided to contact the the company’s technical support group for help. Big mistake.

After surfing over to their Tech Support page, I realize that they don’t provide a toll-free number for their clients. This isn’t that big of an issue for me, but should have been a sign of things to come. (Note to Godaddy – Toll-Free #’s are CHEAP these days). After calling the long-distance number I waited for about 15 minutes (even though the automated attendant told me that it would only be six minutes) before anyone came on the line. Once connected, to a helpdesk representative, I was immediately disconnected before I was able to say ‘hello’. Strike one.

After the connection was lost, I decided to email their support group using the email provided on their website. I put together a nicely worded email with my account # and pertinent information and then stepped away from the computer for a few hours to do a few other things around the house. After approximately 4 hours, I checked my email and found a response from Goaddy Tech Support. Good News? Nope. The email was an automated response saying that they had received my email query and that it had been assigned a help desk ticket #. 4 hours to get a ‘thanks for your email’. At this point, I decide to relax and hope to have a response the following morning from the tech support team. The next morning I check my email and see nothing from Godaddy Tech Support. 14 hours have passed with no response. Strike two.

At this point, I decide that perhaps there are other, more important issues affecting GoDaddy clients and my issue may not be considered ‘critical’ to them. If that was the case, fair enough…but an email to state that would have helped calm my rising annoyance with them.

So…I started to brush off my old Unix skills and start playing around my old VDS to change permissions to allow me to run the migration. After a few hours of trying to remember VI and how to change passwords and permissions and how to change user groups and other forgotten Unix commands, I finally figured out what needed to be done to allow me to run the migration manager and began to migrate my data to the new server.

The final straw for me (and strike for Godaddy) came at 9:33PM on March 12 2007….32 hours after I tried to contact Godaddy Tech Support. I received an email from their tech support group asking for root access to my VDS so that they could ‘log-on to the server and troubleshoot the issue’. Now, if this had been their response after a few hours, I’d be happy…but after 32 hours…I wasn’t happy. Strike three.

I am now looking for another dedicated server (I think I’m going to go with Superb Servers). I’ve looked at A-Plus, OLM, Superb Servers and a few others…if anyone has any other ideas, let me know.

What could Godaddy have done differently? I have a few suggestions:

  1. Provide a toll-free number. I know this is petty, but some people really don’t want to (or can’t) use their own dime to get help from a tech support group.
  2. Answer the call within the timeframe that is provided by the automated attendant. If you say it will be ‘six minutes’ then answer the phone within that timeframe.
  3. Respond quicker than 32 hours. This is a no-brainer.
  4. Update client on status regularly. If my issue was a non-critical issue and Godaddy had many more critical customer issues in front of me, a simple email (or phone call) stating this would have made me less anxious.
  5. Provide Self-Help guides – An FAQ or other self-help system at Godaddy might have helped. They do have FAQ’s, but none that provide detailed outlines like I needed to solve this problem.

[tags] Bad Customer Service,, Poor Service [/tags]

8 responses to “Customer Service – GoDaddy Style”

  1. WL Blakeshaw Avatar
    WL Blakeshaw

    What about 1&1 ( They seem to think they’re head and shoulders above GoDaddy and Yahoo. Their ads in Computer Shopper are a little to prim for me, though. Prim?

  2. Eric Brown Avatar

    Hey WL. Nice to see you around. I’ve used 1&1 before and wasn’t impressed. Service was not great although the price was good.

    I’ve gone with SuperbServers…..great prices and so far great service.

  3. Mark Radoff Avatar
    Mark Radoff

    Funny, I’m having the exact same problem now – I can’t get migration manager to work. Any tips?

  4. Eric Brown Avatar

    Gosh…I already forgot what it was that I did.

    I *think* that I had to add my user on the Godaddy system to the appropriate group in order to have permissions to do the migration. I *think* I did the steps listed on this page:

  5. knowlengr Avatar

    Another Godaddy FAQ is this one:

    A colleague is in the middle of working through this.

    RE Godaddy Service Quality
    BTW, an 800# for a call center is not priced the same as one for a residential line.
    I've had mixed results with Godaddy service quality (including some raised-voice, escalated calls), but I find that they in the top tier within their price range. That said, the standards for "consumer" webhosting are not high. You don't have to look hard to find a web host with no FAQ system at all. As with any organization, their call center suffers spikes, and some reps are better than others at fielding specific types of problems. It's a challenging environment; consider the diversity of products and offerings. Much smaller firms where you can get the principals on the phone are better, but those folks burn out and have to delegate. It's a fascinating CRM / technology / knowledge management problem, but not when you're the use case.

  6. hoster Avatar

    GoDaddy, or any other host, is not your personal server administrator. Sure, GD could have been more on the ball, but the task at hand was your responsibility. I charge $80 – $120/hr to do what GD did and you are whining over a toll call. If you are unable to manage a server that is your responsibility to manage, you will have to deal with that.

  7. ericbrown Avatar

    thanks for stopping by hoster.

    So you are saying that I shouldn't expect to receive the service that Godaddy promised me? Instead, I should be willing to pay someone like you to handle it for me?

    I don't think so. I paid for a service…service that was touted as 'excellent' and it wasn't. I'm not “whining”…I'm just describing the poor service I received.

    I'm glad you are able to make $80 to $120 for your services. Hope your business is going well.

  8. Linda Lee Avatar

    The lack of toll free number really irritates me.
    I am a website and blog designer so I am always having to call them up for clients for one thing or another and it costs me money. Plus I feel like godaddy nickels and dimes people to death.
    They do have reliable hosting though, so that is good, and once you get through to them, they are very helpful.
    I do wish they would switch control panels to Cpanel, so much clearer and easier to navigate.