GoDaddy Auction Scam

About a month ago – I was looking for unique domains and I noticed that another company with a similar name as mine was ranking in Google but the website was no longer active. They had a “NOTICE: This domain name expired on 07/21/2012 and is pending renewal or deletion.” written on a GoDaddy page. So I figured – well I’m in luck! The domain is about to expire so I can simply buy it and point it to my company. A few days go buy and I go to the GoDaddy homepage and just for the hell of it decided to look to see who owns that domain. So I put in the domain and all of a sudden GoDaddy states that the domain is available at auction. So I didn’t want to loose it and figured this was the only way to ensure I get the domain – right? Auction??… So I paid the $4.99 to participate in the auction. Now keep in mind – you can normally purchase a domain on their site for about $7.99. So I paid the auction and then there was a minimum bid I had to put of $12.00. I was the only bidder. So I put it in and waited for the auction to end. On the day of the “auction” ending I got an email: “Congratulations! You have placed the winning bid for Item Number….” I was excited! So before reading the whole email I immediately got on the site – logged in – paid the $12.00 and on top of that had to pay for the domain for one year. Now keep in mind that the $12.00 goes to GoDaddy, just like the $4.99… So I go to my domains… and it’s not there. I decide to look at the email that was sent to me saying I won the auction and found the following fine print:

“Remember that in accordance with the legal agreement you acknowledged at the time of your bid (Universal Terms of Service, UTOS), the current registrant may still renew this domain. If the domain is renewed, we will notify you and any funds received will be refunded. If the registrant does not renew the domain, we will then process a change of registrant and move the domain into your account at within one week.”

SO… What is the point of the auction? I called up GoDaddy and the representative basically told me the same thing… I have to wait 2 weeks after I WON THE AUCTION to get the domain and during that 2 week term the previous owner has the right to take the domain back!!! So let’s get this straight… GoDaddy auctions of domains that they don’t even own yet and they force you to pay a premium just because someone else had the domain and then they have the balls to say – well we don’t actually own it and have to wait for the owner to say so. If I went to an auction – ANY auction and say I bid on a car and won the bid – at any auction I walk away with that car THAT DAY! I don’t have to wait for the previous owner to decide… on top of which – in any auction – the money goes to the previous owner not a third party company that simply decided to auction a domain that they don’t even own and then take the money for it.

I will give GoDaddy one thing.. they do cover their butts for anyone reading fine print – but how many of us spend time reading all the fine print on something under $50? On the GoDaddy Auctions page they write “Expired Domain Auctions – Place your bid on an expired domain name. If the auction ends and you’re the highest bidder, the domain’s yours.**” Why do they need all those fancy stars? Why not just write exactly what is going on…??? Well if you scroll further down you see the following: “** Original owner may still re-claim ownership for approximately 2 weeks.” So how is that an auction then? Why would you even auction off a domain you don’t yet have? I am interested to find out what happens to the domain after say 2 months of being expired… When I was looking at the domain I wanted to get – it had been over a month on the day the auction ended – so why 2 weeks? Even if there is 2 weeks – why hold an auction before the owner has reclaimed their domain? Now I also wonder as to what the point of Domain Backordering with GoDaddy? It’s just about the same price and again they hold the domain… Why then should people do either one? Why not just wait for it to expire – only question is – how long is that… because some domains expired but do you have to wait 2 months after the fact or more? Very frustrating and I urge anyone looking at buying expired domains to simply wait it out and not pump money into the GoDaddy machine.

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