GoDaddy Hijacked My Domain! GoDaddy Search Steals Domains

Well, hindsight is 20/20. I debated filing a complaint with ICANN, but I’ve got enough headaches already. In retrospect, the story is somewhat amusing. I hope this post helps at least one other person.

Here’s the story: it’s July 5th and I’m at a pool party with a bunch of people. Now I own a BUNCH of domains – not quite a ton – but a bunch. I’m in the pool with a guy who owns 5x more than me. He’s got more on his plate than he can handle. He says something to the effect of, “hey, I noticed there are a lot of people creating FaceBook profiles for their dogs. We should create a FaceBook.com for dogs.”

“Awesome idea!” I said. Admittedly, I don’t know much about FaceBook, but I do live with a bunch of dogs.

I’m up bright and early the next day and I start looking at domain names (yes, before doing any other research….) and I’m SEARCHING THE DOMAINS THROUGH GODADDY.COM domain search. I have hosting accounts with GoDaddy, 1and1, DigitalCityHosting, ENOM and DomainWong. And Yahoo (I always forget that one).

Anyway, I search “PawBook.com” through GoDaddy and it says it’s available. I mulled it over for about 30 seconds and decided to register it with my 1and1 account as I felt more comfortable installing ELGG into 1and1 than GoDaddy. I log into my 1and1 account, search the domain (and it’s available) and go through the registration process SUCCESSFULLY.

I then went on a jog contemplating how to go about setting up PawBook.com. I came back from a nice run and got all the normal emails about my new domain and the charges. I went to my control panel and it said it was setting it up.

To make a long story short – it got registered PRIVATELY (domains by proxy) via GoDaddy minutes before I SUCCESSFULLY registered it at 1and1.

Of course, after a little more due diligence, I found www.fuzzster.com (which I don’t like) and www.myDogSpace.com (which I do like) which are basically the same idea. In the long run, I would’ve abandoned the project anyway, but it still speaks volumes about GoDaddy. Needless to say, I’m phasing out my GoDaddy hosting and domains.

WiseMan Say, “Don’t GoDaddy.”

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10 comments to GoDaddy Hijacked My Domain! GoDaddy Search Steals Domains

  • Ben

    how’s this: I had domains registered with a registrant who was charging ever increasing and ridiculous fees for things that others do for free: email, url redirects etc. also, renewal fees were a hefty £12..
    The other services mentioned were only £10 per domain per service but mounted up as I had about 50 domains.

    So, I saw GoDaddy offering all these services for free, with a tiny transfer fee (plus 1 year free!). so I transferred all of my domains to GoDaddy. So far so good, except 5 of them did not transfer, they were stuck at “Transfer Blocked by Current Registrar” status. I contacted my Bad Old registrar who apologised and promised to release them.

    I then neglected the whole deal for a few months, erroneously (and lazily) presuming that all would go through. next time I checked, my 5 stuck domains had not been transferred, had passed their renewal date, and were now registered privately through “Domians By Proxy” (sound familiar?)

    The best bit is this though: I sent and outraged email to GoDaddy saying I’d initiated the transfer to them, resolved all problems, and yet lost the domains.
    They did nto reply, but the next day following my email, magically, they were all back registered in my name! with GoDaddy!

    So the key is: outraged email.

    I think GoDaddy pull this sh*t, but don’t want to attract publicity, so if you call them on it, they fold very quickly.

  • Kay

    Same shit happened to me.. my domain name was just hijacked by http://instantdomainsearch.com/ today.. damn… :(

    http://www.cleeo.com

  • Godaddy STEALS DOMAINS
    I HAVE COMPLETED REGISTRATIONS SUCESSFULLY AND EVEN USED WHOIS DAYS LATER AND IT WAS STILL REGISTERED TO ME!
    BUT THEN
    ONE DAY I LOGIN TO GODADDY AND ITS GONE FROM MY LIST.
    I CHECK THE WHOIS AND CONFIRM THAT THEY HAVE EVEN BACKDATED THE ENTRY TO A DATE BEFORE MY REGISTRATION.
    EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS PROVIDED THREE DIFFERENT ”STORIES” TO EXPLAIN WHY. THE CONFILCTING ”STORIES” ONLY CONFIRMED THE COVER UP….
    also they keep your names after they expire :(
    use the search box for idea harvesting and are fucking liars and spies
    for god sake remember where the internet came from ….
    it wasn’t so long ago

  • Ron

    GoDaddy just took my domain. I used their bulk search, and found a few names. I decided to register one available domain through 1 and 1 – and suddenly, it was taken. And guess by who?

    By Wild West Domains. Check their address. It is the exact same address in Scottsdale, AZ. It is an arm of GoDaddy.

    I will never search names on GoDaddy ever again. No one does this manually. I know they had computer software that logged on to Google Adwords, saw the potential traffic, and grabbed it.

    Its best to do all of your homework first, and save the domain check and registration for the very last thing you do.

  • I actually had an account with go daddy. I used their domain name backorder service and paid for it for yeears. When my domain originaly was available a reseller bought it and put spam ads on the site. After the traffic wore down to nothing they let the renewal go. So i thought that woudl be my chance to finally get the name i wanted. Go daddy sends me an email saying they are in teh process of securing my name for me. They did secure it however for themselves. Then they sent me an email stating it was going to be placed in go daddy auctions and I had to bid for it. So not only did i pay for domain backordering and monitoring, now I have to pay an addional auction fee to join auctions, bid on my domain and then still pay the freaking domain registration fee on top of that. I cant believe how bad go daddy has screwed me on this. Why pay for backordering if they make your domain available to anyone at an auction?? I am so disgusted with the way they have handled this domain for me.

  • eric

    Yep, i just been idea hijacked by godaddy. Again. I had always suspected it, but left it to coincidence. Not this time. Anyways, the domain is now registered to some outfit in the UK “billyb0y.com”. and of course it’s available for backorder.
    So can anyone recommend an honest (ha!) place to go checkout domain names pls?
    tks.

  • Wow! This was exactly what I suspected happened to me, and now you have somewhat confirmed it. I’m guessing they want you to make them an offer for the domain. Annoyed is all I have to say. And the best thing to do, is not offer them a thing. Wait until it expires and register the domain using a different service provider.

  • Pam

    OK, I just got screwed from godaddy too—searched for my domain–it’s available, but at a premium $3k price per year–but I go to register and POOF it was gone. What an f’ing coincidence….where can we go, if anywhere, to officially fille a complaint, cuz I am REALLY ticked off!!!

  • Chris

    Hey, I can confirm that godaddy hijacks the names, I search for two names both of which I wanted to register to my account. But, had to board a plane, so I waited to the next morning to register the two names and both where gone. So, I didn’t know where or how it was grabbed. I though spyware on my phone?? then I’ve found several posting like this. Also, godaddy keeps your domains after they expire and up charges you a bunch of money if you want them back.

    Wow, they sure know how to make money off people that don’t know much about the internet. Why don’t they just change there search to say the name is being taken by us right now. And thank for your idea, you can now by it for 100x ‘s the amount.

  • CanWebGuy

    Godaddy are total or complicit scammers. Sadly no internet registry agency seem either willing to capable of taking them on.

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