GoDaddy user reviews : Great idea to sign up for GoDaddy?? The rights of a domain registrar?

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Hey NamePros,.

It's the first time I've asked here for legal advice, and I hope one of you law gurus can help me out!.

An unnamed domain registrar has recently had an update to their service, and with that update, they turned on automatic renewal, without notice. I had this feature turned off previously. Well, this "feature" was on without my knowledge until I got the PayPal email invoice indexing domain renewals of names that I wanted to drop.

So, needless to say I wasn't real thrilled with the idea of spending money I had planned on not spending!.

My question is: Should I have been a more savvy consumer, and checked after the update for little things like that, and just eat these renewals and know for next time? OR Is the registrar at fault due to the lack of information, and I'm entitled to a refund?.

Thanks in advance,.


Comments (16)

The registrar cannot decide on it's own to authorize payments without your consent...

Comment #1

That's what I was thinking.

Now I run into the issue of: How do I prove that auto-renewal was off before this update? (I know it was because names and such dropped and I had to check the account daily to see what I was renewing, and what I was dropping).

Also, if I did get refunded the monies they took for renewals, who gets the domains? Do I keep them? Does the company take them over? (Obviously I could really care less, I was going to let them go anyway, but I'm curious to know).

Finally, should I start emailing or calling the registrar, or wait until noon when I can get hold of our lawyer to call. (Like, how hard is it going to be to get the refund, I don't want to say something to screw the whole thing, but then again, I don't really want to have to get our lawyer involved in something so small).

Thanks for the post Mr. Berryhill, and any further information would be awesome.


Comment #2

It couldnt hurt to call them first and explain the situation, usually you get a notice that your domains will auto renew (well I do with godaddy).

Im sure with some simple calm conversation with the domain people this could be resolved, how much have you lost? is it worth the hassles of a lawyer??.

They could just turn around and say were sorry heres the refund, if you dont ask they cant tell you,.

Sometimes compaines just arent that bad...

Comment #3

The registrar's cash flow problems shouldn't be your problem and you deserve a refund. Complain to Paypal, they may go to bat for you. But if the registrar sent a notice about changing your settings, I doubt you'll be treated fairly. Post back about how it plays out.

I never turn auto-renew on for this very reason. If I get charged 30 days before expiry I know I was ripped even if I can't prove it. Knowing the truth helps even if it's expensive...

Comment #4

That's exactly it, I mean .. it wasn't too much, but enough that I'd like it back!.

I sent them an email simply explaining the situation and asked for a refund. We'll see what they say. I did call up Steve (I call him Mr. Law Man, and he said exactly what Mr. Berryhill said, "If there was no communication of this behavior ahead of time, then they need to reverse the charges").

I'll keep everyone updated .. hope for the best!..

Comment #5

Just remember that if you do decide to do a chargeback, make sure you transfer all of your names out of their first, otherwise they might just freeze your entire account until you pay the amount they think you owe them.....

Comment #6

"...otherwise they might just freeze your entire account until you pay the amount they think you owe them...".

I know many Registrars do that but I wonder if it is a violation of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement.

By freezing your account they are freezing ALL of your domains not just the one's you haven't paid the renewal fee they seek.

Therefore you cannot transfer out those domains that are currently paid for.

Is this allowed?.


I am highlighting some excerpts: "Registrars are prohibited from denying a domain name transfer request based on non-payment of fees for pending or future registration periods during the Auto-Renew Grace Period; " "...where a registrant has paid all past registration fees, but has not paid for renewal, and the domain name is in the Auto-Renew Grace Period, registrars are prohibited from denying a transfer request, as a registration in the Auto-Renew Grace Period is either a "pending or future" registration, during which time the Transfer Policy prohibits denial of transfers on the basis of non-payment." "Registrars are advised that under the Transfer Policy they may not deny a transfer request on the basis of non-payment of fees during the Auto-Renew Grace Period, unless the denial is based on non-payment for a past registration period. Registrars that impose policies or procedures on their registrants that are contrary to this determination are in violation of the Transfer Policy.".

"To ensure compliance with Registrar Accreditation Agreement requirements, all ICANN-accredited registrars are encouraged to review their domain name registration transfer processes and relevant domain name registration documents to make certain they comply with the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy. Specifically, registrars processes and documents should be consistent with the interpretations set forth in this advisory regarding Section A.3 of the Transfer Policy pertaining to the Auto-Renew Grace Period and the type of consent required to deny transfers.".

I believe freezing your account which denies you the ability to transfer out your domains which are current in payment is a violation of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement and ICANN policy.

What do you think?.


Comment #7

I would agree with you on that Patrick... downside is who is going to hold their feet to the fire if they do?.

Better to get out ahead of time to be safe... why risk the headache of them locking the whole account and having to fight with them... then when it comes down to doing a chargeback, none of your valued domains are in potential harms way...

Comment #8

Actually it went well, I just called them up, canceled the domains in question, and got a refund.

No hassle, nothing frozen, and I'm happy!.

They said I have up to 45 days to cancel the domains from the date of renewal...

Comment #9

Thanks FlameWalker! That's what I'm thinking .. they're a huge registrar, not a no-name kinda reseller thingy .. so I'm thinking that's gotta be it.

Thanks once again for everyone's replies!.


Comment #10

Chances are the registrar will tell ICANN, "this person violated our agreement.

By doing a chargeback that cost us money". ICANN might then think, "oh, he.

Or she should try to resolve it with you guys first, then.".

I'd hate to be in ICANN's shoes trying to balance conflicting interests in that.


Comment #11

You're entitled to a refund if you failed to set the domain to auto-renew and it was done on your behalf but without consent, and if you failed to pay the renewal fees the obvious action on the part of the registrar is to cancel your registration.

I understand this will be lost sale for the registrar but they have to comply.

Comment #12


You have 100 domains regged at XYZ Registrar.

XYZ renews 15 of your domains before expiration and refuses to cancel the renewals when you tell them you don't want the domains renewed.

(Remember XYZ has 45 days to get a refund from ICANN AFTER the.

Domain expiration date).

Whatever the reason, you can't or won't pay them for those renewed domains.

XYZ then locks (freeze) your account in effect locking ALL 100 of your domains NOT just the 20 in question.

This is the issue I am trying to address.

XYZdid not lose money on those other 80 domains and have no right to freeze them ...or deny access or transfer out.

I think this needs to be addressed and challenged.

In NYC here, if you have over a certain $ amount of Parking Tickets unpaid.

(I think it is or was $220), your car could be towed away and kept until you pay up.

But they will only tow away your car which received the Parking tickets.

They won't tow away any of your other cars, your motorcycle, mountain bike, etc.


Comment #13


I have to agree with you, if you will see the link that I've posted the registrar has registrar obligations to the domain holder more than it can be called rights.

The domain holder has rights...

Comment #14


Thanks for the link you posted.

My only concern is the date of May 2001 and that it doesn't address any policy on renewals as far as I can tell.

There have been revisions to the Agreement since then.

I think in 2004 and again recently to address the GoDaddy situation.

Registrars are required to ascertain that they have received payment or.

Will receive payment before registering a domain.

But in the case of renewals, the Registrar can request a refund within 45.

Days (or 42) after expiration, I believe.

Since a refund is available, there is no basis (in my opinion) to deny a Registrant's request to cancel a renewal if done before expiration date.

The fact is when domains expire Registrar's, for the most part, automatically renew the domains.

Whether they keep them, auction them off, request a refund ,etc. depends.

On each Registrar and perhaps on each domain.

Refusing to cancel renewals by request and freezing entire accounts MUST.

Be addressed and challenged.

Remember the expression United We Stand, Divided We Fall ?


Comment #15

If anything, it might need to be further clarified. While I do agree the registrar.

Shouldn't block transfers for other domain names not chargedback with, I also.

Agree with the registrar's right to block access and transfer for the one that.

Had the chargeback on.

Unfortunately many registrars find it convenient to block out access to a multi.

Domain account which includes one that it's customer disputed the charge for..

One thing they can do is put the domain in question in a "holding account" of.

Sorts and leave the others alone for the customer to access, although there's.

Also the risk s/he might chargeback the others as well.

Then again, in my experience and feedback from competitors, many of these.

Are eventually resolved before ICANN fully steps in...

Comment #16

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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