“You’re in Good Hands with…” GoDaddy?

By now we’ve all seen those All State commercials where the bruised-up “Mayhem Guy” is trying to scare us into buying our car insurance at a slightly higher premium – all in the name of common sense.

But that’s nothing compared to transferring your domain name from one registrar to another.  Nothing.

My penultimate firing came more than three years ago.  Nothing new.  Been there, done that.  Yet unlike four previous “pink slips,” this one was handed to me by a company who eight days earlier (June 17, 2008) had purchased my name – www.thortolo.com – as a domain.

No worries.  Probably just a coincidence.  I mean, haven’t you all met any number of Thors over the years?

But seriously (and amazingly), I would remain oblivious to all of this for two years.  On April 9, 2010 – the day I tried to claim this domain name through what I was told by GoDaddy is a simple process – I learned “my” name belonged to a former employer who relinquished it only after my repeated, increasingly agitated requests.

For 16 more months, Salem’s corporate address in southern California remained my domain’s contact info – due to both my naïveté and dumb indifference.  All that changed in late August of this year when I knew I’d be registering for Web Presence.

By golly, I was going to hit the ground running and seamlessly switch the contact info from theirs to mine.  Oh, but changing to my contact info wasn’t enough.  No, I had to privatize it out of appropriate paranoia for a token fee of $80.74, thank you very much.  Non-refundable, no less.

Of course our professor, Kathy Gill, made clear her distaste for GoDaddy as a WordPress blog host – yet she made crystal clear it was OK to keep GoDaddy as a domain registrar even as I started the process of transferring my host site over to FatCow.  But why would I listen?

On October 14, I was a man living large.  I was on a mission to make the sweeping change and even de-privatize my contact information. Bye-bye paranoia and Hello Brave New World – at a reasonable cost of the non-refundable $80.74.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well, GoDaddy.

One month ago today, GoDaddy’s otherwise competent technology mistakenly took the de-privatizing of my contact info as the “trigger date” for an industry-standard 60-day window during which time no domain transfer can take place.  (Of course, the official transfer date was August 26 – not October 17 – meaning the 60-day window was a week from closing.)

So eight days later on October 25, I knew I had another eight days to get ready for our next class.  But six of those days were spent sweating out GoDaddy’s inability to right their wrong and free up my name for the transfer to FatCow.  Appropriately enough, they apologized on Halloween.

Somehow this bizarre story gets even better, because the GoDaddy manager with whom I spoke felt so bad about my worrying whether “my name” would be mine in time for our project’s due date, he offered to refund my “lost” privacy fee of $80.74 if I were willing to transfer back one day.

I said, “Sure.”  After all, if it weren’t for Kathy’s insistence we use a host site other than GoDaddy, I’d be 80 dollars and 74 cents lighter in the wallet.  And, as you know, times are tough.

Well, maybe not as tough as transferring domains from GoDaddy.


About Thor Tolo

Thor came to Seattle in 2004 after seven years anchoring sports and hosting an evening talk show once honored as Pennsylvania’s best at the world’s first radio station KDKA. He covered his fourth Super Bowl as host of "Live From Seattle" before anchoring news for Seattle's KOMO Newsradio. Thor enjoyed an Emmy award winning TV career in Cleveland before hosting mornings on Twin Cities sports station KFAN - the flagship station of the Minnesota Vikings Radio Network he anchored in the mid-1990s. Thor lives in Belltown and is pursuing his Master of Communication in Digital Media (exp. 2012) at the University of Washington.

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