I had 30+ domains with GoDaddy. I purchased all the domain extension on a given domain that I could to insure the branding of my company. On one, there was one missing extension, a dot com. I received an email from both DomainsbyProxy and GoDaddy informing me that the missing extension was available on their action. There were no bidders.
The auction was to expire on a certain date. I was strongly advised by three customer service reps I contacted to bid on the domain name. I was told it was an expired domain.
I had expressed reluctance to bid, and preferred to wait until the domain expired and then buy it when it was freed up, using a back up order process I had used on another domain name. But GoDaddy sales personnel strongly advised me not to take that approach and to bid on the auction. I was assumed without exception that if I bid and won it was certain to be mine. I has to pay a fee to qualify to bid, which I did.
Close to the very end of the auction, I place one bid as the sole bidder, approximately for $12.00. I received a GoDaddy confirmation that I won the domain name and they charged my credit card the $12.00 and notified me that it would take a day or so for it to show up in my list of domains.
Two days later, I received an email from GoDaddy notifying me that they issued me a refund for the domain name, only. They removed it from my account. They notified me that the person who defaulted in the renewal had exercised his option of repurchasing it out of default.
The same domain name was re-listed by GoDaddy for $10,000. Concurrently, I began receiving daily emails directly from the domain owner offering it to me for the price of $10,000.
I was told by GoDaddy that GoDaddy puts out domains which are not actually free to be sold but are in pending default by the owner, and that the owners have the right to renew it in default at any time, even after the purchase of it on a GoDaddy auction.
Further, GoDaddy disclosed that the domain owner can see if a bid was placed, and by whom. Further, GoDaddy auctions told me that they represent the seller, and that they are not representing the interests of the buyer or existing clients. I stated that they are misrepresenting the offerings and that they are in a conflict of interest position. They claimed that they are not in a conflict of interest because they are in a separate division within the company.
At no time during at least 5 telephone calls was I permitted to speak to anyone directly in Auctions. The front line sales people play the middle person communicator. The auction department does not accept telephone calls from anyone on the bidding/buying end. And GoDaddy sales refuses to transfer the call to even a supervisor.
They repeat that they have done nothing illegal, that they have the legal right to conduct their business as they have.
This must be stopped. Because I was lured by GoDaddy into making a $12.00 bid instead of waiting another day for the expired domain name to revert to the domain pool, I now will never be able to acquire the major rest of domain suite for my on line web business. I am not able or willing to pay $10,000 so that GoDaddy can reap a huge commission from a sale that would have otherwise been a $12.00 purchase.
I have all the emails and credit card records and am prepared to step forward in a class action suit, a media investigative report, or any other activism to stop this dishonest tactic from victimizing anyone else.
Thank you for this site and for your interest.