March 23, 2007 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Getting screwed by a domain registrant. [NOT REGISTERFLY]

I have two domains with GoDaddy, one expiring next month. I went to renew it and there was this $8.95 annual charge for "private registration". I'm pretty sure I remember putting that on there last year because it was free. But it's not worth the money so I thought I'd just remove it (the other domain doesn't have it, so what's the point?). That's not possible via the GD interface. When you try to "Manage Privacy", it links over to and wants you to log in. But there's no indication how you would do that--my GD login, customer number and domain name all don't work. I emailed GD about it and they said I'd have to contact DBP.

By now I'd already read a rant or two about this situation, so I told them that I didn't set up the relationship with DBP so I wasn't responsible for breaking it. I told them they had 24 hours to remove the unwanted charge or I'd switch registrars. 19 hours later they again said I'd have to contact DBP, so I just told them they have 5 more hours.

(Each of these emails generated an auto-reply telling me my ticket number. Just to see what would happen, I also emailed DBP. I got a ticket number in an email. The email and ticket number are the exact same format as the ones from GD. The message ID from both ends with "". Turns out DBP *is* GoDaddy, this is all just a scam to charge $9/year per idiot who signs up for this feature.)

I am now fully intending to switch away from GD no matter what happens, but then I got this from them: Unfortunately, a transfer of a domain cannot not be completed while privacy is active on the domain name.

So I can't get rid of the feature and I can't terminate the relationship until I do. I called GD and they wouldn't escalate my issue, but they did walk me through how to change my email address on DBP (the claim is that that's why I never got contacted by them, though I call BS on that). This process will require photo ID, which is not only also BS but one of the rants I read said even this didn't work.

How can I cut this gordian knot?
posted by DU to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They are right about not being able to transfer while Privacy is on. The transfer process (from the registry standpoint) is fully automated and hinges on the whois data currently available (the private data).

Yes, DBP is Godaddy - always has been. Sucks that they gave you the run around like that.

You can rant all your want, but it likely won't help you - and threatening is really not likely to get you anywhere.

Get your calm hat on and pick up the phone - call them and nicely state that you don't want domain privacy any longer/can't afford it/whatever. Don't talk anymore about your desire to transfer. Just deal with this issue right now. Once you have Privacy off and your email address updated you'll be able to transfer it away. If you run into "I can't really help you" ask to speak to a supervisor. Calmly. Everyone is more likely to help you if you aren't being a difficult customer.

Follow up on everything right away though. Don't let this sit. If you get too close to expiry you'll have a hard time transferring it.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:24 AM on March 23, 2007

Response by poster: I was calm on the phone--didn't mention transfers at all. No supervisor, no help. They insist that they can't turn Privacy off, DBP has to do it.

I'm going to check my old email folders and make sure they really didn't send me a thing when I signed up. If they didn't, as I suspect, I think I'll just drop the domain. It's a .info and the .net is available, plus my hosting provider (may) have a free registration deal.

I'm pretty mad about this, though.
posted by DU at 11:44 AM on March 23, 2007

I am a GoDaddy customer with privacy also (but it's still free for me -- I'll keep my eyes on my bill!)

Just now, for the first time, I went to the DBP site. I clicked "Forgot your password?" and then "Retrieve customer number" on the subsequent page, entered my domain name, and got an email with my customer number. Then I entered that number to get another email "resetting" my password.

Does that not work for you?
posted by Eater at 11:48 AM on March 23, 2007

Response by poster: No, I tried that and no email ever arrived.
posted by DU at 11:51 AM on March 23, 2007

I'm sure you checked that your address on record with them isn't spam-blocking the email or anything. The email I got came from

It also included the phone number 480-624-2599 for any DBP questions I might have, by the way.
posted by Eater at 11:54 AM on March 23, 2007

Response by poster: I wish I had spam blocking.

As mentioned, I did email DBP and their reply was nonhelpful. I didn't try calling them, but since the email change form requires me to present photo ID (via fax), I'm guessing I can't do it over the phone.
posted by DU at 12:11 PM on March 23, 2007

Call them. You might still have to send a photo ID, but if you're peeved enough to ask this question, I can't imagine a phone call would hurt.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:18 PM on March 23, 2007

I had the same problem, and was able to find the original email sent by when I registered the domain name. Somewhere- either in your computer or whatever web mail account you were using at the time- should be a record of your Domains By Proxy username and password. When I used Windows, I found that searching with Google Desktop worked best.
posted by JamesToast at 12:41 PM on March 23, 2007

I'm glad I stumbled across this thread.
In addition to my own domain, I manage the domain of a client. We noticed the other day that the client did not have registration privacy (and noted that there was a charge for privacy) I thought this was odd since I have privacy on my domain and I sure as hell didn't pay for it. Reading this thread made me quickly rummage through my email and find the email from DBP with my account number.

When did GoDaddy start charging for privacy? What a rip.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:53 PM on March 23, 2007

seconding JamesToast, same experience that one of the acknowledgment emails contained DBP login info.
posted by tdischino at 1:17 PM on March 23, 2007

If you login, and go to the accounts page, then use the toolbar at the top of that portion of the page, the ninth button from the right will allow you to unlock anyway, and then after that processes you can edit your data.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 1:23 PM on March 23, 2007

Godaddy/DBP has been charging for privacy for at least the last 2 years (unless they included it free as a promotion) - I've been paying $9 or so a year for it on my domains.
posted by aberrant at 1:24 PM on March 23, 2007

Oh, and I confirmed that it has always cost money. I have it on a domain.

Furthermore, the account # recovery tool on the dbp homepage works just fine, just checked it.

Seems like everything here is fine. Except you.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 1:31 PM on March 23, 2007

When did they ever not charge for privacy? whenever I saw it, it was an extra add on.

By the way, the name for a company that registers domain names is a registrar. A registrant is the person who pays for the domain name.

In other words, a registrant registers their registration with a registrar, who puts it in the registry.
posted by delmoi at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2007

Or you could say: A registrant registers with a registrar, who puts the registration in the registry, and the money in the registar.
posted by delmoi at 1:47 PM on March 23, 2007

Response by poster: Followup: Yesterday I asked for the account # recovery from DBP and didn't get anything. Today I find an email from them, suspiciously right after I called GD. I'm sure that's 100% TOTALLY UNRELATED, though.

Except you.

And all the other people I found ranting about this.
posted by DU at 2:34 PM on March 23, 2007

Response by poster: When did GoDaddy start charging for privacy?

I'm not complaining about them charging for it. I'm complaining about the asymmetry in that they will sign you up for it easily but you have to go through hell and back to unsign up for it. I shouldn't even need to log into any special service to do it, since I didn't do that to begin with. Let alone all this other craziness.
posted by DU at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2007

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