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alert Why You Can't Trust GoDaddy Brokers

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jberryhill

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John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
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It is important to understand that GoDaddy brokers are not working for you.

I'm currently defending a UDRP which, although it will be an easy win for the domain registrant, would have been completely unnecessary if GoDaddy was honest with its own customer.

In the course of fielding an inquiry to buy a domain name, GoDaddy broker John Campanaro received this email:


Screenshot 2023-05-18 at 10.19.56 AM.png



The "buyer" was claiming to have a trademark and threatening legal action.

Now, in the course of this negotiation, the parties ended up being extremely close. The margin between the final offer of the "buyer" and the domain registrant was around $1000.

Had GoDaddy's customer realized that the "buyer" was now claiming to have a trademark and threatening legal action, that would have given GoDaddy's customer an opportunity to consider whether to lower their offer simply to avoid a frivolous legal dispute, or at least to have some warning that GoDaddy knew what the "buyer" was going to do next.

So, what did GoDaddy broker John Campanaro do next?

He lied:

Screenshot 2023-05-18 at 10.20.50 AM.png


If you were formerly a Uniregistry customer and have been moved to GoDaddy, you need to understand that some very basic principles of customer service did not survive that transfer.

GoDaddy will withhold information from you, and will not tell you if the other side in a negotiation is making legal threats, so that you can make a rational and informed decision. Instead, they will drive you right over the cliff and even, as happened in the longer course of this negotiation, make up stuff, attribute it to you, and then it will turn up in a UDRP or other legal dispute filed against you.

GoDaddy will dig a hole and push you right in.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Another thing worth considering here is that GoDaddy is the registrar for the domain name. When the buyer started claiming it was an abusive registration, then it should have been converted to an abuse complaint. At least in THAT situation, GoDaddy would have told the registrant that they'd received one.
Hi

that's a good point, but wouldn't such a complaint have to go thru different channel?

still, it shows the lack of communication inside or they have some who aren't willing to go the extra mile to perfection.

imo...
 
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that's a good point, but wouldn't such a complaint have to go thru different channel?

Typically abuse complaints are expected through the designated abuse contact. In the context of someone who is actually paying a fee to communicate to GoDaddy, one might expect their communications to receive thoughtful attention.

I think someone holding themselves out as a sales professional should be able to distinguish between a sales offer and a settlement offer of a legal threat.

GoDaddy simply has no incentive to care.
 
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Mr. Berryhill is one of the top in his field.

He doesn't need to disclose his fee publicly.
That's obvious J.R.
I wasn't asking him to disclose anything, rather I was asking you where the $5.000 figure that you mentioned came from

This unethical action on the part of the broker has already cost the seller at least $5K in legal fees.
because you make it look like his minimum legal fees were $5k.
So why $5k J.R.?
 
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@jberryhill I forgot, who should pay the costs of additional WIPO panelists? The one who requests it?
 
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Another thing worth considering here is that GoDaddy is the registrar for the domain name.

If so, GoDaddy may now charge the registrant $50 "administrative fee" for UDRP, which was caused *at least partially* by actions of their own broker:

https://www.thedomains.com/2013/12/...ome-customers-50-if-they-get-hit-with-a-udrp/

An old article, but the following still can be found in T&C:

GoDaddy also reserves the right to charge you reasonable “administrative” fees" for (i) tasks GoDaddy may perform outside the normal scope of its Services, (ii) additional time and/or costs GoDaddy may incur in providing its Services, and/or (iii) your noncompliance with this Agreement (as determined by GoDaddy in its sole and absolute discretion). Typical administrative or processing fee scenarios include, but are not limited to (i) customer service issues that require additional personal time or attention; (ii) UDRP actions(s) in connection with your domain name(s) and/or disputes that require accounting or legal services, whether performed by GoDaddy staff or by outside firms retained by GoDaddy; ... These administrative fees or processing fees will be billed to the Payment Method you have on file with GoDaddy.
 
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Doesn't work like that.

Its totally fair to hold the broker accountable for his actions.

When you are fraudulent, you don't get to say, "but they are fraudulent too."

What sort of low quality and deceptive behavior are you trying to condone?
I'm not condoning anything. Just stating that there's almost certainly an issue with the way the company approachs brokerage as a whole (as is probably the case in most industries where brokers are involved), and this case is a product of that. I'm not saying the individual broker shouldn't be held accountable for his action. Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions about someone's opinion. I'm merely stating things that should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of intelligence.
 
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I'm thinking to switch to NS5/NS6, I might be losing sales during negotiations.
 
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Is there a misrepresentation case to made here? If the domain holder has had to pay legal fees to cover the UDRP process etc etc can they put a claim in against Godaddy to recover the cost's?

I also see that Godaddy updated their universal terms of service yesterday....coincidence?
 
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@jberryhill I forgot, who should pay the costs of additional WIPO panelists? The one who requests it?

UDRP Rule 6(c) https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/udrp-rules-2015-03-11-en

As far as legal fees go, there are a number of good lawyers in this field who offer a range of fee options. There is a huge difference between responding to a well-argued complaint dealing with a complicated fact pattern and lots of evidence versus a five sentence complaint written by someone who didn't know what they are doing. Sometimes, after a response, a complainant files more material. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes it is not even worth responding to supplemental material. Sometimes it devolves into a dogfight with multiple rounds of submissions. Some lawyers will offer a partial contingency arrangement if it looks like a negotiated settlement is possible, and there is just no "one size fits all" answer to that question.

If you want to know what it costs to hire an attorney to respond to a UDRP complaint, first tell me how much it costs to pay a contractor to build a deck.
 
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GoDaddy simply has no incentive to care.
Hi

you would think that the 20% commission lost from that ordeal, would add some incentive.

imo....
 
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Hi

you would think that the 20% commission lost from that ordeal, would add some incentive.

imo....

They likely costed me a high xxx,xxx deal to Meta in 2021 by countering $5,000,000 when I specifically told the broker Kenneth Kilfoyle to counter $725,000. I was livid... then he went back and countered $825,000 without my authorization. (All documented via email) If they didn't care then, they won't care now. I knew it was Meta well because Kenneth revealed the indentity of the buyer to me on a call. Why is a junior broker handling a deal this size? He was more excited for a deal then I was. His boss took over, then I refused to continue negotiations through Godaddy and I moved 400 of my top names away from them because they were hijacking emails as well by changing settings without notice... many threads on that on NP.

Godaddy=Nodaddy

You can't change the past or Godaddy... but you can CHANGE REGISTRARS
 
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I never could understand involving a broker in anything that isn’t a high figure situation. You can’t trust them and they are NOT working on your behalf. This is one scenario. Imagine all the others we don’t know about.

The minimum that can be gleaned from this story is brokers at GoDaddy can and do lie. Handle your own leads.

The thing is, Godaddy has high brand awareness and authority in the market. Company managers and especially end users who are unfamiliar with this sector can look more positively and quickly decide to do business under the roof of a well-established company.

Therefore, using your own lander brings advantages as well as disadvantages.


I'm thinking to switch to NS5/NS6, I might be losing sales during negotiations.

This is another dilemma.

A broker can contact the buyer via the NS3/4 form. In other words, professional (!) human communication, a more formal and impressive style that can convince the person to think quickly and make a decision comes into play.

Especially for high price domains, the impulse buy situation is not very much in question. In such cases, the importance of better quality communication is obvious.

Frankly, I plan to shape my plans accordingly when the amount of commissions I pay annually is equal to hiring my own broker.
 
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The thing is, Godaddy has high brand awareness and authority in the market. Company managers and especially end users who are unfamiliar with this sector can look more positively and quickly decide to do business under the roof of a well-established company.

Therefore, using your own lander brings advantages as well as disadvantages.




This is another dilemma.

A broker can contact the buyer via the NS3/4 form. In other words, professional (!) human communication, a more formal and impressive style that can convince the person to think quickly and make a decision comes into play.

Especially for high price domains, the impulse buy situation is not very much in question. In such cases, the importance of better quality communication is obvious.

Frankly, I plan to shape my plans accordingly when the amount of commissions I pay annually is equal to hiring my own broker.
I didn’t say people shouldn’t buy at GD. What I do resent and think is uncalled for is their brokers sticking their nose in immediately on any offer. I like to handle my own leads. Before I can even reply a broker is interfering and they also auto send out price requests. Stop treating adults like children.

You can choose to do business at a platform that lets you handle your own leads like DAN. (For now)
 
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Is there a misrepresentation case to made here?

Not everything in life reduces to a legal issue.

The key takeaways here are that GoDaddy brokers can and will attribute false statements to you that can be used against you, and that even if specifically requested to notify you of a legal threat, they will not do so and will further not inform the claimant that they did not do so.

It is worth observing that the GoDaddy broker did refer to the prospective "buyer" as their "client". The problem with that, particularly in the non-domainer context, is that people who choose a registrar assume they are the customer. Ostensibly, a domain registrant who is aware of other registrars will consider things such as reputation, price, security, etc.. If they are contacted by their registrar, an ordinary domain registrant would probably not assume that the registrar is actually working for someone else and that not only can their words be used against them in a legal dispute, but that the registrar they chose for their business would (i) conceal the fact that the other person is threatening legal action and (ii) make things up that can be used against them in a legal dispute.

Of course GoDaddy's issue with warning their domain registrant customer of the legal threat is that it would result in identifying the party making the inquiry, or at least making it obvious who it might be. In order to evaluate that legal threat to make an informed decision, the domain registrant would certainly need to know the facts. Then, the parties might circumvent GoDaddy brokerage and GoDaddy loses a commission. The ultimate "customers" of any public company, and the only ones who matter more than the dirt under their fingernails, are the shareholders.

On the other hand, of course, once the negotiation rises to the level of legal threats, then the parties aren't looking for a sales agreement, but a settlement agreement, and GoDaddy is of no use there.

As a domainer, of course, you have to balance these considerations against the unparalleled marketing reach of GoDaddy and its network, and the convenience of having hungry (and getting hungrier) brokers working your leads 24/7. Once GoDaddy deploys AI brokers and throws the meat ones away, they won't even get hungry.

But for a non-domainer who believed they found a registrar to safeguard their domains and didn't ask to have the registrar fielding these sorts of inquiries, it is a shock that a business that sells itself on trust and security will dangerously and dishonestly conceal facts from them and make false statements on their behalf to someone who is threatening legal action against them.
 
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I'm not condoning anything. Just stating that there's almost certainly an issue with the way the company approachs brokerage as a whole (as is probably the case in most industries where brokers are involved), and this case is a product of that. I'm not saying the individual broker shouldn't be held accountable for his action. Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions about someone's opinion. I'm merely stating things that should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

Again, an employee doesn't get to hide behind a company shield when an atmosphere of deception, fraud, and negligence is rampant. Many on Wall Street have learned this the hard ways; if they engage in fraud as an individual, the corporate shield will not protect them in court.

In fact, it is often the opposite effect, where the individual is hung out to dry by the corporation and scapegoated as a rogue employee.

High character employees will leave unethical employers and if the climate is truly criminal; seek whistle blower protection and bring down these bad actors.

Finally, you are making a lot of assumptions about the culture at GoDaddy Brokerage without evidence. In the evidence presented by Attorney Berryhill, it only shows a rogue, unethical and dishonest broker.

If anyone jumped to a conclusion it is you, its obvious to anyone with intelligence that you created facts and evidence to fit your narrative where none existed.

Your personal agenda to drag an entire company or division; where the facts presented only point to one broker. Now, if you have facts and evidence of wide-spread unethical, negligent and deceptive practices please share them with the rest of us.
 
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They likely costed me a high xxx,xxx deal to Meta in 2021 by countering $5,000,000 when I specifically told the idiot broker Kenneth Kilfoyle to counter $725,000. I was livid... then he went back and countered $825,000 without my authorization. (All documented via email) If they didn't care then, they won't care now. I knew it was Meta well because Kenneth revealed the indentity of the buyer to me on a call. He was more excited for a deal then I was. His boss took over, then I refused to continue negotiations through Godaddy and I moved 400 of my top names away from them because they were hijacking emails as well by changing settings without notice... many threads on that on NP.

Godaddy=Nodaddy

You can't change the past or Godaddy... but you can CHANGE REGISTRARS

If there was ever a time to present your documented emails to provide another example of GoDaddy Broker malfeasance, the time is now. This is the perfect thread to build a case of a more wide spread issue with GD brokerage bad behavior.

If we don't shine light on this, like Attorney Berryhill has done, nothing changes.

Please provide screen-prints of broker Kenneth Kilfoyle's bad behavior.

We all benefit from exposing this unethical behavior.

#principalsonly
 
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The thing is, Godaddy has high brand awareness and authority in the market. Company managers and especially end users who are unfamiliar with this sector can look more positively and quickly decide to do business under the roof of a well-established company.

Absolutely. Some domainers do not communicate well or, for whatever reason, do not inspire a lot of trust in persons who might inquire to buy a domain name. There is no question that GoDaddy provides a valuable service.
 
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If there was ever a time to present your documented emails to provide another example of GoDaddy Broker malfeasance, the time is now. This is the perfect thread to build a case of a more wide spread issue with GD brokerage bad behavior.

If we don't shine light on this, like Attorney Berryhill has done, nothing changes.

Please provide screen-prints of broker Kenneth Kilfoyle's bad behavior.

We all benefit from exposing this unethical behavior.

#principalsonly

Thanks but I've moved on from the incident and I respect @jberryhill enough to not hijack his thread. I debated sharing at all and only chimed in to highlight the fact that this incident did not occur in isolation. Every domainer can decide what they want to do. There are pros and cons to doing business with the 800 pound gorrilla so each their own.

For the record, this shouldn't be a bash Godaddy party because they are a valuable global resource to our community.... more of a strong and passionate plea to "Do Better". I hope corporate is on top of this.
 
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