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GoDaddy customer service : Should I go GoDaddy?? Godaddy Spies???

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Ok, so here's something I've always wondered about and now that it's actually happened to me, I'm looking into it even further... hope others who have had similar experiences could come forward and contribute as well.

Here's the question, when we are online looking up the availability of domains, are others watching? Is there someone on the other side of the screen looking at everything we are researching? Waiting for something good to come about only to yank it from under our feet...

This past Saturday the 12th, I went online to Godaddy.com to see if a list of domains were available... the one domain I was really crossing my fingers for was a domain appropriate for an adult site (hornyDoll.com). I have had this domain written in my little book for sometime now. I have had other domains that took priority to this one so I have held back in registering this one for some time now. (Lesson learned: never wait!).

Anyways, On Saturday I entered the domain to check if it was available and it was. At the time of purchase my connection with Godaddy kept failing. I tried connecting a few times but had no luck in doing so. I gave up and went about my day, thinking I would do it later that evening. What with the holiday weekend, I ended up going away and not attending to this til today.

When I went to register it, it was taken. Now, lets look at the domain (hornydoll.com) last I checked, the two words in conjunction have not popped up in the news. there is no real thing as a product called a "hornydoll". No logical reason to believe why anyone would be in a race to have this domain registered. it came to me and I would be damned if the same thing popped into someones head on the same DAY!.

I looked up WHOIS and I found out it was registered on the same day as I made the attempt to purchase. In the past when ive been with godaddy on the phone, I know they have access to "view our actions" as we do them on our account. did someone there see what I was registering and took it from me? why did my connection stall? is it possible that some "hack" has invaded "domainer's" computers only to spy on what they are trying to register? I cant help but to feel paranoid now. how can it possibly happen that two people were both looking for the same word at the same time? Here's another bit of info that makes you think even more... the company that registered the domain does "predictive data analysis".

Is there anyone who works in legal who can chime in on this?.

If anyone has any comments, please post it. id' like to hear what others think about what is going on. thanks!..

Comments (31)

Although my view has toned down a bit since I posted here: http://www.discussnames.com/showthread.php?t=17520.

I had been out of domaining a while and was really just warming back into it when I made those comments.

I still do believe this goes on but at what registrars it's hard to say, still I only use moniker (or fab on single names) to check now as i've never had a problem in the many thousands of names i've run through there. I think what it boils down to is, when I spend many hours researching a name I simply can't risk throwing it away.

If you wait 4 days and they don't get any traffic on the name they may drop it still, if indeed they were squatting.

Additionally I should say some people have reported success when emailing the companies in question, threatening some form of further action...

Comment #1

I have had some similar issues lately with other regs. It says the the status is "unknown" and then I check the whois. Not reg'd. I then go to another reg and it's gone. very strange. I picked up this link here at np somewhere http://instantdomainsearch.com/ - a very cool tool I thought.

Who knows... the good names go fast - anything is possible. I hope that a reg can't pick up good names we find available. That would drastically change rules of the game...

Comment #2

I don't think it is a coincidence but I don't think anyone is spying either. If you wanted the name, it's because it might be worth something so it's just a matter of time before someone registers it.

You say there is no logical reason for anyone to register this name, but it's been registered since 2003 and has 25 records at archive.org. Just because a name is available when you first look, don't assume it will be there forever. There are thousands of names registered every day...

Comment #3

There's no logical reason to believe an available domain name will remain that.

Way for a long time, either.

It's been talked here a few times. Suffice it to say that there's no conclusive.

Answer, although that won't stop people from believing what they want...

Comment #4

It's been discussed many times in the past, where a buyer would leave the domain in his/her cart, while deciding if they wanted the name or not. Then they come back 24-48 hours later and the domain had been registered. It seems that this is happening way to often.

-Bill..

Comment #5

Its happened to me quite a few times at Godaddy.....

Comment #6

I wouldn't put it past GD to have a company pay them $$$$ to obtain this data...

Comment #7

I posted a thread on this a little while back and had alot of great input on it from other members.I came to the conclusion that once you search a name on GD it then goes into there system and then when other people search similar terms your unregistered search will come up on the available list at the bottom for others to see.If it goes all the way through your cart and you drop it back out a "taster" may pick it up right after,in this case the domain may become available again after 5 days.I learned my lesson and I wont ever search for domains there again unless I am prepared to register it at that exact moment.Hope this helps.You are not alone.Take care my friend...

Comment #8

The cart bit sounds familar I always clear the cart if I am undecided....but the most feasible explanation is there "smartsearch feature", you typed in hornydoll and then did not purchase, along comes joe bloggs types in horny or doll and hits smart search up pops hornydoll.com in the list....bye bye domain....."procrastination is the enemy of time".....a quote from my 85 yr old grandads mouth.......

Comment #9

It is like going to a store and seeing something on the shelves that interest you.

It is the only one on the shelf. You pick it up, look at it, think about putting it in your shopping cart, but put it back on the shelf instead. You then leave that area, get half way across the store, then say "what the heck, I'll buy it." You go back to get it, but it is now gone, taken by another shopper. Maybe that shopper saw you looking at it, maybe they came across it on their own.

Frustrating? Yes..

Illegal? No...

Comment #10

Just as Amazon show me the similar items other users have bought, it seems it would make sense for GoDaddy to show you names other people have searched for when you're testing out similar themes. I guess it would increase the chances of you purchasing a name. I don't know whether they do, of course, but to me it would make sense...

Comment #11

Bad Business?.

Well it's meant i've not been able to register 400 domains at godaddy they otherwise would of got. Not a huge amount but check back in a few months when I go over 1k, then 2 etc.

There should be some sort of secure search for resellers. (At the time I would of been happy to pay extra for this)..

Comment #12

I could have sworn it being mentioned that GD definitely sells this information to third parties. It's rather shady, but they are perfectly within their right to sell their own collected data. And it makes sense financially, because they're gaining an extra revenue stream and making money even when people don't register the domains they search for. There are tons of companies that sell data in much the same fashion...

Comment #13

Spying on whois queries is nothing new.

Many people on godaddy have reported losing their domains to domibot.

Read here http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=499456..

Comment #14

JMO, in all likelyhood, a taster has picked up the domain after seeing your inquiry blip across their screen. Where, exactly, they are getting that information is a matter of opinion.

I've had this happen before, and five or six days after they picked it up, I managed to acquire the domains.

JMO also, but it seems like there would be a lot of room for abuse within the various registrars. Individual employees could be selling the data off or building their own portfolio via a friend, the companies themselves might collate the data and present it to clients, or it could simply be some technology completely unrelated to the registrar itself tracking whois activity somehow...

Comment #15

I also have posted a thread about this in the past. This happened once too often to me, so I conducted a little experiment.

I typed in a domain name. It showed as available at GoDaddy. I did not register it, or even add it to my cart. Less than 24 hours later, the domain was taken. The whois showed Name King/Maltuzi Holdings.

I waited 5 days, and sure enough, the name had dropped. I repeated the process, with exactly the same results.

What is even more astonishing, is that I repeated the process for 6 drops. Each time I re-entered the name, Maltuzi picked it up a short time later and dropped it within 5 days.

If you use GoDaddy and want a name, make sure you are ready to buy it straightaway before entering it. If the name you wanted has already been picked up, definitely do not type the URL into your browser or click on any ads.

I have tried this with a variety of names. It seems they are mainly interested in acquiring names which have been registered at some point in the past to taste them for traffic.

Matt...

Comment #16

There`s nothing illegal going on, if you dont buy it, it`s not yours you have no rights to it..... heck I picked up bigonair.com from the smart search last week dont know what I will use it for but it sounds good lol...somebodies probably wondering where it's gone right now.lol. yes they probably do sell on the information or it's just the lists from there full cart no sale list......delete the cart information if not buying....I did notice when I had a reseller account that you were safer searching off the reseller account than the main godaddy site.....just an observation......

Comment #17

If you don't want it bad enough, go to the domain(don't click the sponsored links of course) and maltuzi/wan-fu and all the other data scroungers'll be out a few dollars with a worthless domain that doesn't get any traffic...

Comment #18

Over the months, myself and others have posted on this forum dozens upon dozens of clear cut cases where the Domibots of Kenyatech, Enom and a couple of others have x-rayed our domain name searches and grabbed the names we worked long and hard to research and intended to register.

Registrars like Godaddy frankly don't care, since at least "someone" -they're not picky who - registered the domain. There oughtta be a law against it, though. Or at least a privacy-guaranteeing "secure search" feature.

Now let's look at some of the apathetic answers to this huge and continuing problem, vs. the real facts:.

Apathetic answer: Aw, thousands of other guys look for names every day, so it's just a coincidence.

Fact: A coincidence that they grabbed pepperonmyleftelbow.com??? NOT!.

Apathetic answer: Hey, it's just like a product you put back on the shelf, and a customer next to you gets.

Fact: But these guys aren't next to us - they're not on my registrar's site doing their own searches - they could be on the other side of the world, and they're just SPYING on us and picking our brains!.

Apathetic answer: Hey, don't sweat it - they're just tasters who always drop the name back after 4 or 5 days.

Fact: No they don't. Such drops of names grabbed from us after we've painstakingly thought them up, researched them and checked their availability are very rare. The massive "kiting" scams of popular generic names, which involve drops in 5 or less days, usually don't involve us.

Apathetic answer: Hey, it's all your fault for not regging right away the names that got grabbed.

Fact: Many domainers search for hundreds of domains per week - some even do that much per day. Then they filter out the weakest ones and make their final buys soon after. But instead the apathy boys expect that ALL those hundreds of doms should be regged at the outset? Ridiculous!.

Apathetic answer: Quit acting like such a paranoid - there's no conspiracy of companies grabbing those names - it's just that many hundreds of other private individuals, like yourself, randomly find names on the net one way or another, that's all.

Fact: 95% of all complaints of domain name-grabbing involve less a half dozen of the exact same domain-dealing companies, including only the likes of Kenyatech, Enom and their affiliates. None of those are merely private individuals, having no connection with setting up traffic-driving page scams and/or flipping domains as a business.

* * *.

The above scenarios have already been explained many times, in one way or another. But yet the denial of this ripoff, even by our own fellow domainers in many cases, still continues. And if we can't even get all of our OWN people on our side to recognize this nightmare, then it'll never go away and can only get much worse...

Comment #19

Bluesman has said what I have been too busy to post unfortunately in response to the many excuses ive seen posted in reply to my original post of godaddy spies. I even went as far as to think that those same people who are involved in this illegal act are among us. ever wonder how many registrar employees are NP members???.

As I was reading the replies (excuses) to my post, I was getting aggravated. the reason why I didnt finish registering the domain was because the site stalled on me (this has never happened to me). and like I mentioned, I came back and the domain was gone. The coincidences are that I queried it at 1pm and the person who hijacked it from me comes up as having it registered a couple of minutes past 1pm, same day. This is too much of a coincidence. Its funny how I immediately reacted by looking behind me (a window in my office) thinking someone was spying on me from across the street).

The way I see it, People who work for registrars should not be allowed to buy domains. I see them as stock brokers. They have inside info. this is the same type of business... think about it.

I think this is another sign of how young the internet is. we need stricter regulations. I do not believe the domain registrars wshould be allowed to buy domains or those affiliated with registrars (employees or those with direct access).

I hate writing this stuff cause it upsets me. it pisses me off. I hope everything we are writing leads to something worth while.

Speak up people!..

Comment #20

Similar experience with Godaddy. Yes it does exist and the best you can do at this point in the game is search at a more secure place. Ask godaddy about the practice and the adamantly deny it but what else would they say?..

Comment #21

Best advice I can give is don't test the waters with the search.

If your interested in a name decide to buy it before you see if it's available. You don't need to jump into anything, but write the name down, and see if you still want it the next day. When you search for it at a registrar decide then once and for all if you want it and reg it right away if you do...

Comment #22

What we probably "need" first is to try to fully learn and comprehend what all.

This is about. It is pretty easy to say, "people who work for registrars should.

Not be allowed to buy domains" or "those affiliated with registrars (employees.

Or those with direct access) shouldn't buy domains".

I can easily rebut those with, "Well, I can register those at home instead from.

Work" or "I'll ask my friend from Timbuktu to register it for me." What group is.

Seriously willing to put some time gazillion checking this party isn't affiliated or.

Paid by someone to register this domain name?.

For those who are curious, I worked with a registrar myself for more than four.

Years before finally moving on. Having worked with one gave me a better and.

More realistic understanding of what's involved, what's at stake, and what it.

Could mean.

Unfortunately one reality I've since accepted is that people tend to care only.

About results without considering the devil in the details, more so when other.

Interests are involved that they don't care to know. When you don't consider.

Those other interests, you're not going to go unchallenged.

If some of you get pissed at my post, then I suggest you stop reading this. I.

Am not here to please everyone, just giving another way to look at it...

Comment #23

I think you sound a bit paranoid. Looking behind you thinking that someone is spying on you through your window? That's just a bit ridiculous. As has been mentioned, theres nothing illegal about this. Registrars are free to do what they want with data they have collected, especially so if it's not personally identifying. Even personally identifying information is sold to third parties every day, but the fact that it's just arbitrary domain searches makes it even less of an issue.

You can say people are making excuses all you want, but whats the solution? To restrict businesses from selling information? The economy would crash And we don't even know that is what's taking place. As others have mentioned, it may just be a "feature" for the domain suggestion tool.

You seem to think theres a huge conspiracy going on here involving registrars. If anything, at the most they're doing is selling information on searches. Theres nothing conspiratorial about that. It's a common business practice. If Google didn't collect search results and sell advertising based on keywords, they'd be out of business.

But regardless of personal feelings (I don't like it much either), this isn't illegal, and this is the legal forum. So you got the answer you came for, even if it wasn't the one you wanted...

Comment #24

Registrars might be selling info about domains that were searched, but I don't think that hornydoll.com is a good case study..

It may not have been in the news lately, but hornydoll.com was a developed site in the past and is an excellent term with lots of google results..

It is no surprise that hornydoll.com would be registered as quickly as it became available.

I would be interested to hear about a truly random domain name that was registered the same day that someone searched godaddy for it...

Comment #25

Many responses by pro-grab posters here totally miss the point. Nobody's talking about general Google search result reports here. And nobody's talking about Godaddy's right to report the most-wanted names to interested businesses. We're not talking about banning that practice at all, and therefore no "financial collapse" in that area will take place.

Rather the point is about a specific name that you are looking for one day and is gone the next, BECAUSE you searched for it. This is not an example of a "popular" name being reported - it's a unique name that only you made up, and nobody else did. That's why such searches must all be made secure and private, which is not too much to ask.

Then AFTER you've registered the name, the registrar can be perfectly free to report it in their "popular name" rankings, if merely doing that was their true intent. Otherwise, if they refuse to keep your search private, you know that they (or someone they're affiliated with) is trying to STEAL your name instead.

The weak excuse of "thousands of people are trying to register thousands of names every day" in fact only makes more clear the LIE of mere coincidence regarding these companies grabbing your one oddball name. Likewise, in a movie taking place in a very small town, it might make sense that the main character would run into the same person more than once. But in New York city? No way!..

Comment #26

Sorry, but one can't steal what one never owned to begin with.

Maybe I'm dense, but I've yet to understand why some people insist believing.

The word/s they're looking up is "theirs" when using a search service provided,.

Paid for and owned by someone else. I understand people's desire for a degree.

Of online privacy, but to demand providers what they're looking up is "theirs"?.

You might as well tell Google the terms you're looking up in their search engine.

Is yours and not to do anything with them as they see fit. I mean, this should.

Not really be any different, should it?.

Besides, no registrar on earth can guarantee what you're looking up today will.

Still be available the next day. They're forced to input those disclaimers since.

Some people make unrealistically unreasonable demands...

Comment #27

It simply comes down to this... If you search for a domain and it's available, either register it or write it off entirely. There are no guarantees that it will be available later, even 5 minutes later. One time I went to Blockbuster and there was the new Crocodile Dundee movie on the shelf, only one left. I picked it up and was telling my wife, "lets get the crocodile dundee movie, this is the last one left!" I was being sarcastic, but as soon as I put it down and stepped 3 feet away, someone who had overheard me swooped in and grabbed it Other people want what you want.

As for GoDaddy making recent searches available (like I said, I don't know if this is part of their domain suggestion tool or not), it makes perfect sense. Someone sees a name that someone else recently searched for, and they go all crocodile dundee on the domain and snatch it up, just because they know someone else wanted it as well, so it must be a good domain, right?? It allows GD to convert lost sales into sales. It makes perfect business sense...

Comment #28

If it's NOT stolen at GD, than it probably wasnt a good name to begin with...

Comment #29

Again, nobody's talking about some well known, generic search term here, whether it's searched for on Go Daddy, Goggle, or Gosh Allmighty.

Instead what is being STOLEN is the intellectual property that you and you alone invented. A very unique term that may have taken you many hours to come up with.

Why all the reluctance to demand as part of the registrar membership package the simple feature of private searching? As I said earlier, if the registrar's goal was only the "good business" of reporting popular names, then surely they'd have no problem giving you a chance to register it first. Maybe the obvious compromise of a grace period could also be worked out.

Point being that creative people thinking up many different domain names often cannot afford to automatically register every domain they search for. They weed out the best ones, and measure those against what's available at the time.

But then if ROBBERS like the Enom Nuts and the Kenyatech Krooks are allowed to run free and STEAL every name ever searched for in the history of mankind, then the whole process is being thrown totally out of whack!..

Comment #30

You know, I've seen at least 2 other persons maintain that position. However,.

I've yet to see and/or figure out how one can demonstrate exactly that, more.

So when the registrar doesn't have to do anything for you unless served with.

A court order or something similar.

While I perfectly understand the desire for "private searching", what more can.

The registrar do if they give all the guarantees in the world they don't sell any.

Of their searches, the domain name you looked up but didn't register is taken.

By someone else, and you won't accept any of their explanations?..

Comment #31


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

 

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